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  • dae_aosp_omg - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Good job seriously. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Thanks :)

    Hopefully minimal errors in here, working on no sleep this time!

    -Brian
    Reply
  • WiWavelength - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Hi Brian...

    Since the Nexus 4 is a 3GPP only device, shouldn't the entry tag be the MDM9215, instead of the MDM9615?

    AJ
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Yeah you're right, I just tab-completed and it went with 9615 since we don't have a 9215 tag yet, fixing!

    -Brian
    Reply
  • blanarahul - Sunday, July 07, 2013 - link

    "I heard that a smartphone based on the Optimus G would be the next Nexus phone and was quite simply blown away. Nexus has rarely been first to the latest and greatest in terms of hardware platforms, and certainly there was no way that combination would be inexpensive. For Google to nail the next Nexus phone it would have to be a combination of both"

    The first time I read the article, I agreed with this sentence. But now I don't. HTC J Butterfly was released two months later. And it is the only phone (apart from Nexus 4) which is competitive in 2013. It would have been best if the next Nexus was based on HTC J Butterfly. Even if it ended up costing 50$ more.
    Reply
  • chrone - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    thanks for the storage benchmark! nice improvement there over galaxy nexus. :) Reply
  • at80eighty - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Brian, sorry to threadjack - any clue when you're expecting the Lumia 920 review to happen? just curious what AT's take on the weight is, more than anything else Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    "The other common design element between the Optimus G and Nexus 4 is that nonconductive metallic plastic ring which extends around the perimeter of the device. This is something that comes off as tacky in the US market but (I’m told) is still a somewhat attractive motif in the Korean market."

    I love how you described a chrome band here...haha.
    Reply
  • krumme - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Agree. The part about the camera is a new benchmark for reviews!

    I would like som other performance test, but know its difficult.
    Reply
  • soccerballtux - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    +1.

    Going forward, I expect (Freezer) tests added to Anandtech's benchmarks. Please also add this to the benchmark comparison tools.
    Reply
  • mmrezaie - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    I don't think so!

    I have been following anandtech from very start. Now I am seeing some disturbing stuff in this site. For example comparing some of the battery life tests I see that there is inconsistency between reports that Anand published and ones that I see in arstechnica, or tomshardware, or even Gigaom. They seem to be on a very special setting that favors apple more often. I have an iphone, ipad, and also galaxy nexus. comparing them I don't think there is that much difference.

    I leave it to the reader but what I think a site like this that puts lots of effort, should not be biased (or seen so). It hearts the reputation. You have some type of reviews that no one else offer. please don't ruin it!
    Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Intro paras repeat.

    p.s. Thanks for the review, Brian.

    Comment Man
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Oops, fixed! I don't know how that happened...

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    "fourth incantation"

    "bound to elicit", although illicit could be good also.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Fixed! Reply
  • Arbie - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link


    They didn't program it in Forth, and it isn't an incantation (!).
    Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Only the 13 MP system (which is an option)

    I suggest "(which is an option for the Optimus G)"
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    You have the best username I've seen in the comments, I'm not even going to lie. Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Thanks, Vivek!

    I love the podcasts you guys have been making, and Brian's comments are just very informative and hilarious at the same time, hence the username.
    Reply
  • boozed - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Surely there should be a "send corrections" button right next to the "print this article" button? Reply
  • numberoneoppa - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Lovely review, Brian, as usual, but I have a question. Forgive me if I just glanced over this, but have you run your benchmarks using the newest OTA which rolled out over the last day or are these running the same software as those posted earlier in the month? In any case, it would be interesting to see if there are any changes in the XML file which seems to specify temperature shelves. Reply
  • Jorange - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Hi Brian,
    Can you please confirm that all GL Benchmark tests are run serially for all devices?, as this places them under a greater thermal load, then running the benches individually.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I do whenever possible, always. The issue is what happens when devices crash out before a full run (Optimus G) which then forces my hand to do this piece-by-piece kind of testing and reassemble a whole run.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    You should note which devices have 'assembled scores' versus straight runs in your charts then. An asterik would do. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    By far the best Nexus 4 review; bar none.
    Kernel developers will easily raise the thermal throttling limit to a much higher temperature, but it is obvious there is a temperature issue.
    Reply
  • suhan - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    why is it that you don't use geekbench to measure the actual performance of the device? Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Because it is closed source thus we dont know exactly what paths it takes (meaning it could disproportionately harm one particular device over another)?
    Hell, do we need even know what compiler they use? Knowing that and the flags used would certainly be very useful.
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    ...this site used to be about custom-built computers?

    We'd get driver reviews, we'd get hardware other than video cards, motherboards, and CPU's reviewed, we'd get the skinny on new custom PC hardware that was coming...

    I'm waxing nostalgic here. I miss those days, I think. These smartphone reviews are just beginning to bore me to tears. Maybe I'm just old, but I miss the good ol' days. Back when phones were something we just lived with rather than something people seem to obsess over now.

    Back when having the latest and greatest in computing was more about smart hardware selection and less about going to the store, slapping down your cc, and saying, "Gimme your best, barkeep!"
    Reply
  • Medikit - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I remember those days really well. Mobile computing is the future of the industry. Furthermore Anandtech still reviews computer cases, HTPCs, and the latest, greatest hardware. I like to think of it as the best of both worlds. Reply
  • Alexo - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    > Mobile computing is the future of the industry.

    "Mobile computing" will not get truly mobile until we get decent battery life.
    Meanwhile, AnandTech keeps lauding devices that have more computing power than most of us ever utilize at the expense of battery life (not to mention non-user-changeable batteries, throttling, etc.)
    Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    These smart phones and tablets are the old computing devices that you used to love in a new form and shape.

    I can't remember the last time I got excited about "computer" hardware.
    Reply
  • phillyry - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    +1 Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Intel, AMD, and Nvidia only really do 1 hardware launch a year now, the motherboards are all essentially the same, and driver reviews are borrrrrring to perform and read.

    They're still putting up like 3-4 case reviews a month, but there really isn't much else to talk about besides mobile stuff anymore.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I don't read every article Anandtech publishes; in fact, if there is an article I just skim through, or skip entirely, it will be one about any kind of mobile computing, including smart phones. It doesn't bother me though that Anandtech spends as much time on these things as they do because they still do plenty of high quality articles on mainboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PSUs - the things I am interested in, and they have added editors to cover additional types of hardware, and, bottom line, I don't expect everything they publish to have me in mind.

