Oct 26 AT 12:16 PM Taylor Wimberly 93 Comments

Nexus 4 support page hints at carrier branded devices


Last year Google launched the US version of the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, but we don’t know what they will do with the upcoming Nexus 4. We assume there will be an unlocked GSM version that operates on AT&T and T-Mobile, but there could also be several different carrier versions that are sold in carrier stores. According to a new support page for the Nexus 4 (LGE960), we could be seeing the device sold in both the Google Play Store and carrier outlets.

The support page is mostly empty at this point, but it has warranty instructions for “customers who purchased from Google Play Store” and “customers who purchased via a Telco.” The unlocked version is likely to offer 4G HSPA+ support, so fans of 4G LTE will be pleased to see some possible carrier versions of the device.

If there are carrier versions of the Nexus 4, it will be interesting to see how the software updates are handled. The Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and Sprint has seen delayed software updates, but the overall situation is still light-years better than the other locked carrier phones.

Would you rather have an unlocked Nexus 4 with 4G HSPA+ and updates from Google, or would you hold out for a carrier branded version with 4G LTE and software updates approved by the carrier?

Via: Ausdroid

Source: LG Support

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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  • Jason Crabtree

    If I get it, I’ll be getting the unlocked version from the Play Store since I’m on StraightTalk.

    • iamXiV92a

      Unlocked for me as well – LTE, though faster than my WiFi, isn’t a necessity. I get about 14hrs from my Galaxy Nexus and I could only wish for that when I used my Galaxy S II Skyrocket… However with the different battery technology in the LG, perhaps this will help it last longer?

      • klain

        Do u have low volume level problems like so many of us. The volume on high is lower than my old phone on low. Its pretty annoying that Google wouldn’t fix it

    • Thomas

      if you click show all you can download the manual from that page! AWESOME!!!!!

      • Adrien C.

        Thanks for that, there are 8 and 16GB versions to download. No 32 then for now. =/

    • klain

      I recently got a free galaxy nexus (I know its old but it was free & unlocked. I’m @ to try straight talk from tmo prepaid for a month

      You liking ST? They say you can’t stream music or video. How much data do you use? I’ve read people cut off @ 2gb. They can cancel u at any time..just don’t understand how they don’t get sued. There’s nothing unlimited at all they admit they limit

  • mmark27

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the delay from Sprint and Verizon is mainly because of the CDMA licenses, whereas they can push the GSM updates immediately.

    VZW does like to overly test stuff to death as well.

    • EmagehtmaI

      More like Verizon likes to have time to lock the bootloader and fix any exploits that let you easily root your phone.

      • Ankit

        That doesn’t apply to Nexus devices. Most of the reason has to do with CDMA support and the fact that the Android team doesn’t seem to prioritize CDMA devices as well as their GSM equivalents, possibly due to not having the same resources to work on CDMA OTAs as does Apple.

        Verizon also likes testing the crap out of things as well, though.

  • triangle

    While I would love to be able to just buy it outright, I think if there’s a $300+ difference in price, I’ll probably go with a carrier version.

    • kazahani

      A lot of people make the same decision. If you’re on Sprint or Verizon then there’s no reason not to accept the subsidy on the phone. It’s not like you save money on your monthly bill if you pay full retail price for the phone.

      • thekaz

        well, you COULD save money on your monthly bill on Verizon by paying full retail if you are still on an unlimited data plan..

      • klain

        Yeah just on prepaid. Even if a phone costs 500..you’re prob paying at least 200 for subsidized phone. Thats 3OO difference. Saving $50 a month and you’ve broken even in 6 months&

        • kazahani

          Brand spankin new RAZR M is currently $100. ATRIX HD is now free on AT&T. Photon Q just dropped to $49. EVO LTE and One X are $99.

          No reason to pay $200 for a great device.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Was the page taken down? And I’ll for T-Mobile, it’ll be insured and might have dormant lte radios like the note 2. It’ll be rooted anyways with aokp so updates won’t be a problem i hope.

