Nexus 4 Problems: Broken Backs, Busted Wireless Chargers

The Nexus 4 is supposed to represent the best pure Android experience, but Android fans are frustrated with the fragile design of the Nexus 4 and livid over Nexus 4 wireless charging issues.

The Nexus 4 launch mess is over, but based on these complaints, Google is in for another mess as users become frustrated with the Nexus 4 design and durability.

The company appears to be trying to get out ahead of this with a slightly new design, but these problems are not likely something Google can fix until the Nexus 5 comes out.

The Nexus 4 glass back is fragile, a design Apple left behind with the iPhone 5.

The Nexus 4 glass back is fragile, a design Apple left behind with the iPhone 5.

Every smartphone will receive its fair share of complaints, but this week is one full of reports of Nexus 4 problems. From a broken back after a 2-inch drop to a wireless charger in need of a kung-fu grip, here are two of the biggest complaints we hear about the Nexus 4.

Nexus 4 Broken Glass Back

The Nexus 4 features a cool-looking glass back, but just like the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, this is more trouble than it’s worth for some users. The design decision itself is interesting, as anyone who has spent an hour inside an Apple store can tell stories of half a dozen users coming in with a broken back. That’s not to mention the number of users with a broken iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S using a prepaid carrier like Straight Talk or Red Pocket Mobile.

The latest tale of a broken Nexus 4 back comes from Chris Chavez over on Phandroid, who tells the harrowing tale of his Nexus 4’s 2-inch fall which resulted in cracks and spidering in the glass. The result of this short fall is shown in the photo below.

The Nexus 4 back broke after a 2-inch drop.

The Nexus 4 back broke after a 2-inch drop.


Chavez is not alone in complaining about a broken back of the Nexus 4. There are forum reports, videos and photos showing cracked glass backs on the Nexus 4. In the video below, a user shares his Nexus 4 glass cracked back, which broke after a 15 inch fall off a night stand. A fall caused by the slick back of the Nexus 4.

Other users complain of a broken Nexus 4 glass back or small cracks, even without a drop. Some of the first Nexus 4 broken back issues reportedly came from temperature changes.

According to the poll on Chavez’s post, nearly 400 users, out of 2,350, report owning a Nexus 4 with a broken back or front glass panel.

Multiple users report that getting the Nexus 4 glass back replaced through LG is not covered under warranty and the cost is around $130, which is a third of the price of a Nexus 4.

Nexus 4 Wireless Charger Complaints

The Nexus 4 wireless charger promises an easy way to charge up the Nexus 4 without plugging in a micro USB cable, making it an attractive option for users who want to top off during the day or grab and go in the morning.

Read: Nexus 4 Wireless Charger Review

According to Derek Kessler on Android Central, the Nexus 4 wireless charger is worthy of hating. The Nexus 4 charger he has been using will not hold the Nexus 4 in place, which leads to a slow slide off the slanted charger and onto a desk.

Not only could this break the back of the Nexus 4, but it also leads to a stop in charging. Kessler reports that after a short period of time his Nexus 4 sits next to the charger like the image shown below.

Some users report the Nexus 4 wireless charger does not keep the Nexus 4 in place.

Some users report the Nexus 4 wireless charger does not keep the Nexus 4 in place.

Slender Troll in the Android Central Forums reports a similar issue,

I have had a few issues with mine not charging to 100%. I left my n4 on it last night, and apparently if it slides too low on the charger, it will stop charging. But I think that’s the only reason it didn’t charge completely.

In both cases, the users may be in possession of a defective Nexus 4 wireless charger. After using the Nexus 4 wireless charger for the past several months, my charger is completely reliable. The rubber portion of the wireless charger keeps the Nexus 4 in place at any angle, and the Nexus 4 charges at about any angle, even with a slim case on.

Users experiencing Nexus 4 wireless charger issues should reach out to Google or LG for a new unit.