Nexus 4

The Nexus 4 may not do everything some of the others do, but it has one thing going for it -- the Android Jelly Bean experience

There are a lot of choices for folks looking for an Android-powered smart phone. None of us here want it any other way, and we know that a big part of the reason for Android's success is that it's available in hundreds of different ways. To take that even further, once you get an Android phone in your hands, you can do all manner of things to the way it looks and feels to mold it even more to your liking, all without changing the firmware. Custom launchers, keyboards, dialers and more can make any Android phone into something that you control. Some people obsess over this, and their creations are simply amazing.

I just think that most of the people buying a smartphone aren't doing it with the intention of changing everything about the phone, and are generally interested in the way it works right out of the box. When I think of it that way, without things like Nova Launcher and Swiftkey in play, I've come to the conclusion that seven months after its release, the Nexus 4 is still the best way to experience Android Jelly Bean. 

Now I'm not saying that the Nexus 4 is the best smart phone ever, or any other crazy claim that is so subjective that nobody can agree with. There are things in other smart phones that I think are done better than they are on the Nexus 4. I'm actually pretty fond of both the HTC One and the Galaxy S4, and think for a whole lot of people they are a better choice than the Nexus. Nobody can say you made a bad decision if you picked one up, and the same goes for recent phones from Sony and LG. There's some incredible hardware out there that runs Android. But they don't deliver the same Android experience that the Nexus does.

Galaxy S4 and HTC One

That's both good and bad. Google clearly still has work to do to catch up with their partners on a few things. Samsung has the way phones interact with each other all tied up with things like S Beam and Group Play. HTC delivers when it comes to ways to share your pictures with Zoes and Highlights. And Intelligent Auto mode on the Xperia Z camera and associated software to turn what the camera sees into a beautiful picture is simply the best in the business. The Nexus has next to nothing to compete with these services and software. And the next version probably won't, either.

So why do I say the Nexus 4 is still the best way to experience Android? Because of its simplicity. Phil sent me a white Nexus 4, because he knows I'm shallow and love me some white shiny things. Of course as soon as it got here, I had to drop everything and set it up to play with it. That's what smartphone geeks do -- I know you all can feel where I'm coming from. Rather than install all my apps and set everything up, I decided to just install things as I need them. And I haven't done very much of it.

Sharing is caringThe way Jelly Bean handles the things a smartphone was designed to do -- things like go online, get your mail, connect with friends on social networks, send messages and make calls -- is pretty damn elegant if you give it a chance. Google has turned Android into a polished, competitive and to me superior operating system. I miss the way I can share a highlight video like I can on the HTC One, but I appreciate the excellent way my sharing options are delivered in the Jelly Bean gallery app when compared to the Sense 5 version. S Beam is awesome, and does much more than Android Beam (and does it faster as well), but it only works with other TouchWiz devices. That's not even mentioning the things like front facing stereo speakers, or sensors that can operate the phone by watching my eyes. My Nexus will never have any of that, but I think the trade-off is worth it for all the things that it does well.

Apparently, plenty of people agree with me. Enough to have Samsung and HTC (and likely Sony) build their own phones with a take on Jelly Bean the way Google does it. People want to feel Jelly Bean the way Google intended, on hardware from a company they know and trust. The merits of these devices are best left for another discussion, but someone sees value in doing it, and we're glad that the people interested will have that choice.

I'm not trying to convince anyone here. I'm just jotting down a few thoughts and sharing them with you. You might feel differently, and likely will tell me as much in the comments. That's OK. You make your choice, and you should be happy with it because that is all that matters. That's what I'm going to do as well. My Nexus, my five or so apps that help me do what I need to do, and me will carry on. I'm loving the minimalism as a stark contrast to the other phones I've used of late, and think a few of you all agree with me.

 

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Seven months after release, the Nexus 4 is still the best way to experience Android

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And Photosphere! That's what I miss most when comparing my One X to my Mrs' Nexus 4 :-(

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Seven months out and to receive this kind of endorsement is pretty impressive. The bar has been raised very high indeed for the Nexus 5.

Indeed it has stood the test of time. I did dabble with both the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, with both being sold on as I guess ownership of the Nexus 4 (which I had held onto during this time)proved a hard act to follow.

Whereas both the 2 other devices had a great deal to offer, I had no doubt been spoiled by the Nexus experience and missed more of the stock features of Android 4.2.2, than I did appreciate the spoils of TochWiz and Sense 5.0.

I hear a few voices stating "Root and run Cyanogen?other custom ROM" I say why pay a premium of almost twice the cost of a Nexus 4 for that experience.

Well done LG and Google.

I too will not claim the Nexus 4 to be the best phone out there, but for me I have yet to see a device that will tempt me away from her up to this date (Nexus 5 hmmmmm well that goes without saying)

would have loved a nexus 4, but i'm on verizon, and i'm not giving up my unlimited data at $30 a month just for a phone, so i'll stick with GNex until i get kicked off, a new nexus comes to verizon, or a motorola phone with stock android comes out.

Its a fantastic deal.

But lets be clear... "Up to 4G speeds" is what it claims. And it's NOT 4G at all. HSPA+ is not 4G.

But as far as 3.5G data plans go, yes... it is about the best plan out there.

My HSPA+ on T-Mobile is faster than the LTE I got on Verizon and I live in Seattle. Verizon is over saturated and not spending money on spectrum to continue providing the speeds they promise. I had the $30 plan but changed to unlimited everything because 100 minutes ended up not being enough after moving cross country.

Same here in Philly (~10 miles from Center City). Plus I have a much stronger signal inside my house. I wouldn't have believed it until I made the jump. I too had gf unlimited data, cheaper corporate subsidized family plan, travel pretty often for business, and loved my LTE gnex. I was very hesitant to leave Big Red. I paid an ETF on one line and have never been happier...especially with my bill! My aokp pub and franco'd N4 is an absolute monster. Fastest device I've ever used, and I've used all of the flagships across platforms at one point or another. I want to thank Google/LG/Tmobile and all the super devs that made it happen. Oh, and f*ck you, again, Verizon. LOL.

Can I get an AMEN... AMEN. Can I get another AMEN... AMEN! N4 plus T-Mobile 30/month prepay is BOMB... killer... awesome... outright @ss Kicker!

I totally concur with masterpfa... I LOVE my Nexus 4 and my Nexus 10 (for tabbing around the house) With the $30/month prepaid no contract account on T-Mobile nothing can touch the power/simplicity/price of the Nexus 4 on T-Mobile! It's hands down the B.O.M.B.

After seeing some of the new images of the 5.2 inch screens being made by LG I can only hope that another Awesome Nexus 5 is on the way next Sept./Oct. maybe. This time with full LTE and another clocked up Snap Dragon or possibly even better SOC!!!

Best smartphone I have ever owned. My first smartphone was the Galaxy S2. I'm fairly knowledgable about giving my phone optimum battery life..oh sh*t, but still, I definitely want/need a 3000+ mah battery phone..

Try snapdragon battery guru. For me it seems to increase from 2 to 4 hours of battery life in nexus 4.
Also keeping it at 2g is good too for the battery life; that is my personal choice but it works.