  • Nate B.

    Now can Google put their feet up asses to make sure it’s treated like a Nexus and get timely updates and support period? I hope so.

    • Nate B.

      It better see a same day release across the board.

      • Gus

        It’s a Nexus. Its guaranteed. I was also burned by an LG phone but this is Google now. It almost doesn’t matter who the partner is.

        • clocinnorcal

          It does if its Verizon or Sprint! I have a Sprint NS and it still has not received JB.

          • Gus

            Sorry only applies to the unlocked model. Anything bought via carrier will have to deal with the carriers. Just how it is.

    • iamXiV92a

      NO BOOTLOADER!!! Or at least EASILY unlockable (like the previous Nexii)

  • nmoline

    I’ve been praying that this will be subsidized. I can’t fathom spending $600 on a phone.

    • klain

      I hear by a but I can’t fathom spending $100+ on a cell phone bill

  • Ardrid

    Hmm…an AT&T branded Nexus 4 would make my decision process a bit more interesting but I think I would still lean towards cutting the cord and buying an unlocked device to be used with a T-Mobile Monthly4G plan.

    • Ardrid

      An important caveat here is obviously price. If an unlocked/unsubsized Nexus 4 is $650-700, it’s more likely that I pick up the carrier subsidized model. Here’s why:

      AT&T Service Fees: $75/month
      Cost of AT&T Nexus 4: $200
      Total 2 year cost: $2000

      T-Mobile Monthly4G: $60/month
      Cost of Unlocked Nexus 4: $650/$700
      Total 2 year cost: $2090/$2140

      Obviously, it no longer makes sense to go unlocked for me if the device is priced too highly. If it’s priced at $400 like other devices, or I can make the $30 plan work for me (even with a $650-700 device), things look a lot better:

      T-Mobile Monthly4G: $30/month
      Cost of Unlocked Nexus 4: $650/$700
      Total 2 year cost: $1370/$1420

      T-Mobile Monthly4G: $30/month
      Cost of Unlocked Nexus 4: $400
      Total 2 year cost: $1120

      T-Mobile Monthly4G: $60/month
      Cost of Unlocked Nexus 4: $400
      Total 2 year cost: $1840

      So, again, it really just comes down to the price difference. My hope is that it’s $400 so I can kiss AT&T goodbye. If not, then I’ll suck it up and sign a new 2 year agreement. Either way I’m getting this phone.

      • Gus

        This guy knows what he is talking about.

        I sold my G2x for $200 and bought a Galaxy Nexus for $390 Play Store total. Switched to $30 Monthly 4G.

        $390-$200 =$190
        $32 a month * 12 = $574

        Bought my G2x at $99
        70 * 12 = $939

        Saved $365 and continue on saving with basically the same plan. Don’t use as many minutes.

      • EmagehtmaI

        Or go with Solavei. Unlimited minutes and text on T-mobile’s network, plus 4 gb of HSPA+ speeds for $49 a month. $1176 for two years of service. Even if the phone is $600, that still means only a total cost of $1776.

        My queston is: what will this do to the price of the Galaxy Nexus? It’s currently $350 in the PLAY store. When the Nexus 4 is released, will the Galaxy Nexus be discontinued? Or will Google continue to sell it, but at a discounted price? I for one would love to see the GN at, say, $249. How awesome would an unlocked Galaxy Nexus at that price point be?

        • Gus

          I think it will drop $50 to $299.

  • Sean

    I just hope the HSPA+ model is not overpriced. From the leaks, there is no way if its 600 dollars that I would buy one. I am going to cancel verizon and I am not getting involved with another contract ever again.

  • soboku

    I would you rather have an unlocked Nexus 4 with 4G LTE and updates from Google. Why should we settle for less. I no I will not anymore buy a phone from my currier. No more contracts, No more bloat ware and No more sense or touchwiz or what ever for me.

