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Google Nexus 4 Review

The LG-made Nexus 4 is Google’s flagship for 2012. It is a combination of great aesthetics and top-of-the-line hardware specs. But can it deliver what is expected of a Google flagship smartphone? Check out out full review after the break.


Design and Construction

The Nexus 4, in all honesty, looks like it’s totally made of glass thanks to it’s entire front which is mounted with Gorilla Glass 2. Found here is the 4.7-inch screen while above it are the earpiece, light sensors and the 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. Located below is the notifications light (no capacitive buttons). Surrounding the sides is the bezel with a chrome finish and soft touch plastic to house its internals.


Located on the right side is the lock/power button. On the left are the volume rocker and microSIM card tray. Right on top are the headset jack and microphone. Found at the bottom are the microUSB port, another microphone and two sets of screws. Flip it on its backside and you’ll see the glass-laden back with a dotted pattern that shines depending on viewing angle and lighting, the 8 megapixel camera, LED flash, speaker grill, and the Nexus and LG logo.


Overall, the Nexus 4 is one of the most attractive smartphones we’ve reviewed so far. The glass front and back gives a premium feel similar to (or even better than) what we’ve experienced with the iPhone 4S. The curved sides of the front glass, which is similar to the one found on the HTC One X, gives off a really nice touch that we constantly found ourselves swiping towards it a lot of times just to have a feel of it.

However, the glass back and the large slab of glass on the front should cause a little concern as both sides can shatter when dropped. Not to mention that the glass back doesn’t provide a lot of friction and can easily slide off a smooth surface. For that, a protective case is highly recommended.


The Nexus 4 uses a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display with a resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels, which equates to a pixel density of 318ppi. Compared to other 4.7-inchers, the Nexus 4 went for more width than height, which is good when viewing websites and checking emails and messages.


Viewing angles are good and the icons and texts are crisp and sharp thanks to LG’s Zerogap Touch technology which means that there’s no gap between screen layers, the same concept that Apple uses on the iPhone 5. The resulting effect is that the screen appears much closer to the glass. However, I noticed that the Nexus 4’s color vibrancy is lesser compared to the iPhone 5, Galaxy S3 and BRAVIA-powered Sony Xperias. It’s not at all a downer but you’ll sometimes notice that the colors lack a bit of punch.

OS, UI and Apps

When we turned on the Nexus 4 it was still running Android 4.2 out of the box but immediately prompted for the 4.2.1 update. After a week or so Google released the 4.2.2 update which killed its unofficial LTE support and provided some improvements and bug fixes.


This is a Google Nexus so what you’re getting is a pure stock Android experience. This is good for a few reasons and one of them is it’s quick to receive OS updates. However, it feels a bit boring compared to feature-packed skinned ones from the likes of HTC, Samsung or Sony. There isn’t even a Restart option when you press and hold the power button.


Feature-wise everything is just plain basic but you can remedy that by installing your favorite launcher and some widgets.

Camera and Multimedia

The Nexus 4 utilizes an 8 megapixel shooter with AF, touch focus and LED flash. The camera interface is very simple and easy to use as there are only three icons at your right-hand side to start with: quick settings, trigger, and camera mode.


If you want to just take a photo just simply tap on the blue trigger button. If you want to change settings you can either tap on the quick settings button or tap and hold on anywhere on the screen then swipe towards your choice of options. From here you can switch to the 1.3 megapixel front camera, switch to HDR mode, adjust exposures, change white balances, or go to more settings to change scene modes, turn on geo-tagging or change camera resolution. Tap on the camera mode icon and you can switch from regular camera to Photo Sphere, Panorama and video recording.


As for image quality, the Nexus 4 can capture photos with amazing detail, quality and colors. It locks-in and shoots quick, however, there’s no burst mode and there are times that it finds it difficult to focus on a subject that is at least 10 feet away. Like most cameras, it suffers a bit in low light but the LED flash can remedy that provided with a good distance from the subject. Take a look at the sample photos here.


As for video recording, the Nexus 4 is capable of shooting videos of up to 1080p at 30fps. Watch the sample video below:

As for its multimedia capabilities, it can handle almost all audio files and MP4 video files. The stock Android doesn’t provide much extra multimedia features so your next best option is to download essential apps from the Play Store.

The annoying thing here is the speaker placement. Although it can produce very clear and audible sounds, it’s not loud enough to be heard when placed on a soft surface like a bed or pillow. The speakers on the Lenovo A800 performed much better in terms of loudness. There were lots of times that we missed a call or an SMS just because we placed it on the bed and didn’t hear it ring.

Performance, Benchmarks and Battery Life

The Google flagship is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro processor clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. As expected of a smartphone with this kind of hardware, the Nexus 4 is very fast, very fluid, and didn’t show any sign of sluggishness, not one bit. We played Temple Run 2, Dead Trigger and Eternity Warriors 2 at their highest graphics settings with other apps in the background, still, everything went smoothly and felt like it can handle more.


