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- - - - -

A day with the Nexus 4 - Initial thoughts


I was lucky enough to survive the ordering debacle and come out the other side with a shiny 16gb Nexus 4 landing on my desk yesterday.

This is not a full review, just my initial thoughts after less than 24 hours of playing.
I make references and comparisons to the Galaxy Nexus as that is the device I've been using for the last year.
  • What's in the box? Just a power adapter, usb cable, sim pin and tiny quick start guide! (no headphones)
  • The device feels very sturdy in your hand and seems ever so slightly lighter than the Galaxy Nexus. Having glass back and front means if doesn't have any bends or creaks to it. And its also a little thinner than the GN.
  • Power button is a little on the small side and not very prominent. It could do with being a little more raised.
  • The matt rubbery bezel that surrounds the device feels good in hand and adds grip whereas the glass and shiny elements of the outer are as slippery as hell.
  • It takes Micro Sim and the holder pops out very easily with the supplied pin.
  • Unlocking the bootloader and rooting were a piece of cake as you'd expect from a Nexus device.
  • The screen stands out as being a notch above the GN. You really have to look for those pixels and it just looks classier. Although the colours do seem a little cooler and lacking punch on the N4.
  • Camera - Certainly improved over GN, especially in low light, auto white balance also seems more intelligent that the GN too. The lens appears ever so slightly recessed into the rear of the phone so laying the device on its back means its protected.
  • Photosphere - A fun feature, but as you can only upload to Google Maps so far (and they all need 'approving' apparently) its a little limited. Wonder when you'll be able to upload them to Google+ with a 360 degree view?
  • 4.2 Pulldown - Loving the two finger swipe to get to quick settings. Surely a death knell for the likes of Widgetsoid?
  • Speed - Everything is sooooooo much snappier than the GN. Apps load quicker, pages appear if a flash.
  • That Funky Back - Nowhere near as bad as some of the "glitter ball" reports suggest. It takes a certain light to make it sparkle.
  • Vibrate/haptic feedback has a hell of a kick on it! You can actually hear it whirring as you type. :)
  • Swype style keyboard - The swipe 'effect' looks really nice as move around the keyboard, but I think I'm gonna stick to Swiftkey. I've never been a fan of Swype style typing.
  • Wireless charging - Tried an old "Palm" touchstone dock, sadly it didn't work. :(
  • Notification LED - Somewhat muted and a smaller light compared to the GN. Although it does have a nice pattern atop of it that gives it a nice professional effect.
Have I missed any of the basics?

If you were lucky to get yours, anything to add to my thoughts?

And if you weren't so lucky and are on back order, any questions?

Posted Image

About the author

Zarch1972's Photo
Zarch is a veteran gadgeteer who has owned everything from a Commodore VIC-20 to an iPhone 5S and much of what came in-between.

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32 Comments

One question - did you root using insecure boot method (like this) or some other one?
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Thanks for the first impressions. Could you update with battery life stats once you've had some time with the device?
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One question - did you root using insecure boot method (like this) or some other one?

The guide on XDA was exactly what I used. ;)
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The guide on XDA was exactly what I used. ;)

Great, it worked for me too. Time to unfreeze the Play Magazine app and few others ;]
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About the Photosphere upload, I have those taken on my GNex auto-uploaded to Google+ and they're recognized as such.
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About the Photosphere upload, I have those taken on my GNex auto-uploaded to Google+ and they're recognized as such.

I uploaded to G+ as a test, but it appeared to display as a static single image rather than the 'movable' demo i'd seen? (and how you can view it on the phone, being able to move the image around?)
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There is an icon at the bottom right corner of the picture that allows you to choose sphere or pano.

Im in the US an the spear option on G+ works flawless
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https://plus.google....sts/fw67u2UCZw6
https://plus.google....sts/daf496MdGMT
https://plus.google....sts/CWJ7DgnnJXK
https://plus.google....sts/N51Zb7ZZkMm

posted my spheres from GNex to G+, takes a minute to appear as just a panorama, then a couple more minutes to appears as a 360
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There is an icon at the bottom right corner of the picture that allows you to choose sphere or pano.

Im in the US an the spear option on G+ works flawless

https://plus.google.com/116577675681734261882/posts/fw67u2UCZw6
https://plus.google....sts/daf496MdGMT
https://plus.google....sts/CWJ7DgnnJXK
https://plus.google....sts/N51Zb7ZZkMm

posted my spheres from GNex to G+, takes a minute to appear as just a panorama, then a couple more minutes to appears as a 360


Nice work, will give that a try. :)
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TouchyAndalou
Nov 16 2012 02:57 PM
I was wondering what the sound is like from the speaker when listening to music /watching videos?
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Can you try the Google Nav in the car for at least 20 minutes? My old G2x would overheat and shutdown after 10 minutes of running the GPS with 3G - before I ever try another LG phone, I want to be sure they've fixed that...
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How many touch inputs are supported?
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I was wondering what the sound is like from the speaker when listening to music /watching videos?

In a direct test with the Galaxy Nexus I would say the N4 is slightly louder, but a little more tinny.

Also, the placement of the speaker on the N4 is direct on the back side, so when you lay it down on a desk for example everything goes muffled and quieter. Crap placement really.

At least with the placement on the bottom edge on the GN you could lay it down flat and not worry.
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How many touch inputs are supported?

How would I test that? :)
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Can you try the Google Nav in the car for at least 20 minutes? My old G2x would overheat and shutdown after 10 minutes of running the GPS with 3G - before I ever try another LG phone, I want to be sure they've fixed that...

Sorry, I really don't think i'm going get anytime soon to be able to test that for you, sorry. :(
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Photo
comicbookguy
Nov 16 2012 06:26 PM
is the screen as grey as it looks in pictures when off? i love the way the Gnex screen merges with the whole front...
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is the screen as grey as it looks in pictures when off? i love the way the Gnex screen merges with the whole front...

Theres not a great deal in it to be honest.

In shadier conditions the GN looks darker, but under lights the N4 looks darker.

The N4 also has the advantage of having a more 'edge to edge' screen, so you don't get quite as big a border as your do on the GN.
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You say the camera lens is recessed; does that mean there is a slight indentation in the back glass?
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Photo
kaizoku_san
Nov 16 2012 11:08 PM

How would I test that? :)

theres an app for that ;-p
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Photo
elektronichouse
Nov 17 2012 04:09 AM
one impressive android smartphone, will have a try
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theres an app for that ;-p

The name of the app would help, I'm not a mind reader. :-P
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The name of the app would help, I'm not a mind reader. :-P


Try Multitouch tester :)
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Try Multitouch tester :)

Thanks.

4 fingers x 2 plus my nose makes 9.

Without enlisting the help of someone, not sure how I can go any higher. LOL.
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Okay, got someone to help, got to 10 but couldn't fit anymore fingers on the screen. :-)

Hope that answers that one?
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You say the camera lens is recessed; does that mean there is a slight indentation in the back glass?


Here you go, a couple of close ups of the back side / camera area.

Note: I've still got the plastic protector on the back, which is the sort of cut out you can see surrounding the lens and flash.

Posted Image

Posted Image
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