The Google Nexus 4, the much-in-demand £239 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean smartphone manufactured by LG, contains a ‘secret’ LTE-ready chip that can, in theory, receive super-fast 4G mobile broadband, a recent teardown has revealed.
The component in question, which was discovered in a teardown of the handset by iFixit, is a Qualcomm WTR1605L chip, the same seven-band 4G LTE chipset that features in a number of other 4G-capable phones.
Sadly, the phone may be missing the required signal amplifier and filter parts that would have made it a fully functioning LTE-compatible device.
4G is not listed as an official feature of the Google Nexus 4, which is made for Google by LG. There are many different frequencies for 4G services, depending on what country you are in, and making a phone that’s compatible with most of them is a complex and expensive task. Given the cut-price nature of the Nexus 4, it's no surprise that 4G is officially deactivated in the device.
However, according to postings on the XDA Developers forums, some users have been able to tweak the Google Nexus 4 and force it onto a 4G LTE network. Using the phone’s debugging menu, Nexus 4 owners in Canada were reportedly able to run it on LTE Band 4 (which works in the 1700MHz and 2100MHz frequencies) on Canadian mobile operators including Telus and Rogers.
This may be down to the particular power amplifiers and transceiver contained in the Google Nexus 4, so the chances of getting one working on 4G in other places, such as the UK, may be limited, as those bands are not – and probably will not – be used here. We are sure to hear about it if it does work beyond Canada, though.
The iFixit teardown also confirmed the existence of an induction coil so the Google Nexus 4 can be charged wirelessly, as mentioned in Google’s tech specs. The phone doesn’t come with a charging pad but, according to recent reports, it will work with the one supplied with the Nokia Lumia 920.
Should Google and LG have included 4G officially in the Google Nexus 4 or is it not a deal-breaker for you? Let us know what you think on the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comments boxes below.