Google's Nexus 4: Is This The Android Of Our Dreams?

Hurricane Sandy may have put a damper on Google's big event today, but the long-rumoured (and leaked and found in a bar) Nexus 4 has finally, officially broken cover. As predicted, this thing looks like it might be the best Android phone yet.

The Nexus 4 is made by LG (in collaboration with Google) and basically a rebranded Optimus G. That's welcome news; the Optimus G is almost certainly the fastest phone we've ever used, but was hampered by some sub-par software that will be remedied with stock Android 4.2. And while the Optimus G was a very linear — and sometimes uncomfortable — rectangle, the Nexus 4 is nicely rounded. Better!

Wanna talk specs? The Nexus 4 packs a blistering quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB storage, a lovely 4.7-inch 1280x768 display and an 8MP rear-facing camera. There are two storage sizes, 8GB and 16GB. The Nexus 4 will also support wireless charging out of the box.

The Nexus 4 is also the first phone to run Android 4.2 (still called Jelly Bean). Some of the banner new features include PhotoSphere, which allows you to create a fully immersive, interactive photo, and Gesture Typing (which sounds very similar to sliding-keyboards like Swype), which allows you to slide between letters to form words. Android 4.2 also adds support for Miracast wireless displays, so you can beam your photos, videos and games to an HDTV.

Google Now has also been improved, adding flight information, restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations and shipping details.

The location-savvy feature was already pretty good in 4.1, and these are all welcome enhancements. Which of these will be available in Australia is yet to be detailed.

In the US, the 16GB version will be available exclusively on T-Mobile for $US200 with a two-year contract. You can get unlocked versions of the phone for $US300/8GB and $US350/16GB. Unfortunately, this means there's no LTE on board, which is a major disappointment.

The unlocked version will be available on November 13 from the Google Play store in US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada.

In Australia: the Nexus 4 will be available outright from Google directly for $349 (8GB), $399 (16GB). This is great news, since it means that users will get updates directly from Google like Apple releases iOS updates. No more waiting for carriers to roll out amended updates!

It certainly seems like the Nexus 4 just grabbed the Android phone crown; we can't wait to play with it to find out for sure. [Google]


Comments

    Wow those prices for Australia seem pretty damn cheap

      Absolutely. An iPhone 5 16GB is $799 on Apple Australia's website, so a Nexus 4 16GB will be half price. Impressive.

      Last edited 30/10/12 6:53 am

      Indeed. It's not much more than the discounted Galaxy Nexus, which is now a year old. I'm looking around for a new phone - outright for use with my TPG SIM - and the GN was tempting ($339 from Kogan). I might be able to stretch the budget out to $399 if this phone is worth the extra? I'm still rocking a 2G Nokia so I can live without 4G for now (Optus LTE not in Brisbane at all yet, and according to maps Telstra 4G still doesn't cover my work or home or anywhere in between). My phone has a 1GB micro-SD card in it (it doesn't do SDHC) so 16GB will be an upgrade and I have never replaced the battery.

      kogan is selling the 16GB Galaxy nexus for $340 + delivery
      Prices are crazy.

        Why would you waste your time with Kogan when you can get it straight from google play for 349?

          because theyre selling the 16gb model for $10 less then the 8gb model costs.

            Which is better, the Galaxy Nexus or the Nexus 4? I suppose liking Samsung vs LG could be a factor.

              Galaxy nexus is last year's tech...using dual core 1.2ghz Cortex A9 chips...the Nexus 4 is top of the line current using 1.5ghz quad core Krait (comparable to Cortex A15)...the Nexus 4 is a much better device.

            I don't see them on Kogan's website, and either way with Kogan you after you pay for postage they usually don't work out a lot cheaper and if you ever have to return anything for warranty issues you'll wish you paid the extra.

          Had a look on Kogans site & could not find it. Do you have a link perhaps?

            http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/samsung-galaxy-nexus/

              Ah. I took it that you were referring to the LG Nexus 4 in this article. Not the older Samsung I9250

          Yeah, I can see how you interpreted my comment that way. I meant that the new prices are crazy low compared to last years model. I wouldn't be wasting my time with the Galaxy Nexus at that price, it'd need to drop a few hundred.

          The Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 4 don't seem to significantly differ. Running a clean version of JB I don't think the Samsung/LG debate needs to be entered into.

          (Full disclosure - owner of a galaxy nexus)

      Wait! What?
      You mean we're not being charged 100% Australia tax?!!!? Monkey Father!

    I'm so excited! Come on LG, show us what you can do!

