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Google/LG Nexus 4 Smartphone Review - the best smartphone in the world - Out of the Box Experience and Look and Feel

Google's latest flagship Nexus 4 smartphone gets reviewed, and we think it's the best Android smartphone yet.

| Phones in Mobile Devices | Posted: Nov 26, 2012 12:31 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%      Manufacturer: Google

Out of the Box Experience

 

Opening up the box and grabbing the Nexus 4 out of it like an excited boy on Christmas morning, was a joyous experience. Here are some shots of the box itself.

 

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First, the front of the box.

 

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The side of the box showing nothing much at all apart from "Nexus 4".

 

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The rear of the box talks more about the features inside the Nexus 4, as well as some of the features of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

 

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Inside the box you'll find a Quick Start Guide, microUSB to USB cable, the power adapter (depending on the country you're in, this will change) as well as a tool to open the SIM card tray.

 

Upon powering up the Nexus 4, I did stumble across something quite weird - it only included Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, when it is meant to ship with Android 4.2.

 

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Not that this killed the experience, but one of the first things I did was jump into the Camera app to see the cool new "Photo Sphere" mode that only Android 4.2 includes, and noticed it wasn't there. After playing outside with my daughter, my phone vibrated and I was prompted with an "Android 4.2 System Update" message - a 38MB download. Not a show-stopper, but I did expect Android 4.2 out of the box.

 

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Once downloaded, installed, and rebooted - here is what you're prompted with. The new-look, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. I don't know if you'd notice from a picture, but the dock icons are smaller than they are on Android 4.1 - which I didn't like at first, but you get used to it quite quickly.

 

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A screenshot verifying that it's rocking Android version 4.2.

 

I'm going to keep the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean talk out of the Nexus 4 review, as we have a separate review of the new mobile OS which you'll be able to read on TweakTown soon.

 

 

The Look and Feel of the Nexus 4

 

I didn't think by reading about the Nexus 4 before launch that I would enjoy the feel of it, but boy was I wrong. The feel of a smart device is a very, very personal thing - and everyone will feel differently. Some people love the feel of the iPhone 4S, but don't like the iPhone 5. Some people love the Galaxy S III, but can't stand the feel of the Galaxy S II.

 

I came from a Galaxy S II, and the Nexus 4 feels like a solid, well built, powerhouse of a smartphone. The Nexus 4's sides are beautifully curvy. The back panel is spoiled with a glassy finish, which looks incredible in the right light.

 

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The 4.7-inch screen looks just as gorgeous, and the curved edges feel great in the hand when using it. Overall, the feel of the Nexus 4 is a definite cut above the rest - to me, nothing else compares right now. Google and LG have done the Nexus brand a good deed here.

 

I can't state enough just how premium this device feels - for $349, it is one of the most premium handsets I've had the joy of reviewing. It feels solid - but not too heavy, and not too light - it is smooth to the touch both on the back and front, it just excels in all areas of its look and feel.

 

The Nexus 4 screen measuring in at 4.7 inches doesn't feel too big, as the design of the phone makes it sit in your hand much more comfortably. The iPhone 5 was just taller - but not wider, and in my hands always felt weird. The Nexus 4 feels great.

 

Taking a look at the Nexus 4 itself, we'll go around the phone showing off its various ports and buttons.

 

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First up we'll show you the software buttons for the Nexus 4 - as it has no back or home buttons in physical form.

 

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Here we have the volume rocker on the left, and the SIM card tray on the right. This is on the left side of the Nexus 4.

 

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Here we have the micro USB port - of which I'm a big fan, all of my previous chargers can be used which I love. No proprietary crap here, folks!

 

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On the top of the phone itself we just have the 3.5mm headphone/audio jack.

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