That program wasted more battery than it saved for me, all it does is adjust your sync schedules, which I already do manually when I setup my phone.

I get about 3 1/2 hours of on screen time, not stellar but much better than it was before I changed my sync schedules and better than battery life with battery guru.

I use Matr1x kernel and get two days worth of charge if using the phone lightly or 1 day plus if I am using the phone as usual. Works for me.

I've found "juice defender" increases my N4 battery life by at least 50%. Just download, enable and use the defaults. No need to twiddle and fiddle with settings to get improvement. I have it on my N4, N7 and TF-101 and it does a bang-up job on all three.

I ran Juice Defender for a while and it almost doubled my battery life, but I finally turned it off, because every time I opened the phone, there was a perceptible lag in getting everything running. And one of the main reasons I like the Nexus 4 is the response speed compared to phones with TouchWiz and Sense. But I stumbled across a tip that has extended battery life considerably. Go to Settings > Google > Maps & Latitude. Uncheck the box for "Report from this device"

I bought the Nexus 4 last night. I am switching over from the iPhone 5 and leaving the Apple world for the first time. This will be my first Android experience. Should I have waited for the Nexus 5? Is there anything I will miss about the iPhone or the Apple ecosystem?

Mainly quality of games/apps. Like clash of clans is still not on android and probably never will be. I have been on android for about a year and a half since coming from iPhone. The trade offs are better for me in android as in WiFi tethering , torrents, native folder/ download from browser, and Google doesn't chase rooters like apple does Jailbreakers. The apps/games department is pretty close now though. But iOS still gets them.first/ more exclusive tittles. And iPhone was overall more reliable I could go for months without having to reset my phone. Android gets hung up sometimes and my phone gets hot for no reason so I just reboot. Overall though I like the freedom android offers in comparison to iOS.

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A very well balanced argument.. Im a samsung galaxy nexus owner on JB 4.2.2 and for the reasons you listed plus a few more am heading back to Apple for the 5S when it comes out shortly.

I find Android to be just a little tempramental. In the last week alone... battery not lasting anywhere near normal (cant find the source of issue), camera complaining that the camera isnt detected (no kidding), a tendency to blur photos when they look fine on screen, sometimes just lacking responsiveness or lagging, the phone going 'dark' and not responding even though the status light was on and blinking... oh and the phone is always turning the volume down (most probably me doing it by accident as I flick around sound on/off/vibrate but its so annoying).. Ive just had enough.

I value the customised experience but Im now willing to trade it for the seamless experience my other half has with her iPhone and that I remember when I had an iphone 4.

ps. I was going to get the Nexus when it came out as an upgrade to my SGN, but due to stock shortages initially in the UK I held off ... and by the time they had them in stock... figured I may as well skip.

Your experience is unusual, and we aren't talking about the GNex. We are talking about the Nexus 4. My wife has the GNexus, and I have the Nexus 4,and I can tell you that there is a pretty clear difference. Also, by the time the 5S comes out, it will have to deal with the Nexus 5 and Android 5.0.

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My biggest issue with the GNex (though it was the U.S. LTE variant) was that the stock battery was awful. I think it lasted 4-6 hours without even touching it. The Samsung manufactured extended battery was slightly better, about 8 hours. I went the extra mile and got the Seidio 3200 mah battery and that did the trick but with the trade off of a ridiculous amount of bulk and I carried the other two batteries around with me JUST because the battery life was so awful. The screen on time, regardless of which battery I used, was awful. The biggest battery probably netted me 4 hours of screen on time and I get that now with the Nexus 4 (1100 mah less than my biggest GNex battery).

I wish it was unusual but all you have to do is look at the Nexus 4 forums to see all of the quality control problems people have experienced and the GNex was worse.

The Galaxy nexus is a good device but its battery is not good, I can say it bad though, and its camera is not good either. So having bad experience with the Gnex is easy to understand. I own a Gnex for 1 and half year but it still run flawless and smooth with 4.2.2. The battery health will decrease after a long time. I think the N4 is a great devices.

I have a galaxy nexus over the play store. I don't have the battery problems everyone talks about. I can go 2 days no charge, but I have to keep WiFi and GPS off. My wife has the Nexus 4. That is a great phone!

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I wouldn't worry too much about it... simply put, congratulations on your switch to a vastly superior OS! And might I add an excellent choice in hardware... once you get used to the change, which shouldn't take long, you won't regret the switch one bit. You may even find yourself wondering "what the hell took me so long?!" Enjoy :-D

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With an Android phone, you won't miss much of anything with the exception of the occasional high-end game. The situation is much different when it comes to Android tablets, though, which still lag pretty far behind iOS in terms of tablet-optimized apps. That's something to consider if you ever find yourself wondering if you should get a Nexus tablet or the next iPad.

You might also run into some battery life issues. I don't know what your usage is like, but screens are the biggest battery-killers on a phone, and your new phone's screen is much larger than your iPhone 5's was.

It's not a "much larger" screen. iOS is mrs efficient and tuned to better battery life which is one of the advantages of controlling both the software and hardware.

I don't think you have to worry about not waiting for the N5. Considering that whatever new software version Google spits out for the N5, you'll get it too! That is the main reason I went Nexus sms won't ever go back to a "bloat boat".

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Yes, you now have to choose what apps/services to use, as opposed to being locked into the Appleverse.

Embrace Google Now. It's a game changer.

Welcome :-)

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Google Now is also on the iPhone as are almost all Google apps and some have features that are not on Android versions yet. iOS is where the money is even for Google. It came out for the iPhone on May 1st btw. Hard not to like Google Now but also hard not to feel that its pretty creepy that Google has collected that much information about you and Google Now lets them collect more. Apple doesn't collect all that or retain it since they are a product company not an ad company like Google. Since Apple does;t collect it and doesn't retain much of what they do collect they have nothing to give the government spy agencies.

I had an iPhone 4 in the past and now I have a Nexus 4. I have to say that the N4 is way better than iPhones include iPhone5. The only thing I missed on iOS is its ecosystem, apps. iOS has better apps and it always has first. But now I think Android has caught up.

I switched from iphone 4s to the Nexus 4 in December and couldn't go back. But there are things that you will miss..1)imessage: everybody and their mother has an iphone now and imessage is a great app for texting. Hangouts is great but I have few friends on it. 2) Camera: the iphone 4s and 5 have a superior camera and photo app. If you can live without those two, then I say you will enjoy the nexus 4. Should you have waited for the Nexus 5...well you are 7 months into the life of this phone, but you can resale the nexus 4 when the 5 comes out. Plus the phone is $300 off contract, for that price you could buy 2 for the price of an unlock iPhone or Samsung s4.

I knew this was Jerry before as soon as I read the title and as usual I completely agree.