    ;)
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    They still do more in depth CPU and architecture articles than most sites, probably due in large part to Anand's knowledge and contacts. They've been doing a ton of case reviews too... Motherboards have been boring for quite a while. I don't think any of that content has suffered much. The one thing I'd say has suffered is GPU reviews, Anand does a great job of analyzing new architectures at times but their benchmark methods (and variety of tested resolutions) pale in comparison to other sites IMO. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Not that I'm complaining mind you, there's other places to read about that stuff... However none of the quasi-blogs that cover the mobile industry do phone reviews as detailed and in depth as AT. Something as simple as standardized battery testing seems to elude the entire web outside of AT, at best you might find rundown tests with a movie or something lazy like that. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    It's just about speed of updates. There's a new top end smartphone every other day, while CPU architectures don't make big changes for up to two years and GPUs at least a year. Reply
  • phillyry - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Home-made desktop PCs are verging on irrelevant.

    Mobile is where it's heading.

    Don't get me wrong, it still exists but it's just becoming less and less relevant.
    Reply
  • darklight0tr - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I have a Galaxy Nexus and was looking to possibly upgrade to the Nexus 4 but there are a few big issues with the phone for me:

    1. No LTE and it isn't available on Verizon (at least right now).
    2. Max of 16GB flash memory. I have the LTE Nexus and enjoy the 32GB of flash memory.
    3. Headphone jack and charging port are on OPPOSITE sides of the phone. This is the biggest fail for me. I use my Galaxy Nexus in my car nearly every day and having those two connectors on the same side is very important.

    Its too bad because it looks to be a great phone otherwise.
    Reply
  • Despoiler - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    The Nexus 4 will never come to Verizon. Not including LTE was primarily a political move, secondary a battery life consideration, and tertiary for SKU simplicity.

    Verizon had their hands all over the Android releases on the Samsung Nexus causing them to be delayed or scrapped for the next release. It's a dev phone though. Google needs to be able to roll out whatever it wants to when it wants to. Breaking carrier control on handsets is part of what Google has been trying to do with their Nexus phones.

    32GB of memory is unnecessary with Google services like Music and Drive. Everything is on the cloud so why does it also need to be on your phone?
    Reply
  • Fx1 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    My God why is the battery life so crap? How does the HTC X manage to beat it? Reply
  • IKeelU - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I also would love to know the answer to this. Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I say you need to take battery life test with a grain of salt. My SGS3 didn't have the best battery life tests on paper, but in real time it's a champ. My gf shoots me with her envy look while holding her iphone 4s. She can't go through a day with a charge while I can easily do 2 days ;) Reply
  • uhuznaa - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Yeah, but this is about the Nexus 4 and the battery life DOES suck. Reply
  • yipwssg - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Your gf must be checking her faceBook account constantly :)
    If not, the bettery must be aged . Ask her to get a new replacement from Apple if her set is still under warranty.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    it must be about the settings. I can easily go 2 days, and sometimes 3 with my 4S... Reply
  • phillyry - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Are you sure that's not cause she does more with it / uses it more? Reply
  • Mbonus - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    "My God why is the battery life so crap? How does the HTC X manage to beat it? "

    I wonder if it has to do with HTC One-X overly aggressively killing background apps . As I recall there were a lot of complaints about no multitasking on the One X. I bet that would improve battery life.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    That wouldn't diminish power usage by memory a whole lot, and HTC actually went back and addressed it with a patch so it behaves much much closer to other phones. I think the biggest issue is they 're cramming a tablet-bound SoC into a phone (see the thermal throttling issues) without even giving it a larger battery. Reply
  • Strk - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Why do the speaker volume test at just 3" away? How about normal browsing distance? (k, that's subjective, I guess, but for a typical person browsing the internet/watching a video) Cupping the speaker vs not cupping the speaker etc. Watching a clip on youtube, netflix or whatever on my Galaxy Nexus is such a pain if there is even the slightest ambient noise. Reply
  • 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
  • Rits - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Mean nothing in real life. The N4 flies through tasks in practical usage. Bring me an iPhone5 and show me how it is faster in any way. Synthetic benchmarks are, for the most part, useless. Esp, cross-platform ones. Reply
  • PeteH - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Depends. In most cases I agree with you, but if you're interested in a phone capable of, for example, playing state of the art (for a mobile device) games, certain graphical benchmarks are useful.

    Granted most users won't care about that, but most users don't read AnandTech.
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    The iPhone 5 isn't faster, its software is more optimized. Chrome is well known to really "suck" in javascript and scrolling performance on Android. Even Dolphin Browser beats it in each performance category. Samsung's stock browser on the SGS3 is probably the best Android browser out there, I wonder how well it would perform on the Nexus 4's CPU. Chrome is nice for syncing bookmarks across all your devices in addition to some stuff, but otherwise, it really sucks.

    In the GPU benchmark tests where the A6 (PowerVR SGX543 MP3) beats the APQ 8064 (Snapdragon S4 Pro's Adreno 320), These are sub-scores (sub-tests) that don't really show the "big picture". They test the GPU of the platform for several shader-centric tasks. Those who use these benchmarks are looking for specific numbers for specific purposes.

    What really matters in GLBenchmark for most consumers is the "Egypt Classic" and "Egypt HD" tests. These tests show the gaming/GPU performance of the platform as a whole, with the former testing "generic" 3D gaming capabilities, and the latter testing for the most modern demanding games (that stresses the platform/shaders for most fillrate, vertex, and compute performance. It's mostly over-kill and you wont see games demanding the same anytime soon). You'll easily achieve 60fps with any game you run on the Nexus 4 even with a higher resolution than the iPhone 5...

    The Nexus 4 should prove to be better performing and more "future-proof" than the iPhone 5, since it has a faster CPU (quad core Krait VS dual core Swift) and a GPU that supports future standards like OpenGL ES 3.0, Open CL and Renderscript, unlike the PowerVR inside the A6 chip. Software optimization is a non-issue since it can be tuned-up in future updates or different browsers from Play Store in the case of the web browser.

