Android Central

What do you get when you take leaked, pre-production phone hardware running pre-production software and subject it to a full review? Well, you get something like the review that appeared at Belarusian tech site today. That's the same site that got hold of the upcoming LG Nexus ahead of time, and published several high-quality images of the device earlier this week.

In today's "preliminary review," the site describes numerous issues with the build of Android 4.1.2 loaded onto the device, from hard locks to force closes, to certain buttons not responding. So it's safe to say that the software is very much pre-release, and this matches what we've heard from our own sources, who tell us the device is now being tested with Android 4.2.

On the hardware side, the preliminary review reveals a device very similar in appearance to the current Galaxy Nexus. Main differences include a flattened front and back, an iPhone-style microSIM slot along one side, and a non-removable back panel furnished in LG's "crystal reflective process" finish. Like the Galaxy Nexus, it sports a notification LED beneath the screen.

There are also some photo samples from the device, though quality is decidedly iffy, on account of the pre-release hardware and software. Camera quality has never been the Nexus line's strong suit, but we'd expect images shot with the final version to look a bit better.

Really, there's only so much that you can tell from hand-on time with a prototype. As is the case with every Nexus, we imagine most of the exciting new stuff in this device will be software, not hardware-based.


More: What we know about the LG Nexus


Reader comments

LG Nexus prototype reviewed, unsurprisingly found to have software issues


Wait, non-removable back panel? Why is everyone not freaking out? Are you all hoping that will become removable by the final release hardware? This is terrible news if it stays that way. Unless they can make a bigger battery than normal.

Well don't worry, there are more nexus phones to come.

Wonder how they got a prototype, usually the prototype is the first build of the phone, so you have to expect bugs out the arse. I've never had any faith in LG, the people I know that have had LG's hated them, said the software they add with android was horrendous. I'd put My faith in HTC, MOTO, and Sammy.

As long as it has better antennas, camera (at least 8mp), memory, better screen resolution, better speakers, better processor, (like HTC quadcore and sammy's quadcore), and 2gb ram, would be nice.

Most people getting the Nexus are GSM users. The Sprint and Verizon models of the Galaxy Nexus were slightly thicker, so its possible you could see a repeat here and that would allow a better battery to compensate.

Like Jotokun said, the CDMA versions of the Galaxy Nexus got a slightly bigger battery. I'm assuming a bad signal is you're issue, in which case a phone with 1) non-Samsung CDMA radios and 2) a bigger battery should fix that issue.

ACTUALLY.. if ur on sprint the batt life should be good because over 90% of sprint phones you can toggle off the mobile network when not in use so you consume less battery.. I get 3 days with my evolte.. i have the images to prove it..

I'd be shocked if there weren't some physical way to reset it, like holding down power + both volume buttons or a reset pinhole.

I know on my One x, holding down powerbutton for like 10 seconds, does a hard reboot. After 10 seconds, the 3 capacitive buttons begin to blink to warn you, then it reboots.

It always matters. They are going backwards from the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. No thank you Lg or Google. My Samsung Galaxy S3 is just wonderful till the Galaxy Note 2 becomes free....

Why are you waiting till the Galaxy Note 2 becomes free? Aren't you the guy who goes around bragging about how you have the money to get whatever you want, when you want it? Aren't you the guy who is always offering to give people loans, as an insult, insinuating that the recipient is a "useless bum". Whatever happened to the past month of saying you would be getting it "day one", not when it "becomes free"? Seems someone's had impressive an illusion of grandeur about himself.

Non-removable battery, oh gosh!, only 8gb of internal storage, oh gosh!, only 8MP camera, oh gosh! That's me freaking out. Is that good enough for you?

I've been a die-hard Nexus fan for quite some time. I dig the pure Google experience and ability to do whatever I like with my hand held artificial intelligence device.

With my G-Nex I already have a big old thick brick of a batter. Not complaining here, I actually like it this way. Thing is, even with the brick, there's no way I can pull a full days use out of my AI.

Having been a Nexus user, there really is no other android phone for me. Yeah, I can root anything and blah blah blah. Face it, the Nexus has always been the big fish in the big pond.

With that said, there is no way I will buy an android phone unless it's a Nexus. I won't buy a Nexus if I can't get to the battery.

Lest anybody think I'm anything but an Android Fanboy, perish the thought. I've had nothing but an android since the OG Nex first came out.

That means I have to be ready to jump the android ship just in case. What's out there especially when the only thing I've ever been able to say about apple is F*CK Apple.

Next gen windows phone is looking pretty good right now...

I expect comments saying
1. 8GB is stupid
2. The GNexus is better in every possible way.
3. Everything is ugly
4. They hate LG
5. LG should go to hell
6. LG should die
7. I want a Nexus from Samsung/HTC

Sigh, Android related websites used to have a healthy exchange of ideas.

1. 8GB (with no SD slot) is not cool (maybe this is only for the prototype though)
2. Non-removable battery is not cool

Otherwise I like it.

Even 16gb is a joke. When phones could be released with 32 and 64, 8 and 16 are baffling.

Feature+ phones are basically 8gb phones. And most of them come with microSD card slots.

The original reason (according to Google) that they dropped microSD cards on the Nexus line was to push the industry to use larger internal NAND storage instead of < 512MB and like a 1GB SD card slot. The GS3 has a 64GB model with a microSD card slot.

It's kind of annoying to have so little space.

