Oct 30 AT 1:01 PM Taylor Wimberly 268 Comments

4 reasons I’m buying the Nexus 4, and 4 reasons others might want to skip it


Google finally unveiled the Nexus 4 smartphone after a month of solid leaks, and the device is pretty much what we expected it to be. The rumors were right on about the hardware and Android 4.2, but many of us were surprised to see how low Google priced these devices. Now that everything is official, we can say with certainty that we are buying this phone as soon as it goes on sale on November 13th. Check out our Top 4 reasons for wanting this phone, and read up on why you might want to pass and wait for something else.

4 Reasons I’m buying the Nexus 4

1. Pure Google Experience

If you want the pure Google experience on your mobile device, then your only option is a Nexus device. A pure Google experience means no carrier crapware and no more slow updates from the carriers. You should expect new Android updates in a timely manner and your device will be supported longer than the average carrier branded phone.

2. Unlocked

The Nexus 4 is sold unlocked and is GSM/HSPA+ compatible so it will operate on more than 200 network providers worldwide, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. The Nexus 4 supports networks up to 4G HSPA+ 42Mbps, which happens to be offered by T-Mobile, the official Nexus 4 launch partner.

Being unlocked is also a huge win for fans of pre-paid wireless service. Since the Nexus 4 operates on both AT&T and T-Mobile, it can be used with best pre-paid plans from T-Mobile, Straight Talk, Solavei, and Simple Mobile. Users will get the same 4G HSPA+ speeds already offered by those networks, but they will be paying a fraction of the price if they switch to a pre-paid plan.

3. Latest hardware

This year’s Nexus 4 offers top-of-the-line hardware. It has the latest 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, 2 GB RAM, high-res 1280-by-768 4.7-inch screen with Gorilla Glass 2, and it runs the new Android 4.2. Thanks to the combination of the latest hardware and software, it should offer the fastest performance of any Android phone.

4. Price

The Nexus 4 was rumored to cost $399, so we were quite shocked to see the base price of $299 with 8 GB storage, and $349 with 16 GB storage. The best unlocked phones normally go for $500-600, and now the Nexus 4 offers a better experience at half the price.

4 Reasons you might want to skip the Nexus 4

  1. No 4G LTE: We polled our audience and around 27% said they would not buy the Nexus 4 because it lacks 4G LTE.
  2. No micro SD: You can choose a Nexus 4 with 8 GB or 16 GB of storage, but some users will need more.
  3. No carrier subsidy: Even though $299 is really cheap for a high-end, unlocked smartphone, most consumers normally pay around $199 for the latest phone that comes with a 2-year contract. If you are still locked in a contract, it could be expensive to pay the early termination fee and switch now.
  4. Pure Beta experience: Anyone who has purchased a Nexus phone knows that the device is likely to ship with a couple of bugs. Several generations of the Nexus phones had problems with random reboots, poor network connection, and other oddities. The initial experience might be better if you wait a couple months. Google could also refresh the Nexus 4 and add a 32 GB option, similar to what they did with the Nexus 7 tablet.

What are your plans?

Is there a Nexus device in your future? If you plan to buy the Nexus 4, let us know which carrier you want to pair it with. If you are going to sit this one out, be sure to let us know why.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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