    There are lots of metrics to consider in cross-platform/cross-OS benchmarking, and there's absolutely NO benchmark that will show the true difference of performance among different platforms, especially with "Android VS Android" or "Android VS iOS" because each Android OEM utilizes different hardware and different software optimizations (in addition to other factors, like thermal throttling in this review's case). That's probably not the case when comparing the iPhone 5 versus the 4S or even a Windows Phone 8 devices versus another device running the same OS because both platforms use vertically integrated hardware/software, but that's where firmware and driver version differences start to kick in, but it's closer to reality than anything related to Android.
    Reply
  • Red Oak - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    And also, no LTE. Comical. Certainly for the US market Reply
  • antef - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Not at half the price of other phones. Also Android and especially Nexus is an open platform, so that automatically shuts the door on CDMA and consequently the biggest LTE carrier in the US. Nobody who has good HSPA+ cares. Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    In Europe you get pretty good carrier support with just quad band LTE which is showing up now. All USIM, plus Band 7, Band 20, Band 8, Band 3 covers most here and is available in most countries. In Sweden we started on Band 7 and now runs networks at Band 20 and Band 8 too. So we can actually get devices now which runs on all the frequencies either in use or that will be refarmed. Similar in other countries here. Most carriers has a few bands. You do need to support more then one. More troublesome in the US obviously. It is looking up finally though. DC-HSPA+ is up an running too so, even in small communities. It's not bad, at least not if you are able to use wifi for heavier/larger stuff. Reply
  • antef - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Clearly the Nexus 4 is not named as such because it's the 4th Nexus phone like you mention. If that was the case the Nexus 7 and 10 would throw a wrench in that wouldn't it? It's named that way because the screen is 4(.7)". If you look at the Nexus logo on the site they even de-emphasize the number by making it a small superscript to "nexus" and saying "now in three sizes." The fact that it's the 4th Nexus is just a coincidence. I would expect them to keep these names going forward and just release a Nexus 4 2nd gen, 3rd gen, etc. Reply
  • Rits - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Correct. Reply
  • tarunactivity - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    The iPhone 5 resolution is 1136x640-pixel , not 1136x960 ...

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html
    Reply
  • stotticus - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Of what city are those pictures? Reply
  • zeroidea - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    It's Tucson, AZ!

    They must have been taken a few weeks ago (a lot of the streetcar construction downtown has been completed)
    Reply
  • DukeN - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Brian, are you able to verify if the material is actually rubber? This would be a serious issue for many users, including some in my family with severe latex allergies. Reply
  • PeteH - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Wow, that didn't even occur to me, but it could be a real problem. It's not like latex is an uncommon allergy either, so hopefully Google or LG thought about that and used something other than rubber. Reply
  • Rits - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Its rubberised plastic. Shouldn't be a problem at all to latex-allergic folks. Reply
  • PeteH - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Not doubting you, but do you have a source? Reply
  • Rits - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Previous LG devices that had the same material were latex-free. There is no reason this one would deviate. But, you could always email LG/Google for an official confirmation. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Should have used a dual core CPU with a decent GPU. Quad core is a waste in phones because overall it hurts battery life more than it helps certain usage models, and if there's so much throttling what's the point.

    Does Android do thread parking? Do these CPUs have per-core power gating?
    Reply
  • JohnnyL53 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Throttling may not be an issue in the real world in terms of a noticeable affect and may just show up in benchmarks. In other words, who cares what the benchmark performance is if its at such a high level it's not perceptible? What I never see explained is how far apart do you need to get before you can distinguish one device's performance from another. Granted on most of the tests the iPhone far outpaces any other phone, but is it even noticeable? Are we just talking bragging rights, future proofing, etc? Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    The value of a faster CPU on a phone, for normal people, right now, is that the phone feels snappier. So, for example, an iPhone5 feels perceptibly faster than an iPhone 4S not because computational tasks take 1 minute instead of 2 minutes, but because a dozen small things take .1 second instead of .2 seconds.

    From this point of view
    (a) thermal throttling is no big deal, and I personally have no problem with it. It was a good idea when Intel started it years ago (to the accompaniment of a massive chorus of whining) and it would be a fine idea to have it as built into an ever wider selection of phone chips.

    (b) quad-core remains a solution in search of a problem. Maybe one day it will have value; maybe it has value for games (which I don't care about). But for the way I and my crowd use phones, it has no value yet.

    (c) the present collection of benchmarks are largely useless because they do NOT track this essence of snappiness which is what most people mean when they say a phone is "fast". Yes, if you're a developer writing demanding code you care about very particular aspects of the phone --- perhaps you care about the memory bandwidth, or the FLOPs, or the random flash write performance. But for most people, what matters is the snappiness. Existing benchmarks are a poor proxy for that feeling, and I do wish the serious blogs could do better.

    Right now all we have is this lame sniping like 12 yr olds: "My Nokia feels fast", "Oh yeah, well my Samsung feels even faster", "Well my iPhone feels fastest of all". And regardless of your feelings about Apple, if you support Team Android or Team Windows, you should be pushing for snappiness benchmarks because that is one of Apple's great strengths --- they don't care about, and don't optimize for benchmark numbers, they optimize for snappiness, and buyers do appear to be aware of and notice this. As long as the non-Apple market is forced to compete on these "overt" benchmarks as ways for each vendor to differentiate themselves and show their technical superiority, what will be optimized for are benchmark numbers, NOT user feel and snappiness.
    Reply
  • Zink - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I think with a DSLR at 60 FPS and editing to synchronize individually recorded videos it would be possible to do accurate side by side comparison of app responsiveness and web page loads. With a bit of video analysis, graphs could be made comparing performance down to the frame and FPS in animations measured.

    You could even do this on the go for a real world performance comparison. A normal day of use could be simulated by walking/commuting around your city and setting up a tripod in an apartment, on the sidewalk, inside an office building, at the bar etc. Then run several tests on each phone where you get the phone out of your pocket like normal and open a web page, post a comment, take a photo etc. all while the screen is on camera. Several similar tasks could be averaged into a single category score for a bit better repeatability.