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Nexus 4 is the best phone .. I like to try so many phone .. I had iPhone and s2 ,s3 used one day my frnds s4 and checked out HTC one but believe side from just few features I think nexus 4 is the best phone .. Amazingly fast with T-Mobile hspa network

^^^^ no u won't miss ur iPhone 5 except complete back up n stuff ..I surely don't miss my iPhone 5

I agree with the others. My biggest complaint is the lack of LTE. HSPA+ is great when the backhaul and number of cell sites is adequate. Where i spend the majority of time, anything other than LTE produces an unacceptable experience.

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I won't argue the lack of LTE, that's been argued to death. I think and expect/hope we'll get AT&T/T-mobile compatible LTE on the nexus 5. For me HSPA+ is adequate, but I admit now that AT&T deployed LTE to my neck of the woods I do wish my nexus 4 supported it. But my experience is still great on the nexus 4.

I disagree completely, stock Android is aways behind custom UIs.

Notification toggles, keyboard, lock screen functionality, just to name a few.

The thing about stock is you are free to add any of that stuff, obviously apps like dash clock, notification toggles, ect. Make up for anything stock android is inherently lacking.

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Exactly. It may not include all of the features Sense or Touchwiz has, but it doesn't throw things at you that you may or may not need. And further, what it does give you is elegantly laid out and pretty well thought through. Any slip-ups are quickly fixed (if you're on a nexus),

So for the one or two features that user X may be missing, he/she can download and install that from the play store. There are many alternatives. And with Android allowing for custom defaults and intents, it's (almost) as if that third party app was made alongside the first party ones.

Put the two together and you can pretty much get everything that you want and nothing that you don't (on the software side anyways). For example. Take two users. One wants a useful fitness app. One doesn't. S-health vs Endomondo fitness. Same level of use. Stock vs Touchwiz user 1 can get the fitness app either way. User 2 doesn't want it and on stock he/she doesn't have it. But on Touchwiz he/she is stuck with it using up storage space.

Only 4 years after custom UIs by manufacturers did it? THANKSS
Also they don't work as toggles, the tap sends you to the settings app section it's lame.

That's not true at all. If you long press the buttons, they activate the setting- like turn on/off bluetooth.

You don't own a Nexus, do you?

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Uh no. The stock keyboard's voice dictation smokes Swype, SwiftKey, and any other keyboard or there. And don't get me started on bloatware and how much smoother and reliable the user experience is on the Nexus 4 than any other Android. Oh yeah, and let's not forget about updates and security. When Key Lime Pie comes out, I will let out a maniacal "Mmmmwwwwaaaahhhh ha ha ha!" while all other phone owners cry for months about "where's my update?"

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Hahaha.

By the keyboard I meant things like long-pressing a key to get the symbol like you can in stock HTC and Samsung keyboards for example, stock Android lacks this simple utility.

what was the last Nexus phone you used? its been available for a while now.
dont think its available on tablets (for whatever reason) but on phones, it is built into the stock keyboard.

Well this isn't true. The HTC One doesn't even have 4.2 and it's widely known as the best phone in the world. Phones with their own skins run varying version of Android and it doesn't matter but the UI experience and features are built into their skin. Most updates don't even change much on Sense or TouchWiz.

I would even argue that the very fact Nexus owners wait anxiously for these incremental updates proves that they know the OS is lacking. I'm still on the S3 and I could care less when/if Key Lime comes.

"Best phone in the world" is hardly agreed upon by any large percentage. This isn't a fact that can be known, it's an opinion that people have. To claim that any phone is the best phone in the world and not state that it's your opinion is simply trolling.

I like the HTC One, but prefer my stock nexus. and your wrong about nexus owners anticipation of updates. It's not because the OS is lacking, but because we are curious and want to see the enhancements that google has made to the OS, that's why we buy a nexus device because we like to be on the bleeding edge of android.

Users of Sense or TouchWiz phones don't bother waiting for an expecting these updates to their UI's for one reason only, HTC and Samsung rarely give them any updates to their UI if the phone is released with Sense 5, on sense 5 is normally stays, even if they update the android version.

Nexus is more akin to the iPhone with updates, Apple users are excited about updates because they get them, and they want to see what's new.

Sense and touchwiz users aren't excited about updates because they rarely see any that affect the UI of their phone, your basically trying to sell the problems with manufacturer UI's as a strength. Everyone wants new features for free.

I literally got ordered mine 11/13/12 as soon as it was available, got it two weeks later and haven't put it down since. One thing that people also don't understand about this phone is it's surprisingly durable, armed only with a cheap TPU case it has survived scuffs, scratches, falls, and even being thrown through a closed window (don't ask)

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Very true, I had one bad fall with a bumper case in which the front and back separated but luckily nothing broke, it simply snapped back together. I took this as a stroke of luck and a sign, I slapped a tpu case on it and haven't had a single issue and I don't treat the phone very carefully. It's a great phone and I love the UI and the pure speed, best phone I've ever owned.

Won't be changing my N4 for a bloat boat any time soon. Same deal with my N7, though a new uprated N7 will be tough to resist.

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Yep, if you don't mind rooting/flashing, Samsung phones are probably the best choice. The hardware is good, and they're so popular that the development community will always be really robust.

Not to mention that you have nearly as many accessory options as an iPhone.

I'll give them this: they're probably the best all around choice. The have good hardware and good dev support.

The Nexus provides better dev support but inferior hardware (performance wise, anyways. I'm biased, but I still think that the Nexus 4 is the second best android design available in the market).

The One provides better hardware (except for the camera, which is a user-to-user basis), but probably has less dev support. (The hardware, of course, ignores The debate between external storage and removable batteries).

Every other phone is somewhere in-between.

I can't say I ever saw that coming, but I'm actually pretty happy with HTC One and the new version of HTC sense running on it. I had always preferred stock vanilla android, but One made me change my mind. Mainly for the camera features, but also very good contacts app integration and lock screen management. These are features that are currently inferior on stock in my opinion. I will suffer in update department a bit, I know, but since stock One is also coming out, I suspect it will be manageable. Plus, I just can't live with limited storage on Nexus, say what you want...

PS: just been to a wedding, and even stinking drunk ;-), One's camera with Zoe mode let me take some decent pics even in the evening. Camera's just fine :)

Inferior hardware on Nexus phones? You've got to be kidding me. When it came out, everything about the Nexus 4 - screen, processor, etc - was top-of-the-line. The reason it seems like it has inferior hardware is that, unlike HTC and Samsung, Google isn't pumping out new Nexus phones every minute to keep up with hardware improvements. The One and S4 came out half a year after the N4; of course they have better hardware. Likewise, the Nexus 5 will have the One and S4 beat on hardware.

Oh I agree, the Nexus 4 has great hardware. I didn't mean inferior in general, but inferior in relation to the other two.

I still think the N4 is a great device, with a processor that's almost overkill for the resolution and beautiful hardware. More importantly, the experience is great. If I didn't think so, then it wouldn't be the phone I use every day.

The One and S4 literally have the next gen Qualcomm processor, better cameras, and higher resolution screens. That's all I meant.

I just wish it had been blessed with better storage options, as it is the cloud is just not a viable option for me.

I feel you man but the trade offs are with it, sure storing stuff like movies in the cloud is impractical but it's perfect for photos in my opinion.

