Customer Review

65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but there's room for improvement, 20 Mar. 2013
This review is from: LG Nexus 4 Android Smartphone 16GB Sim-Free (Electronics)
I've had this phone for a few weeks now - here's a quick summary of the pros and cons as I see them:

Pros -

+ The price: first and foremost, this is the big advantage of this phone. No one would say that 279 quid is cheap (plus postage) direct from Google, but in comparison to the relative cost of other makes, this phone offers a lot for the price.
+ very fast and smooth: it really can handle anything you throw at it. The Internet speeds it can achieve are dependent upon the service provider, but they are fast. One of the first things I noticed was just how quickly it does everything, and that's still the case now.
+ The screen: nice size, good colours and good accurate sensitivity to the touch function. It looks great if you're upgrading from a cheaper phone because the details are so much clearer on a screen this size and definition. Perhaps a very slightly bit too blue on the skin tones.
+ Good quality build: it's solid, there's no flexibility or movement if you try to twist the top corners the other way from the bottom ones, and it looks nice.
+ Nice size for my average hands: my thumb can reach all four corners of the screen if I need them to, and with a bumper-style case it doesn't feel slippery.
+ The synchronization available if you have a Google plus account is great (this might apply to most phones, but it took a matter of seconds to put all my phone contacts and calendar details onto it), and the Google Chrome browser added all my bookmarks.
+ It comes already unlocked.
+ It has a good qulity music player. Having suffered the Samsung player for a long time on my last phone, it's a relief to find that this one not only has good sound, but the volume goes a lot higher too.

Cons -

- No memory card slot: I used to be a hoarder with my old phone; it was full of mp3s and photos, films and apps. I have the 16gb Nexus, and while it's got enough memory to avoid problems I have changed my storage habits - I now store my music in Google search cloud and stream it. I've got a new unlimited data phone contract to deal with this, and a wireless hard drive so I can keep stuff at hand for times where there's no internet available.
- The battery: I can't get it out if I need to, and I've had to make adjustments to get it to last the working day (brightness of display being the main one).
- The camera: occasionally slow to focus, and 'only' 8mp - it doesn't have the premium feel of the rest of the phone. The 360 degree photo function is a great bit of software, and you can turn it into a round planet a la 'little prince' - fun. It's the only phone I know that has this function at the moment, although others will get it, I'm sure.
- The inbuilt speaker is very poor - bad sound, bad placement: it's on the back of the phone so it gets muffled on top of being tinny and quiet anyway.
- Easy to damage the surfaces: there is glass on both sides of this phone - 'gorilla' glass on the screen side which is very scratch resistant apparently, and non gorilla on the back, which is a bad oversight; I've still got the screen protector films in place that the phone came with as a result. It slides on smooth surfaces and feels like it'd be very easy to smash or scratch the glass on the back especially. Not for the clumsy types.
- No flash player support: a big annoyance, especially if you use Facebook (I can't play Scrabble any more - or watch certain video footage on the BBC news website, for example). I believe there are technical ways to get around this - such as 'side loading' an older version - but this is a bit beyond me really, and a lot of sites need the latest version.
- Bluetooth reception: I've had real problems linking devices. It won't detect most of them; I think this is a software issue that will be dealt with in a future update. I hope it's not a problem with the phone itself! (This is very annoying)

SUMMARY:

For the price, a great phone. If you're new to smartphones you might not need to start off with something this good - my mum loves her Galaxy Ace for example, but it's a match for phones costing a lot more than it does.

The lack of memory cards issue is the main problem if you don't have unlimited data on your contract, and the battery life could be better, but overall it's a nice phone. Great for the price.

You might consider -

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And don't forget - this phone takes a 'micro sim card' not a normal sim card, so you'll need to order one from your service provider before you can use the phone. Don't do what I did and buy the phone before you have a sim card or else you'll have a pretty frustrating experience while you wait for it to come through the post!

Edit 15/08/13: My phone slithered off my lap yesterday, onto granite flagstones (it didn't have a case on), and it cracked the corner if the front screen, which has stopped the touchscreen from functioning. The phone is now for all intents and purposes, a dead phone. It costs £100 to fix, although I've bought the spare parts for £13 and I'm going to try and fix it myself (I am the cluimsiest person in the world, so this will probably end in disaster). I'll keep you posted.

