Most of the smartphone attention of 2013 has been lavished on phones like the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, both of which will be hitting shelves in the weeks ahead. However, they aren’t going to arrive their unopposed. In fact, there are currently some stellar smartphone options on the table including the Nexus 4, Google’s latest Nexus smartphone and the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD, the latest from Motorola.
Both the LG Nexus 4 and the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD are phones from 2012, but that doesn’t mean that they have lost their luster in 2013. In fact, both devices remain extremely viable options for those in need of a new device that haven’t been sucked in by the prospects of the Galaxy S4 or the upcoming HTC One.
In fact, Google’s Nexus 4 is as attractive as it ever has been. Last November, Google released the Nexus 4 onto the Google Play Store and through T-Mobile though it wasn’t available for long. The Nexus 4 sold out almost immediately, then it did so again, all of which culminated into a supply shortage that wasn’t tackled completely until the beginning of 2013 when the Nexus 4 finally made its return to Google Play, to T-Mobile and to various other retailers around the world.
Right now, the Nexus 4 is doing so well, that Google has employed explicit shipping times on the Google Play Store, alerting prospective buyers to a specific ship by date. This is the best it has ever been for the Nexus 4 and it makes it an extremely attractive option for those looking for a new smartphone.
Of course, the Droid RAZR MAXX HD with its large battery, massive 4G LTE network at Verizon, durable display and more is also attractive as well.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD is Motorola’s current flagship and one of the most popular smartphones over at Amazon Wireless. However, there are ways wherein the Nexus 4 beats it, ways that may sway some consumers to the side of LG’s device.
Here now are six ways that the Nexus 4 beats the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD.
One of the nice features of the Nexus 4 is the fact that it’s a Nexus device. Plain and simple, this means that it’s a developer phone and that it comes with perks that other devices, like the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD do not have.
The first benefit of being a Nexus smartphone is that the Nexus 4 offers a pure Google experience, often referred to as vanilla Android. This means that the device comes with a plain version of Android, untouched by the manufacturer, which in this case is LG.
What this means is that the interface is much cleaner, is often much faster and doesn’t have a ton of bloatware from carrier and manufacturer floating around.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD comes with a Motorola skin that while isn’t a vast change over Android, still isn’t vanilla Android. There are some likable things, like Motorola Smart Action, but for many, the vanilla Android experience is going to be the one of choice due to its simplistic nature.
Another feature of most Nexus devices are their swift updates. Because the Nexus 4 is a Nexus smartphone, it means that Google is the one pushing out the updates to it which results in swift bug fix updates and major Android updates.
For instance, the Nexus 4 was one of the first smartphones to arrive with Android 4.2 on board. Issues were discovered on board the software but Google quickly patched those up through updates to Android 4.1.1 and Android 4.2.2. Those updates would have taken much longer for the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD due to the fact that the software would have to pass through the hands of Motorola and Verizon.
Verizon is known for extensive testing on its devices, which we gave you an exclusive look at a short time ago, and that tends to slow down updates, even minor bug fix updates.
This feature will work out nicely for those hoping for a swift update to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie as well as the Nexus 4 will almost assuredly be one of the first to get it while the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD update will likely come months later.
Finally, one of the other benefits of the Nexus name is the fact that the Nexus 4 is an easily customizable device. Not only is it easily rooted, but it comes with an unlocked bootloader right off the bat, not unlocking required.
This means that users, almost straight away, are able to customize their device at will with custom skins and ROMs and also have an easy time installing unreleased Android updates should they arise.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD unfortunately does not come with a bootloader that is unlocked, making it much more difficult to customize the device. Instead, owners who want that type of customization are going to have to opt for the developer edition of the Droid RAZR HD, which doesn’t come with the same massive battery as the Droid RAZR MAXX HD. The developer edition comes with the bootloader unlocked.
Those looking to take full control of their smartphone will likely want to opt for the Nexus 4 because of this.
Maybe the most intriguing feature of the Nexus 4 is its price tag. While it costs a typical $199.99 or lower through T-Mobile on-contract, Google offers it unlocked at near unbeatable pricing meaning those who don’t wish to sign a contract will be getting a steal.
Through the Google Play Store, the Nexus 4 is $299 for a 8GB model and $349 for a 16GB model. To put that into perspective, Apple chargers $649 for a 16GB IPhone 5 that is unlocked. This means that those who wish to buy a phone off-contract are going to get a great deal.
What’s more is that Verizon still charges $199.99 for the Droid RAZR MAXX HD which makes it more expensive than Nexus 4 which is typically on sale through T-Mobile for much cheaper.
An added benefit of the Nexus 4 is the fact that it boasts wireless charging support. Not only that, but the wireless charging is built-in to the device which means that owners won’t have to go out and buy a separate kit. Instead, they’ll just have to buy an appropriate charger, like the LG-made Wireless Charging Orb through the Google Play Store.
This means that owners of the Nexus 4 will be able to charge their device without the need for wires, something that is nice for those who like to rest their device next to the bed at night. It’s also nice for those that wish to contain clutter.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD does not feature wireless charging at all which means that owners are stuck using the standard microUSB cord that most Android owners are used to.
Plenty of Accessories
Finally, the last way that we think the Nexus 4 beats the Droid RAZR MAXX HD is when it comes to accessories. The Nexus 4 has an outstanding selection of top notch accessories available including the LG Wireless Charging Orb that we mentioned earlier.
In addition, it also features a bumper case on the Google Play Store, an assortment of fantastic cases for protection and for looks, car docks, Bluetooth speakers, and even a Bluetooth keyboard for those that want to be productive on the go.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD has accessories available but the selection and quality pale in comparison to the Nexus 4’s options.