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Google Nexus 4 Hands-on: Fast, Furious, Gorgeous, and Smudgey

We go hands-on with the Google Nexus 4!

Why hello there Google Nexus 4!

Smart Communications gave us a preview of the Google Nexus 4 smartphone (manufactured by LG) during the most recent Unbox Video Podcast Episode. This is a very special device seeing as this is the latest “pure Android” smartphone following the Galaxy Nexus last year. You can definitely see that Google tried its best to create something amazing with the Nexus 4. Both the software and hardware got major improvements making it a solid contender to the iPhone 5 and other high-end Android handsets.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s under the hood:

Google Nexus 4 Spec Sheet

  • 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8GB and 16GB Internal Storage Options (not expandable via microSD)
  • 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus LCD Display with 1280×768 Resolution
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with auto-focus and LED flash
  • Can record 1080p video @30fps
  • 1.3-megapixel front facing camera
  • WiFi/Bluetooth/3G/HSPA+/GPS
  • 2,100mAH battery

Awesome right? The only downer really is the lack of the microSD card slot. Anyway, read on for our initial impressions!

It’s wrapped in glorious but smudgey Gorilla Glass

When you look at it from the front, the Google Nexus 4 doesn’t really look any different than the Galaxy Nexus. However when you turn it sideways and backwards you’ll immediately notice that there’s no cheap plastic material. The device is covered in Gorilla glass front and back! This definitely makes it feel much more premium and differentiates it from almost all other Android handsets in the market today (since most of ’em use mostly plastic).

Gorilla Glass even at the back!
Some weird but definitely cool pattern design at the back. Notice the LG branding at the bottom as well.

Here’s a short video we put together to give you guys a better idea of what it looks like “in the flesh” and how glossy it is due to the Gorilla Glass covering:

The only problem that I noticed with this design is that the handset gets so many smudges and fingerprints quickly. If ever you’ll get the Google Nexus 4, better make sure you have a cleaning cloth with you in your bag or in your work desk. Better yet get a screen protector that’s fingerprint and oil resistant.

One of the fastest Droids yet!

Gives a new meaning to the phrase “buttery smooth”

The Nexus 4 also arguably offers the best and smoothest Android experience ever. We didn’t encounter any lag spikes or extended delays throughout the hands-on session. We tried booting up some apps and then quickly scrolling through the screens to test the animation transitions and the device still managed to function flawlessly. Definitely have to give major props to Google and LG for their work on this aspect. To borrow a line from our Galaxy Note 2 review, this phone is simply… Amazeballs.

We also noticed major improvements in the Google Now app, especially with the voice recognition software. It was more accurate even if we simulated “barok english”. I don’t know how Google did that one but voice commands is actually now a pleasant and functional feature, hehe.

No LTE. Huhuhuhu 🙁

Nexus 4 with Panda glasses! Lol.

One last downer before we wrap up this post. It looks like the Nexus 4 won’t be LTE-compatible. How do we know this? Well Smart already announced their LTE offerings for the year which consists of the Xperia V and the ZTE T82. The Nexus 4 isn’t on the list despite the confirmed availability within December. Personally I would have preferred it to have LTE but it won’t matter to most people since HSPA+ is already pretty fast.

We like… how much powz?

It’s official. The Google Nexus 4 will be available at ZERO cash out for Data Plan 1500 of Smart. This plan comes with Unlimited Data (yay), 120 free text messages, and 60 minutes free calls. Not a bad deal if you ask me! Smart will start accepting reservations during their Christmas Midnight Sale on December 13. The phones will be available staring December 18.

Anyway, our full review will follow soon. We wil bug Smart to lend us a review unit because as far as initial impressions go we’re completely blown away with the Nexus 4.

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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