As for benchmarks, the Android 4.2.2 update definitely brought some improvements in overall system performance. On Quadrant standard, the Nexus 4 on OS 4.2.1 initally scored 3,868 scoring below the ASUS Transformer Prime TF201, but on the next test with 4.2.2 on board it scored 4,841 which topped the charts. For AnTuTu, it initially scored, 14,006 (4.2.1) then bumped up to 15,669 (4.2.2). As for its GPU prowess, NenaMark2 gauged the Adreno 320 GPU at 57.8fps.


Now for battery life, the 2,100mAh worth of juice should be able to last an entire day for normal tasks like constant WiFi connectivity, browsing social media sites, taking a few photos, light gaming, moderate texting and a few calls. But if you’re heavy on games the Nexus 4 can last for up to four hours.


To sum it all up, we’re very much satisfied with the Nexus 4. However, we had to deal with the stripped to the bone Android OS, poor speaker placement, and the worries of having a glass-clad smartphone. But being a Google flagship it certainly has delivered what is expected of it – blazingly fast performance, full on Google support, good looks and great build quality.


The Nexus 4 has a suggested retail price of Php24,990 but is now selling in online stores line Hot Gadgets for only Php20,580 (see listing here).

LG-Google Nexus 4 specs:
4.7” True HD IPS+ display 1280 x 720 @318ppi
Gorilla Glass 2 coated display
1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064)
2GB of RAM
Adreno 320 GPU
8/16GB non-expandable internal storage
8MP autofocus camera w/ LED flash
1080p video recording @30fps
1.3MP front-facing camera
HSPA+ 42
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC (Android Beam)
2100mAh non-removable battery
Android 4.2 Jelly bean
Dimension: 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm
Weight: 139g

What we liked about it:
* Great design and build
* Very fast performance
* Good battery life
* First to receive Android updates
* Good camera performance
* Cheaper than most smartphones of its class

What we didn’t like about it:
* Poor speaker placement
* Stock Android is not that exciting

This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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52 Responses

  1. jays says:

    Hi sir yuga. i know this is an out of topic question but where did you buy this perler on this picture http://www.yugatech.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/nexus4_samplephoto.jpg ?
    I’ve been looking on the internet for pinoy sellers na meron nito peru wala eh

  2. tipler says:

    How is SRP Php24,990 when it’s not available in the Philippines and the 16GB version is only $350 in the US?

    • itachi1 says:

      You can check MemoXpress… they already have this.

    • awaw says:

      @tipler you dont live in the US.

      Ganon tlga ang price nya outside the US, Canada and maybe the UK. S

    • tipler says:

      If it’s not officially available here then there is no SRP.

      “The Nexus 4 has a suggested retail price of Php24,990 but is now selling in online stores line Hot Gadgets for only Php20,580 (see listing here).”

      This means that Hot Gadgets is selling below SRP, which it can’t, since there is no SRP.

    • arubeto says:

      If it’s released by lg philippines, isn’t it considered officially available?

    • thecorrescode says:

      Official na siya sa Pilipinas. Meron sa MemoXpress saka LG Booths.

    • Jan says:

      subsidized by google daw kasi mga nexus 4 sa US..or kung saan available yung nexus 4 sa play store.

    • Kiko says:

      LG store in Mega Cyberzone is selling Nexus 4

  3. Kikokix says:

    I always wanted one, but was turned off with the overheating issues that plagued the phone as reported by users in tech forums.

    Did the reviewer also encounter the heat issues? Thanks!

    • LC says:

      I have one, and so far, I haven’t experienced any overheating. It does get warm, but not overly so. For what it’s worth, my iPhone4S gets warmer than the Nexus 4. :)

    • Louie says:

      It gets warm when using mobile data or playing games but not that much.

    • kikokix says:

      Thanks for the feedback.

    • Mar says:

      Yung unit ko din, umiinit pero hindi naman nag-ooverheat. Nabili ko sa memoxpress (22,240 for cash or 3 months installment)

    • madapaka says:

      I bought my Nexus 4 last year from MemoXpress for 22K and I’m happy with it. As for the overheating, it only happens when you forgot to exit an app you’re using e.g., game. The same thing happened to my Nexus 7, so it’s not just a Nexus 4 thing. IMO, the screen goes on sleeping mode while the app does not. Bug in the app perhaps?

    • bongskie says:

      I red a blog that when you use Google chrome it get hot and its true,on my n4. So I used dolphin instead.

  4. Kevin says:

    gorilla glass din ba ung back ng nexus 4?

  5. meh says:

    I have one and love it, the color gamma is set to high from the factory it seems. But if you root/and flash franco color and let it adjust the color settings, then its perfect , making blacks nice and dark

    I have not had any over heating issues at all.