    Oh what, no 4G ?!?!? I was hoping my next google phone upgrade would have 4G, still on the galaxy nexus.

      here is why "Google preferred to make the Nexus 4 HSPA+ ready, and thus capable to operate on most cellular networks, instead of having to deal with carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon in the USA, to create LTE versions of it. Among the drawbacks, launch delays have been quoted, but also the carriers’ requirement to control Android updates"

      They made a lte version of the Galaxy nexus in the states and it only just got the jelly bean update.

    16GB wtf?! NO I don't want to have to stream all of my music, i want it on my damn phone. At least make the storage expandable if you want to be stingy!

      How many songs to you want to have on your phone? Do you have a no repeat week policy? I have a couple if thousand and that seems over the top to me sometimes. Also, you don't have to buy this phone, pretty sure it's not the law.

      Maybe should buy an iPod touch in addition to the nexus 4 :p

      i know wtf, all it needs is expandable storage and its a win
      the alternative solution is USB otg i guess
      for those wondering, expandable storage for apps and MOVIES/TV not music

      I don't know why not just make more models with more storage? But maybe it's a cost thing. Minimal parts for low cost. Or maybe it's so they don't annoy their 3rd-party phone-makers by completely out-doing them on all fronts? They need to leave something big out so that they don't own the whole phone market.

      the point is not being "stingy". they are trying to "force" us to use their gDrive

    $399 for a brand new phone. Even without an micro SD card slot and no 4G that's still a pretty awesome price for a brand new phone.

      Have you checked places like www.kogan.com and run a search in www.shopbot.com.au lately? Plenty of phones for a steal !

    WTF are they thinking? A little thing like a micro sd card slot is a must have these days, 4G people can live without until it becomes the norm over the next decade. Wireless charging sounds great but thyen you will need to spend large $$ for the charging pads for work and home and car. Thank god I have the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 4G LTE, kicks this phones proverbial !

      NOTE2 4G........drool

      Google has said time ant time again why they dont put SD cards in Nuxus anymore and its a really good thing. i understand that people want 32gb or more but i just dont need it

        having the base model be only 8gb's is pretty silly though
        most people I know need AT LEAST 16gb
        just seems needlessly small

    I call shenanigans on the lack of 4G and small internal memory.

    16Gb is a sweet spot for a phone and 32Gb for a tablet.

    Hmmm, battery not replaceable is a deal breaker for me :( I was waiting for the final announcement so I might have to wait till next year or just go with a GNex

      I've always meant to ask someone about this - why is a user-replaceable battery so important? Do you get 3rd party batteries? Or do you carry a spare or something?

      I used to have a smartphone with replaceable battery (N1) and tried 3rd party ones, and they were worse. Just curious. It seems more and more are going this way so you may not have a choice among the big names soon!

        I carry a spare battery. Especially handy when going away for the weekend like camping.

          Just buy a power bank. I bought one from Harvey Norman for $30 and it recharges your phone within 2-4 hours and can recharge itself via solar power.

            They are fairly chunky compared to carrying a spare battery.
            Push come to shove, I probably would get one or just be more careful with the battery usage.

        I carry a spare when I travel. I've also bought replacement batteries when the original wore out.

          I'm sure like the iPhone (that apparently no one could change a battery in) there will be aftermarket batteries for if yours burns out that you can swap in if you've ever used a screwdriver before.

    It is a bit of a shame that there is no microSD or 4G, but I think I'd have a lot of trouble going back to any non-nexus phone after having the Galaxy Nexus. No bootloader unlock problems, no waiting for carries to sort out updates, the ability to build and install the OS with ease, just because I feel like it.
    That was after coming from a Motorola Defy, which was being sold with 2.1 when 2., was already out, and eventually got upgraded to 2.2 when 2.3 was well and truly out. Similarly, Acer Iconia A500 tablet ain't never gonna get official Jelly (plus the official ICS is awful anyway).
    As such, I think that my next phone and tablet will both be Nexus devices.

    No 4G
    No expandable memory and limited to 16gb

    looks like ill be sticking with the One X for a little while longer
    Shame too because this thing is a bit of a beast :(

    People on this forum are expecting quite a lot for a $399 quad core phone...
    1) no 4g lte? It's not even available everywhere in australia anyway. Plus wifi is available everywhere !
    2) no expandable memory - are you really going to listen to 1000's of songs each week? People usually skip through their playlist anyway. This applies to apps and pictures. There are also cloud services available..
    3) no replaceable battery? There's a charger... Use it!

    If you want something with those extra feature on top of the quad-core performance then expect to pay another $200 and get something like an galaxy s3 or an iPhone ...

      1) I don't care that much about 4g,.
      2) Maybe not, but honestly, I like having my full music collection on my phone so I can choose exactly what I want to listen to. Keep in mind My SGS 2 does this already.
      3) I personally don't care that much about the battery BUT, I do have a second battery for OS travel, which comes in very handy.

