(Photo : Google)
Unless you're picking up a contract-tied Google-branded LG Nexus 4 from T-Mobile, chances are you'll have to fork over much more cash than retail price in order to land a Nexus 4 before the year is over. If you're on the fence about whether paying a $250 over retail is worth it, here's what critics and users are saying about the latest Google smartphone.
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Reviewers tend to agree that the Nexus 4 is an amazing unlocked smartphone that can be used almost anywhere in the world at a dirt cheap price (once again, only through Google Play).
"It's simply impossible for any smartphone in the Nexus 4's price bracket to match its offer," writes GSMArena. "The power users will appreciate the raw power and vast customization potential of stock Android, looking at it as a blank canvas, ready to be painted as they see fit."
"What once was a smartphone series designed for developers has been decked out with top-notch features and priced so attractively that consumers will take notice of it; there's nothing comparable that comes close to it in that price range," Engadget agrees.
In fact, the only major complaint is the phone's lack of LTE and its paltry storage capacities of 8GB or 16GB.
"In the US, a flagship phone without LTE is like a muscle car with no wheels. For other networks in other countries, and for the lucky T-Mobile customers out there that are getting great speeds on its HSPA+ network - great. No problem. Go get this phone. But for others - many others - it's hard to imagine buying this device when you know it's a generation behind in terms of network technology," reads TheVerge's review which gave the Nexus 4 an overall score of 8.3 out of 10.
(The Nexus 4 does have an LTE chip inside, except it is deactivated. A simple software tweak can make it work on LTE Band 4, but sadly U.S. carriers don't utilize that Band - until T-Mobile rolls out its LTE network in 2013)
Consumers who own the Nexus 4 sang praises of the device's hardware and some even overlooked the phone's lack of LTE support. The only real complaints were the lack of expandable memory (the Nexus 4 only goes comes in 8GB and 16GB variants) and the camera quality.
"Without having LTE the Nexus phone takes 2 steps forward and one giant step backwards," says me2nyc on CNET.
EddieDec on CNET lists the lack of expandable memory and LTE as the two only cons, but does state that the lack of LTE was worth the other features the phone had.
"The camera is so-so compared to my girlfriend's GSIII, i wasnt expecting much," states scarreto36 in T-Mobile's user reviews.
Some users also stated their concern over the Nexus 4's build quality, and strongly suggested buying a case for the phone.
There isn't much left to say, other than if the lack of LTE support and expandable memory isn't an issue, then there's really no better Android option out there at that price. Plus, the phone comes unlocked. The only real issue for most buyers will be actually finding one. Google Play is sold out of the 8GB model and the 16GB model will take until 2013 to ship. Unless they're willing to purchase a two-year contract from T-Mobile, Nexus 4 fans will have to turn to higher-priced third-party retailers such as Ebay.
Watch Engadget's video review of the Google-LG Nexus 4: