5 Ways the Nexus 4 Could Beat the Samsung Galaxy S4

Over the weekend, we learned that the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch date is set for March 14th, at an event in New York City. On that date, Samsung will unveil its “Next Big Thing” in the form of the successor to the Galaxy S3, the wildly popular phone that launched in May of last year and continues to sell well. That said, the Galaxy S4 will have to go up against some top tier talent and one of those device’s is the current Nexus smartphone from LG and Google dubbed the Nexus 4.

Read: 8 Ways the Samsung Galaxy S4 Could Beat the Nexus 4.

In November of last year, LG and Google released the Nexus 4, a device that was a follow up to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, a smartphone that had initially launched on Verizon all the way back in December of 2011. In the weeks leading up to its release, there was a bit of buzz surrounding the new Nexus 4 but no one, not even Google saw what was to happen next.


The Nexus 4 is finally widely available.

The Nexus 4 is finally widely available.

Shortly after the Nexus 4 went on sale, Google’s Play Store sold out of its initial stock of the unlocked Nexus 4. A day later, T-Mobile put the Nexus 4 on sale and it sold out relatively quickly as well. A couple of weeks later, the Nexus 4 went back on sale only to sell out once again. This time however, Google kept the device on sale with increasingly longer shipping times.

It was only after those shipping times stretched deep into 2013 that the company cut the cord and displayed the Nexus 4 as sold out. At the same time, T-Mobile was perpetually sold out of the device as well.

According to LG, this was because Google had grossly underestimated the demand for the Nexus 4 when it placed its orders. The company then promised to have the Nexus 4 supply issues ironed out by February, likely due to increased production.

Earlier this year, the Nexus 4 made its triumphant return to the Google Play Store and T-Mobile where it, and its high-end features, have remained available. It has also become available at a number of other retailers finally making it a viable option for those that are looking at a new smartphone.

In just a few weeks though, it’s going to have to struggle with a juggernaut called the Samsung Galaxy S4 which has been confirmed for a March 14th launc and already is one of the most anticipated devices of the year.

We’ve already taken a look at a number of ways the Galaxy S4 could beat the Nexus 4 and now, it’s time to take a look at the opposite and delve into some ways that the Nexus 4 could beat the Samsung Galaxy S4.

5 Ways the Nexus 4 Could Beat the Samsung Galaxy S4

Stock Android

One of the most unique things about Google’s Nexus line of devices is that the experience on them is unhindered by manufacturer user interfaces. What we mean by that is that they come with a stock Android experience, often referred to as vanilla Android.

Devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One are Android phones but they run heavily customized versions of Android. The manufacturers add their own features to Android, some of which are useful, some of which are useless, and they also change up the look as well.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S4 Might Steal Android 4.2 Feature.

The Galaxy S4 will almost assuredly be the same and it may be that Samsung barely mentions the name Android at the Galaxy S4 launch event. We’ve already heard that Samsung might be putting its own spin on Android 4.2’s Photo Sphere with a function called Samsung Orb and it could be that Visa paywave replaces Google Wallet on some or all of these devices.

So those looking for a version of Android, untouched by a manufacturer, will want to take a close look at the Nexus 4 and its pure Google Experience.

Faster Bug Fix Updates

Often, it can take awhile for non-Nexus devices in the United States to receive smaller, bug fix updates. For example, it took the Verizon Galaxy Nexus (which isn’t a Nexus) five months to get a bug fix update. Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX owners have been waiting for almost half of a year for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich bug fix update. And owners of Galaxy devices from Samsung have been waiting since July for a fix for a nasty copy and paste bug.

Those who pick up a Nexus 4 will likely never run into these types of wait periods due to the fact that the Nexus 4 receives updates straight from Google rather than having to endure an approval process from carriers in the United States.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Owners Reporting Crippling Copy & Paste Bug.

What this means is that bugs will be taken care of much faster than they would be if the Nexus 4 was attached to a carrier. Even the T-Mobile Nexus 4 will likely get updates faster than most other phones.

With the Galaxy S4, bug fixes will be few and far between so those that do experience issues will likely have to set through extensive waits, especially on Verizon, for smaller but necessary Android updates to arrive.

Cheap Unlocked Price

There are two versions of the Nexus 4. One is the T-Mobile Nexus 4 and the other is the unlocked Nexus 4. And while both are worth taking a look at, it’s the price of the unlocked Nexus 4 that is extremely special.

While most unlocked smartphones run with price tags upwards of $500, the iPhone 5 for instance is $649 for the cheapest model, Google has undercut just about everyone with the pricing of its Nexus 4.

Through the Google Play Store, the Nexus 4 comes with a $299 price for the 8GB model and $349 for the 16GB model. Those prices are unheard of in the unlocked world as they are right around the price that carriers charge for devices on-contract.

Those that don’t wish to sign a contract and instead use the Nexus 4 on a pre-paid plan will get a much better deal with the Nexus 4 then with the Galaxy S4. No pricing has been revealed for the Galaxy S4 yet but consumers will more than likely run into steep price points.

Built-in Wireless Charging

It’s not confirmed yet but it’s looking like Samsung will not be offering built-in wireless charging with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and will instead look to sell a wireless charging kit separately from the device.

This means that users will likely not only have to buy the phone but the wireless charging kit as well. There is no telling what this kit might contain or how much it might cost. It likely also means that users will have to replace the back of the Galaxy S4, something that could potentially add some bulk.

The Nexus 4 features wireless charging while the Galaxy S4 may not.

The Nexus 4 features wireless charging while the Galaxy S4 may not.

Owners of the Nexus 4 don’t have to worry about such things as the Nexus 4 comes with built-in wireless charging capabilities which means that it can work with wireless chargers out of the box. No kits, no extra money necessary.

Google also recently released the Nexus 4 wireless charging orb for the Nexus 4 which allows users to charge the Nexus 4.

First to Major Android Updates

In May, Google will host its annual developer conference in the form of Google I/O 2013. And at the event, the company will likely be introducing its latest version of Android, Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie.

It’s also entirely possible that Android 5.0 could come at a later date but thus far, all signs are pointing to Google I/O’s stage as the new Android OS’ launching pad.


The Nexus 4 will get Android 5.0 before the Galaxy S4.

Harking back to the fast updates, the Nexus 4 will more than likely be the first, if not one of the first to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie when it does arrive sometime this year.

Samsung Galaxy S4 owners will likely have to ensure a wait of several months or more and even then, U.S. carriers typically are much slower than the rest of the world which means that owners in the U.S. could be waiting until the fall for this update.