LG Nexus 4 gets first review, slightly shorter and wider than the Galaxy Nexus

Daniel Bader

October 12, 2012 8:59 pm


LG and Google’s upcoming Nexus device, purportedly called the Nexus 4, got reviewed today by the same site that, only yesterday, brought us the clearest photos of the device we’ve seen yet.

They stress that the software on their prototype is buggy and barely works at all, citing frequent reboots, app incompatibility and poor performance. Nevertheless, if this is indeed the next Nexus, it looks remarkably similar to the Galaxy Nexus announced a year ago this month. That it sports significantly upgraded specs is not surprising, but the review goes on to say that the phone’s 4.7-inch IPS display is “looks amazing,” and “very close to the iPhone 5.” Unlike the Galaxy Nexus, whose glass has a slight curvature, the LG Nexus 4 is completely flat. They claim the phone’s resolution is 1280×720, but we’ve heard that it will end up being 1280×768, like the Optimus G.

A few other highlights from the preliminary review: the back cover, which is non-removable, has a pattern that resembles one of the original Nexus live wallpapers. We’re wondering if the pattern will end up being random, or whether all Nexus 4′s will come with the same matrix. There is a microSIM slot on the side, activated, like the iPhone, with a pin. The headphone jack has been put back to the top, after it moved to the bottom on the Galaxy Nexus.

The 8MP camera does not look to produce very good photos, though it can hardly be worse than the one on the Galaxy Nexus. That it lacks the 13MP sensor of the Optimus G is disappointing, but if Google is to release this device at $399 it had to make some sacrifices somewhere. The lack of LTE connectivity means that this prototype was of a model destined for the European market. It’s basically assured that the North American version will arrive with LTE capabilities — the Galaxy Nexus had LTE on Verizon upon its release, and it’s very unlikely that Google would risk alienating the entire North American GSM market in the name of model uniformity.

It’s also unlikely that Google will only offer an 8GB model. More likely is they’ll sell the 8GB version for $399, a 16GB model for $449 and a 32GB model for $499. Now, that’s entirely speculative, but considering no Nexus device has had removable storage to date, this would be the only way for Google to cater to the entire market.

One more thing: although this is a prototype, it’s curious that all the photos we’ve seen of this supposed Nexus say ‘with Google’ on the back, instead of just “Google.” Every other Nexus device, from the Nexus One to the Galaxy Nexus to the Nexus 7, has “Google” printed on the back, with a Nexus logo. We’re not sure if this is just a LG branding thing, or if this is in fact not the upcoming Nexus. With the rumoured announcement date of October 29th just over two weeks away, there’s not much time left for speculation.

Check out the whole review (in Russian) at Onliner.by. There are lots more high-resolution photos of the upcoming device.

  • tony

    Why am I afraid of LG?

    • Brad F

      @tony “Why am I afraid of LG?”

      Because they have a history of shitty phones.

      I mean, honestly, they just released the Optimus L5 with specs worse than the HTC G1. Before that they released the Optimus LTE with a 3-hour battery life.

    • Bri

      I own the Optimus LTE 4G from Bell.
      Everything else is better than expected.
      Actually the UI (ICS) is actually faster and smoother than Samsung’s ICS UI which was surprising.
      But the battery life is the issue…
      I cannot keep the data on.
      I turn the 4G (HSDPA+ network) on only when necessary then I keep it off to allow the phone going for 8-9 hours.
      I can’t imagine using LTE network on this devide LOL.
      They really need to improve their battery performance… SERIOUSLY.

  • Apple Sales Guy

    “…but the review goes on to say that the phone’s 4.7-inch IPS display is “looks amazing,” and “very close to the iPhone 5.”

    Almost guys! keep trying! bahahah

    Cheers
    ;)

    • iphone 5 beta

      what a dumb comment. Do you know who manufactures the screen for iphone?

    • bazinga

      sheep alert!

    • CoolStory

      lol You FAIL. no wonder your an iSheep

    • d3v14n7

      The HTC One X was released almost a year ago and it still has a superior display over the iPhone 5 in every way… I wouldn’t laugh too hard if I were you, the iPhone 5 is still inferior to year old (and even older) phones, not to mention the shoddy build quality, horrible and missing software, lack features that Android phones from 2 years ago had, with the same old boring, outdated UI from 2007… iOS 5 was far better than iOS 6 is, how does it feel to downgrade to iOS 6 because Apple forced you to?

  • Patrice Cote

    I’m sorry but I have a Nexus 7 right next to me and there is no mention of Google at all on the gardware. It’s written “Nexus” in the upper part and “Asus” on the lower. It’s an 8Gb I bought on Google website.

