Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Nexus 4

After hearing so much about the Nexus 4 & going ga-ga over its features, finally Google & LG's baby was in my hands. And the first impressions are amazing! 

The phone looks brilliant out of the box & display is breathtaking when it's turned on.


Design

The Nexus 4 has a Gorilla glass 2 Screen & all glass front & back but easily damageable on the back if dropped - Invest in a case! The shiny futuristic back panel has the IMEI barcode stuck on it (on a plastic cover) with Nexus & LG branding. Although at 139grams, it's a tad too heavy but it gives the phone a rich, premium feel (unlike other plastic phones). Disappointed to see no headphones? Why?! Don't tell me it's a cheap phone, all cheap phones have bundled headsets! 


Hardware & Software
   
Equipped with 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 with 2GB RAM. AnTuTu Benchmark results prove that it's better than the Note II, its closest competitor. 2100MAh battery that could've been bigger since moderate usage can easily exhaust it in less than a day but like all other Android phones, the screen drains a lot & you have to charge it every day. Glonass, Bluetooth 4.0 ,3G , NFC/Android Beam & Wireless charging all inclusive, leaving no stones unturned. 

Latest Jellybean 4.2.2 OS (native android) with no knick knacks lets you enjoy the real experience of Android.   

Interface

Stock Android 4.2 feels lighter and snappier. One finger drag brings down the notification tray on the screen but a 2 finger drag brings down toggle shortcuts for the important settings or the most used ones, also displaying a cool contact image on top left. Notification bar can be dropped and then extended by long press. Missed calls can now be replied to from the notification tray itself via call back or SMS, super cool! Should allow FB and twitter updates via notification bar like iOS to make it more social network friendly.

5 Lock screen widgets are also pretty nifty but should have more screens and allow customization like the home screens inside. The Google search bar cannot be moved or removed , I wonder why since Google Now can do that if you keep the home button pressed.

Default Swype like keyboard was a good change from the regular android Keyboard. Play Music syncs easily with windows for songs & got a nifty equalizer too. Couldn't see too many widgets for it though.

The home screen looks pretty big but still the icons at the bottom take up a lot of valuable screen space. Wish I could reduce the size of the app drawer at bottom of the screen with messages and browser icons etc. Love the TV switch off style lock screen, a tradition with the Nexus devices.


Camera
  
8MP rear & 1.3 MP front camera. Has all Basic modes, filters, scenes & 360 panaroma (takes a bit of getting used to but is breathtaking when you do).  The 360 panaromic shot also has a "little planet" feature that gives top view of the pic in 360 degrees. HDR modes is a good addition & front camera also lets u pinch to zoom and record videos. Gallery albums can be viewed in grid or film strip modes (just something different). Video wise a "movie studio" app is pre installed for editing. 

Google Now

Google now is crazy predictive & it learns based on your google searches and locations if you've signed into google while searching. Locations can be erratic sometimes but bus/train schedules are almost accurate, it recently got updated with a widget. It's basically a mixture of search and voice recognition with understanding of all your favourite topics and interest layed out in a card format. Creepy when it knows what you want to know without you asking for it ! Voice search has improved tremendously and is more "Siri"ish now.   

Memory

8GB or 16GB storage non expandable, with storage options like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive etc. Some lucky users also got 50 Gb BOX.com storage on their Nexus 4. (Including me, yippee!)   

Display

4.7inch HD IPS disply  with a  resolution of 768 x 1280 at  318 PPI. LED indicator at the bottom of the screen is cool and you can customise with the "light flow"app from the market. 

Cons
 
No 4G. No flash (will be extinct soon anyways). No expandable memory. Camera still has scope for improvement . 

Pros

Value for money! Easy to root & flash. Ubuntu is already available. Always 1st to get a software update from Google. Beautiful screen & premium design.     

Extras

Tap on "Build no" in Settings a few times to unlock Developer Options. Tap a few times on "Android Version" to see and play with jelly beans :) 

I'd finish off by saying this is the best phone in the market right now in terms of "value for money". GO GET IT! (Before it disappears again).

P. Khilnani

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