Edit 03/10/13 - I finally got it into a local repair shop: £140 :(

Edit 12/12/13 - I finally got it back from the repair shop. The delay was due, they say, to difficulties sourcing spare parts. It may be that, having been superceded by the new Nexus 5, Google aren't bothering much with support for the poor old 4. This is something you might want to bear in mind when you weigh up your options.
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Comments


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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Sep 2013 22:20:13 BDT
Eric Wallace says:
Search for flash player 11.1-111115012.apk, once you downloaded just install it yourself, very straightforward, hope this helps

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Sep 2013 01:19:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Sep 2013 01:19:32 BDT
Great - thanks Eric. Now if only my phone hadn't smashed a couple of weeks ago... :'(

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Sep 2013 16:43:56 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 7 Sep 2013 12:54:20 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Sep 2013 16:54:32 BDT
Yeah - it was my birthday suit :p

Posted on 13 Nov 2013 14:07:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Nov 2013 14:09:07 GMT
Steven V.M. says:
To the best of my knowledge, the back side is made of Gorilla Glass 3 too. I tried scratching it using all sorts of sharp tools and the results are amazing. Maybe I have a newer type of machine or something, I don't know. Also, the camera being 'only 8Mp' is utter bull, the amount of pixels over 8 mega is unnoticeable when you print or view casual pictures and even larger formats. You only need more if you were to print out huge posters and/or billboards. Notice that iPhone (best smart phone camera) also uses an 8Mp camera. The difference is that iPhone cameras have better ISO and whatnot. It is true, however, that Nexus 4 camera is of rather poor quality compared to an iPhone camera but it is in NO way due to the amount of pixels. What does count is auto focus (poor on Nexus), ISO (poor on Nexus) and stabilizing software (non existent on Nexus).

I have had no issues concerning bluetooth either and I use my phone as wifi hotspot through bluetooth on a daily basis. Which reminds me of a huge entry for the negative column, no immediate 4G support which is just sad. You need a rooted Nexus 4 in order to activate 4G, even then, it's done through a nasty hack.

Good review though!

Edit: Sorry about the repair costs, that must have been a pain. Were you using a case?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2013 14:17:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Nov 2013 17:12:16 GMT
Hi Steven

It's the software that makes the camera so poor; I have a collection of very odd-looking shots that the camera just couldn't cope with - black holes gaping in the sky, weird stuff like that. Yes, I had been using a case, but it split the day before so the nexus was unprotected.

I use mine to tether a hotspot a lot too - very easy and runs very smoothly.

The repair shop fixed it nicely, then I turned it over and discovered that they had smashed the rear glass! I refused to accept it, and they said it was like that when I gave it to them, and we are currently 'in negotiation' about it :-(

Anyway, the new Nexus is out now - I might have to get one of those instead :)

Posted on 20 Nov 2013 10:23:27 GMT
Regarding micro sim cards. The actual chip is the same size as a standard sim and so it's perfectly possible to simply trim the standard card to the correct size to fit a micro slot. Google is your friend on this one. If you were to go back to a phone using a standard sim, you can buy an adaptor that holds the micro in the correct place.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2014 09:49:28 GMT
G. A. Potter says:
I dropped mine twice and the 2nd time the screen smashed. I was horrified by the cost of a new one but found a you tube video of how to replace the screen. Now I'm a technical know nothing (well not much), but took the chance and ordered a new screen from LG in Portugal for 85 Euros, on line. This was ordered on the Sunday evening and arrived in the UK on Tuesday morning via Ghent in Belgium (faster than I can send a letter to the next town). I purchased a mini tool set from Maplin for £6 and following the you tube vid, had a go. I surprised myself how easy it was and when re-assembled it worked first time. Since then I took my daughters Samsung apart after it fell in the river (with her attached to it) and it seems I'm now a mobile phone expert! So if you break it, have a go.

I agree the bluetooth is poor.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2014 19:57:06 GMT
I did look around for the parts, but a screen with a digitiser included was impossible to find. I did accidentally buy one without the digitiser - not the greatest of successes :/

So it worked out at about £80 give or take a few pennies... still expensive, but much better than what I paid!

Posted on 4 Mar 2014 09:44:07 GMT
Dakka69 says:
didn't realize it needed a micro sim, luckily i read that part of your review shortly after order :), so new sim on it's way and hopefully not much of a time lag between the two deliveries. thanks mate :)
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