    With proper analysis of the resulting video a pretty damn accurate comparison of the whole cellular, hardware and software system could be made. Basically the ultimate benchmark measuring user phone performance. I've seen some well done side by side comparisons but never in depth or with good numbers along with the video.
    Reply
  • jwwpua - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Now THAT would be a great way to compare phones. I love the idea of using a hi-speed camera to compare real world tasks. Reply
  • funky247 - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Genius. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    For those reading, it went up on Google Play at 8:35 pacific, 25 mins ahead of time. Reply
  • BenSkywalker - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    So we know a whole bunch about how the browser performs, and a lot of how Imagination Technologies press demo performs, any chance at some point you may decide to bench the CPU *at all* and perhaps run at least a single meaningful GPU bench? Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Can we plus one this fella above?
    I've really been looking forward to a thorough review of the krait architecture (including the new adreno 300 series) but there doesnt appear to be much interest on the AT side to do this.
    Reiterating, I'd love to see the same kind of in depth the testing and analysis that was given to Swift. Qualcomm, like apple, is pretty secretive about their products. Performing some targeted tests would go a long ways towards giving us a better picture of the Arm landscape.
    Reply
  • madmilk - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    The thermal throttling configuration is very aggressive. According to Nexus 4's thermald.conf, throttling is entirely based on battery temperature, with anything below 36 C giving the full 1.5GHz on the CPU and 400MHz on the GPU. By 39 C, the CPU is only running at 1.2GHz and GPU at 200MHz, which reflects the non-freezer results. Reply
  • shaggles - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Seriously, with reviews like this I don't have to look anywhere else for tech reviews. Best review I have read in a long time (and the first I read on Anandtech).

    Great in depth analysis that points out flaws and benefits in a well balanced manner. Great!

    I'll be getting this sexy phone!
    Reply
  • abhicherath - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I mean seriously, look at that.
    In addition to being the best value proposition on the market...

    Google's outdone themselves, again.
    Reply
  • chrnochime - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    So does the glass back make this phone as brittle as the iphone4/4S? Reply
  • Rits - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    RTFR Reply
  • chrnochime - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I did and it just mentioned that it gets streaks on the bottom genius. Did YOU RTFR? Reply
  • Rits - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Do you know what brittle means? Streaks? Where did you read streaks? I read "sleeks" which are fine scratches (if you'd RTFR). Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    According to other reviews, yes, it is quite brittle (the verge dropped it from a table to a hard wood floor and a spidery crack emerged from the corner to the camera module and that wasnt the onlg review that had problems with durability).
    A case is highly suggested.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    That's a big turnoff IMO. I'd love to see a poll on AT to find out what percentage of readers actually uses cases or not tho...

    I find myself tempted every year to go caseless but I never end up doing it for several reasons. Slim TPU cases allow me to put the phone down screen first without worrying about it, and it protects the camera too. Cases also help mitigate impact from drops and protect my resale value too...

    Basically I could care less for in hand feel, gonna be feeling the case anyway. I'd rather just have an all around sturdier phone. I can appreciate the design of something like the One X over most Samsung designs but it's not a huge deal to me.

    Hell I don't even think my EVO LTE is as fugly as some make it out to be, and the metal build seems rather solid.
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    IIRC, the verge mentioned something about Google releasing some kind of case that mainly protects the corners (I think they said it was something like the case apple put out for the iphone 4), but I could be mistaken.
    I've a nexus s and I've never used a case and the phone looks pretty much brand new (the screen did break awhile back after cat shot [as in, he was running, phone was in the way] the phone onto ceramic tile floor in the kitchen...so, about as nasty a fall as a phone will take). For the nexus 4, which I'm going to get, I will almost certainly get a case.
    About the build quality, something that others have mentioned, and reviewers frequently forget (though not so much here), is that in hand feel has relatively little to with how well the device will survive impacts.
    The iphone 4/s had great in hand feel but the damn thing is brittle as all hell.
    Samsung phones, while "plasticy", survive drops well (excepting the latest generation, apparently). However, you should keep in mind I actually like the in-hand feel of my nexus. It has almost no sharp angles and sits so comfortably in hand, and slides in and out of my pocket so easily.
    Reply
  • Baroobob - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    "We now have a form factor of device for every two inches of diagonal difference."

    Should be every three inches assuming you're referring to Nexus 4, 7, 10.
    Reply
  • Zink - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I was confused at well. Reply
  • andybryant - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Does it support USB OTG without needing 3rd-party software or re-flashing?

    i.e. to allow me to read/write to an external USB key or SD card in reader.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Good question! If so, it alleviates much of the 'no SD slot' pain. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    yeah this is something I'd like to know as well. I still bought it, but the only thing I'm having worries about is being able to take a usb full of movies on it for a flight or something. A super short OTG cable and one of those USB drives that sticks out like 2mm would be great.

    In the end, if not supported out of the box (like the N7) then ill just root and use stickmount
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    There's an app a ton of people are using with the N7 sans root that allows them to import or even stream video from USB devices using OTG, it's a pretty solid workaround for those that would rather avoid rooting. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    know what this app is called by any chance? I havent heard of any way for them to read off a usb without rooting Reply
  • Freedomuser - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    The none-root app called Nexus Media Importer. There is a thread in accessories in xda for DIY USB OTG to microSD is great. Check it out. Reply
  • andybryant - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    I guess this is the thread
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1...

    Sounds like an opportunity for a kickstarter.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com....
    Reply
  • twtech - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I would be tempted to try this phone, except for the battery life. That could probably be mitigated somewhat by buying a few charging mats, but still I don't think I could ever go back from having all-day no hassle battery life to having to watch the battery meter again to make sure that my phone isn't going to turn off.

    Also, the glass back sounds a bit dangerous, but it's a relief to hear you dropped it a few times with no ill-effects.
    Reply
  • Rits - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Brian, let me thank you for this fantastic review. Its probably going to be the definitive review of the Nexus 4. The level of detail just made me smile! And thanks for the audio fidelity part (graph missing?) and teaming up with François was just what I needed. I'll await his (or your) detailed analysis of that part.

    Keep up the great work. :)
    Reply
  • wffurr - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    What an incredibly thorough review. This is the first Anandtech smartphone review I have read, and I am seriously impressed. Thank you for all your hard work.

    One thing that I would like to see included is the brightness, black level, and contrast measurements for the Galaxy Nexus. Are they not included because it's an AMOLED display?

    That's my current phone, and I also think it's instructive to see the improvement in the Nexus line against its direct predecessor.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Out of those, brightness is the only thing you can meaningfully measure for AMOLED. Black is 0 and contrast is therefore 'infinite.' Note that the Galaxy Nexus is listed on the brightness chart. Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I'm confused. The phone seems to have horrible performance, making it one of the slowest Android phones in the benchmarks (doesn't matter to users why the browser benchmarks are so bad, only that they are) and terrible overheating problem, but it's "the phone to get?"

