Channel 5

Google Nexus 4

Monday 03 December 2012


Rating of 5

The basics

Once a year, Google teams up with an Android phone manufacturer to release a new Nexus phone, packing the very latest software out of Google’s labs. It’s meant to be the benchmark all other handset peddlers aspire to, and this time round, LG has the privilege of having a go. On paper, all new Android 4.2, a 4.7-inch HD screen and 1.5GHz quad-core processor sound like a match made in heaven. But it’s the stunning £239 pricetag that really makes this phone stand out.

The good

If you thought today’s phone were fast, you’ve not seen anything yet. The S4 quad-core processor powering the Google Nexus 4’s super crisp 720p display absolutely blazes: lag is a thing of the past.

And while the world’s still just getting to grips with the awesome potential of Android 4.1, but the Google Nexus 4 comes with version 4.2 pre-installed. It’s still the Jelly Bean we love, with smart notifications you can open in the pull down tray and read, but with a few extra flourishes: there’s a new settings menu in the notification drawer you can use to toggle everything, Gmail now opens all messages properly, and Google Now uses your emails to better predicts what you’ll need before you ask.

All in all, it’s a phenomenal, fast operating system that far exceeds iOS 6 capabilities - if you have the patience to get to grips with it all. And better yet, you can be certain you'll be first in lune for an update whenever Google unleashes Android 5.0.

Read our full HTC One review here

Five ways Android can super charge Chrome OS

The bad

Everything the Google Nexus 4 has going for it is on the screen or inside: the actual design of the phone is about as bland as it gets these days. At 9.1mm, it’s pretty chunky: it feels much more unwieldy than the HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S3.

The black plastic design is uninspiring, and we have no idea what LG was thinking when it put sequins on the back panel. It looks like you dropped your phone in some glitter at a children’s party - if anything, it’s a step back from the handsome(ish) Samsung Galaxy Nexus from late last year.

It’s also missing a few things you might expect - there’s no 4G for slurping down HD movies, and the 8 or 16GB of storage is pretty paltry. And as much as the price one Google Play is incredible, it’s also hard to come by: the Nexus 4 is sold out in both editions right now, and it’s a lot pricier on contract through networks.

The bottom line

Sure, it doesn’t have 4G, and it’s about as sexy as a doorstop, but there’s so much raw power under the hood of the Google Nexus 4, and its Android 4.2 software is sublime. For the money - on the Google Play store, at least - it’s the sale of the century for iOS haters.

The Google Nexus 4 is available from

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Google Nexus 4 is tagged with LG, Google, nexus 4 and Android. Select a tag (LG, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (21)

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Good content in this review, and it's the first I've heard on this phone, but I have to say... what the hell is going on with the spelling here?! Come on sort it out!

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Ben Baggley

"As sexy as a doormat" Seriously? This is the best looking Nexus device so far and one of the best on the market. The look and feel is light years ahead of Samsung's shiny plastic. Its also not a "black plastic design" since the front and back are both entirely made of gorilla glass 2. The back design is unique and the front is minimalistic like it should be.

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I have this phone and it is very fast, decent build quality, camera is adequate for the job battery life will last you a full working day excellent screen quality highly recommended !

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Chris Jackson

Glad it got 5 G's as this clearly is the fastest and smoothest phone on the planet and at half the price - it's crazy not to recommend. But I have to disagree on design, this is a seriously sexy phone, pictures do not do the back of our justice. Also this is one of the most solid devices available - very sturdily built! HD screen Fastest 1.5ghz quad core CPU/GPU available 2GB ram And for half the price Insane! I can't see any manufacturer being able too subsidise the price as much have Google have for a flagship device.

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the price is an illusion- it wa this price for aall of a few minutes and hasn't reappeared since then. At the going rate of £400 it's still not too bad- but it's galls, a bit fragile and a bit slippiery- as well as a bit thick compared to other phones (and the camera is a bit so so). Apart from that it's a very good phone!

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Good review? what about what it has. Does it have GPS? Does it have 2 cameras? Does it have SD slot? Al

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black plastic design ? sad when reviews like this show their ignorance of the device - fail gadget show.

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Cant fault the phone its super quick and well made and i love mine!!

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Take it the wee bald guy didn't actually have a nexus 4 in front of him when he was doing this review? Black plastic? Ha. Must be talking about the built in battery casing because the phone is cornering gorilla glass 2 front and back and looks damn fine. Sorry gadget show, but get this sorted.

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Steve C

Seems like this review was thrown together using bits of other reviews scattered across the web. For a start, both the front and back of the phone are made from Corning's Gorilla glass 2. Yes the memory is relatively small for androids these days but that is because google want users to save their stuff in the cloud - in turn keeping the cost down. I am delighted with mine and cannot think of anything negative about it - btw just had the 4.2.2 update!

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Eddie I

This phone is the best ever, FACT... you get updates straight away from Google, there is no bloat ware, its sim free, very cheap, what more do you want ? otherwise could always buy and iphone for 600 quid that's if you don't like the latest technology and like wasting money :-)

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Im pretty sure the reviewer looked at a spec sheet and an image or 2 and then wrote this, im 100% sure they didnt use the device or look up any info on it. I mean they say its made from plastic.. what the hell? The fron and back is COMPLETELY glass and you cant confuse the 2. Also a bland design and then contradict yourself by saying how it looks like it was dropped in glitter? Either you dont know what bland means or youre just going against what you say yourself. Geez, this is terrible.

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Julian Essex Spurrier

I have to strongly disagree with your appraisal of the design of the nexus 4 and it does indeed seem like you have never actually had the phone in hand.. The front is elegant and minimalist. It is in the vein of the galaxy nexus but adds very nice and high quality feeling grippy rubber type plastic to the side and a stunning glass back with actually a very understated glittery nexus effect in the flesh. It's only when purposely photographed to show the effect does it look over the top which is what actually raises alarm bells with your review. The whole thing feels very solid in hand and exudes quality. This is why it has exceeded demand and why I took one look at the new galaxy s4 and went straight to Google to order a nexus 4. I'm using it now and loving it.

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No 4G is a good point not a bad point as I can hit 23mbps download on the 3 network on my nexus 4 + not get ripped off by EE for 4G capped at 12mbps

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I own a N4 and would recommend it to anyone. However if you prefer a £30 - £40 sim deal or wish to buy a phone at twice the price then go for it. Since Getting the phone I have been given 5gb free cloud storage for photos and my iTunes library is stored by google musicfor free. This phone is not for everyone but if you want a top spec phone and price is an issue this is the phone to buy.

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Say what you want about this phone but i guarantee you, anyone who has this phone (like me) will not have a bad word said about it, because everytime you use it you just seem to fall in love with it even more, i had the HTC One X which was a brilliant phone and i was a little upset about getting rid of it, but once i used my LG Google Nexus 4 i have never looked back since, this phone is amazing the glittery pattern on back is ok but can't say i really notice it. 5 stars *****

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