Google Nexus is running on the latest version of Google’s operating system, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The interface is basically the same as earlier versions of Jelly Bean, but it brings new features including settings shortcuts in the notifications bar, turn by turn GPS navigation, and various other tweaks.
The most important change is to the camera software. Photo Sphere allows you to take full 360-degree images to either swipe around on your phone, Street View-style, or view as one wide panorama on your computer. Built-in editing software lets you turn this into a cool ‘tiny planet’ picture, as well as add numerous filters and effects tweaks to any of your pictures.
The Nexus 4 outstrips the Galaxy S3 in power and screen resolution, and is less than half the price. Add on to that the great updates to Android Jelly Bean and the amazing photo features on board, the Nexus 4.
Design and build quality
The front of the Nexus 4 is made up of a single piece of glass stretching right up to the edges. It’s not interrupted by physical buttons or fancy company logos it’s an unusually minimal design. The back panel has been given a shimmering effect. In the right light, it appears as though it’s made of tiny sequins. It’s very subtle, but it’s not at all unpleasant.
It measures 134mm long and 69mm wide a very similar size to the Galaxy S3. At 9.1mm thick though, it’s a tad chubbier than the S3 and considerably fatter than the iPhone 5′s 7.6mm. It’s chunky, but far from cumbersome. It might look smart from a distance, but get it in your hand and it suffers in comparison to more expensive phones. The casing feels a little on the plasticky side and it doesn’t have the same solid feel as its plutocratic rivals.
• Android phones typically offer either dull specs and an affordable price, or high-performance components and a price tag suitable only for oil barons. With the Nexus 4, Google and LG have smashed that tradition to pieces.
• It packs in a ferocious quad-core processor, a whopping 2GB of RAM, a glorious 4.7-inch display and the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software, which boasts some really cool new features.
• The Nexus 4 isn’t particularly remarkable to look at. It’s perfectly inoffensive, sure, but it’s hardly pushing any boundaries in terms of cutting-edge design. The front is dominated by a single piece of glass while the back, also glass, has a subtle sparkly effect. In between is curved matte plastic.
• Turn it on, though, and its screen jumps out at the user. Measuring a spacious 4.7 inches, it’s wonderfully bright and bold. Images and videos look great on screen and fine text is kept sharp thanks to the high resolution.
• Inside the phone is a 1.5GHz quad-core processor along with 2GB of RAM. Those specs are more impressive than even the Samsung Galaxy S3 and are typically reserved for top of the range mobiles.
• Bargain-basement price
• Superb performance
• Excellent high-definition screen
• Latest version of Android Jelly Bean
• Great new camera functions
• No expandable memory
• Battery isn’t removable
• No 4G