The Google Nexus 4 has been released, but it’s not the easiest phone to get hold of. As soon as it comes into stock at the Google Play store, it seems to sell out.
Is it worth getting from another retailer? Here’s what you can expect to pay for a Google Nexus 4.
Cost - £239 or 8GB, £279 for 16GB
UPDATE: The Nexus 4 is back in stock in the UK from 5pm, 4 December.
The best way to buy a Google Nexus 4 is from Google’s Play devices store. However, getting a phone from this portal isn’t all that easy. When the phone was first released, it sold out very quickly.
Stock is appearing on the store in drips, but you can expect it so sell out quickly for the next month at least. Our top tip is to sign up for email notification of when new stock arrives – and make sure you’re quick on the uptake. Alternatively, our news hounds will try and keep you informed of when new stock arrives, so keep an eye on our news channel.
Cost – up to £600 for 16GB
If you’re desperate for a Google Nexus 4, eBay is not currently a good place to pick up the Android phone. Sellers are exploiting high demand for the device, pitching the handset at frankly ridiculous prices.
Even Google Nexus 4s not listed as Buy it Now auctions are attracting sky-high bids – we’re talking around £400 for the 16GB edition. Part of the reason why the Google Nexus 4 is such a highly-acclaimed phone is down to the price Google sells it at. When selling for more than the Samsung Galaxy S3, some of the shine starts to wear off. Our reviewer found that the phone’s finish feels a little less high-end than the Samsung Galaxy S3’s, for one.
From Amazon Marketplace
Cost – £500 for 8GB edition
Much like eBay’s sellers, Amazon’s Marketplace peeps have grasped onto the opportunity to make a buck with the Google Nexus 4, flogging the phone at inflated prices. At the time of writing, the new models on sale there are marked up at almost £600. You may be excited about the prospect of owning a Google Nexus 4, but let’s not go crazy.
Cost - £399 for 16GB edition on Pay & Go, Free on £36 a month contract
O2 won an exclusive deal for the first bit of the Google Nexus 4’s life, meaning that it’s not currently available directly from any other carriers in the UK. O2’s prices are depressingly far removed from those you’ll find on the Google Play store. The 16GB edition on a pre-pay deal costs £399, £120 more than Google’s price.
Pay & Go prices are usually lower than SIM-free prices, making this all the more disappointing.
The cheapest O2 tariff that gets you the Google Nexus 4 for free is a £36 a month deal. Over the course of the 24-month contract, that’ll cost you £864.
But is it really that bad a deal? We thought we’d compare it to Google’s SIM-free price, added to GiffGaff’s somewhat-comparable tariff. GiffGaff is a community driven carrier that offers highly competitive contract-free monthly deals.
Their £15 a month Goodybag offers 400 minutes, unlimited mobile internet and unlimited texts. O2’s £36 a month deal brings unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 1GB mobile internet. The two aren’t identical, but will serve for the purposes of this calculation.
Over the course of two years, the GiffGaff deal will cost you £360. Added to the cost of the 16GB Google Nexus 4, the total is £639. It’s no paltry figure, but equates to around £230 less than the cost on O2. That’s almost the price of another 8GB Google Nexus 4 from Google.
Cost – TBC
One the UK exclusive O2 holds over the Google Nexus 4 ends in mid-December, other UK carriers will start selling the great Android phone. But will it be as much of a rip-off as it is from O2?
It doesn’t look like the opening-up of availability will change anything too soon. Three has announced that it will stock the Google Nexus 4 from 14 December, for £399 without a contract. It’ll also be available on Three’s £35 a month deal, attached to a cheeky £29.99 a month outlay – almost identical to the O2 deal.
Other carrier deals are likely to be outlined in the coming weeks.
Cost – From £26 a month, £389.99 SIM-free
If you want a Google Nexus 4 on contract, you’re often better of opting for a reseller like Carphone Warehouse than going direct to a carrier. The deals on offer there are – relatively – reasonable.
The cheapest tariff the phone is available on comes from Orange, at £26 a month. This gets you 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of data. You can also cut down the mobile internet allowance to gain more minutes, but in our book the other 250MB allowance on offer just doesn’t cut it.
Carphone Warehouse also offers tariffs from Vodafone and O2, and a SIM-free handset for £389.99. It’s just a tenner less than the competition, but a small saving is better than nothing.
Conclusions and Buying Tips
This may make depressing reading – if you don’t buy a Google Nexus 4, there’s no way to get it for a remotely competitive price. The best non-Google deals available are from third-party mobile sellers like Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U, but even they do not get close to approaching Google’s prices.
If you absolutely must have a Google Nexus 4 before Christmas and miss out on Google’s own stock, check out Quidco before buying. Quidco is a cashback service that lets you earn cash from your purchases. Cashback for mobile phones is particularly good – Carphone Warehouse offers £35 for new contracts, and others offer more than this too.