While much of the talk of 2013 has been about phones like the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 3, there are still some very relevant smartphones on the market not called One or Galaxy including Google’s current Nexus smartphone, the Nexus 4, which is as relevant as it was when it first launched.
In November of last year, after weeks of rumors and speculation, Google officially announced the Nexus 4, the first LG-made Nexus smartphone, and one that replaced the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Like the Galaxy Nexus before it, the Nexus 4 arrived with several perks including swift software updates, vanilla Android and an unlocked bootloader.
It also came with some other enticing features including a larger 720p display, powerful quad-core processor, 8MP camera and a sleek design that was an improvement over the Galaxy Nexus’ all-plastic form factor. Unlike the Galaxy Nexus, Google unleashed the Nexus 4 upon the Google Play Store in unlocked form, while T-Mobile handled the carrier duties, rather than Sprint and Verizon.
And while the device wasn’t as hyped up as the previous Nexus, it soon became clear that Google had a hit. Almost immediatly, the Google Play Store crumbled under demand, demand that wiped out stock of the Nexus 4 until February when it finally emerged as a viable option for those looking for a new smartphone. Since then, it has been readily available. And since, then there have been a number of new developments that current and potential owners should know about.
Here, we take a look at five new and important things that consumers should know about LG and Google’s Nexus 4.
Still A Top Choice
Despite the arrivals of the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus (Google Edition) and Sony Xperia Z, the Nexus 4 remains a top option for those looking to buy into a fantastic smartphone experience.
While the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One are arguably bogged down by their user interfaces, the Nexus 4 comes with vanilla software. And while those phones will be slow to software updates because of their carrier attachments, the Nexus 4 will be at the forefront of software updates for years to come. Its hardware will also be suitable for most users. 720p may not be 1080p but it’s still good. And let’s not forget the quad-core processor it has inside.
Maybe best of all, the price remains unchanged. $299 for a 8GB model and $350 for a 16GB model. That pricing is unbeatable and it’s perfect for those that aren’t looking to sign on board with a carrier. And in this day and age, with carriers like T-Mobile shifting to off-contract structures, it’s clear that this is something that consumers want.
Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to buy this phone in the face of new arrivals. It’s cheap, powerful, and will be kept up to date for quite some time.
Software Change Could Come Soon
For those that already own a Nexus 4, or those that simply are curious, the Nexus 4 could soon become the beneficiary of a new piece of Android software dubbed Android 4.3.
Android 4.3 is thought to be an incremental upgrade to the Nexus 4′s Jelly Bean software which currently sits at version 4.2. Android 4.3 has been rumored to be out on June 10th and it likely will hit the Nexus 4 that day or shortly thereafter. If it does indeed arrive.
Features are currently scarce though it’s expected to possess Bluetooth Smart and possibly a new version of OpenGL. It’s not expected to be a major update though we could certainly see some surprises.
White Nexus 4 Rumored
Along with the Android 4.3 update, a new Nexus 4 is thought to be on the way. Over the past few months, the white Nexus 4 has made numerous appearances though it has yet to make it to shelves. That’s expected to end on June 10th with an official arrival on the Google Play Store alongside the new version of Android.
The device, like the current Nexus 4, is thought to be coming with a $299 price tag and should be available not only through Google but through T-Mobile as well.
Nexus 4 LTE?
At this point, despite rumors, a Nexus 4 LTE is becoming unlikely. While we did see Google wait until way after it initial launch to unleash a 3G version of the Nexus 7, that was likely to draw interest ahead of the holiday season. And while a Nexus 4 LTE could certainly prosper this summer, perhaps with an arrival on June 10th, it just seems out of place at this point.
With a new Nexus with LTE on the way and rumors seemingly non-existent at this point, the prospects of a 4G LTE Nexus are grim and those interested will likely have to settle for Samsung’s version of a Nexus or wait for the Nexus 5.
New Nexus On the Way
While we haven’t seen a Nexus 4 just yet, there is another Nexus device on the way in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Nexus edition that will be hitting shelves on June 26th for $650. Like the Nexus 4, it will come with vanilla Android, quick updates and an unlocked bootloader. It will also come with the same hardware as the Samsung Galaxy S4 which means 1080p display, 13MP camera and more.
It’s an expensive endeavor but its going to be another option for those that may not like the non-removable back, lack of microSD and more on the Nexus 4 Those in the market for a new phone will want to keep it in mind.