  • Vinny

    LG?!?!? Yeah no thanks…I’m afraid to even put my food in my friends LG fridge…

    • bazinga

      I have one of those and I second that… 1st year of ownership 3 warranty calls. No kidding – Model lrfc22750sw.
      Motto should be Life’s(not so)Good ;)

  • ActivesiN

    if its 8gb with no expandable memory im out

  • Lee

    Life’s Good

  • monsterduc1000

    The Nexus One had removable storage =D

  • montrealer

    Anybody else disappointed by heavy ressemblance to the existing nexus?

  • delumen

    You lost me at LG.

    • Hardened

      “you lost me at LG” yet you have no clue that your mobile device is probably a) thankful that LG consistently uses the best cpu’s before anyone else: singl-core Qualcomm, Dual-Core Qualcomm, and now quad-core S4 Pro Qualcomm cpu’s, b) the best quality IPS screens, the most responsive multi-touch-displays in the industry! c) furthermore their hardware is the most flexible for markets/providers.

  • EvanKr

    Maybe this could turn LG’s reputation around. I’ve personally had bad experiences with all of their products, but if this gets good reviews and is priced right, who knows.

    What I’m not a fan of though, is a design. I personally think that the back is butt-ugly, but again, my opinion.

  • TZM

    I think its all a rouse and we aren’t seeing the next Nexus at all.

    Google wouldn’t shoot itself in the foot with this type of device would they? For their Prime device I don’t think they would.

  • ThunderRodriguez

    No removable battery and an excessively large screen… Colour me disappointed.

  • Doug

    So they really couldn’t make it anymore different than the g-nex?

  • Gsizzle

    After a lot of, “WTF LG? Pass” … “Anything but LG Please!” … Think I am gonna end up getting the LN4.

    Only if HTC pulls the cover off that 5″ beast … Still waiting on that.

  • Andy Warhol

    My first thought when I heard about this rumoured upcoming release was how bad LG’s track record is in terms of software, and how bad their cameras tend to be (I’ve owned an LG Shine Plus, Optimus 7, Optimus Black, and Optimus LTE, and they all had pretty lackluster camera compared to any of my Samsung or HTC handsets). Looks like little has changed on the LG front… This is why I find it very hard to get excited about the LG Optimus G. They always look good on paper, but are always a let down after using them for awhile.

  • mfiori

    if GOOG wants to, in any way, differentiate themselves from AAPL in terms of hardware, they will not and i repeat, not, go with the 8/16/32gb 3uLL 5h17 pricing scheme. The device needs to come with 32GB period. When GOOG rolls out the gigabyte mobile network nation wide they can switch back to 8gb because the cloud will work outside of large metropolitan areas. In the meanwhile, people need to have 5h17 on their devices for them to work outside of San Fran.

  • Mondy

    no 16:9 resolution. bull s**t

  • lol

    oh not much has changed and it’s cover is non removable, but it’s all okay because its android and that means it’s automatically good.

  • Osama

    oh man why do the phones all look like iphone wanna bes? I want a high end camera phone, i saw the OG pics, they looked pretty bad! I wish Nokia would come to Android!

  • justfox87

    If this is indeed a Nexus device, I hope to god its not the only one! No way I am buying a LG consumer product! Maybe this is just LG attempting to do vanilla Android on their own, could explain why it says “with Google” which is something my old HTC Desire had on the back.

    • Really?

      What the hell difference does the word “with” make? Does that ink on the outer shell make the CPU run slower? Can someone explain to this guy what “prototype” means?

  • redlemon

    My htc desire had “with google” on the back cover…

  • Dan

    Yikes. If this phone was released last year, it would still be behind the curve.

  • Mischa Price

    Yeah i don’t think this will be a flagship nexus or even a nexus at all. Lots of lg phones in the past my friends crappy lg optimus one says “with google” on the back and the gnex is branded google. I just think someone saw this floating around and becuause of the lg nexus rumors assumed this must be it then installed vinilla android becasue it makes little sence to release a new nexus without new software

  • Lance W

    Sorry but if you’re going to make an LTE phone you need a fricken removable battery. And stop with this 8GB nonsense, 16GB should be the minimum.

  • Bob

    1280×768, while technically better than 1280×720, isn’t worth it. They should have kept a 16:9 aspect ratio for uniformity. The next improvement should be 1600×900 or even 1920×1080.

    Also, Nexus 4 is a good name, however it should be 4″ to be consistent with the Nexus 7 naming.
    Having both a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 5 with the same specs would be awesome.

    • Bob’s wife wants more than 4″

      You want a 4″ phone?? In the era of HD displays you expect Google to make LESS phone? You’ve exposed yourself as an iSheep.