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I got mine in December and it was worth the pain I had in getting it. I was a little nervous about it being made by LG, but I was so wrong, it wipes the floor in every aspect compared the the Galaxy Nexus I had before it. I've watched new phones being launched without any real desire to move on from it, and for me, this is a first, as I've had to have the latest phone since I started with them in 1994.

I'm looking forward to the Nexus 5, but if it does not move the game forward, (and I don't think the the One or S4 have), then I will be happy to stay put another year maybe.

For the record. My GNex is still pretty good. Fast and reliable. Yeah I would like a N4, but it's not because I don't want my GNex anymore, just because it's newer. That's it. The real deal is vanilla Android. My wife's Nexus S is also nice but is getting really slow.

I too don't want to tell everyone that non-Nexus (or non-pure Google experience) aren't good. I am just saying you won't be dissapointed.

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Just like you, I'm still using my GNex and loving it! Also, have the Nexus 7 and still loving the vanilla Android experience!

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I "upgraded" to a RAZR HD. 8MP camera is worse than the GNex. Bluetooth stutters a lot, and I'm 3 versions behind in my OS. I miss all these things my GNex was better at. I can't imagine how much better it would be to have a Nexus 4. But at least I'm not changing batteries out twice a day anymore.

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Just make sure you never use a Nexus 4. That's what killed it for me.

I still have my GNex, and the experience hasn't changed (I don't think). But it's near impossible for me to go back to the GNex after using the N4. I get upset at places where it's slower. Not slow (although I guess that's relative). Just slower.

If I didn't use an N4 I probably wouldn't have an issue using it right now. But if I were to lose my N4 now, I'd rather buy a new N4 than keep the GNex until the 2nd gen N4 was released.

If you had an N4, you'd see the night and day difference in speed, the quad core processor and 2GB of ram kick the GNex's ass. I owned a GNex as well, but the processor/ram make it worth every cent. The HTC one and S4 are great phones I wouldn't say otherwise but stock android is the best for me.

Well guys, I understand your euforia , but for me Note 2 is the king. And my second choice is either HTC One or S4 GOOGLE EDITION.

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I recently sold my Note 2 for a Nexus 4. And for my needs the Nexus 4 does the job much more efficiently than the Note 2 and looks MUCH better doing it. The only thing I miss is the battery life.

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I agree with the Note 2 rules sentiment. I could not imagine going back to anything with smaller than 5" screen anymore. My office-mate has a DNA and it feels tiny, damn nice phone, but tiny. Give me a 5" phone with the battery of the Note 2 and I would be ecstatic! Got a chance to check out a S4 the other day, and it seems darn nice as well, so a google edition S4 would probably be my second choice, don't really like where HTC is going with their designs, too much bezel, not enough screen, not enough battery, not enough memory.

The Note 2 on Sprint is running 4.1.2 instead of the newest 4.2.2. I'm not bothered by that....I just hope the Note 2 gets a software update to include S-Health and more motion/wavy features like on the S4. :D

I like how if I'm playing music while taking a shower and my alarm goes off, I can yell "dismiss" and it stops the alarm and resumes my music. I also love taking pictures by saying shoot or cheese and it almost always works just fine. Some people call those gimmicks but I consider them features since I use them all the time.

I find this article complete B.S. Look at Sprint w/ their ODM ZTE 'Vital'. Its a great device, pure Android 4.2.2 & it has 5" display w/ LTE.

Oh, & its free on contract.

It just goes to show how these tech blogs are not even aware of the current device lineups, especially stock Android.

Its display is not mediocre, it has a 2012 S4 Pro processor & it actually runs 4.2.2

Or did you not know that because you didn't do your research?

It pretty much cements what I said, you guys dont give full disclosure and run with fanboy stuff.

If you did know your job, I wouldn't be absolutely correct on this.

Oh, & its free via Sprint vs $349 for a Nexus 4. (Of course, thats a different debate)

I guess because its made in China and inexpensive no one should like it. Its like saying the SIII is mid tier.

The Vital has an MSM8960 S4 Plus processor. Not the Pro. At 5-inches and only 720P, that's squarely in the "mid-range" category nowadays -- even if it is a great screen in terms of quality. (At that, I used the ZTE Grand S w/ a 5-inch 1080P panel and wasn't blown away.) Add in just 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, and you're not exactly looking at a flagship device.

On the software side, there's conflicting information on Android 4.1 vs 4.2, but the Sprint page indeed says it has 4.2. But it's not stock 4.2, you still have Sprint's own additions to the party such as Sprint ID and some bloat. Doesn't at all indicate when (or if) it will receive future updates either.

BTW that's all based on Sprint's own press materials for the device, which in some places conflict their product pages: http://newsroom.sprint.com/news-releases/sprint-vital-fact-sheet.htm ; http://shop.sprint.com/mysprint/shop/phone_details.jsp?prodId=dvc7520002prd&deviceSKUId=75200017&flow=AAL&planSKUId=null&tabId=dt_phones&ptn=

The Vital still has a list price of $99 in-store, or $0 for some people online if you take a $50 mail-in-rebate.

Oh, and it's only available on Sprint. One carrier, in one country, and one that's half the size of the biggest carriers in the country.

If you have a Sprint Vital and enjoy it, that's great, but let's not get carried away with saying it's some miracle device.

The display has been said to be mediocre by folks who have actually used it. Eric Zeman, who I know and trust, says it's acceptable, but barely.

The processor is a dual core Snapdragon S4 Plus at 1.5GHz MSM8960, with an Adreno 225 GPU. It's the same internal hardware used on the Dinc 2. 

According to the materials sent out by Sprint, it costs $99 with a $50 mail-in rebate.

The devices supplied for reviews were running Android 4.1.2.

Where you go. Mr. know it all. Been using A/C for over 3yrs and these guys know what there talking about socalbigmike is a troll

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Don't think any name calling is necessary. I just wish AC would do more reviews and have ALL the facts. The reviews are usually from the overseas guy, w/ the exception of a few key devices filled with Phils snark. I actually like Jerry & wish he did more of the reviewing.

I personally have a NOTE II. But for this discussion, my device is irrelevant. I just wanted to demonstrate that you can get a pretty awesome phone for free (on contract)that is pure Android. The only "Bloat" is some pre loaded apps. I don't know how that makes it inferior.

My point is, when did it become a bad thing when you can get a 5" 720P HD Stock Android w/ a 13 megapixel camera (THATS GOOD!) for FREE, a BAD THING?!

Awww man. This is just a difference of opinion. He's not trolling. I like differences of opinion :)

FWIW, I think companies like ZTE, Huawei, Xinomi, etc. are poised to really knock one out of the park soon. I really admire what they do with the lost cost market, and would like to see what they can do with a device that offers a little better profit margin for them.

Comparing any ZTE device to the Nexus 4 is laughable... Most ZTE devices are a joke and even those available in the UK are useless and obsolete.

So essentially what you are saying, is that you work for ZTE. A slow phone is the best way to experience android? A phone who's spec wouldn't support most apps is the best way to experience an app platform...?

