Google finally introduced its latest Nexus Android reference phone to the world (meaning the device that gets major OS updates first, and the one that’s guaranteed to receive all of them first, untouched by individual OEM bloatware). LG takes its turn at a Nexus device this time around, delivering the Nexus 4, an Android 4.2-powered handset with a 4.7-inch 1280×768 display, 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, an 8MP rear-facing camera and 8 or 16GB of internal storage.
It has 2 GB of RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, NFC and Bluetooth built in. But it’s an HSPA+ phone, not LTE, which could be a major disappointment. Specs-wise at least, the Nexus 4 is on par with many Android OEM flagship devices released recently. That said, the primary appeal of any Nexus device is always the fact that it carries vanilla Android (and 4.2 offers multiple user accounts improved camera features, Miracast TV mirroring, and more), unmarred by third-party modifications or applications, and that it’s much more likely to be updated to the next version of Android than other, non-Nexus smartphones, so despite any spec sheet shortcomings, it’ll likely have its fair share of fans choosing it over competing hardware.
LG looks to have used the Optimus G as the basis for the Nexus 4, but significant differences to the physical design, including rounded edges and a screen with slightly curved class, the hallmark of the Nexus line of handsets. One key advantage to the Nexus 4′s physical design is the inclusion of wireless induction charging, which was leaked earlier but is still a fairly exciting inclusion as a default hardware feature, and something that definitely helps the Nexus 4 stand apart from the Optimus G.
The LG Nexus 4 will hit store shelves November 13, launching unlocked for $299 and $349 for 8GB and 16GB respectively. There’s also a 16GB T-Mobile version at launch on contract for $199 with a 2-year term. It’s definitely not a surprise, given the number of leaks that preceded this announcement, but is this the new Nexus phone you were hoping for?