Nexus 4 - First Impression - The Goods and Bads

So I finally got my hands on the LG Nexus 4, by reading all the posts all over Google+ I feel I'm one of the last to the party.
The device I'm coming from is the Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100 (International), so the LG Nexus 4 has some big shoes to fill.

So keeping this fairly short I'm going to hit key points about the Nexus 4, and provide a small comparison to what I've experienced coming from the Note II

Speed and Power: 
So both devices pack a quad cores with 2GB of ram, I'm not going to get in to any specific chip types and yadda yadda, but both devices are extremely fast and I can't really say one is better than the other in real world conditions.

One thing I'm disappointed with the Nexus 4 is the camera. I noticed I've had to go back and snap a second or even third picture due to blurry pictures or the Nexus 4 simply not auto focusing well enough to keep it totally crisp. Coming from a long line of Samsung phones, I believe them to have the top of the line cameras for a smartphone. Nexus 4 can take nice pictures, but it definitely does not take better pictures than the Note II or Galaxy S III. However, the photosphere and photo gallery are very pleasant to play with.

Switching to the Nexus 4 from the Note II, clearly is a pretty hefty downsize. That aside, I didn't miss the large screen all too much, because after using the Note for a while, you really appreciate how smaller phones feel in your hand, and one hand usability suddenly returns.

The Nexus 4 has a pretty clear display in terms of picture clarity and text sharpness. The brightness is what you'd expect from a Nexus phone, it's slightly lower than others, but can be adjusted and isn't too hard to get used to. However, the color is very dull and washed out compared to the Galaxy Series AMOLED screens that I'm so used to, this can be corrected with custom kernels and apps, but that's another time and story.

Take this with a grain of salt, and keep in mind this is a first impression mini review. I haven't had enough time to do an extensive battery review. That aside, let's continue.

Today was my first full day of use and I did my traditional 8 hours of music playback at work, and because my phone is new, of course I'm popping it out every chance I get to fiddle around with it. After 8 hours of music and 50+ texts and Emails and 20+ Google+ status checks and replies I came home with about 50% battery remaining from 6AM to 4PM. This works out to be an average battery in terms of an Android device, and I've had 20+ Androids in my Blogging career. Of course the Nexus 4 isn't going to top the Note II in battery life, the Note II is a Beast that never quits.

Speakers and Sound:
I'm just going to come out and say it, the rear speaker on the Nexus 4 is complete crap...
Though the speaker is loud and makes your notifications and ringtones audible from a distance, it's one of the more tinny sounding speakers I've heard in a phone in a while.

On the flip side, the front speaker for phone calls is very loud and clear with a more fuller sound which will make for fairly pleasant phone calls, even when in a loud environments.

Physical Design and Durability:
The Nexus 4 actually reminds me of when I was back in my iPhone days, the glass front and back are beautiful, but follows dream crushing fears if you drop it.
I've heard complaints of creaking sounds when squeezing in some spots of the device, or buzzing sounds, purple tint while taking pictures, I'm happy to say I've not encountered any of these issues.
The Nexus 4 feels rock solid in my hands, and the shape and form of the device fits just right.

Signal, WiFi, and GPS strength:
One thing I noticed right away about the Nexus 4 is I don't get as strong of a signal as I did with the Note II. I always seem to be about 2 bars less and in rare occasions the odd signal drop while at work where I had fairly week signal strength to begin with, but never dropped with my Note II.
I believe this to be because of the Note II's size, they're able to fit a larger more efficient antenna. I have no proof to back this up, it's simply my best guess.

WiFi Seems to be about the same, if not slightly slower than the Note II.

GPS actually connected way faster than the Note II, and with much greater accuracy.

Final Thoughts So Far:
Is the Nexus 4 good enough to make me leave my Note II? I say Yes, but probably for the reasons you're currently thinking...

My reason for handing over my Note II for the Nexus 4 is because I absolutely love the pure Google experience, and because the Nexus 4 is nearly world wide, the developer support is off the charts and will only get better. As a chronic rom flashing, this is where I call home. I never used the Note II's S-Pen or any of its motion feature, to me it was just a large phone, so the switch wasn't hard for me to overcome.

Is the Nexus 4 the best phone I've ever used? Probably not.. But I can tell you It's the best phone by far within the 300 to 550 price range.


  1. Ummm now your making me reconsider, but since I've already purchased the Nexus 4 I guess I'll just have to try it. As for the pure Google experience. That's not why I buy a phone.

    I've noticed now that I rarely flash a custom and in the event I do it's always MIUI. Go figure that one.

    1. It's a good phone, but going against the Note, I have to be real about the comparison ^_^


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