I can get the Nexus in most countries around the world as well as the HTC One and S4 but the ZTE you refer to is only available on Sprint which is no good to the majority of users in the US or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

The article stated "Seven months after release, the Nexus 4 is still the best way to experience Android" I personally agree with that and although we are entitled to our opinions, but I do doubt that ZTE Vital, a mid range device with limited availability, does anything to challenge Jerry's claim

I have to agree with you. I've had a number of smartphones, right back to a Sony Ericsson P900. The Nexus 4 is the best I've had. And the price!

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I Totally Disagree.

Fine.. If a "Stripped Down" Mid-Sized, Mid-Line Phone is what YOU think is the best thing since sliced bread so be it..

But the Best way to experience android? No.. Way.

That's like saying.. A Mid-Sized Mid-Line Car with a few options (And Several Options That On A 2013 Model SHOULD Be Standard) is the best way to experience an exhilarating drive down a killer road with some nice sweeps and turns.. I'll take the Better Handling more Feature Rich BMW, PORSCHE, LEXUS and several others over that "Plain Jane" Car anytime.. Thank You.

Came from a Note 2 that had all the things you just listed. And the only thing I miss is something you left out, which was battery life. For me the the pros of the Nexus 4 far out weigh the cons. I'm not down at all. Touchwiz on the Note 2 had me down.

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Oh ya and after a few months of LTE I can honestly say it is an overrated feature on all new phones, LTE is hardly a selling point for me anymore.

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And in all truth, my 349 dollar nexus 4 seems to be doing LTE just fine. You can see where I have driven around with Sensorly app running a couple of times recently. Those purple lines showing T mobile's network under construction in Charlotte?

Made with a Nexus 4 (on a plan that costs 30 dollars a month-- total).

"Stuck?" The phone is unlocked, and can be used on most carriers across the world, unlike yours. Your stuck comment makes no sense. No carrier or OEM bloatware makes it the smoothest and most elegant Android experience ever, and the build is second only to the HTC ONE.

Why all the negativity? If you prefer a different phone, that's cool, but why spend so much energy trying to invalidate other people's opinions? It just makes you look insecure - and a phone is nothing to be insecure about.

And one more thing : car analogies are really bad nerd logic.

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Are we really doing this? Car comparisons?

Fine.

No, a plain jane car would be something like a mid-range phone. A good comparison I can think of (without much thought, because again, car comparisons? Really?) is the Nexus 4 is a McLauren MP4. The HTC One is an Lamborghini Aventador. The S4 is the Bugatti Veyron.

The McLauren MP4 is lauded as one of the most comfortable supercars available. The interior is nice, and the drive is pleasant. Let's not forget that its damn fast for any car. Nexus 4 = MP4.

The Aventador is arguable better designed. It's faster and will most likely catch more eyes. One = Aventador.

The Veyron is ugly (a fairly common opinion, not just my own) but has the best performance overall out of all of them. S4 = Veyron.

The only reason why this comparison doesn't really work is because you don't see people upgrading the MP4 every 6 months, and in some cases the One is faster than the S4.

They're all good. Anyone who is convinced otherwise is spoiled and needs to find better reason to justify their device than to try and downplay others.

If I'm correct, you use a Galaxy Note 1. So, in your case, the Nexus 4 is the "Feature Rich BMW," and the Galaxy Note 1 is the "Plain Jane" Car.

The Nexus devices will be updated faster and for a longer period of time than any device that has a software overlay.

So, the Nexus will let you "experience an exhilarating drive down a killer road with some nice sweeps and turns" faster and it won't run out of gas as quick.

With the Note 1, you have to slow down at turns, and you risk running out of gas faster.

Your own argument has just been defeated by your own analogy, lol.

P.S: No more car analogies lol

Hey Geek...
Shut up.

You don't have a clue what phones we have in this house.. Unless you puppy dog me all over the internet... ya jealous piece of _______

Funny someone a knocking smartphone on a tech blog calling someone else a "geek". It's like going to comic con and saying... "shit there sure are a lot of nerds here..."

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Why would I be jealous of you? I don't even know or care for you lol. If you post your opinion on this website, then you have to be open to criticism. If you're not, then you're a damn fool.

Stop posting, if we're "not allowed" to reply to your post lol

Jerry hit the nail on the head with this one. I just picked up a Nexus 4 after a few months with the Note 2 and I am thoroughly impressed.
Stock>touchwiz
LG build quality>Samsung build quality

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>"Seven months after release, the Nexus 4 is still the best way to experience Android"

As long as you don't care about severely low local storage and also don't want or need to be a Verizon or Sprint customer. I view both as severe limitations of the Nexus 4 that make it a non-option for a great number of potential customers.

Current number of subscribers on Verizon: ~110 million

Current number of subscribers on Sprint: ~58 million

Current population of the world: 7.12 billion

Current number of people not on Verizon or Sprint: 6.95 billion

Comparing to the world is a little unrealistic since the N4 is not available in every country on earth and Verizon/Sprint aren't the only two carriers on the planet that can't carry the phone. Better to compare to the ~316 million that's the current US population which leaves a total of ~148 million potential customers not on Big Red/Sprint...

Whether its 1st party or 3rd party sales, the Nexus 4 is effectively available in every single country on the planet. In a vast majority of those countries, CDMA isn't used in any capacity. In the rest, CDMA isn't the only technology being used.

My point stands, people on Verizon and Sprint severely over-estimate how important their networks are in the grand scheme of the world. Not having a CDMA variant isn't as big of a deal as it seems to those people.

And yet all I (and the majority of AC readers/posters) care about in this context is the USA and what phones and plans are available to me (us) HERE.

And in that regard, excluding all the potential customers from the #1 and #3 carriers is MORE CUSTOMERS than the #2 and #4 carriers.

And that's precisely my point. People only care about the carrier they're on, and think that if a device isn't available on that carrier then it isn't a worthwhile device for the hundreds of millions (or billions) of people on other carriers in the world.

Just because you don't care about it or can't use it doesn't mean it can't be the best device available or the best device for someone else. Again, the world of wireless is bigger than Sprint and Verizon.

Me and my brother got it all the way in Kenya. And I know several other people with it here. So yeah, I would say its an international phone

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"Severely low local storage"? What do you use your phone for, backing up photos? 16GB of internal storage, plus virtually unlimited space on Google Music (which I can access nearly anywhere) and 50GB for free on Box (which I can also access nearly anywhere) is good enough for me and most others.

Verizon and Sprint? I agree, I wish I could get this phone on the most expensive carrier or the slowest carrier.

When the "Google Edition' (or whatever) HTC One and Galaxy S4 are finally on sale the conversation may change a bit. But right now, those devices aren't on sale.

Good point, and both will have real local storage options like a high-end Android device should. And then it will involve all the US carriers instead of just two. Although the pricing will be much, much higher than the N4...

I wasn't aware the Google editions of the S4 and One (S 4 & 1? Nevermind) would be CDMA compat..... Hmmm.

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This. It's weird; because it used to be really laggy. However, after a factory reset, it's been running smooth, ever since.

