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Android smartphones Reviews
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Google Nexus 4 preview

£159 for 8GB

Manufacturer: Google

The Google Nexus 4 features wireless charging and impressive specifications, but there's no LTE or expandable memory. Find out more in our Google Nexus 4 preview.

Google Nexus 4 preview

After what seemed like weeks of daily leaks and then a cancelled launch event due to Hurricane Sandy, Google has finally announced its latest Nexus Android phone, the Nexus 4. Manufactured by LG, the Google Nexus 4 features a 4.7in IPS screen, is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and has an 8-megapixel camera with a 360 degree panorama feature. See Google Nexus 4 price in UK and specs.

While much had already been known about the Google Nexus 4 before the official announcement, there were conflicting reports about the design. The Nexus 4 is constructed from matte black plastic and is based on the design of LG's Optimus G smartphone. However, a distinctive highlight appears to be an etched panel of glass on the back that sparkles. It's definitely a unique look and helps the Nexus 4 immediately stand out among a sea of black slabs that have populated the market. See also Google announces LG Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and new Nexus 7 models.

Google's Nexus devices usually focus on software innovation, but the Nexus 4 certainly boasts impressive specifications. It's powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor that Google says is the fastest on the market, has 2GB RAM and comes with 8GB or 16GB of internal memory. In a move that may disappoint current Android users, the Nexus 4 lacks a microSD card slot so the on-board memory isn't expandable. Visit Exclusive: Google Nexus 7 32GB on sale in the UK.

The Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280×768 display. This gives it an impressive pixel density rating of 320ppi, only just behind the Apple iPhone 5 (326ppi) and ahead of both the HTC One X (312ppi) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (306ppi). Google says the screen is coated in Corning's latest Gorilla Glass 2.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Google LG Nexus 4 comparison review.

The Nexus 4 also supports wireless charging out of the box, based on the Qi wireless charging standard. Google will sell a wireless charger called the Wireless Charging Orb as an optional accessory, but there's no word on Australian availability or pricing for this accessory just yet.

The Google Nexus 4 has a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera for photos and video capture. The highlight appears to be a 360 degree panorama mode that Google is calling photo sphere, allowing users to capture a scene in multiple directions including above and below. The photos can then be published to Google maps or shared through Google+, though the feature is a software one and will be available on any Android device running 4.2.

Google Nexus 4 preview

Speaking of Android 4.2, Google has added a number of new features to the software. Highlights include a new gesture typing feature on the keyboard that replicates Swype, the ability to add widgets to the lockscreen, expandable notifications that can be actioned, and a new quick settings menu that can be accessed by swiping down the notifications panel with two fingers instead of one. There's also been some enhancements to the Google Now personal assistant, which now uses your Gmail account as a data source for new cards.

Google Nexus 4 preview

he Google Nexus 4 will sell online through Google's Play Store from Tuesday 13 November, when orders will open. The 8GB model will sell for £239 and the 16GB model will retail for £279.

Google Nexus 4 Expert Verdict »

Google Nexus 4 (3G, 16GB) Scores 8.8 out of 10 based on 200 reviews
SCREEN: 4.7" diagonal,768 x 1280 pixel resolution (320 ppi),WXGA IPS,Corning(R) Gorilla(R) Glass 2,MEMORY:16 GB internal storage (actual formatted capacity will be less),2 GB RAM
OS: Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon(TM) S4 Pro
CAMERAS: 8 MP (main),1.3 MP (front)
BATTERY: 2,100 mAh Lithium polymer,CONNECTIVITY: Micro USB,SlimPort HDMI,3.5mm headphone jack
WIRELESS: Wireless charging,WiFi 802.11 b/g/n,NFC (Android Beam),Bluetooth
SENSORS: Microphone,Accelerometer,Compass,Ambient light,Gyroscope,Barometer,GPS
NETWORK: Unlocked GSM/UMTS/HSPA+,GSM/EDGE/GPRS (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz),3G (850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz),HSPA+ 21
SIZE: 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm
WEIGHT: 139g

Google's latest Nexus smartphone is the LG-manufactured Nexus 4. It features a 4.7in IPS screen, is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and has an 8-megapixel camera with a 360 degree panorama feature. However, it lacks 4G connectivity and doesn't have any expandable memory.


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