    • Mix

      Hrmmm. I guess a specialty treated leather bound phone would be pretty neat but I would question my “currier” as well if he tried to sell me a phone….lol

      I am with you though, no more phones that are locked down I am done with them.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    The bottom says those ebo purchased on play store, and regarding my other post the page doesn’t work on mobile.

  • acey_zero

    I don’t care that much about LTE, but I would consider getting a subsidized GSM version if and only if I could be assured that the carrier would have no say at all over updates. Otherwise I would just use my upgrade on a phone to sell on Ebay and buy the Nexus outright.

  • Nathan D.

    I want the unlock version, but the carrier one isn’t bad either. It doesn’t matter to me because I can always unlock the boot loader and root it since I’m not a noob anymore about android phones :-)

  • lolo

    After what verizon went through with the galaxy nexus why would anyone go with a carrier nexus? The whole point of getting a nexus is for timely updates. (among other things) If Google runs the show then I’m down….but I will not be giving my carrier money for a nexus that they’ll control.

    • redraider133

      Because the nexus still got updated before about every other phone out there plus it is easily unlocked and able to run the latest OS shortly after it is launched with devs launching roms for it.

      • clocinnorcal

        My NS 4G hasn’t received JB, so…….

  • aranea

    Although I’d be disappointed for the lack of LTE I’d go for the unlocked version. I don’t trust any of the carriers to bring updates on time. And I’m choosing nexus for the quick updates.

  • Sean

    Here is a link found for the Nexus 10. Thing is a beast…


  • The unlocked one would be around $350. I would rather spend the extra and get pure android and immediate updates.

  • lolo

    I don’t see Google charging $600 in the play store. What would make this new nexus any different than the galaxy nexus? Yes the specs are better but I don’t think it warrants a $200 increase over what the play store was charging for the GNex.

    • kinderdm

      I agree, if the price is close to the gnex then I will get the new one. If not then I will get a galaxy nexus and save the money.

      • Gus

        Galaxy Nexus $299 16GB
        Nexus 4 $399 16GB

  • kinderdm

    Verizon has shown it cannot get timely updates for a nexus phone so carrier is out. If I cannot get true pure android I would just as well get an S3 or something. But I really want that pure experience so its a nexus of some sort (from the play store only) or nothing for me.

  • Gus

    I think it will be priced at $399-$450 for unlocked. Pretty good specs but we will have to see.
    Maybe they are lower end specs like old but good. Like…

    Same screen as G Nexus
    GSII or GSIII Cameras
    1 GB Ram

    Reason I’m saying is if they are trying to keep the price down. Its all about the processor. I don’t really see them selling a 600 or even 500 dollar phone. Its just not practical and in the vein of the low priced Nexus 7.

    Nexus 7 $199-250
    Galaxy Nexus – $350 or drop to $299
    Nexus 4 – $350-399 leaning towards 399
    Nexus 10 – Same as Nexus 4 but the phone could be more.

    The Exynos in the Nexus 10 is the same as the Chromebook which is priced at $249! So this could mean that cost will not be as high as other 10″ tablets.

  • Glenn Patrick

    If there is an AT&T supported Nexus 4 with LTE, that’s the one I’m going to get. I can deal easily enough with the possible slower updates as long as an LTE option available.

    • lolo

      I’m not so much concerned with updates with a carrier nexus as I am with bug fixes…Verizon waited almost 7 months for a bug fix for issues with ics….And they were pretty big bugs too. I’m so use to not having bloat on my phone that I don’t think I could deal with it again. Yes people can root, but I’m thinking about the average user. There is more than just timely updates to consider when thinking about a carrier nexus.

      • Glenn Patrick

        Great points.

  • lolo

    Agreed Gus….It’s not Google’s style to over price devices, I don’t see them charging anything more than $399 for the nexus 4. The specs on the nexus 7 (I bought 2) are very decent….some may, and will, argue that the lack of an sd card and back camera make it a device not worth while….there are ways around the storage issue and anyone I don’t know anyone who takes pictures with a tablet, so $199/$249 for a quad core/jelly bean and other fabulous specs/features should be indication that Google isn’t out to rape us.

