Review Price £239.00
With the Google Nexus 4 being made available in just 8GB and 16GB storage forms, neither of which are compatible with microSD expansion found on most Android handset, for some, the limited storage capacity of the handset will mean that it is not ideal for the multimedia heavy user. If you can put the potential storage issues aside, however, the handset is a multimedia loving joy.
Thanks to the expansive 4.7-inch, 1280 x 768p 320ppi display, the Google Nexus 4 becomes a pleasure to watch high-quality video content on. Whilst some handsets are limited by slow refresh rates, poor colour management or tinny sound, the Google Nexus 4 shrugs off all of these issues, lining up as one of the most visually impressive devices on the market, at any price point.
The inbuilt speakers found on the Google Nexus 4 are surprisingly strong making movie playback and out loud podcast absorption not only possible but a largely enjoyable experience. Although largely strong, the handset’s inbuilt speaker does struggle with distortion and rattle on occasion when music playback hits the highest volume settings.
Winning the Google Nexus 4’s inbuilt speaker added brownie points, Google and LG have positioned the audio provider well on the handset’s rear lower-right corner. Positioned just out of reach of your hand when holding the device in a conventional landscape or portrait manner, the speaker’s location only becomes an issue for disrupted and muffled playback when placed down on its rear on a flat or soft surface.
Elsewhere, thanks to the heavily stacked Google Play Store, the Google Nexus 4 can quickly and easily be brimmed with high-quality music, video and of course app based content. Those not looking to splash the cash through the Google outlet, however, a simple drag-and-drop method can be used to fill the device with high quality video and audio content.
Whilst homescreen based widgets help keep multimedia content at the fore of the handset’s being, there is further indication beyond the handset’s limited storage that the Google Nexus 4 has a less than multimedia centric ilk. With the handset not coming boxed with the customary pair of complementary in-ear headphones, Google has made a move that, whilst helping keeping the handset’s hugely impressive price point low, will be sure to surprise some adopters.
Despite featuring a hefty 2,100 mAh Lithium polymer battery, we found the Google Nexus 4 battery life left a lot to be desired, with the expansive 4.7-inch display and 1.5GHz quad-core processor proving a considerable drain on the handset’s power supply. With the Android 4.2 handset repeatedly fail to clear the one day usage hump that plagues so many devices, Google and LG have lined the Nexus 4 up in parallel to its competitors without pushing the boundaries.
What’s more, as well as suffering from rapid battery drain, an issue that is unsurprisingly rapidly accelerated when making use of app-based games or multimedia consumption, the Google Nexus 4 is less than speedy to recharge. With a charge from 15 per cent battery to 100 per cent battery pushing the three hour mark, daily overnight charges are a likely outcome if adopting the latest Nexus handset.
What the Google Nexus 4 loses in battery life, it more than makes up for in its connectivity options. Uniformly making use of a microUSB connection port for charging, the handset’s collection of connectivity features is further bolstered by the expected Wi-Fi 802.11, HSPA , Bluetooth and 3G options whilst NFC also makes an appearance.
Packing NFC connectivity features, thanks to Android Beam allows users to wireless transfer details and data between compatible handsets simply by bumping them together. Whilst the current potential uses for integrated NFV are currently fairly limited, in the very near future this technology is expected to explode with handsets replacing the likes of bank and travel cards as a contactless means of low value payment.
On top of this, Google has confirmed that the Nexus 4 is compatible with wireless charging, a feature that although we have as yet been unable to test, will be made possible in the near future with compatible accessories.
Unlike a selection of Google’s previous Nexus branded devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the Google Nexus 4 is not the latest dominant force in the ever crowed smartphone sector. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t still a game changer, however.
With a specs sheet rivalling, but not eclipsing, some of the leading high-end handsets currently on the market, but with a SIM-free price tag more akin to a mid-range device, the Google Nexus 4 is a device that is pushing the boundaries of smartphone capabilities, bringing hugely impressive performances to a wider market.
Featuring a screen that is nothing short of stunning, a processor that will keep things running along quickly and smoothly, and an operating system that is a simplistic joy to use, the Google Nexus 4 is a highly recommended handset for those wanting to join the high-end handset revolution. What’s more, inescapable is the handset’s staggeringly low £239 price tag. If other manufacturers are forced to follow suit with high-end, low-priced devices, the Google Nexus 4 will truly have changed the smartphone market for the better, in consumers eyes at least.
Trusted Reviews is part of the Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Technology Network