LG Nexus 4 - personal experience and no translations

    This is not the first material on Nexus 4, but I really wanted to share my thoughts. I’ve been “sitting” on Android for quite some time, and during that time I tried a dozen different devices. I had both “Samsung”, and “HRC”, many acquaintances had all kinds of “Sony” in large quantities. Naturally, one way or another, I had many of them on my flashing or just in my hands. Devices from LG aroused double feelings in me. At one time, there were practically no equal Optimus One p500 among state employees, and some devices in terms of price / characteristics were at a very decent level, but ... with software, updates, a camera and some other functions, things were not so smooth. There is at least one LG that has 100% no problems with updates and software. Here it is:

    Image # 1755483, 153.7 KB

    With the global transition to the production of devices on Android 4.0 and higher, LG more or lesscorrected: the new line of L-devices has acquired an intelligible shell (which can be called intuitive and understandable), pleasant prices, case materials, current stuffing and batteries ... (by the way, not so long ago the first generation of the L-series got 4.1; not 4.2.x, but better than the complete lack of updates, and I don’t remember the bonuses from 4.2 on state employees), but not a single flagship device was presented from the very beginning.

    After some time, they showed Optimus 4X HD - a device on a tag (and I'm not a fan of a tag), a 2X model changer. It was difficult to call it a flagship - neither the camera, nor the battery, nor the case made it outstanding, and already at that moment HTC One X, which was based on the same third tegra, had been on the market for a long time and the flagship of another South Korean company, Galaxy S III, was rampant. which tore the competitors to shreds with a camera, indicators of autonomy, screen, speed and aggressive work of the marketing department.

    The competitors of the Galaxy read the devices on the new generation of Quallcomm's - S4 Pro, with quad-core architecture Krait with an Adreno 320 video accelerator, but they haven’t been seen for a long time - Sony used the S3 and Adreno 220/225 platforms all year, HTC made terrible cadavres in the middle segment, completely confusing users in their product line amid a mountain of similar Desire and One, LG released the wild Optimus Vu (and Vu 2), which tried to fight the Galaxy Note in the field of “ceiling”, but yielded to it in functionality and some software features ... And here Optimus G enters the scene - what everyone was waiting for ... Benchmark results delight fans of computing power and fans to measure ... megahertz, high-resolution camera and (for some time!) normal frame quality, nice body, screen ... In general,

    Following him, a new flagship device from Google came out. Yes, at first there were problems with deliveries, but this has already been discussed a hundred times on the pages of Habrahabr, so let's not talk about sad things, now everything’s OK, and Nexus has been officially sold in Russia for a couple of months now, albeit not at such a humane price like in the states. Yes, the G Pro is already spreading across the ocean, but the first generation Optimus G has just reached us ...

    I have got Nexus 4 since about the new year. Why did you decide to write now? There was a clear feeling that I climbed into every corner of the phone, I know its abilities perfectly and in general, there were Nexus 4 materials on the hub, but this, for the most part, is either announcements or information about the resumption of sales, or translations of foreign materials.

    So, the nexus. Four cores, two gigabytes of RAM, sixteen gigabytes of internal memory, an eight-megapixel camera and an almost five-inch display with a resolution of 1280x768. Is it a lot or a little? How relevant are its characteristics? At the time of the announcement and the start of sales, the device was the most natural flagship. The most current version of iron and OSes. Now the “new” generation of flagship Android devices (five-inch FullHD shovels) is coming out, but their differences from the current are minimal - regular megapixels and megahertz, there is no such quality breakthrough as the past and the year before last generations of flagship devices (mass transition to dual-core solutions in 2011 year and the transition to HD-resolution in 2012), so Nexus can still be called a top-end device, and demand the most decent results from it. Yes and Nexus 5 is not for sale yet :)

    There are already one thousand and one technical reviews, tests and tests on the Internet, and all say the same thing: one of the fastest devices at the time of release. And, since there are already many similar texts, my review will most likely be an attempt to share experience and feelings from the transition to a Nexus device with extensive experience in owning non-Nexus Android devices.

