At last came one of the most anticipated of the year end. We have tried and tested the Nexus 4, a smartphone designed and engineered by Google but manufactured by LG. And with this analysis, we have faced a challenge that never before had its price.
Normally when one tests, analyzes and writes about a device always keeps in mind the price / quality ratio. We can not turn a ZTE Skate review comparing it with a Samsung Galaxy S III, because their prices are completely different, and so are the beaches. But the Nexus 4 breaks the mold of the ranges, positioning hardware in high price but in the mean, even in the medium-high.
That is why this analysis should be read with that in mind, and in principle ignore attempts to free 8GB version costing just € 299 and € 349 for 16GB. In this issue we return conclusions.
Materials and Design
In this new Google Nexus wanted to go a little further in section design. We find a terminal that is in line with the previous Nexus, with those rounded edges and a slightly curved screen, although much less than the Galaxy Nexus.
What we have in the case of the Nexus 4 is the introduction of the unibody body with Gorilla Glass on the front and rear, something rarely seen on Android handsets. It gives a very interesting, with a really nice finish. The idea of facing the design is very good, and we must recognize that looks great, but I have my doubts about the strength of the terminal, and that will drop twice as likely to suffer the typical drop breakage Gorilla Glass , that even from behind, it’s nothing to be welcomed.
The Nexus 4 measures 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm and weighs 139 g. It is neither small nor thin, nor light, yet incredibly comfortable is a phone in hand picking and tranposrtar. It conveys no sense of insecurity and holds up surprisingly well to the hand. Perhaps the choice of a rugged back would have been better in the face of comfort and safety, but getting a lot more attractive disñeo have managed not to lose too much here.
Note that we do not have buttons for home, back and recent applications that Android is the recommendation given to all manufacturers, whether or not an obligation. Return to this in the screen section.
What is important is the location of the physical buttons and connectors. The on-off button is, in my opinion, in the best place that you can place on a smartphone. That is, in the upper right side. Many manufacturers are struggling to find alternative locations, perhaps in an attempt to make it more comfortable, but in my experience this is still the best place.
The same applies to the connector microUSB, located at the bottom. Another hobby that found in some manufacturers is to move this connector to the left side, generally thought to their custom docks that connect to external displays.However, that position is very annoying to carry the phone as a GPS navigator in the car so well by LG in this aspect.
The volume buttons are on the top left side, also well placed.
Here if we have little to say, except for some very interesting developments worth the stress. Of course being a Nexus not find any manufacturer layer above, and have Android in its purest form, one of the things I like about these devices.
Browse the Android interface is completely intuitive and very fast. Not the most complex that exists or that offers more customization and options, but the fact can not carry anything above that is much lighter and smoother. If you want something more you can always use Google Play and install a launcher with whatever you need.
Furthermore, we found two Android 4.2 very interesting developments. The first is the ability to add widgets to the unlock screen, which allows even faster access to applications and information functions of the applications that use them. Add them is like adding widgets to the desktop, so we will not have any problems in this regard.
The other interesting development is navigation access to quick settings from the notification bar. When we deploy a gear icon in the upper right, that clicking opens a panel to turn these settings we most need such as WiFi, the data connection, Bluetooth or NFC. The access that’s good, but this panel would have to be even faster, and with Android 4.2 have thought about it, and that can also be accessed directly displaying the notification bar with two fingers rather than one. It’s that simple.
On paper we have a Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon chipset, in which we have a Quad-core Krait CPU at 1.5 GHz and a GPU Adreno 320. We also have the extra 2GB of RAM. It is also important to re-emphasize that the processor runs at 1.5GHz and 1.7GHz as we have not been able to read at times, because there was some confusion about when Google introduced it.
The fluidity and speed Nexus 4 are impressive, and it is partly thanks to its internal power, but strongly supported by Jelly Bean, possibly as Android has been evolving in this direction. If any have been owners of a Galaxy Nexus and you lived the change of Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean, will know exactly what I mean. If the Galaxy Nexus was already an incredibly powerful terminal with Jelly Bean, you can not imagine how well it works on Nexus 4.
We could not expect less from a terminal that leads inside the Krait quad-core and Adreno 320, but it must be stressed that it is fluid and natural to use a Nexus 4. Many times we go too pays the games as more powerful, but we forget that the most important thing in a smartphone are common tasks like browsing the phone, make a call or launch Gmail.Everything that encompasses the user experience works perfectly, and also has plenty of power for most gamers.
