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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.



  1. Wholesome Harry (@tCynic)

    04/12/2013 at 8:57 am

    As far as the wireless charger goes, if you read the little pamphlet that comes with the charger it addresses this. The micro suction surface needs to be cleaned. If there is dust the phone will slide and not charge. I had this problem. Some water and a cloth took care of it. Just clean the damned thing once a month and it’ll be fine.

  2. chris

    04/12/2013 at 12:15 pm

    I am so lucky. I dropped my nexus 4 from about 3 feet onto tile. The back wasn’t cracked at all :D

  3. Andy

    04/12/2013 at 3:38 pm

    There’s another nexus4 problem which seems common. The power button loses responsiveness. Sometimes I have to press mine 7 or 8 times before it responds. Am sending it back for a 2nd warranty replacement.

    • Charles Keisler

      04/24/2013 at 1:39 pm

      i don’t think this is a phone defect, sounds software related. Android is taking a while to respond to the power button. Does the same thing to me on the galaxy nexus, however it was more noticeable after i rooted my phone. you may want to download an app like “advanced task killer” to clean up any extra memory being used. prior to me installing a “Memory manager” i had to wait up to 30 seconds for my phone to “wake up” after pressing the power button.

  4. jaison

    04/12/2013 at 6:39 pm

    why can’t a featured handset fully designed by google? why LG or samsung associated with?

    • Louis

      04/12/2013 at 8:47 pm

      Because Google can’t manufacture shit. Google knows how to make search engine algorithms.. LG & Samsung know how to design radios, screens, memory, phones, etc.

      • Sagar

        04/13/2013 at 3:07 pm

        Google actually manufactures a great deal of hardware … like all the equipment in their data centers.

    • Mike

      04/13/2013 at 12:03 pm

      That may change soon enough, Google as you may know, owns Motorola. So who knows maybe the next Nexus phone may come through Motorola. Hopefully they never use LG for anything again.

  5. i wish

    04/13/2013 at 12:10 am

    Class action!

  6. Sheperd A

    04/13/2013 at 7:55 am

    NEXUS 4 does NOT have GORILLA GLASS 2! Google it, if you don’t believe me

    • whatthe

      04/13/2013 at 4:25 pm

      Yes it does… even in Wikipedia.

    • FLN

      05/08/2013 at 8:11 am

      It’s not confirmed if the back is GorillaGlass or not, but the screen glass is GorillaGlass.

      I think that the back is not GorillaGlass, but I’ve never seen a confirmation abut this.

  7. George

    04/13/2013 at 11:13 am

    I dropped my nexus 4 several times and it hasn’t broke. It fell off the microwave, onto the counter hitting the edge of the SS sink and onto the floor. It didn’t break or crack any glass. I am not using a protector either.

  8. Mike

    04/13/2013 at 12:00 pm

    Google should have stuck with Samsung and they wouldn’t have these issues right now. LG is a shit company that should’ve stuck with video cassette re-winders. For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about look LG up, they use to go by the name Lucky Goldstar.

  9. shane jennings (@drshanejensen)

    04/13/2013 at 3:10 pm

    I gotta agree LG is crap, samsung isn’t much better. LG is the worst without a doubt

  10. sean

    04/13/2013 at 4:46 pm

    I got a $5 case and have not had either problem. Come on people … help yourself out here a little.

  11. whatthe

    04/13/2013 at 4:59 pm
    Just does not compare to the rate on iPhone. 16% in nexus 4 survey

  12. Trevor

    04/23/2013 at 11:23 pm

    Every phone needs a case. If you don’t use one, dont’t be surprised when it breaks after you drop it. This goes for any phone.

    This is easily the best phone Ive had to date and would definitely buy another LG.

  13. Jake

    04/24/2013 at 3:39 am

    recommend the Seidio case…really nice

  14. nick

    04/28/2013 at 6:53 am

    My Nexus 4 glass cracked today, and I didn’t even take it out of my pocket. Not dropped barely even used. Shit.

  15. Charles Keisler

    05/01/2013 at 5:50 am

    Getting my nexus 4 today. It sounds like these issues are totally avoidable.

    First, the glass back is not gorilla glass people! Don’t assume just because the screen is made out of this super strong and super resilient glass that the back is also. You know what happens when you assume!

    Second, the manual for the wireless charger says to clean the rubber grip regularly. This should keep the phone from sliding.

    Come on people, before you complain at least read the manual and find out what you did wrong!

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