    It sounds more like a critically flawed product that should be avoided at all costs. There are plenty of other Android phones that don't have performance or overheating problems.
    Reply
  • uhuznaa - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    It's really cheap, though. Don't underestimate the draw of being able to afford it without much thinking. Worked great with the Nexus 7 too.

    Personally I'm really pissed off by the battery life despite a huge battery, this thing is quite a brick.
    Reply
  • meloz - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    >It's really cheap, though.

    Until you include the price of a carrier plan? Or were you planning to use this smartphone without any phone capabilities? Apple iphone sells so well *inspite* of its premium price because most people who buy it buy with plans.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    The iPhone 5 is $199 on contract, right?

    How much is the Nexus 4 on contract?
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Hard to do a direct comparison when you can't find the thing anywhere. None of the major Canadian carriers have the Nexus 4, but the LG Optimus G was $50 less than the iPhone 5. A list of what I saw:

    iPhone 5: $180
    LG Optimus G: $130
    Galaxy Nexus: $0
    iPhone 4S: $0
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    This is the best thing Google does (make phones that can be used on any service provider), in my opinion. $300 (or $350) for a top-end phone you can use on any carrier? Almost makes my desire for a Nokia 920 Win 8 phone go away.

    Then, I think about Android compared to Win 8, and realize that will likely never happen.

    ;)
    Reply
  • crankerchick - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the thorough review. Too bad this phone will go largely unnoticed in the US amongst non-enthusiasts, and almost wholly ignored by any one on CDMA. Those of wanting LTE (who also acknowledge that a nexus on VZW is a hard feat to accomplish) are left wanting more, and *gasp* looking at the iPhone 5. I wanted this to be my next, but I'm not willing to switch to have it.

    I hope the folks around the world make this phone super-successful and can make this phone a game changer in the Android landscape (and here in the US where carriers rule and the customers drool). That's a lot to ask, but I'm still hopeful.
    Reply
  • superjim - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    WTB Nexus 10 review. Sure there's plenty on the net but I specifically wait for the AT review. Reply
  • Pipperox - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I do not understand how Google can sell a "flagship" phone which is unable to complete a 3D benchmark without thermal throttling.

    This is unacceptable, do they expect people who run intensive 3D apps such as games to take a liquid cooling kit with them?

    Also unacceptable is the lack of browser optimizations for this SoC.

    The Snapdragon S4 Pro is a BEAST, with 2x the theoretical CPU power than pretty much any other ARM SoC (with the exception of the Cortex A15 which is only for tablets now), and yet one sees lackluster performance in most browser related tests.

    This is a diamond which hasn't been polished at all... the only thing going for it is the price.
    Reply
  • JohnnyL53 - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    The throttling is not an issue if it doesn't result in any real world performance slowdown. Although the reviewer adds subjective comments to the battery life section, I would like to see some comments as to how benchmark performance actually relates to real world performance. What seems to be poor performance in a benchmark may not even be apparent when playing a 3D intensive game. Reply
  • meloz - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    >The throttling is not an issue if it doesn't result in any real world performance slowdown.

    Yes, because in real world everyone will use this device in temperature controlled room (mom's basement?). I mean, who goes out on a hot summer day?
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    The bottom line is that if you have to use a freezer to get results from a phone in the same situation where other phones don't have such a requirement, there are issues.

    The reality is that this phone probably gets too hot so the throttling was a necessity rather than a choice.
    Reply
  • hulabaloo - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    "We now have a form factor of device for every two inches of diagonal difference. "

    Should be three inches?
    Reply
  • kyuu - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the in-depth review, Mr. Klug. Greatly appreciated.

    Question: Is there a review for the Lumia 920 in the works? I'd really love to see a thorough review on it like this one from yourself or Anand.
    Reply
  • aryonoco - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Thanks Brian, you've outdone yourself yet again. There is literally no reason to read any other Nexus 4 review.

    And also, a huge hats off to Anand for employing the very talented Brian and giving him a platform to show of his talents. You guys rock!
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    I suppose the end result explains how thry achieved the price of $300.
    About the SoC, is there anyway AT could do a more detailed review of the s4 pro? Perhaps something like what you did for Swift?
    There is something seriously wrong with the s4 pro. Singke threaded performance shouod be really similar to the s4 but it is always as good bit slower. The memory performance has likewise regressed.
    Has there been actual architectural changes made that causes this or is it something software releated (perhaps core affinity is nonexistent causing processes to keep moving between cores thus harming single thread performance).
    Reply
  • Slaps - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    ""First, audioflinger is set to 48 kHz which results in software resampling causing artifacts for 41.1 kHz source material.""

    I think you mean 44.1 kHz not 41.1 kHz :)
    Reply
  • Conficio - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Hi Brian,
    thanks for all the hard work that flowed into this review. Your drive to put out the best reviews is evident and you are succeeding when measured in the amount of data and information.

    However, I'm considering this phone for my wife, and wanted to send it to her for a read. That is until I realized the enormous amount of comparisons to other phones, to other chips, etc. make it a really hard read. Somehow the text is a review and a history lesson mixed in one. I'd wished there would be a structure like the following:
    * Introduction
    * Form factor, feel, usability
    * The phone's innards and benchmarks
    * Comparison to phone X
    * Comparison to phone Y
    ...
    * The good, the bad, the ugly and conclusion

    Funny that I'm as ambivalent about the phone. On the one side it looks great on price and basic features and independence of carriers and phone companies and their skin shenanigans (Why don't they compete on useful social or productivity software or at least make the skin removable). And I don't even need LTE, and can live w/o more memory. But then there is the thermal throttling going on and that just makes me uneasy. While it may not mean that much in today's real world applications, it is unnerving, that performance is something not reliable. It is there, but when you really use it it disappears. Reminds me of the unlimited ISP plans with speeds depending on your neighbor's usage and caps set so that they'll hurt in three years. I hope for really useful apps in three years to actually catch up to four cores.