      I'm not sure that microSD and a removal battery are why this device is cheap.

    Looks like you're getting what you pay for here. The price is cheap, but it's a sub-par phone. If they included LTE and some expandable, or bigger storage it would be a lot better.

      It would be sub-par if it was expensive. You can't call something 'getting what you pay for' and 'sub-par' at the same time.

        The par here being Nexus devices, not $350 phones.

          But it's priced accordingly. I think I get you though.

    Inductive charging? Ah, takes me back to my Palm Pre days. Very cool.

    How many iphones have microsd slots?
    Hang on, none!

    It looks like an awesome phone for the price. As Phillip J. Fry would say, "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!".

      And that's why over 50% of smartphone users prefer Android devices. Most have SD card support. Just reading through these comments is enough to see that most people want more storage.

        if that was the only reason couldnt those 50% of smartphone users just get a 64GB phone? Maybe there's more to their preference than that, like cost for one.

          What you say makes sense, except in my case, I want a nexus phone (i.e. a phone running stock Android, that gets updated directly from Google's OS releases, instead of waiting around for manufacturers to modify it with their skins and bloatware, and carriers to add their bloatware), with the quad-core cpu, and an OLED screen of the same resolution as this one, and removable storage, and LTE, and USB 3. I'd be willing to pay more than $399 to get all of that, but the option just isn't there. Considering that Google once said that the point of the nexus devices is to set a standard for Android devices, it seems to me that they're setting the bar a bit low with this one, and I can't fathom why.

            they want people to use their cloud storage would be my guess,

    Have Nexus ever had microSD slots? no surprise there...
    but no 32Gb option IS a surprise!
    No replaceable battery is a disappointment, but seriously, the only time I've removed my battery is to hard reset the phone!
    No 4G, isn't that much of a surprise, given the mess that's in at the moment.
    The price however is a HUGE surprise!

    So FRUSTRATED there is no 32gb option. WHY GOOGLE WHY? Both the Nexus 7 and 10 have it. Also why no DC-HSPA+?. That could have been put in. I do not want to stream :( I can live with no SD Slot and removable battery BUT JUST WANT A 32GB NEXUS PHONE!

    Last edited 30/10/12 9:28 am

      There was no 32gb Nexus 7 when it came out either... so maybe the 32gb version will be along in a few months? With dropbox and Google drive etc, is this so much of a problem today?

    iPhones do not have SD Slots but they have 32/64gb options..They are not crippled by lack of space.

    No 4G, no SD, no replaceable battery, only 16GB = no interest

    It needed to have at least 2 of those features, with one being battery.

      The logician in me forces me to suggest that you say "It must have replaceable battery AND (4G OR SD OR >16GB)" because it is a bit more elegant.

      Last edited 01/11/12 8:46 pm

        Less than 16GB? I think your signs are backwards

    All the complaints about removable battery are ridiculous. Rather than spending money on multiple form factor limited battery's, buy microUSB battery pack. Can charge a phone fairly quickly and then the device itself can be recharged without needing to be in your phone! Best of all you can charge ANY phone or micro usb device with it

    I completely disagree. I have removed the battery pack of my current Nexus more times than I can count in order to reset it because something I've done to it (OS modding) has caused it to freeze. Also, switching out an internal battery is a whole lot more convenient that connecting an external device to change it.

      Oh yes.. I forgot about the hard reset benefit of a removable battery. Though with stock android I probably wouldn't bother loading a custom ROM.

    Nice phone but the lack of LTE means I can't justify the upgrade from my Gnex, otherwise I'd be throwing my money straight at them.

    For everyone saying the storage is not a problem ... my 16GB Samsung GS2 is full and I have no movies and no music on it (that's on the SD card.)
    Apps are getting bigger and bigger these days (especially games), and with 1080p recording at 8MP cameras, photos and videos start to chew up space very very quickly.
    Add to that wanting to download Maps for navigation when overseas and you can kiss 16GB (realistically only about 14GB of usable space) goodbye.

    I can look past not 4G, since it's not that common here yet, and really not necessary.
    I can look past non removable batteries, although I prefer everything inside the phone instead of having a silly iphone like SIM card slot.
    However not providing expandable storage is just sloppy. I might get this for the wife since she'll never fill it up, but it probably just wont be enough for me.
    Considering a big tech company has finally made wireless charging mainstream, it's a shame they had to cripple the storage. We don't have unlimited mobile data plans yet so streaming music constantly is not an option.

    I have to agree that the price is AMAZING, But i'd pay another $50 for expandable storage.

    Last edited 30/10/12 12:04 pm

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