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Nexus 4 smartphone reviews round-up - generally positive verdict

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The first reviews are in for Google and LG's new Nexus 4 smartphone and they are showing a generally positive response for the handset, albeit with a few significant criticisms.

Devices given the Nexus branding are typically used as flagships for Google's Android mobile operating system, such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with Ice Cream Sandwich last year, and the Nexus 7 tablet with Android Jelly Bean in July.

This continues with the Nexus 4, the first device to get Android 4.2 - still called Jelly Bean - which brings various new features such as panoramic images.

Google Nexus 4

© Google

Google Nexus 4

© Google



Most reviewers have praised the Nexus 4, saying that it is the 'purest' Android phone to date as it does not come with third-party interfaces over the software, such as Samsung's TouchWiz or HTC's Sense overlay.

The smartphone comes with a large 4.7-inch HD display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 8MP rear-fitted camera and 2,100 mAh Lithium polymer battery. And all this for the starting price of £279 SIM-free.

But some of the reviews have also lamented the decision not to offer the phone with Long Term Evolution (4G) connectivity. Others have also suggested that battery life is somewhat lacking in the handset and there are performance issues with Android 4.2.

Here is a round-up of the major review sites:

Engadget says that the Nexus 4 is a "veritable dreamboat when it comes to looks and specs", observing that it is "the lovechild of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and an LG Optimus G". Engadget's review also notes that the starting price of the Nexus 4 means it will attract a whole new audience to the Nexus brand.

Whilst the review says that the Nexus 4 battery life is not as good as the Optimus G, it was largely positive on the phone.

"The Nexus 4 is not without its hiccups, but none of its predecessors have been perfect, either," the reviewer concluded. "And given the boost in real-world performance, the better camera and various other new features, it's even more tempting than all those previous devices whose shoes it's trying to fill."

The Verge says that the Nexus 4 is a "handsome - if relatively uninspired - device" in terms of looks, but the reviewer was "impressed" by the specs, including the main rear camera.

They also note that the improvements to Google voice search for Android 4.2 means that it now outperforms Apple's Siri in "the majority of queries".

However, the reviewer says that "alarming" lack of LTE makes it "tough to see how this stacks up fully against the competition".

"It's hard to imagine buying this device when you know it's a generation behind in terms of network technology," they add.

Google Nexus 4

© Google

Leaked image of the LG Nexus 4

© @evleaks



TechCrunch says that the fit and finish of the Nexus 4 "feels great", and the handset looks "pretty slick".

But while the reviewer welcomes the tweaks and additions in Android 4.2, they add that it is "arguable as to whether or not a smattering of changes a great update makes".

The Gizmodo reviewer goes as far as saying that the Nexus 4 is "officially my favourite phone by a healthy margin".

They explain that the lack of LTE "doesn't really hurt" the phone too much, but the thing that does raise concern is battery life.

"On paper, the 2100 mAh should power it through the day no problem. As it is right now, this is not a phone I could take on a long trip where outlet access is spotty," they say, but also note that a rumoured software update could address this issue in future.

CNET praises the impressive technical specs and competitive price of the Nexus 4, but notes a series of flaws: including that its construction is "solid but uninspiring"; the call volume is too low, and the lack of 4G LTE is an issue.

The review concludes: "Aside from natively sporting Android Jelly Bean, the Nexus 4 doesn't offer up anything significantly new. If you ask yourself, what does this phone do to expand and progress the Nexus brand? The answer is, nothing much."

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