I own a nexus 4, and I've owned a nexus s. I bought the nexus s because I wanted to experience the pure google android, and I wanted the open bootloader. I bought the nexus 4 because I was in love with the way google's android department does things. I'll always own nexii, and no one can convince me otherwise. I love having a nice clean slate to do my own thing, and I love having hundreds of roms to choose from to find what fits my needs best. This is no different than how sense is for some, and touchwhiz is for others. The difference is that I get that choice without having to buy additional hardware to get it ;)

My GNex has the latest 4.2 Jellybean, plus 32 gigs of storage and LTE. Is the screen a little smaller? The processor a little slower? Sure. But it's a great phone, and I plan to ride it out until Verizon brings VoLTE to their incomparable network.
And that's the best Android experience of all.

Posted from the (4.2 updated) redheaded stepchild of the Nexii

the rest of the shortcomings i could deal with, but i could never use a phone with such an anemic amount of fixed onboard storage.

Before I had a rezound (used it for gsm) with a combined total storage of ~48GB but switching to the 16gig nexus 4 and I still have about 12gb of space left

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For many of us, 12GB of storage is not nearly enough. I personally want a minimum of 32. It is a huge shame that if they are not going to have an SD card option (which is fine) then they should have offered a wider selection of onboard storage capacities. Technology should march forward (more capacity) not backwards.

You misread his comment, he said he has 12GB of storage remaining after loading all his things on his phone. The Nexus 4 has more than 12GB preloaded (unlike the GS4, which has 9GB).

While I totally understand the appeal of the N4, I bought a used HTC One X last month after having my N4 since February, and I prefer the One X. I am not dissing the N4, it is just a personal preference for me. I would love to upgarde to the new HTC One but am also wanting a larger screen so I am holding out for the HTC T6.

I really wanted to love the N4 and it did convince me to make the switch from my iPhone4 and iOS to Android but I guess I am just not doing enough with Android to exploit the N4 experience and prefer what the One X has as stock. I switched back and forth between the N4 and my iPhone 4 for the first couple of months, then got to experience a friends HTC One X and just had liked using it more, so my lightly used N4 will be going up on ebay this week.

The HTC one x has a better screen, I give it that. But its sooo laggy, even in jellybean. You can't have more than 5 apps open at the same time. I personally opened every app on my N4 just to see if it would lag. Suprise Suprise no lag
Although it feels sometimes like 4.2.2 is a beta product

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True, the N4 is faster but I never have more than a few apps open at a time so that is not a big deal to me. I knew going in that the One X would be a little slower but again, I just like some of the cool little things that HTC has done. I still like to swap sim cards and use the N4 every once in awhile but I go back to the One X the next day. One big Pro for the One X is LTE as I get some blistering speeds here in Austin TX. The N4 was pretty fast on T-Mobile but can't compare to the LTE speeds I am getting with AT&T on the One X here.

Againm this is just my personal preference. The N4 is a great phone, there is no doubt about that. I just like my HTC One X a bit better and am stoked about a version of the new One with a larger display.

I enjoy switching from Sense to AOSP on my Sensation. I usually go for an AOSP ROM but when I go to Sense, theres definitely somethings I wish Google would implement from HTC.

Well said Jerry. I've got mates who own the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 which as we all know are arguably two of the best devices on the market right now, none of their features or specs can tear me away from my N4! I agree with everything about the stock android experience, the elegance and simplicity for me is far more appealing and user friendly as apposed to Sense or TouchWiz. The storage space and lack of LTE doesn't bother me in the slightest as I'm not a huge media hoarder and 4G isn't a big deal for me. I shall stick it out with my N4 till whatever Google releases next.

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I love my Nexus 4. Like a lot of people said here, it's the best smartphone I ever owned. The Nexus is a standard, where companies can target and extend, both in software and hardware. I know, it's obvious, but if you need to point a robust smartphone with a coherent behavior and look, a Nexus is most likely the best choice. You won't miss it and won't be disappointed, because the lack of lots of features make the Nexus line a pure and, say, universal experience for all tastes.

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Unless you're on Verizon. Big Red hasn't seen a Nexus device in a long time. So can we put an asterisk next to the title of this article since it has a limited application?

Not every device is going to be available on every carrier. In fact, few are. By choosing Verizon (and Sprint for others) you effectively say you're willing to accept that your device selection is going to be substantially limited.

I agree totally with Jerry. I have literally on interest in the S4 or HTC One because of this phone. One thing that was not talked about was the build quality. This phone screams "Premium!" I miss the curved frame of the GNex, but the curved feel of the glass is so smooth and luxurious when you swipe and hold the phone that it becomes addictive. I bought a bumper because everyone was so paranoid about breaking the glass, but I found that the glass is pretty sturdy if you actually treat it like it's a ... GLASS PHONE! 6 months in and no cracks. The only things I really don't like is how hot it can get when downloading and the camera software leaves a lot to be desired.

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Thanks for the article Jerry. I hear what you are saying and I totally agree. I'm fed-up with OEM ROMs and their translation of the Android experience, however you have to admit that they are responsible for giving us basic features (ie not gimmicks) that Google have yet to introduce. I won't be buying a Nexus until AOSP (ie 4.2.2 onwards) can send track names over bluetooth audio. Then I won't have to rely on Samsung (or other OEMs) to implement this feature and put up with their horrible skins and release delays. There are some holes in Android that definitely need filling.

I love my nexus 4! Pure and clean. Bloat free and up to date. Boom headshot!

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Guys also install snapdragon battery guru free on the market by qualcomm. I save about 30% a day on battery. This app was made for the nexus4.

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Why does that bother you? The entire developer community is pro-Nexus. It's the purest Android experience, and this is Android Central.

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I agree that Android is best in stock form but the perk of having other options is always welcome too!

Posted via my Galaxy Note 3 using the Android Central App

I am looking for a new phone but cant decide between the nexus 4 or the HTC one Google phone. Money is not an issue for the most part but i do have college to pay for even though I work full time.

I do have a apple ipad 2 (64gb) and looking into getting an iPod touch 5th gen if i get the nexus 4 .

All I need in a phone: Is for listening to music at work and for audio books and looking things up if need be. Also to help me stay more organized and needs to be durable.

Also down the road i am going to getting a new job at a hospital do I need to look things up without issues.

I live in Seattle so I plan to get t mobile. I plan on keeping the phone for at least 3 years or so unless something happens.

any advice? I figured I would get a more solid answer here vs posting it in twice in both nexus 4 , HTC one forums and get a bias answer.

Nexus 4 is easier to search without problems then the HTC one but the noise quality of the one is nicer than the nexus. About durability, I think both are pretty durable for a high-end smartphone. Hope this helps.

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If you are getting a position in a hospital, double check and see how users with T-Mobile like their service. Here in St Louis building penetration in hospitals have been very spotty.

The HTC One, I feel, is best when used as is with Sense. After having used one, I do not think I would want to lose the benefits HTC has included with it.

There are little things I feel I miss with my Nexus 4, but have been overall satisfied with it for the last 4 months.

