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.
First, the front of the box.
The side of the box showing nothing much at all apart from "Nexus 4".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First up we'll show you the software buttons for the Nexus 4 - as it has no back or home buttons in physical form.
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.
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!
On the top of the phone itself we just have the 3.5mm headphone/audio jack.