    What also bother's me is the camera. The low light performance is xoxo. But this horrible yellow tint is not something I'd appreciate. Can anybody recommend PC/ Mac OS X software to correct this? Can one set up something like a monitor calibration profile?
    Reply
  • Conficio - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    For a few years now we had the death grip test in every phone test. Has this problem disappeared altogether? How do we know? Due to tests or any other characteristic? Reply
  • staticx57 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Not a problem with the review itself, but chrome is so far behind on Android that it absolutely kills the experience. If you compare AOSP browser vs chrome, not only does the AOSP browser faster in feel but kills chrome in benchmarks. It is pathetic that the Nexus 4 with krait scores 1800 ms sunspider but the Gnex on AOSP scores much better says something about the software Google chose to ship with. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Google really needs to address this... Whether they need to start optimizing for the most popular SoC or simply update faster, it should not be that hard for them to improve on it. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    is there a way to just install the AOSP browser on the nexus? mine should be arriving friday if they ship on time and on my dad's gs3 i wasnt too impressed with chrome either Reply
  • funky247 - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    I would like to know this as well. The AOSP browser on my Gnex performs much better than Chrome and I'll be reluctant to get the N4 if I'll be stuck with Chrome. Reply
  • staticx57 - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    You can try this:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1...
    Reply
  • tvdang7 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    How exactly does this phone get less talktime and wifi hotspot then a gsm galaxy nexus which has like 25% less batter capacity...................I am dissapointed. This s4 pro chipset sucks they should have just stuck with the regular s4 chipset , I don't care about gpu performance. Reply
  • plion - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    so why doesn't the optimus g suffer from thermal throttling? Isn't it pretty much the same insides as a nexus 4? Reply
  • Freedomuser - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    It does suffered, it fall out off the tests suit. They had to do the tests independently. Reply
  • plion - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    ah i see,. thanks for the reply Reply
  • thebeastie - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Just comparing it to other major unlocked phones I can buy http://www.kogan.com/au/shop/phones/

    Nexus 4 seems like a complete rip off really, With the HTC One-X I can get 32GB of flash for virtually same price and have %50 more battery life and beat the nexus in most CPU benchmarks etc.
    http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/htc-one-x-white/

    I think they will still sell a lot of these though, the phone market moves too fast for people to notice other phone prices are falling underneath them.
    Reply
  • ericbentley - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    I'm just wondering if putting a case on (to protect that glass back, ugh) would hinder or prevent the phone's wireless charging capability.
    I notice that Google only makes the bumper accessory, which leads me to believe it would be an issue
    Anyone have any insight on this?
    Reply
  • Freedomuser - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    I read on Qi's standard, now charge up to an inch from the inductive charger. With a case you should be straight. Google's orb is angled, it uses N4's back glass to hold still. Reply
  • kgh00007 - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Have you ever put an iPhone in the freezer and published the resulting benchmarks, or any other phone for that matter?
    Something smells funny here! I always thought Anandtech to be impartial before.
    Reply
  • dishayu - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Meh, that is how they statistically show you that thermal throttling is affecting the performance. Your accusation would have help good if they had only published the freezer benchmarks. But they published both because they wanted to showcase that the phone thermally throttles itself (i.e. a negative point about the phone)... How exactly is that partial? Reply
  • kgh00007 - Monday, November 19, 2012 - link

    I think it is particularly significant that this phone was selected to be the first phone that was actually put in a freezer and the results published, why not the iPhone or some other phone that was known to be trottling?
    Seriously, think about it.
    There is a big difference between stating that a phone throttles and the theoretical performance is X and actually putting a phone in the freezer and publishing the resulting benchmarks.
    I am entitled to my opinion, and my opinion here is that somebody is working for the man, the wrong man.
    Reply
  • kgh00007 - Monday, November 19, 2012 - link

    There is quite a big difference between stating that a phone is throttling and the theoretical performance should be X, and putting a phone in the freezer and publishing the resulting benchmarks.
    The choice of phone to be the first to recieve this treatment is suspicious to me.
    My opinion, which I am entitled to, is that somebody is working for the man, the wrong man.
    This is evident to me, think about it yourself.
    Reply
  • thesavvymage - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    they basically said "the phone IS being thermally throttled. here's what would happen if it wasnt..."

    nowhere does it ever say that the freezer tests would ever be indicative of a real world test. they are just showing for information
    Reply
  • kgh00007 - Monday, November 19, 2012 - link

    People are aready taklking in the comments about how this phone has to be put in the freezer in order to gain maximum performance from it.
    People are not saying the same about the iPhone, that is the significance.
    As I said something fishy going on here and I don't like it.
    In fact this is the first time Anandtech has dissapointed me with a review, but it is a rather large dissapointment.
    Reply
  • galtma - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Is it feasible to replace the RAM in the N4 to upgrade it to 32gb? Where in the internals would you dig? Reply
  • noblemo - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    I think you are referring to the NAND Flash, but in either case the NAND and RAM are soldered to the mainboard. Brian made the following comment in the section, "Inside the Nexus 4" (page 7 of the review) regarding the NAND:

    "I couldn’t get the can off of what appears to be the eMMC (the only remaining large package), we’ll have to see if anyone else wants to do some destructive digging to get that one."

    He is referring to the device under the EMI shield (with a QR code label) in the lower left corner of this image:

    http://images.anandtech.com/galleries/2435/Nexus-4...
    Reply
  • praveen44 - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Excellent review. Reply
  • spiritrajat - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    most exhaustive review..being an electronics engg myself i realy enjoyed going through the reveiw...job very well done Reply
  • noblemo - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Q: Hey, Nexus 4, why so blue?
    A: Because no one at Google is responsible for display calibration.

    It's unfortunate that color accuracy does not get more attention from manufacturers.

    Was throttling observed and was there a noticeable impact during daily usage? Any thoughts on whether it would be an issue in climates with ambient temperatures greater than 30C?
    Reply
  • Freedomuser - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Qualcomm's S4 pro has thermal problems. It will affect daily usage with surrounding temperatures and the battery will be much hotter in higher temperatures. Reply
  • Freedomuser - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    First of, great review. If anyone planning to purchased a device, Anandtech is a stop for a review.

    I want to know what phones survived your test suit, LG Optimus G fall out. Nexus 4 finished with thermal problems. What about other phones on the charts? Please, list it on the charts.
    Reply
  • mrkaupo - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Great review.
    Hard to decide Lumia920 or Nexus4.

    Nexus hardware and price is great, but L920 design and wp8 is so tempting.

    I have to wait for L920 review - camera and battery life is the question for me.
    Reply
  • leafspring - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    The performance tests are hilarious. Of what use is a result that has to be achieved by placing the phone in the freezer? I usually don't sit in the freezer when using my smartphone so what are these numbers supposed to tell me?