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Well said. Celebration of choice in the arena of Android options is just an "in house" derivation of celebrating choice of mobile operating systems across the market. I've been on Android for 3 years, and had a chance to upgrade last month. I decided to give the iPhone 5 a try... (I had 14 days to decide if I wanted to keep it...Big Red). I used it for a week in earnest to give it a fair shake. I realized how much I missed my ability to place my screen icons where I want, widgets, and actionable notifications. After a week, I took it back honestly knowing that I didn't want to stay with it, and got a GS4. Needing Verizon's network, and the One and Nexus 4 not being available in the remaining period of my upgrade based 14 day period (yes, Nexus 4 never) I couldn't be happier. My girlfriend, her family in general, and my brother all have iPhones and love them. And as far as I'm concerned, that's absolutely great. We're all happy, and that's what matters. I have to say though, with regard to Android experiences, it is quite interesting observing the differences between my phone and my Nexus 7. Enough similarities to feel like a common plarform, and enough differences to be reminded of the variety of features and options available.

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I love my htc one and sense but sometimes my gnex calls out to me and I play with it and miss stock android sometimes also but all in all I like sense ATM

I did not read, but i did not have too, ok my nexus 4 does not have the gs4 camera, but its a great camera and this thing is fast like nothing else out there, for crist sake it has an snapdragon s4 pro, stock android does not need more than this, i love this phone and it has an incredible design, specialy under sunlight if you catch my drift, wont be changing this baby for a long time

I bought my wife a Nexus 4 and thought after a couple of weeks she would be frustrated by it, since she is not tech savvy. After 4 weeks she still loved it and realized now I would have to by my own. This is a great phone and my daughter who has been wanting an iPhone is now debated about buying it. If it did not have a glass back she would definitely buy it. Coming from a HTC Hero then Motorola Triumph I will say this phone with Jelly Bean is just awesome.

Its like reading car and driver when AC talks about the nexus......if its not a BMW 3 series its not a car at all.

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To each his own, but I say "bah, humbug." Half of the features that make my S3 better than, say, an iPhone are Samsung additions, not part of standard Android.

I find the whole "vanilla Android experience" fans to be strangely reminiscent of the iPhone crowd. "If Google (Apple / Steve Jobs) didn't include it, then you don't need it. And who cares about a good camera, a replaceable battery, or an SD card." Hogwash.

Well, the s3 adds all the samsung apps they want to your phone, takes up your space, doesn't include photospheres, has ugly ui schemes(IMO of course), and only supports so many phones for 1 or 2 updates, specifically carrier phones. The reason I like nexus is that it doesn't add any unnecessary crap that I don't want it to have and it lets me choose and nothing seems out of place compared to sense or touchwiz. I do wish the nexus gets a wifi-direct android beam soon, but other than that it has everything I need. Good clean UI, consistent stable performance, extended support, virtual buttons, and the phones just plain look good. Not everyone likes the same things.

In the article Jerry said, "I'm actually pretty fond of both the HTC One and the Galaxy S4, and think for a whole lot of people they are a better choice than the Nexus." You happen to be one of those people. That does not invalidate his points overall.

Who cares about zero lag? Who cares about the latest version of Android? Who cares about their budget?

I'd like to throw a different twist on this as you folks are all talking about the N4, Galaxy4, and HTC One,

Based on a story here on this site I went out and purchased the Hisense Pro 7 tablet which is running the stock Jellybean 4.2.1.
Did I want the Samsung 8? You betcha I did! I came from the Palm boy days when the stylus ruled. Its slick as they come BUT stock clean Android runs slick, and does the trick also. I was hoping to recieve the 8 for Fathers day so that I didn't have to feel guilty about spending the money, but I really think I would have sent it back because I have absolutely fallen in love with the simple joy that stock is.

That's my 2 cents on this!

I truly enjoy my Nexus 4 everyday and appreciate the clean experience, my life is really more simple coming from a HTC sense device, I have the tweeks I want and none of the stuff I don't. I can hardly wait to see what key lime will bring knowing I will be updated quickly and see what new nexus devices will be.

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I agree completely. Time and time again I hear my friends complain that their Android phone is too confusing, locks up too often, and is bogging them down. And I get frustrated, because these people are the ones who will head straight to the iPhone. If manufactures allowed stock Android--a beautiful and extremely polished OS--on their phones, I bet you Android sales would start ascending, to say the least.

This is a very good article. I totally agree. The price alone of N4 could not justify the add-ons phone makers have on their phones at their ridiculous pricing. Now I'm excited and looking forward to Nexus 5. A lot have already counted out Motorola to do the next Nexus line. But who knows right? Motorola is noted for making tough quality, and innovative mobile phones. So delicious Nexus experience plus Motorola engineering anyone? I'm keeping my fingers crossed....

Very well written article, thank you for your insights and agree to it word for word. I own Nexus 4 and am looking to jump to Nexus 5 without all the HTC and Sammy gimmicks in between, Nexus-to-Nexus, thats what I'm doing from the 'beginning of time'.

If you don't mind big phones, then the Galaxy Note II with stock Android is the best way to experience Android. Why? The battery. The screen may not be a nice as the HTC One's, but do you really see a difference when watching Game of Thrones?

I can experience stock Android in all its glory without having to worry about my battery. And when I do hit 0%, I still carry a spare battery. In fact, I have a total of four batteries for my Note II.

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The build quality doesn't compare to the N4 or the ONE. To get stock Android you'd have to root and flash, which is a pain, and in many cases, buggy.

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As a developer the Nexus 4 is still my go to device. That speaks volumes, I think.

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Love my Nexus 4 as well. Even with the GS4 and One getting Google Editions, it's still not the same experience. There's no damn home button on my Nexus and it was developed to be a pure Android experience phone. The Google editions are just stripped down versions that were originally designed to showcase many software features of Samsung and HTC's phones. It's just not the same. Specs of the newer phones may be a bit better but the best overall experience of Android is only available on the Nexus 4 (and to some extent on other Nexus phones as well.). I am happy with my Nexus 4 even after all this time. Nexus 5 is the only thing that can tear me away from it.

Four reasons why I wouldn't recommend a Nexus 4:
1. glass on the back, just an idiot design move, no excuse
2. no sd card slot, sure it's a nexus thing but that doesn't mean is smart. What's smart about having static buttons waste delta display real estate all the time? On a tablet with 16:10 aspect ratio ok, but on a phone, no thank you!
3. Android is a lot more mature than it used to be. I'm no longer dieing for the next version and I don't need photosphere right now.
4. Android 4.2 - wait a little and the version you get will probably be less buggy.

1. The N4 is way more durable than you would think. I once dropped my phone out of my car window at a Starbucks drive-through. I was using the Starbucks app to pay for a latte. It fell straight down five feet onto asphalt. To my pleasant surprise, there was no damage; not even a scratch. And no, I don't have it in a full case, just the Google bumper.

2. I haven't missed this. All my music is in the cloud and I still have space if I want to keep stuff on the device.

3. Photosphere is cool. I used it quite a bit on vacation.

4. You are contradicting yourself. You say that Android is mature but now you are calling it buggy. 4.2.2 on my N4 has the been the most stable mobile OS I've dealt with yet, including Blackberry and iOS.