    What did Google have before Nexus4?

    Hidden text
    The first Google smartphone was the HTC Dream, also known as Android Dev Alpha.

    Image # 1755531, 38.7 KB

    It was supplied with Android OS 1.6, it had restrictions on access to the paid part of the Android Market (in the case of Dev Alpha), and its performance characteristics were hardly impressive: a single-core ARM 11 Qualcomm MSM7201A processor with a clock speed of 553 MHz, 192 megabytes of RAM, 256 megabytes of internal memory, support for MicroSDHC cards, a screen with a resolution of 320x480, displaying 65,535 colors. All the iron was powered by a battery with a capacity of 1100 mAh.

    The horizontal slider quickly found its audience and won the hearts of geeks: during the period while the model was on sale, more than 1 million devices were sold. Not bad for a new OS pioneer?

    He was replaced by HTC Desire, also known as the Google Nexus One, as the main Google device.

    Image # 1755534, 39.5 KB

    A gigahertz ARM V7 processor, 512 megabytes of RAM, an excellent Amoled display with a resolution of 800x480 pixels, a trackball, and most importantly - Andoid 2.1 (updated to 2.3.7) became the key to the success of the new Google flagship. Fast, reliable, convenient and very popular, it made Android a really strong player in the market, and raised the bar of manufactured devices. Largely, thanks to him (as well as his almost complete hardware compatibility with HTC HD2), Android was launched on the WinMo-device HD2. Some still use it (or HD2) and do not know grief, though a dying battery and a small amount of RAM will sooner or later make them move to something modern.

    Almost a year later, it was replaced by the Nexus S - this time the Google flagship was produced by Samsung, the first received Android version 2.3.6, and became the first smartphone in the world using NFC technology.

    Image # 1755539, 160.6 KB

    Its main feature was the curved glass of the touchscreen. The unusual shape, actual filling, good body materials, 16 gigabytes of internal memory (there was no microSD card slot, but 16 gigabytes at the turn of 2010-2011 was quite a sufficient amount of memory) made the device popular. Subsequently, the Nexus S was updated to Android 4.0 and 4.1.2. Official support is now complete.

    The replacement for the Nexus S was the Galaxy Nexus. It is not difficult to guess by the name who became the manufacturer of this device. In this “iteration”, Google decided to abandon the physical buttons (albeit in touch performance), and moved them inside the operating system, in the form of navibar.

    Image # 1755545, 68.7 KB

    Galaxy Nexus was equipped with a huge (at the time of release) 4.65-inch screen with HD-resolution, 16 gigabytes of memory, a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and a gigabyte of RAM. The Galaxy Nexus was the first device to receive Android 4.0 (and upgrading to 4.1, now running 4.2), and in many ways became the prototype for the later Galaxy S III, which successfully fought for the European and Asian markets throughout the year.

    Well, his successor was Nexus 4, which I wanted to talk about today.

    Image # 1755528, 501.9 KB

    First impressions

    I got the smartphone, as it is now fashionable, in a box that slightly exceeds the device and its configuration in size. The trendsetter of this fashion, of course, the iPhone, well, time has played a role. Earlier this purchase of a mobile phone was, if not an event, then at least a “big” and impressive purchase, and the boxes were made to match:

    Image # 1755276, 144.4 KB

    Now the mobile phone is cheaper than the ikea chair, and we already see smartphones almost more often than ordinary dumb phones, so the packaging has ceased to be a "holiday". Inside the device itself is located, under the substrate - charging (very compact and neat), USB-Micro USB cable, instructions for the device. Frankly, I miss the times of “rich configurations” a little, with two batteries, a docking station, a headset, multivolume literature-waste paper (sometimes even colored!), Interchangeable sockets and all that.

