Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Google Nexus 4 Review

Back in October 2012 (fyi, it was also my birthday month :P), Google has finally announced the Google Nexus 4 and Google Nexus 10 at the same time after the success of Asus Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I was given a chance by Nuffnang and DiGi to review the Google Nexus 4 for 10 days but I had to return it back earlier as I had to return to my hometown for Chinese New Year celebration.

The Google Nexus 4
The Google Nexus 4 is also known as LG Nexus 4 or LG Mako in some countries since it's being manufactured by LG which are quite famous for their Prada and Optimus smartphones. 


Specifications:
The heart of the Google Nexus 4 is the Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon chipset with a Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait cpu and 2GB RAM. The display is a True HD IPS Plus capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors with the display size of 768 x 1280 pixels, 4.7 inches. Comes with multitouch. The screen is also fitted with the Corning Gorilla Glass 2 for those who always put their smartphone on an unintentional drop test or keep their phone and keys in the same pocket.

The back of Google Nexus 4. Simple and solid look.
The Google Nexus 4 has a dimension of 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm (5.27 x 2.70 x 0.36 in) and weight 139g (4.90 oz). It's slightly shorter than Samsung GALAXY S3 and 6gram heavier. Just like any other common high range smartphones (except iPhone 5), it also uses micro-sim and can be connected to 2G or 3G telco network. Too bad 4G/LTE network won't work on this smartphone. Anyway, LTE is still quite new in Malaysia and only available in some places in Klang Valley. It supports data up to 42 Mbps DC-HSDPA. It has NFC and Android Beam (also known as S Beam for Samsung smartphones) and uses microUSB for charging and file transfer.


At the moment, only the 16GB version of Google Nexus 4 is available in Malaysia and for those who wanted to add a microSD card for more storage, that's not going to happen. The back of the phone shows us the camera with LED flash, Nexus and LG logo, also the speaker. The audio quality is fine and good enough to notice if there's any incoming call. For music playback, it actually has a good treble audio quality but lack of bass. It has a non-removable Li-Po 2100 mAh battery that can go up to 390hrs (S3 better) in stand-by mode and talk time up to 15hrs (better than S3). 

Google Nexus 4 running on Android OS 4.2.1 (Jelly Bean)
Performance:
Enough with the specifications, lets talk about the performance. This phone can perform better than most of the high range smartphones in the current market (not sure about HTC Butterfly yet). The smoothness of the user interface blown my mind on the very first day. It's really buttery and responsive at the same time. Downloading multiple apps at the same time up to 10 or more apps did not degrade the performance of this smartphone to do other things such as messaging or web browsing. Of course, you can play game at the same time too. Games such as NFS, Asphalt 7 or any other game that needed powerful processor, gives a decent gameplay experience without any lag at all. Watch Youtube videos are pretty great too on the True HD IPS Plus capacitive touchscreen, colours are not too vivid and very close to the real colour texture.

There's a few thing I wanted to highlight here. You will have a hard time finding a memo pad / note pad on this phone. I have no idea where they hid it and the only way to write down my things is on the calendar. There's also a need to install a digital clock apps since they only provide the analog round one as seen on the photo above. You might find the bottom part of the phone to be quite empty and I personally think they should fitted it with some touch sensor button instead of making them on screen and reducing the length / wideness of the screen. I downloaded Facebook Messenger apps and it couldn't work properly. It seems that there are a few apps in the Play Store which are not entirely compatible yet.

Camera:
I'm done with the performance, now lets talk about the camera. At the back (primary), the camera is 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, comes with autofocus, LED flash and features such as touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection and photo sphere. It also has a panaroma and HDR mode. You can record full HD video (1080p@30fps) with an acceptable amount of minimized jerking in the video. Secondary camera on the front is 1.3 MP with quality that is only suitable for instagram or twitpic. 

Below are some of the samples taken with the primary camera on the Google Nexus 4:-

Good lighting in the day time, photo quality is almost the same as those cheap digital camera in the market.
Inside the karaoke room (low light) without flash.
Inside the karaoke room (low light) with flash ON.
At the ONEFCMMA event, shot was taken with HDR mode.
The camera quality barely reach average and not even better than S3 especially with the on screen touch gesture camera settings which turn out to be quite difficult to use at the very beginning and lack of ISO options, steady shots and fast multishot.

Conclusion: I like the solid feel of this phone (about right in my palm), the stunning display, latest Android OS and the smoothness of the UI. What I don't like is the lack of LTE support (not future-proof), non removable battery, no external memory storage, so so quality camera and the two small screws at the bottom which are mounted into the body that can collect dust over time. If you want a blazing fast phone, keep minimal apps and don't really mind about LTE, then Google Nexus 4 is for you.

Recommended retail price for Google Nexus 4 is RM1,649 or you can get it for a cheaper price with DiGi plan at http://www.digi.com.my/PhonesDevices/LG_Nexus_4.do


.: Peace Out :.