Yes please, I want to use my $100 dollar Photon 4g credit for something that doesn't appeal to me (Photon Slider)

If it's pages upon pages of bitching you're after, go check out the last couple posts on the LG nexus. Fertile ground there.

I don't understand how I missed this?! As per my usual routine, I was combing the Belarusian tech sites all morning and never happened upon this review..

LG just doesn't seem to be able to make a quality product. After the G2X fiasco I will never go down the LG road again.

You seem to forget that is a PROTOTYPE FULL OF BUGS THAT NEED TO BE IRONED OUT, and before going on about lack of storage, IT WAS DONE TO SAVE MONEY ON THE PROTOTYPE, SINCE THEY COST MORE PER UNIT THAN IN FULL PRODUCTION. Now for all the people complaining about the software, refer above to my previous statements. Or anything else people have an issue with it about other than the extreme generalization of "LG sux omfg nexuz is ruined!!1eleven"

People away from chargers like to carry spares.

It makes you incapable of putting in a larger capacity battery.

If your battery goes bad, rather than just switching it out for a $20 replacement....tough luck.

To be honest, we're all spoiled by the option of using extended batteries or spares. If Android had started out with non-removable batteries, this would be a non-issue, like it is with Apple. Personally, even though I use an extended battery in my S3, I also have a 5000mah portable battery pack that I bought when I had my Droid 4. It works amazing, and completely removes the want/need (for me) for a removable battery, in my opinion.

I understand how LG has failed but with Google on board to make a Nexus phone which is very different than a phone manufactured with Android topped with a skin I think we should all wait until they release the finished product before we get all upset over this.

They lost my interest after the non removable battery and only 8 gigs of internal space/no sd slot. I live in an area with no lte or reliable 3g so relying on cloud storage is no good. Other wise the phone looks sharp.

Calm down people, geez. 8gb? Probably because it's a prototype. Non removable back? This may affect a few power users, but if they can fit a large battery in there and use their new tech that LG has talked about, combined with the S4 pro, it shouldn't be a problem.

If you don't like LGs build quality then fine. I'm holding my judgement on it until I see a final build

Some Russian tech blogger is in dire need of page views to consider reviewing a prototype. Lost in translation perhaps. Looking for the better word, preview?

No, he actually called it a review.

That's what it is: A review of a prototype device.

What's so bad about it when people do it all the time for video games (check out IGN and GameSpot sometime, they review unreleased games weeks before they drop using versions that aren't even gold yet)?

This must be a new practice, because I never saw IGN do this when I used to read their site... (granted, I haven't read it in... erm 3ish years?)

When they came out with the prototype for the iPhone 5 ( which i hate ) it came out exactly the same way .. so how do we know it's not going too look like this prototype? ( with a non removable battery and no SD slot? ) Wasnt Samsung going too make there own nexus ?

There will be no SD card slot no matter who makes it as Google has stated that no AOSP device will carry it.

They do not want casual users of Android to be faced with yet another port on their phone that can die and they don't want them to have to deal with file management.

As for Samsung making a Nexus, that was simply a rumor that turned out to be the Galaxy S III Mini.

The problem isn't that it's a prototype, it's that it's made by LG. Expect nothing but issues from this phone.

Only problems I've had from LG was software, hardware was phenomenal, for the price you wanted to pay. The little LG Optimus S with custom rom was a sweet little thing, cheap-o too. In this case, software is all Google, only things they may need from LG are drivers, and knowing Google they wont release an intentionally bad product. People say the Q was a bad product, but it essentially was everything Google wanted it to be. Sure it lacked, and prices suffered for it, but what it DID do, it was awesome at. It didnt lack any features if they were never intended for the device, that in my opinion was not trying to be a clone of the ATV, but its own niche

honestly i dont care if the battery can come out or not. the point for the battery not o be removeable is that the battery is great. i onlly assume that it is like that of course. since this is only spectulation i will not except this news as if its fact and engraved in smartphone history. i will just wait for the official annoucement.

I dont understand why people are so up in arms. The thing about android is, you have choices. If you don't like the LG nexus, get something else with a removable battery and microSD, but don't sit on these damn pages and whine about how shitty LG's previous phones were, because they have no bearing on this phone now with google involved in the development. No nexus device will ever have a SD slot, and if they can make it slimmer by removing a battery door, then so be it. Don't like it? Go get a non-nexus android OS phone. I for 1 will wait till an official release and hands on to see it and if I like it enough over my Gnex, I'll pay cash.

Actually, I tent to think that the reason this phone has 8 GB and a non removable battery is because Google plans to sell it for a much lower price than all high-end smartphones out there. Just look at the Nexus 7, it also has 8GB and it costs only $199 since launch day. It is the cheapest JB tablet packed with really nice hardware. Could this be that Google will be selling their Nexus phones for $350 or $400? Perhaps thats their main idea, to make money on the content not the hardware. I could be wrong of course.. We'll see

Why does the Nexus camera's suck? Why does everyone except that as if it's OK? Even the writers and journalists seem to give them a pass, I think that is bull. Nexus puts out one phone a year, get it right. A descent camera with ample storage, isn't too much to ask. Phil and Jerry seem to think it's normal to give Nexus a pass on their lousy hardware, I will not. If the Nexus has a lousy camera and less than 32 gb of storage then they can shove it. No one is a bigger fan of Nexus then me, start giving us great hardware.