    Other than that, nice article. :)
    Reply
  • noblemo - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    There are other comments above that address this question. In summary, the freezer tests verify that the initial performance issues were the result of thermal throttling. It is a troubleshooting technique, not a lifestyle recommendation. Reply
  • jian9007 - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the detailed review of the Nexus 4. I always like to come here and read the reviews, as they delve into more intricate areas of products. Keep up the good work. Reply
  • adityanag - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    "Corded up, the Galaxy Nexus can eek out just over 19 Mbps on 64QAM single carrier WCDMA which is the maximum that hardware supports."

    On the Cellular, Wi-Fi GNSS page, about 3/4ths of the way down the page.

    eek is a mouse's cry :)
    Reply
  • meloz - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    I had to laugh out loud when I saw the benchmarks with "freezer" results.

    What a farce. If this is tbe best Google / LG can come up with, Apple truly deserve their pricing premiums and marketshare.

    Hopefully Google will be shipping a walk-in freezer with every Nexus 4, so that us users can walk into the freezer to use the full potential of the new wondergadget.
    Reply
  • ferrydust - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Article says: "In fact having the photo table daydream going will slow down charging on that device somewhat dramatically if you’re not careful."

    I am pleasantly surprised with the Daydream feature, I expect they'll add more settings options for fine-tuning customization, but it's a great start. There is zero interference with charging because all you have to do is press the power button once to turn off the screen! Then no daydream and no powerdrain on that front! But for those times when your're not worried about charging your device but have it docked or sitting someplace and would like to enjoy soothing colors or favorite pictures, the Daydream screensaver feature is a pleasant option.
    Reply
  • pmartin - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    If the phone has to placed in the freezer to get all the performance you paid for then the phone is broke. Thanks to this review the phone went from a must buy to a wait till its fixed. Why anyone would buy this phone after reading your review is a retarded fanboy. Thanks for a informative review. Reply
  • Freedomuser - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - link

    Not so fast. If the tests suite was intense like i think it's then even iphone 5 will get overheated.

    So, the question is, does any other phones in your chart survived the tests suite? LG Optimus G dropped out. Nexus 4 made it through with overheat. What about others on your chart?
    Reply
  • meloz - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    >>Not so fast. If the tests suite was intense like i think it's then even iphone 5 will get overheated.

    But in this test it did not. And in any benchmark in which iphone5 will overheat, the Nexus 4 will overheat and throttl even worse!

    I want Android and Nexus to do well, because they represent a more user-friendly (freedom) choice to iphone. But Google seriously need to address overheating, battery life and other such fundamental issues. Nexus 4 is a crappy device, at any price. I hope future software/firmware updates mitigate some of the problems.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    I don't care if this is the best phone ever, they've made a big mistake by missing out the microSD slot. Reply
  • Mugur - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Just a small mistake in article: "First, audioflinger is set to 48 kHz which results in software resampling causing artifacts for 41.1 kHz source material.". It should be 44.1. not 41.1, I think... Reply
  • Mugur - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Running a 3D game for one hour is one thing, but throttling in a benchmark does not look good. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, December 24, 2012 - link

    Yeah...I wonder if tiny heatsinks in it would solve this, and become a norm as phone SoCs aim for higher and higher performance. Reply
  • cyberguyz - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Seems Google has a problem with allowing the user to expand his storage beyond what they give you. Why is that?

    The phone comes with 16gb internal flash memory, but no way of expanding it. This seems to be a popular trend with all Google-branded Nexus devices (Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 tablet are the same). The lack of sdcard support in an Android device kills the ability to set up a Windows drive letter for it. Without that drive letter many popular programs like Calibre have an issue attaching to the device to manage things like ebooks (this is a real pain in the ass with my nexus 7!!). I for one like the freedom popping in another 64GB microSD card gives me.

    The lack of a removable battery also hurts this phone. I have hard experience with the life of li-Ion batteries losing capacity over time in laptops. Every couple years I have to get new batteries because the Li-Ion battery loses capacity until it cant keep my laptop alive for more than 20 minutes without dying. I like Samsungs because I can always replace the battery cheaply when it goes south and I don't have to send my phone (and private data) away for servicing to do it.

    Beyond these two (as I consider them major) gripes, this is a really nice phone.
    Reply
  • funky247 - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    With regard to the non-removable battery issue, most of the people I know don't like non-removable batteries because it limits their ability to whip out a backup battery when they need the extra juice while they're no the go.

    However, if the issue is with replacing the battery as it gets older, you can do it yourself! It even tells you how to do it in the review. You can buy authentic OEM batteries off of Ebay and do everything yourself, with the right tools. Some sellers will even ship the tools!
    Reply
  • cyberguyz - Monday, November 19, 2012 - link

    There are both of those issues with non-removable batteries.

    While the article tells you how to change the battery yourself, they do not mention that if you do that, you void your warranty (granted the warranty is gone after the battery goes south anyway). There are a lot of folks that cringe at the though of splitting open their $500-600 US phone to replace a battery.

    I for one don't keep a #4 torx screwdriver around.

    The ability to whip in a new battery in 2 sec without special tools in a vendor-blessed manner is a bit plus to me.

    Now if only Samsung (or anyone else - I'm not a brand fanboy) would put out an Android-based phone with quad-core Krait or A15, 2GB memory, 32GB expandable storage and user-replaceable battery, I would ebay my SG3 in a heatbeat and be all over it.
    Reply
  • Brandy123 - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    What I don't get is although the price and specs are very attractive for an unlocked: no contract phone, 8 or 16GB is really small by today's standards when there is no microSD slot! Google is obviously assuming you will be connected to the net 24/7 and streaming your music and videos via Google Play and other services. But then your data usage goes through the roof! Will this aggressive pricing force more carriers to offer truly unlimited data plans and more reasonable prices?

    Also, HPSA+ is fast enough for most, but lack of LTE is another compromise to get that good price. Yet it still is "the buzz" (note that the sellout time means nothing without knowing the number of units sold.)

    So maybe the other key to the popularity of this device may be that with the younger generation, their phone is sort of a status symbol to them. Who can wait 2-years for contract renewal to get a new phone? But who can afford a $900 iPhone with no contract? BAM - Nexus 4 - I can get the latest gadget with specs good enough to brag about, with no contract, and without having to eat Top Ramen for a month to afford it. Who cares it doesn't have enough memory to store my video, photos and MP3 collection. I'll put it all on the Cloud and run my data usage through the roof instead.
    Reply
  • Daviii - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    I don't understand the rant about the performance.

