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printed March 23, 2017
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Review: Google Nexus 4

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I have really mixed feelings about the Nexus 4. I like the clean and quick Android 4.2 operating system of the Nexus 4 more than I like the hardware itself. Here's why.

The Nexus 4's display is great, the voice performance good, and the extra features - such as NFC - are cool. The bad battery life and so-so camera are really a drag, though. It's an attractive phone, thanks to the glass sandwich design, but it is also fragile, which I unfortunately learned the hard way. Also, the Nexus 4 is stuck on HSPA+ and not LTE. Data speeds on the Nexus 4 were definitely slower when compared to LTE 4G-equipped devices.

Android 4.2 is awesome, though. I love how clean it is, how free of carrier and manufacturer bloatware, and how flexible and customizable it is. The operating system and applications outperform the hardware by a mile.

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In the end, I can't recommend the Nexus 4 as a primary device due to the battery life alone. Eight to 12 hours is just not enough. If you want to always have the latest version of Android on hand, then the Nexus 4 makes a great second phone (especially since it costs only $299). If having the current Nexus-branded smartphone is really important to you, I'd simply suggest that you also invest in a portable power pack of some sort, because you're going to need it.

Our Ratings

Battery Life
Hardware Usability
Hardware Quality
Interface Speed
Audio Volume

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