I hope not too many people rely on you for recommendations as your assessment is pretty shallow.

I like the Nexus 4 but I am still liking one feature my GNEX has that the Nexus 4 doesn't have, A Active 3-pin Car Dock. When you put the GNEX into the car dock with the 3-pins you don't have to plug anything in, power or AUX-IN. If Nexus 4 had that, i would go buy it today. Can't wait till the next Nexus phone comes out and has a Car Dock.

And i don't mean Generic ones, it has to have power and AUX-IN for my use. Plus the car dock on the GNEX looks pretty cool.

Loving the Nexus Experience on GNEX with Active Car Dock.

Kash.

I owned, and love my lte gnex since lauch until the N4, and I NEVER saw a dock or accessory to take advantage of those pins. Kudos to you.

It's as if Jerry took the words right out of my mouth. Great write up Jerry. The Nexus 4 has been the most impressive phone I've ever owned.

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The only phone I would swap my Nexus 4 for is the next Nexus. I have never grown tired of it.

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I would have loved a Nexus 4!!
But i have stupid verizon.
So i got a S4 instead. :(

i hate verizon!!

Funny you should ask... I've had my N4 for about 5-6 months.. love it.. I agree with the simplicity aspect.. clean, smooth, simple... just what I want in a phone. My previous phone was a Galaxy S2.. last week I pulled down the JB 4.1.2 firmware update.. just to get it on the currently available OS for the S2. Once it was done... I played around with it to see what Jelly Bean "looked" like.. through Samsung's eyes.. OMG!?! it was an ABORTION compared to the N4 "pure" Jelly Bean.. it looked NOTHING like it... WOW!! The Samsung and AT&T bloatware was out of control!!! I had totally forgotten about all the CRAP that gets installed by the Carriers and Manufacturers.. UGH!! If I had not had the N4 to compare it too... I'd have NO CLUE WHATSOEVER as to what Jelly Bean was supposed to LOOK like.. FEEL like or RUN like.. because what Samsung pushed out is NOTHING like the REAL THING!!! dam... I loved the S2.. it was a good platform in it's day.. but it was starting to get "long in the tooth"... resetting randomly... always running short of RAM during app updates.. battery life sucked... etc.. etc.

so yeah.. I'm very happy with my Nexus 4... I've always been a Samsung Galaxy guy.. from the beginning... but sometimes you just gotta move on man! for the GREATER GOOD!

I still love my n4 but I'd trade it for the S3 in a heart beat. Or the One.

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Nexus is simply a great overall device. Thought about getting a one or S4 but glad I stayed true to the nexus brand. Its nexus or bust!

The problem with articles like this is that the idea of "the best" is very subjective in most ways. It is far better to break things down and go on the pros and cons. There is really only two really good reason to go with a Nexus, and that is because it is vanilla Android, and you NEVER need to deal with carriers delaying updates.

Samsung, HTC, and others will have the cutting edge hardware that blows away the Nexus, but you always have delays between when Google releases an Android update and when you get it. Now, to be fair, Samsung and HTC have added some nice stuff that Google eventually adds to Android, so except for the MAJOR improvements that come with the bigger updates, there isn't a big issue for the most part. Many of the Android 4.2 stuff that 4.1 did not have are features that Samsung already had on the S3 for example, so it wasn't a critical thing to get 4.2. The wait for 4.1 was a bit more of an issue for many since Google Now is the "Wow" feature that Apple and others just can't compete with.

There is nothing wrong with having a preference for vanilla Android, or TouchWiz, or Sense, that is a purely subjective thing. Some will prefer a larger screen, or better sound, or whatever, and that is why I really get annoyed by articles on good web sites that proclaim the PERSONAL preference for one device or another. A detailed comparison between showing the strengths and weaknesses of various devices is a fair thing, because in many ways, it leaves it up to the reader to decide what categories mean the most or the least, so to disregard them in the overall balance.

Screen quality, sound quality, build quality and such are important as well. The one thing sites seem to have stopped doing has been to compare how well the different phones do when it comes to call quality, cell phone reception, etc. Come to an area like mine, then you can test things like, "How well does the phone hold a call when you see signal going from 1 bar to 3 over a five minute period", and "No other phone seems to work here on AT&T except for this one that seems to be able to place and receive calls". That is the sort of thing MANY people look for. Do you find yourself able to stay on LTE and have it work well in a 1 bar area, or does it force you to LTE even when there is a really weak signal? That is what many or perhaps most people are looking for. I know my S3 on AT&T works better than the other phones I have used, but I have not been able to test all the other phones out there to compare results.

It comes down to this: Features, beyond the core functions, should be provided by apps not baked into the OS. What people are trumpeting about the S4 and One are actually bundled apps, not legitimate OS functions.

Stock Android operates as an OS should; a robust platform on which apps can operate and interact. People have lost sight of what an OS is supposed to be. Blame Microsoft. They popularized the bundling of application features into OSes in an attempt to extend their desktop OS monopoly. Now it's become standard practice.

I'm amazed every day at how efficient my Nexus 4 allows me to be, far more efficient than I was able to function under Samsung's Touchwiz. There is no lag, incredible stability and no bloat. When I want bling and flash as a commercial once told me "there's an app for that". My N4 provides by far the most impressive smart phone experience so far.

Nailed it. None of the features on, for instance, TouchWiz, are anything I would really want or use. The floating video screen seemed pretty cool for my tablet, so I downloaded an app for it. I used it once to try it out, then never used it again, because I didn't actually need it.

Love my N4. Though storage would be a problem but I just upload photos I take to Google Drive, now I have them on all my devices so it worked out better.

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Even with the lack of WiFi Calling out-of-the-box this phone is very tempting for this T-Mobile customer with horrible reception at home (even will a celfi).

As a GNex owner I really like the looks of the Nexus4, and the improved internals are great. But as a Sprint customer I can't get it. The very idea of carrier exclusivity on a Nexus is insulting to me.

Additionaly, the absurdly low internal storage (16gb max? REALLY? I hardly keep any music on my phone and I'm already over 16GB on my GNex.) and the lack of the ability to expand the storage is a major problem keeping me on my GNex.

I must respectfully disagree, although I would've agreed 2-3 years ago with the Nexus One. But now, tried stock/AOSP, etc, just not my cup of tea.

I completely agree with this article. Nicely done! I tried a Samsung Galaxy S4 and returned it for two reasons. The battery life was terrible and I really wanted the stock android experience. I had just swithced over from years with an iPhone. I was happy with iOS but at the same time, was bored or it and wanted the freedom that android provides. After returning the S4, the obvious choice for me was the Nexus 4. Although there are a few shortcomings, I absolutely love this phone. I also really love android and am happy I made the move from iOS although it was a tough decision for many reasons.

I pay 59.99 and I have unlimited voice SMS MMS LD roaming and unlimited data at hspa+. Bad thing one day I'll have to give it up for lte since they are no longer offering this plan. Claro PR. Nexus 4 here

My favorite thing about this device is I know Google isn't going to drop it with updates.

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