    • Glenn Patrick

      Google only just started offering devices for decent prices. Nexus One launched for $550. Nexus S was in that same range. And they didn’t start selling the Galaxy Nexus on the play store immediately: I think they started offering it themselves maybe 4-6 months into it’s life cycle. But had they launched it there from the jump, it too might have been just as expensive.

      • Gus

        I think the point is that now Google sees how to be competitive. IPad has this mentality of being the best when it can be up for debate. I think Google will try to put quality over profit in order to set the mindset that Google has incredible value.

        While true that previous Nexus devices launched at high prices, The Galaxy Nexus was the first that hit $399 and under at its height. I bought my phone in July after Google I/O price drop to $349. I think Google is seeing that people are willing to pay for a phone outright if the price is right.

        Also to mention is that Google should make a high profit as they make the phone with their partner and sell it outright on their site. No middle man higher profit regardless of price point. Or they might be selling at cost to get this phone into people’s hand.

        One thing’s for sure the only things not known is the storage size (hopefully 16GB) and the price.

  • thejuiceman236

    So is it safe to say it would be very easy to unlock and root the nexus even if its carrier branded?? If so I may consider a carrier version. Thoughts?

    • lolo

      A nexus is one of the easiest phones to unlock/root. I use “wugfresh” tool kit which unlocks and roots nexus devices.

      • thejuiceman236

        Awesome thanks. I didn’t know if Verizon or sprint had the ability to lock bootloaders or anything.

      • veracu

        Same. I’ve had the easiest time with my toro device.

  • Glenn Patrick

    The Nexus One and S were both supported by T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T, to varying degrees. This whole thing about the carrier ruining the device is Verizon specific. Don’t let Verizon ruin your carrier perception on Nexus devices. To my knowledge, the way they handled the Nexus was an isolated incident, as Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile never had these issues.

    • Monkey Droid

      The Nexus One was not supported by Sprint.

  • randyw

    Unlocked Please.

  • jamal adam

    If there are carrier branded devices then Google needs to take the steering wheel and take control of all updates. If this happens and they do take initiative then success is will be waiting at the door.

  • Lawrence

    My bold price point prediction. Nexus 4 will be sold $400-450 price point. I they were trying to bring down the price of the unit that was why they went to LG instead of Samsung.

  • thejuiceman236

    I am starting to think that all the advantages of buying unlocked are gone for me personally if I can get a carrier version and easily root and put the latest and greatest software on it next year (or whenever Google releases a new version. Remember I said personally.

    I would: save $250-$300, get the best buy insurance that I want, have the latest software with minimal effort and have LTE!

  • setspeed

    I don’t give a toss about LTE since it’s not even launched here in the UK yet and when it does it won’t be on my service provider (carrier). I’ll take the unlocked GSM version and I just hope they sell a 32GB version, or else I’ll be pretty much forced to stay with my S3 for the time being.

    • EmagehtmaI

      Same boat. I’m in the US, but the nearest cities with LTE near me are 35 and 60+ minutes away (respectively). AT&T does have HSPA+ coverage in my area, so an unlocked version would be great for me.

  • Asakura

    sell it on amazon at google play price and im happy, i cant buy on the play store because im not from USA

  • veracu

    On Verizon with unlimited data. So I’ll be waiting to buy the unsubsidized device and root it to upgrade the os myself.

    • thekaz

      any word on whether this is coming to Verizon or not..?

  • slimx30

    unlocked gsm nexus is the best way to go. I would not get a carrier branded nexus phone ever!

  • Andy_jr

    I would take the unlocked HSPA+ version – no doubt about it!

    I want fast software updates for a change, and I am seriously considering going pre-paid (with help from Taylor’s articles on the subject).

  • 5n4r35

    This is one thing Google can take from Apple. 1 device GSM cdma and lte choose your carrier. That way like Apple Google can handle updates.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    >> but the overall situation is still light-years better than the other locked carrier phones.