    Only complaint is the phone is a little wide for me to hold, that and no stores in the philippines have cases, screen protectors , wireless charger .

    Sadly i had to pay 24k for it here in the philippines, =/

    • Jepoiski says:

      @meh — sir try searching for Gizmoshield over on FB. they do meet ups. I have bought a a couple of cases for my Nexus 4 and 7 from them already sir.

  6. Edgar says:

    Yuga, kelan ba irerelease yung mga winners sa mga giveaway promos mo? ang dami na kasi, gang ngaun wala ka pa ring pinublished na winners! Wag naman sana gimik lang ito..

  7. garz says:

    With all due respect, I wish you could make an in-depth review on the phone’s features, like the Photo Sphere and other features that makes it stand out among all the Andorids out there, and not just merely describing its physical characteristics and the common android apps. Benchmarks, on the other hand, are quite helpful, but they don’t really translate to real-world performance.

    And no, certainly not drop tests. That’s pretty ridiculous and a total waste of money.

  8. Binog says:

    Is this available in Globe phone plans?

    • johnonline says:

      im interested too..anyone?

    • parangano says:

      i don’t think it’s available on any carrier. I guess that’s the whole point of the phone being unlocked. although you can get it on LG directly. I for mine from kimstore last month and so far, I am loving it. I came from Blackberry, Note 1, Iphone 5 and then Nexus 4. I think this is good if you are really into android nd the google ecosystem.

    • carlonline59 says:

      Meron sa Smart: http://www1.smart.com.ph/postpaid/phones/2012/12/19/lg-nexus-4

      Satisfied N4 user here. Would have wanted a bigger battery: think RAZR MAXX, and a less vulnerable back panel, pero aside from that its a great phone and at least one and a half years guaranteed updates (2-3 major versions ng android siguro)

  9. Luke says:

    i love you LG!
    Im satisfied with my LG N4, and want to have
    G PRO.
    kudos LG!

  10. JC says:

    sana may postpaid plan sa globe neto

  11. n4 user says:

    sir louie, why would you like a Restart option?

  12. Anti_kimchi says:

    The only reason I got turned on for the n4 was its great price. Since that $299 price tag is not available here, I’ll pass. Here’s a question for you: shouldn’t it cost 29,990p? The HTC’s all cost that much. The kimchi eaters cost that much too. Maybe HTC n Sammy are overpricing. Just saying..

    Before you CRITIZE Apple, remember this: There’s Apple Care. There is second to none customer support. You can call Apple. Can you call Google?

    • johnonline says:

      Why call Google? Di nmn sila yung manufacturer..call samsung,htc,sony,lenovo or whoever instead..

  13. Jason Bourne says:


    Nexus 4 does not have an amazing camera

  14. Jeremy says:

    My Back Panel shattered in less than 24hrs when I first bought it. It just got bumped on a corner inside my pocket. ALSO, the front camera accumulates dusts, resulting poor image quality. But overall, This is a powerful phone. I never experience any lags or whatsoever.

  15. GM says:

    Any idea if Globe will offer this device as well?

  16. almed27 says:

    I’ve been using this device for 2 months, Its a great phone, I can’t wait for key lime pie :D

  17. porth says:

    been waiting for ages! thanks for the review yuga :)

  18. machina says:

    with htc one and xperia z on the horizon..i’ll pass up on this nexus 4 (which was my phone-to-get late last year)

    i’ll probably go with htc one when it hits the shelves.

  19. Anon says:

    “Stock Android is not that exciting”

    I’d rather have stock JB than having Touchwiz/Sense/Timescape bloatware.

  20. ij says:

    I bought mine at MemoXpress. Super satisfied with the phone. Key Lime Pie, here we go!

  21. http:// says:

    Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and
    I am waiting for your further write ups thank you once again.

  22. Nice review. It’s time to replace my old phone with this quad-core phone.

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  24. UnoChan says:

    I got one from SMART, and I am impressed. It almost has the same feel as the HTC One X. And you are right about the speaker. That is the only complaint I have on this phone. I can’t hear a thing even if I had it on full volume and in a quiet room.

    I don’t agree with you about the phone slipping off your hand. There is a rubbery touch on the side of the phone that will secure your hold. It is also very lightweight so I is very easy to carry especially when playing games and watching videos.

    It was issued without an earphone, so I bought a Phillips Bass earphone and it works perfectly together!

  25. Jedd says:

    Where can I find this in the Philippines?

  26. Carlooooooo says:

    pde ba sya lagyan ng SD card?

  27. It’s really a cool and useful piece of information.

    I’m satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us.

    Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  28. greys says:

    can anyone tell where can i still get this phone?

  1. July 5, 2014

    pre purchase building inspection

    Google Nexus 4 Review – YugaTech | Philippines, Tech News & Reviews

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