My First Hour with Google’s Nexus 4

I’m very grateful that T-Mobile stepped up and helped me unbox the Nexus 4 live on YouTube today! Without the fine folks there, viewers would have been forced to watch me drool over the hardware in silence.

Nexus 4

  • Android 4.2: Snappiest / most buttery Android device I’ve used. I’m not just saying that either. You won’t believe this is an Android phone with the visible perf it’s pushing down the pike.
  • Screen Feel: My fingers glide across the glass (I LOVE it); slightly less friction than iPhone 5.
  • Screen Text: Clear — it’s very close to a Retina display, but not quite there in every instance (white text over a colored background shows a bit of fuzziness on the text edges). Still very nice.
  • Screen Images: Vibrant, good representation of color. This is a great screen for media consumption.
  • Chrome: Very smooth scroll, pinch-to-zoom drops frames. Enjoyable browsing. It still hates The Verge’s desktop site, though.
  • Still Camera: Fine (undersaturated, noisy in low light), worse than iPhone 5. Moreover, I’ve seen plenty of purple flare with the lens — so all of those non-iPhone 5 owners people who whined about the flare on newer Apple hardware should be eating crow right now.
  • HDR: Slow, imbalanced color output (currently very unoptimized). I wound up producing a few very blurry photos (which turned out to be inadvertently artsy) because I thought it was finished and it wasn’t.
  • Maps: Extremely responsive, smooth zooms. Plus, it’s great data underneath.
  • Google+ App: Scrolls more smoothly than the iOS version (?!). Yes, I use Google+ every day.
  • Fingerprints: Hello? It’s a smartphone. :)
  • Feel in hand: Incredibly light. That was my first reaction. Nice.
  • Single-hand operation: A bit of a stretch, but certainly workable.
  • Default Messages: Messaging, Messenger, Talk (quite a mess, confusing). Google needs to clean up the various default options ASAP.
  • Gmail: Fluid (“Hide pictures in messages” only has a “Yes” option). I can’t stand Google+ email notifications on Android.
  • Rear Speaker: Tinny (voice-optimized?), muted (tolerable) while on a surface. Seriously, I wouldn’t use this for anything other than voice.
  • Photosphere: Meh. Far from seamless; color-imbalanced between frames. Very user-friendly software, though!

My gut tells me: This is a fantastic smartphone for the price and plan(s). Great Android phone, folks.

4 thoughts on “My First Hour with Google’s Nexus 4”

  1. There is definetly a certain way to use photo sphere. Keep your phone in one place and use it as if you would move your head to look around, move the direction of your phone up down, sideways, whatever! Just don’t actually move the placement of your phone when your doing it! I hope you get what I mean, but just pretend your phone is your head and your standing in one place! Hope you see this Chris!

  2. i am waiting to order one when they release officially in india. now ebay has it but it is priced at $400+ for 8 GB model. pretty great review with exact info of what one should know :)


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