Excellent quality, really. We must remember that LG makes some of the best panels in the world, and do not cut back on smartphones in this regard. The quality, brightness, sharpness and color screen Nexus 4 are excellent, and have nothing to envy to large screens such as those of Sony, perhaps only in brightness, which is somewhat below.
This is a True HD IPS Plus display of 4.7 inches with resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels resolution of 318 get a PPI, pretty good but somewhat lower than some of its closest competitors. Here are examples of the best screen on the market densities:
- Sony Xperia S: 342 PPI
- Apple iPhone 5: 326 PPI
- Sony Xperia T: 323
- Nexus 4: 318
- HTC One X: 312 PPI
- Samsung Galaxy S III: 306 PPI
We could have been expected a density exaggerated, but the truth is that with screen sizes as the 318 PPI is a really good figure, no mistake.
The 4.7 inch screen of the Nexus 4 features the home button, back and open applications as this terminal has no physical buttons dedicated to this purpose. This often causes the screen is reduced to 4.5 “, losing part of usable space, but it can reduce by keeping the size of the mobile screen. At first it might seem like a paste, but are increasingly moving to do so, and when you need the full screen, it has. Actually this should not be any problem.
The protection of the screen is Gorilla Glass, which as you know works well in daily use with rayajos, as it is a great protection against friction typical of pockets and bags of coins and keys, but does not get anything right with falls, often showing large fractures to these. Are the advantages and the drawbacks of a highly extended technology today, but that seems to be the best choice when it comes to protecting our screens.
A carrot and sand in the chamber of the Nexus 4. Despite having a sensor Sony 8MP BSI, we find no extraordinary results, far from comparable cameras Xperia Xperia S or T. Still camera meets, and is good, but the weak point is put face to face the Nexus 4 with other high-end devices.
The BSI sensor is a technology introduced by Sony in order to change the camera’s components. Historically always had first lens, then the circuitry and finally the photodiodes that capture light. Ideally put these photodiodes immediately after the lens to lose the least information possible light, but it was too expensive to make it viable, and Sony was the first to get commercially (already used in other fields such as astronomy). In this order the camera sensors was called BSI, and greatly improves performance in poor light conditions.
When we took the camera for a walk we found a lack of quality that is possibly the weakest point of the whole terminal.Again, the camera is good, but is clearly behind the mounting the Samsung Galaxy S III, Xperia S and T or HTC One X.
The quality is more than acceptable, but there is an excess in the resulting image interpolation resulting in a picture not too nice, especially when faced with low light situations.
As for macro shots is complicated. I did not manage to take any getting up close it is completely focused, and you have to get away. This is because the focus indicator does not show too well when done correctly, and when we add that to light and glare without seeing good on screen, things get more complicated.
A highlight of the camera is, without doubt, the great Photo Sphere incorporating Android 4.2. This feature allows the camera to take pictures with a ball straight out of the technology used in Google Street View, creating 360 degree panoramic not only horizontally but also vertically. Still not perfect and found strange artifacts and joint problems, but the truth is it’s very interesting. You can see an example taken by me here . It is important to note that when we share in Google+ or GMaps (the only two ways that allow us to navigate the picture) at first appears as a normal picture, and it takes about 5 minutes appear as image Photo Sphere.
I found it very interesting and fun so that exports a Photo Sphere as an image.
We also have a panorama mode that we knew from Ice Cream Sandwich, without too much comment as a novelty, but it works really well.
Since then the two most entertaining modes Nexus 4. Hopefully Photo Sphere reaches all terminals with Android 4.2.
Also interesting is the new way to manage camera settings by pressing on the screen. What we are sorely missed is a dedicated camera button, this would have been really well. After a few weeks accustomed to Xperia T, if you use the phone for photography, it’s something you get used to and is sorely missed.
In the Nexus 4 have a Qualcomm chip WCD9310, which first is not the best we can find, but was that Samsung decided to include in the American version of the Galaxy S III and has decent enough reviews.
On the ground we have a sound good but not outstanding. A serious lack of excessive media is the most annoying sound in the Nexus 4, but the good thing is that it is fairly light as we can easily compensate with EQ own Android. So thumbs up for sound, you’ll need some good headphones or earbuds and lightly touch the EQ for the best quality you can give.
