Mar 28 AT 2:33 PM Dustin Earley 24 Comments

Nexus 4 sees small design changes in newest models


Apparently, the Nexus 4 wasn’t the incredibly well-designed super handset Matias Duarte and company would have had you believe. At least, it wasn’t good enough to just leave alone. Several sites around the web are reporting today that the Nexus 4 has seen some small design changes in the latest run of devices. Nothing too major has been changed, but it may be enough to leave you a little miffed if you already own the device.

Photographed in detail by Android Central, two small bumps have been added just above the exposed screws on the rear of the newest Nexus 4 model. These bumps serve to fix several design flaws on the original Nexus 4 without distracting from the overall design.

The completely flush back on the original Nexus 4 caused several problems. When on its back, the Nexus 4′s speaker is muffled; it’s incredibly slippery and prone to sliding right off of hard surfaces; and it’s a scratch magnet. By adding two small bumps positioned across the back, all three problems are taken care of. There’s also been a slight change to the camera lens, but that doesn’t appear to serve any purpose so far.


I have experienced problems with everything listed above, but not since using a dbrand carbon fiber skin and now an official Nexus 4 bumper from Google Play (which is fantastic by the way). Still, it would have been nice if accessories had not been needed to fix these problems. Fortunately for new Nexus 4 owners, they won’t be.

Source: Android Central

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • rantmo

    Having purchased a Nexus 4 this morning, I’m happy to see this. Hopefully I’ll benefit from these changes.

    • cwcowellshah

      I ordered a 16GB model from Google on 3/31, and got it today. No nubbins, but it does have the smaller camera lens cut-out. Weird.

      • NexusSamsungApple

        You are not alone! even my nexus 4 has the smaller camera lens cut-out but no nubbins! :(
        should have waited for a week or so…..

  • halo0

    The build quality of the N4 really is not very good. The GNex was better. Here’s hoping that LG is not the next Nexus device builder.

    • Miguel

      i likee the nexus 4 because is more solid, but sure it has some things i miss from the GN like OTG

    • Nicholas Vettese

      The Nexus 4 is way better in build quality than the previous Nexus. It is solid and the sides make it easier to hold. The previous Nexus did not feel this way at all.

      • Fahad Rahman

        You have to be kidding me…

        The phone feels more solid as a whole but quality of glass they used to cover the thing is shoddy at best. I’ve never had my Gnex scratch on me, while with the Nexus 4 I had hairline scratches on the front and back of the phone. Which is completely outrageous because I have a separate pocket for my phone! As a person who babies his phone this completely infuriated me. I whole heartedly agree that LG shouldn’t make the next device… Wish they would throw it back to HTC, would love a full aluminum bodied Nexus. Hell I would even be down for Samsung making it again, at least that way I would get my replaceable battery back…

  • Miguel

    that’s true the new one has the 2 bumps can it does not slide a lot, i got my about a week ago. the top of the phone slides a bit more because it has no bump but is good. i wonder how is the bumper, i order a nillking flip cover with synthetic leather.

  • Nathan D.

    Well at least they did something about it, right.

  • Co1e

    This is why I love the Nexus line. Even the hardware gets updates!

  • xaml

    *hard surfaces

  • heeros

    I have to say that this does leave me “a little miffed”. I would really like the two bumps on the bottom, because I need to be extremely careful about where I place my Nexus 4.
    Thank god the few times it did slide off a surface it landed on carpet and did not get damaged. But I never feel quite right just leaving it on a seemingly flat surface unattended. And if I do place it somewhere I always feel the need to wipe the surface first to prevent possible scratches.

    But otherwise I’m very happy with the device. I even got my first taste of LTE 2 days ago once it was released in D.C. :-)

    • NexusSamsungApple

      Buy the Nexus 4 Bumper from the google play store! it really solves all the Prob’s with the nexus 4! :)

  • matt

    When I got my N4 I didn’t realize there was a protective sticker on the back glass so I didn’t take it off. Once I realized it was there I figured it was as good as a third party skin so I left it on. Now I’m glad I did

  • duffguy123

    I am somewhat miffed…

    I bought a bumper case along with my nexus 4 so it’s been unscathed since my purchase. Did anyone keep the protector on the glass back on? I honestly didn’t notice it until recently.

    I don’t wanna take it off due to the stories I hear about the back getting scratched…

    What does grind my gears is that the bumper case bottom broke the first time I took it off my phone. I was extra careful too! Ah well, I’ll try the amazon bumper case next :-)

  • irishrally

    I wonder if they added a a few thousands of an inch or so of thickness to the back glass. I know there is no logical connection between the camera hole size change and thicker glass, just wishful thinking I guess.

  • sly

    I’ve used a Ringke Fusion case since day one and it has little bumps on the back. I can attest to their usefulness. The Fusion is a pretty tight case so I wonder if Google’s modification will affect these kind of cases.

  • DragonPhyre

    The change in the camera lens is to prevent light that won’t actually be in the picture from messing with the image by refraction. Basically, it is like closing an external aperture on a film camera. Sort of… But not entirely.

    It should allow for SLIGHTLY improved photos.

    • rpras

      Yes. It seems like they provided a bit of a “lens hood” to the camera. This would help with any lens flares while shooting with a light source in close proximity to the field of view. I don’t own a Nexus 4, so this is mostly a guess. Does the (old) Nexus 4 camera have flare problem?

  • donger

    Release it in white already! There are people waiting/ holding out for the white version.

  • OutofPlace

    I’m not really sure folks can get miffed about the delicacy of a phone that is wrapped in glass. It’s not like LG and Google hid that design element from folks. I bought the N4 knowing good and well that the glass would have to be protected. I gave up my S3 to my wife for the N4 and am very happy with the hardware swap. The N4 feels sturdier and is way less slippery. It feels weightier in my hand and more solid.

    But I know I can’t lay it down bare on a surface. The back is glass. The front is glass. Common sense says that glass is going to scratch if it comes in contact with a scratchy surface. Buy a case. Buy a bumper. Even if I bought the phone with the recent modifications I would still keep it in a sleeve. And I would still sit it down in or on that sleeve if I put it on my desk/counter etc.

  • Sam

    Anyone know exactly when these changes went into effect? I just ordered mine on Thursday, March, 28 hopefully it will be the newer one then.

  • Shawn Clark

    Cant wait to get my hands on a Nexus 4.

  • naorth

    Well not sure when this new version will ship but I ordered mine on 3/27 the day before this article was published and the phone I received on 4/1 did not have the pictured updates. Oh well I guess.