    It’s not even a question. In an area where even Verizon’s 4G coverage is better than other carrier’s 3G coverage, of course I want to have a “semi-Nexus”, which will still be A LOT better than any skinned phone.

    • veracu

      Yes and you can simply root your phone and update it on your own. I rooted a fascinate and vibrant and installed 4.1.2 and they run smooth. My two friends don’t on these older phones don’t gotta rely on a carrier or even google for updates.

  • otakonx

    Ok I’m confused. Why do we have to choose unlocked HSPA+ with updates or Carrier subsidized with LTE when the Nexus 4 has the LTE Snapdragon S4 Pro in it? Wouldn’t all the “GSM/UMTS” Nexus 4′s share the same radios? From the looks of specs the Optimus G, supposed brother of N4, has all these radios available. I’m probably missing something…

    • otakonx

      I meant, wouldn’t all the GSM/UMTS Nexus 4′s be open to all the same radios regardless of where it was bought from.

    • Ardrid

      You can largely blame the carriers for this one. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are all using different bands for their LTE networks. It would require Google to put out different versions of the Nexus 4, much like Apple has done with the iPhone 5, in order to ensure support for all 3 networks.

      • Ardrid

        The other issue is no MVNO is currently offering LTE, which means that you’re forced into the carriers hands by default.

      • otakonx

        Indeed. But I was only referring to USA GSM/UMTS bands. Obviously, they’ll have a separate device for CDMA bands. The GSM Optimus G will run on all GSM/UMTS bands for here in the USA. One phone. So why can’t the Nexus 4 do that? Hell, even the Galaxy Nexus GSM will work on USA GSM with one phone.

        Optimus G (GSM ) specs – http://www.phonearena.com/phones/LG-Optimus-G_id7458
        AT&T uses 700/1700/2100MHz for LTE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Mobility#Radio_Frequency_Summary

  • Zachary

    I can’t wait till I’m out from underneath this contract so I can go unlocked and prepaid. Verizon’s LTE may be snazzy, but the price just destroys my bank account.

  • aestep1014

    This is the kind of news I’ve been hoping for. Because of discounts, family, coverage area, etc. I have no choice but Verizon. Frankly, I thought it would be a huge oversight on Google’s part to not offer a carrier version. While most tech folks understandably prefer the unlocked, prepay route, most consumers do not.

  • newmexican

    TMO carrier version. WiFI calling is a must (compensates for smaller network footprint and makes my phonecalls from Europe like local calls here).

  • http://www.baldypal.com Adam Jones

    Did anyone else find the Quick Start Guid PDF file on that page? There are 2 actually. One says 8GB and the other says 16GB.


    • otakonx

      Nice find! Thank spaghetti monster, 16GB! I can’t believe I’m excited for a paltry 16GB but it’s a hell of a lot better than 8GB. I also see some Induction Coils :D

  • Scott

    carrier branded because thats the only way i can get this phone

  • Ardrid
    • Ardrid

      Also proves that it’ll come with wireless inductive charging built in.

  • SammyRocker5150

    If I get one, it will be on Verizon. I still have a family 500 plan with unlimited data/text from Alltel that carried into Verizon.

    Also, after having LTE since last November, I am now spoiled with data speeds. Plus the HSPA+ is a very limited coverage in my area of Wisconsin.

  • get at me banana

    i rather wait until it comes to the carrier at least this way i can have access to hspa+42 or sumthing and lte but hopefully we can switch out from hspa to lte or lte hspa+ which would be cool. hopefully this would come to tmobile which equip with tmobile hspa+42 because sum tmobile device still get hspa+21 which isnt bad but i want 42.

  • randyw

    Sorry but you will never get timely updates on a carrier branded phone. They test everything to death before updating Months after Goggle has released the update. If you want fast updates, Unlocked is the only way to go.

    • frmorrison

      You can use carrier branded and then update it yourself (via rooting and finding a custom ROM).