Besides the sound quality section also should be noted that the Nexus 4 has two microphones, one to capture audio and one for noise reduction. It is surprising how well it works and how clearly you can hear and listen during a phone call. This is a section to which we pay as little attention as we focus on the more advanced features, but I thought it worked so well in this aspect that we could not avoid it.
A highly developed with a 42Mbps HSDPA +, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n dual-band, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0 and some important details that are detailed below.
For starters, we have the premiere SlimPort port, which means the microUSB output allows us to get HD video at 1080p. The good thing is that we can choose the interface with the appropriate adapter, not only works with HDMI, but with DVI, VGA and DisplayPort. It’s kind of MHL vitaminado, which I’m not particularly a fan and prefer a dedicated microHDMI output, but at least this gives SlimPort more. You can read more about this harbor here .
Another important detail to note is the positioning. Not only have GPS, but with support GLONASS and barometer. GLONASS is the Russian version of GPS, and helps accelerate the positioning speed to have twice the satellites for this purpose. The barometer measures atmospheric pressure and gives us an approximation of the altitude at which we are very useful to get this information quickly, which helps greatly to positioning. These details may be very noticeable when using any software positioning or navigation maps. You can read more about positioning technologies Nexus 4 here .
And as is almost standard in Android, the Nexus 4 also has NFC connectivity. Although many sites insist on insisting on the small size and utility of NFC technology, a system is already used for several years outside of the smartphones with a great reception, especially in public transport services. Now it is beginning its spread to credit cards, and this will have a major new growth. The NFC chip and the possibilities this gives to a mobile terminal is a prerequisite.
As a negative point to highlight the lack of microSD slot, although this type of cheap memory increase the user does not like anything to manufacturers, since no one would opt for the higher memory options to buy the terminal.
On paper we are a battery of 2100 mAh 3.8V and 8 Wh. On paper LG ensures that we can reach 390 hours in stand-by and talking 15.
The battery of the LG Nexus 4 is a major concern, because despite having one of those exceeding the barrier of 2000 mAh, has the drawback of not being interchangeable, a solution that many users already use when your battery exhausted during the day.
Thorough testing of the Nexus battery 4, the results are pretty good. Maybe not reach the performance of the best smartphones, but for us the idea is about what we accomplished with the Samsung Galaxy S III, which can be considered as very good, though not excellent. That is, we will leave at the end of the day without having to walk too much eye, but we can not do it by giving intensive.
In addition, the Nexus 4 features Qi wireless charging technology 1.1, which lets you use a magnetic induction charger that does not connect via a cable to the terminal. These chargers are being increasingly used, and although the advantages are not offset by its high price, it will eventually become the standard charge.
A remarkable battery for Nexus 4, but will not fall ahead of time, if we remove the fear of the body not to be able to use a second battery. In addition, there are also external USB chargers, much more healthy for the functioning of our batteries.
Global experience and conclusions
And now, we turn to the most prominent feature of the Nexus 4, its price. It seems incredible that a terminal can get these features to sell at the price that Google has in Google Play. It may sound a little heavy, but especially Google and Eric Schmidt have long been insisting on getting to market a high-end smartphone at a price totally revolutionary, and placing us in about 50% of what your direct competitors offer, finally they have succeeded.
This seems important, because like me, were many who thought we’d never get to see. Or if he ever, you would trap a reduced price or not as second-class features.
The Nexus 4 comes with nothing to envy the greatest and at a price that pulls everything else on the floor. This is a double-edged sword. On one hand it’s great for the consumer, you can get a high-end smartphone at a great price, but if it works too well to Google things could get ugly for the other manufacturers. Google can do this because their idea is not to make money with terminals at the cost of forcing their users to engage their services, but the rest can not do that, they have to make money selling phones.
Putting a little aside the cost issue, the Nexus 4 is the best we can buy today. Everything is excellent, with a great design and operation and very good performance. The hit came with the camera and sound, which are not the best.Although the functionality of Photo Sphere is amazing, the camera quality is somewhat below its major competitors, and the sound, while good, could be better.
The dark path continues along the little details like the lack of microSD slot and battery removal option, but they are details that only affect some users and we can live with. Maybe we could add that a 2100 mAh battery would have expected something more, but only a little, so again a small detail without much importance, but to be named.
In conclusion, the Nexus 4 is undoubtedly the best Android we can buy for quality / price ratio. And if we forget the price and focus only on the quality, not the number one but if left in podium position, so it will be a purchase with no error.