  • Bill

    Looks good some people still like LG.

  • kroms

    If this is the only Nexus Phone from Google for the next while then I’m out.

    I’ll get either a NEW Motorola or an SG3 or even wait for the SG4.
    Sorry Google , this is just not going to work for most of us !

  • Danny

    Sounds extremely disappointing. Hopefully there’s still the HTC Nexus 5

  • boojay

    So one of the biggest issues with the GNex was that it was too wide and they decided to make the LGNex wider? That makes sense. The iPhone 5 may be a piece of junk and inferior to Android in every way, but at least they designed it properly.

    • crybabyjay

      What the hell are you talking about? Wideness was never a problem with the Gnex. Phones have HD displays now. Welcome to 2012. The only people who complain about it have never used one, and when you do you never go back. If you want a tiny little phone to go to ebay and order something up from 10 years ago.

  • MR

    Non removable battery is a killer.
    Design is boring.

    If the battery was removable, I’d consider this phone. But no thanks.

  • Doug

    They have a picture released with what looks like the official backing. No Google on it, only Nexus is on it.

  • MrMarvelous

    Hmmm my Nexus 7 says Asus and Nexus on the back, and my Galaxy Nexus says Google and Samsung…no with Google or nexus logo.

  • mike

    Why are you all jumping to conclusions over a prototype. Its very likely that 8gb storage is just a cost savings in prototypes. The two screws at the bottom of the phone as you can see in the pic. Probably have something to do with removing the battery. Give it a chance

  • jonny

    what a dissapointment.

    i want a 5″
    removable storage
    great camera
    big a*s removable battery

    and i really like the curved screen, i would be sad to see it go

    i will not be buying this phone
    i guess i will just wait a couple months until the S3 drops in price a bit more
    i will have to wipe it tho and put stock android on

  • theworldiam

    EVERYONE says they’re afraid of LG and their “shitty” phones. Hmmm… Remember, LG was also GoldStar and reinvented itself to some fantastic products: TVs, Optical writers, Kitchen appliances, etc. (Apple also came back from the brink of extinction.)
    As for me, I can’t wait for the Optimus G!
    Consider this: If Google were to think LG is SO SHITTY, then why are they putting their flagship product in their hands (if they are indeed doing so)?
    But WE, the People’s Court, rule with our minds – and wallets.

  • David

    Puddy

  • GreenManiac

    No removable battery and the earphones jack on top, count me out.

  • Zoomus

    8 GB and non removable battery are no bother for me, if I want music then I use an app called Tunein, for movies etc. I use one of my 4 tablets, being a Google supported/updated is a plus for me, but the dam thing loos like my Galaxy Nexus, and its made by LG, I had/have the Nexus one, skipped on the Nexus S than got the Galaxy Nexus, well I will most likely get the next Android (4.2) on the Galaxy Nexus so I will skip the Nexus 4 and try a Nokia Lumia 920, wait for the Nexus 5 see what happens.

  • Joe

    Breaking News: Apple sues LG for copying SIM insertion/removal method

    • Glitch

      Breaking news; making lawsuit jokes has become exact equivalent of ‘arrow to the knee’ jokes following Skyrim release.

      People told to ‘let it go’ and move on with their lives.

  • Bri

    5 hour Battery life vs cheap price ($399)…
    One hack of a decision to make

  • Milton

    Must say I’ve had bad luck with the LG products in the past, but maybe this is a new leaf for the company. I’m sure this will launch with more storage and possibly a better camera. Remember, the people who leaked this prototype say it’s over a year old, so version we see later this month could be quite different in terms of specs. I’ll be waiting for reviews of the final product before writing it off altogether.

    The design isn’t great but it’s not awful. Would have been nice to see some evolution instead of recycling. As a guy who’s still rocking the original Galaxy S, that chrome bezel makes me shudder. I’ll likely wait a couple more months to see what HTC and Sammy throw in the ring, but if they sit this round out (Nexus-wise), the 4 could be my next phone.

  • Bri

    The phone does look very stunning!!

  • Geekom

    “software on their prototype is buggy and barely works at all”
    How is this different from the other builds of the Android OS ?

  • Eric

    they really need to release 2 nexus devices. something lower cost like this lg nexus, and something more premium with awesome camera more storage, etc

  • bobmutch

    to bad no cellular phone calls, looking to the samsung galaxy 7, the p6100 has cellular.

  • Andrew Walsh

    Can you please substantiate this comment?

    “The 8MP camera does not look to produce very good photos, though it can hardly be worse than the one on the Galaxy Nexus.”

    Can you show us sample photos? Is there some sort of a publication ban on photos until the device is launched?