The display on the Nexus 4 is another shared component between the Optimus G, and is a 4.7-inch IPS WXGA (1280x768) LCD, which is of course home to an RGB stripe and in-cell touch, or as LG calls it, "zerogap" touch. LG Display unsurprisingly knows how to make LCD displays, and the Nexus 4 display looks subjectively very good. At 320 PPI I can’t see any pixels, and don’t think we need to get into the whole visual acuity discussion again, it’s very good on the Nexus 4. The added width over straight 720p is something I noted was actually very refreshing on the Optimus G when playing with that device in Korea. Most apps scale appropriately and take advantage of it without any issue, and the extra width definitely is noticeable in Chrome, Plume, and all my daily drivers.

Brightness (White)

Brightness (Black)

Contrast Ratio

The Nexus 4 display goes very bright, at 466 nits, and achieves a contrast ratio of 1352:1 at that maximum brightness setting. This is a huge step over the barely 200 nits that the Galaxy Nexus could eek out.

CalMAN Display Comparison
Metric iPhone 5 iPhone 4S HTC One X Samsung Galaxy S 3 Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Google Nexus 4
Grayscale 200nits Avg dE2000 3.564 6.162 6.609 4.578 5.867 7.686
CCT Avg (K) 6925 7171 5944 6809 7109 8506
Saturation Sweep Avg dE2000 3.591 8.787 5.066 5.460 7.986 8.517
GMB ColorChecker Avg dE2000 4.747 6.328 6.963 7.322 8.185 7.531

I’ve mentioned that Google continues to struggle at calibrating their displays. The truth is that everyone except for Apple, HTC, and occasionally Samsung, struggle at calibrating mobile displays. This continues to be the case with the Nexus 4, and the result is that accuracy could be better. I’m convinced the results that we’re getting out of the Nexus 4 basically represent no attempt at calibrating the display, and as a result the numbers suffer.

Camera - Photo and Video Analysis Inside the Nexus 4
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  • IKeelU - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I'm glad you confirmed the thermal throttling hypothesis, but it's a shame that it's happening at all. While no Google or LG exec is going to come out and tell everyone to use their phone in the cold, I see this turning into the Android version of the "your holding it wrong" meme. Perhaps Google should ship some capacitative gloves so Canadians and Scandinavians can enjoy their phones under ideal conditions ;P?

    Also, battery performance. It's half the iPhone 5's. Half.

    Given the price and the nexus pedigree, I'm still going to buy this phone, warts and all. But the performance of the device in browsing and battery life is terribly disappointing.
    Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Again with the best test. It is not half in real life, trust me.
    we did real life test comparison with SGS3 and a new iphone 5, and I can see my S3 doing really well.
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    That suggests that the tests are not very useful.
    Frankly, I really like the idea of Vellamo. Testing interface performance is really useful.
    The web browsing test might also be useful if it is well done (not sure if enough time is provided between page loads to actually read the page).
    Perhaps use of a framework that takea actual apps and feeds them dummy data to simulate usage.
    Testing is hard...
    Reply
  • SetiroN - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    The one time they could have gone with a slighly out of date SoC (the MSM8960 with its more efficient integrated baseband, or possibly the PRO) they didn't... ending up with a very power hungry platform that throttles and barely has enough battery life. Personally, I think I will disable two of the cores, but it's very appreciable that they're moving faster than before. I was really hoping for an OMAP5 (the first BIG.little A15 implementation) in the next nexus phone, obviously a few months from now, but I'll make do with the S4.

    It is, as usual, great how google keeps an eye on NAND performance, it really is a bottleneck in modern smartphones. Hopefully something better than 0.8MB/s random writes will be available in the near future... yes, it's 3 times faster than the competition, but still too low. We need 4/5.

    I'm quite a bit against all this "high build quality" (which is apparently all about non-plastic materials) trend: not that I don't like better built phones, but plastic is FINE. It just has to be properly used, avoiding tacky chrome and glossy parts: the upside of having a lighter chassis with a removable door, and thus a repleaceble battery (which can probably be larger thanks to the spared weight) largely overcomes the improved aesthetics. Not to mention it's much less prone to serious damage as it manages to absorbs impacts well.
    A glass back might be cool, but I won't notice it anymore after a week... until it breaks.
    The real problems are Korean designers, not plastic materials.

    In the end, higher battery life and storage space would have been much better, but at this price I won't complain, there's nothing even nearly as good. Heck, even $200 more would have been fair - and still cheaper than the competition.

    Still, such a non-replaceable low lasting battery can and will be a dealbreaker to many just as much as the lack of storage. But the price is good enough to make me come to a compromise, disable 2 cores in the kernel and start carrying around a portable charger and OTG cable.
    I wonder if anyone will make a nice battery cover with integrated storage :)
    Reply
  • MTWeg12 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Such an elaborate review. Awesome! It is nothing less than a PhD thesis. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I think you seriously underestimate how long most PhD theses are. This could probably easily double as an engineering undergrad senior/final project though, as could many of our more in-depth reviews. Reply
  • Red Oak - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    You don't point out that the iPhone 5 destroys it in your performance tests. On some, 100%+ faster. Pretty shocking, considering the Nexus has the latest four core variant

    This phone is already a half step behind and has little headroom. Surprised Google would make this their flagship for the next year
    Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    too bad iphone 5 is old news already, get ready for the incoming iphone 5S expected early 2013. Reply
  • Zink - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I think what we're all really getting ready for is the Razr Nexus 4 coming out in a year. Super thin with A15, improved battery life, 32GB and LTE. Reply
  • PeteH - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Maybe you are, but I won't be satisfied until I have a 64-bit ARMv8 in my phone! Reply

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