    The phone is obviously the same as the Optimus G, as well as the thermal design.

    Therefore is not about the Nexus 4 getting hotter, it's about the Nexus 4 being explicitly more conservative.

    It's something that can be fixed by software. Just set the same thermal thresolds and you have identical performance to the optimus G.

    And to those who compare it to the iPhone 5... seriously, it's half the price! One must REALLY consider if $350 extra dollars are worth some hours of battery life. It's pretty clear that at $299 some compromises must be assumed, otherwise iPhone 5 wouldn't be an option. Would it?
    Reply
  • maeil - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    Great review all in all, but I just started to wonder why the galaxy note 2 is not included in any of the performance, battery & connectivity graphs? Some weeks earlier there was a review about the Note2 (T-mobile). Is Anandtech making a new review with the international version of N7100 or N7105 in the future or is there some other reason I have not figured out yet?

    Keep up the good work!
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    http://www.droid-life.com/2012/11/15/benchmarks-lg...

    Keep in mind these devices have the same SoC (the DNA was running android 4.1.1).
    So, that out of the way, the DNA STOMPED the nexus 4.
    On Quadrant (yes, I know, how does it determine those numbers), the DNA was about 90% faster than the nexus 4.
    On smartbench the DNA was about 40% faster.
    ON Vellamo html5 DNA was about 90% faster.
    AnTuTu the DNA was about 40% faster.

    So, I wonder if android 4.2 has pushed performance back aways.
    Reply
  • coolkingakram - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    Brian,

    Which weather widget are you using on your nexus 4?
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    The iPhone 5 and iPad 4 sure wiped the floor with the Nexus 4.
    Amusing to see Android kids all of a sudden not care about LTE, glass back, no SD card slot when that was supposed to be a travesty on the iPhone 4s.
    Good luck getting a signal on T-Mobile os the HSPA networks that AT&T is deprecating as fast as they can in favor of LTE.
    Once again we see what a dumb idea it was to use a JVM on a smartphone.
    Reply
  • corleyman - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    Unlocked GSM & powerful processor to fully take advantage of unlimited 4G data, talk & txt. That's the kind of service that I get for only $49/mo or less! :) Check out the 1-min video intro at: http://www.PenniesOverDollars.com Reply
  • baozebub - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    Before reading this article, I heard that the S3 was the king of Android devices, and that the iPhone 5 was barely catching up when it came out. Seems the propaganda is very effective in the smartphone world.

    I'm not sure why people on this thread are not talking about how badly the Android phones perform next to the Apple devices.
    Reply
  • tanjinjack - Monday, November 19, 2012 - link

    I must say this is an impressive review, very detailed and informative and it should serve as a very good read for all potential Nexus 4 buyers. Bravo!

    Nonetheless, I wish you could include more information about its thermal performance. How warm does it get and which part of the phone warms up the most? Is it uncomfortable to hold after prolonged gaming/browsing? Perhaps using a thermal monitor to inspect its surface temperature would be enough to gauge its thermal dissipation ability. To me, coming from a phone who will simply reboot due to overheating, having a cool phone will make a better experience and surely longer battery life (in term of overall acquisition of the phone)! Any chance to see that part being added?
    Reply
  • kfayz - Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - link

    How does the one x international beat the nexus 4 in all batterylife tests?! Every site I've seen complains about the one x batterylife which is whats holding me from getting one. Is the one x international in the battery tests on the latest jb update?! Reply
  • shaolin95 - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    My point is...GLBenchmark show differences betweeen GPUs like Mali and Adreno that are totally unrealistic.
    All games run as good or better on the Galaxy Note 2 than the Nexus 4 yet with GLBenchmark you will think the 4 will run circles around the Note 2 so I dont see the point on that benchmark if it does not relate to real life at all.
    Reply
  • Notwist - Monday, December 10, 2012 - link

    I've been married to the Apple ecosystem for the last several years, but more and more, I'm really intrigued by what Android offers, particularly with regards to how it streamlines and organizes things (the card system, displaying multiple bits of info on a single page, etc.). I have alot of trouble with organization in my life, so any systems/software/etc. that can help streamline things and act as closely to a digital assistant as possible would be very valuable to me.

    Also, I love the Podcasts you guys do, and was interested if you could elaborate on the whole "iOS is like an appliance, Android is a computing device" I've heard Anand mention a few times now.

    Basically: as somebody already in the Apple ecosystem, but willing to change (and pretty technically inclined), what are your feelings regarding the two OSes? What would you suggest? Thanks! =)
    Reply
  • EmilyGreen - Monday, December 24, 2012 - link

    Does this phone work on AT&T's 4GLTE or not? Anyone know? I've heard different stories. As a graphic designer (in New York), I need that data speed for sending large files. Reply
  • Mothi - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Do Nexus 4 support Apple EarPods from apple? Reply
  • divinny - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    it does support the earpods cause it got the same 3.5 mm see here http://www.ozphoneshop.com/nexus-4-review , but it won't support the volume buttons it is apple device features Reply
  • addisonis19 - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    hey i was just wondering i am going to try to swap my battery and was wondering if that will void the warranty i just bought. is there any security tape when you take it apart. i didnt see any but i just want to make sure. Reply
  • Amit kumar - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Wow awesome devise. It feels fresh, modern and smooth. I agree with you, because I checked full specification of this phone on this site as well. www.gadtecho.com Reply
  • rohini - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    it hasn't been released in India till now! :( Reply
  • nidz109 - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    You should revisit the newest Nexus devices again. With Chrome Beta, the Nexus 10 and Nexus 4 bury the iPad, and iPhone 5 in Sunspider, Kraken, Octane, Browsermark and the RIA javascript benchmark. The Mali-T604 is behind, when it comes to GPU power, but the Adreno 320 is still very competitive. Take a look at the average GLBenchmark T-Rex HD off-screen benchmarks. Qualcomm is doing it right, and I'm patiently waiting for the S800. It's sad that Google's crappy Chrome for Android was holding everything back, but that's not the case anymore. Chrome Beta is actually awesome, and I use it more than the AOSP browser.

    With S800, they're going to have the SoC of the year.
    Reply

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