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

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.