    Design and appearance

    The device is covered on both sides by a protective film, which, if desired, will live a week or two, if you are a fan of remote controls in bags. I - no, so the film was instantly removed and thrown away. Under it is a protective glass on the front and back surfaces (yes, the back of the smartphone is also covered with glass, and may fall if it falls). The specs claim to use second-generation Gorilla Glass. I don’t really want to check this fact, so it remains to take my word for it. At least, not a single scratch appeared on the glass during the entire operation. The front panel differs from previous Nexus, the glass of which was slightly “concave” - this time the main planes of the smartphone are parallel and do not contain bends, but the left and right edges are neatly “bent”, which is clearly visible in the photo:

    Image # 1755324, 118.9 KB

    Thanks to this bend, the device lies better in the hand, does not cut a sharp edge into the palm of your hand, makes it easy to swipe from the edge of the screen and generally looks unusual. Of all the Android devices that I had, only S III had a similar edge, though its glass was “smoothed” under a different radius and around the perimeter. Nexus's screen is framed by a silver frame. Coating - a thin layer of metallization on a plastic basis. Perhaps the most unfortunate part from the point of view of the construct is that it will quickly scratch and lose its original appearance. The side faces are made of black soft-touch plastic, pleasant to the touch and not collecting dirt and dust.

    Image # 1755321, 110.8 KB

    On the left side of the smartphone is a volume swing (and a tray for a SIM card), on the right is a lock / shutdown button. No other hardware or touch keys are provided. The buttons themselves are quite tight and require several days to get used to, especially if you had a device with long-stroke buttons, such as the Galaxy S III / Galaxy Nexus.

    The back surface is also covered with glass, but its edges are hidden under soft touch plastic, I think it will live longer, and such a technique solves another problem. The fact is that both glasses are coated with an oleophobic coating and are perfectly polished - if you put the smartphone on the surface with a slight slope, then it will crawl along it. So a convenient soft-touch frame serves as a kind of brake that holds the device on smooth surfaces. The back panel pattern, in my opinion, is a great solution. It looks nice and plays nicely in the sun. All my friends who saw this device in my hands asked what it was, I showed them the back of the smartphone, with the inscription "nexus" and answered: "The nexus is new." Well, in return I received compliments on the design of the back panel of the device ...

    Image # 1755318, 548.6 KB

    And then I removed my palm from the LG logo, and watched a person “break the template”.

    Image # 1755312, 481.9 KB

    After, to put it mildly, not the most successful cases for the decisions of 2011 - the beginning of 2012 and the faceless style of the L-line of smartphones (no, they, of course, were good for their price range, but these are state employees), LG gives an excellent one, I would even say “Expensive” design, devoid of debris and dirt in the lines: simple shapes, simple bends, simple but very nice materials, monolithic assembly, no protruding parts such as a camera, flash, buttons or speaker grids. Neat, concise, finished appearance, the eye rejoices and it’s nice to hold in your hand. It is good that in South Korea they finally stopped copying the design of gadgets, and began to develop themselves, and they cope well with this.

    The oleophobic coating of glass surfaces, by the way, is of excellent quality - there are fewer prints on the screen and back panel than on the third galaxy or iPhone, and they are easier to remove. To photograph them in any sane form I did not succeed.


    Screen - IPS, 4.7 inches, 1280x768. Color reproduction and brightness margin are excellent, contrast is at the level of modern smartphones. In the sun, the screen fades significantly, but the text remains readable, and auto-adjusting the screen brightness instantly drives the backlight to the maximum. Read SMS, google into Google, take a photo - that's enough.

    Image # 1755330, 310.5 KB

    Yes, black, of course, is not AMOLED'ovo black, but does not cause irritation with "gray" or "dark purple" in the dark. I wonder when they will learn how to make matrices with controlled backlighting on white OLEDs to combine the advantages of IPS and AMOLED matrices.
    With viewing angles, everything is very good: LG did not stint and set a really cool screen, all of whose parameters correspond to the expectations of users buying a device bearing the proud name of the flagship of the current Google-smartphone fleet.

    However, the photograph here will say much more than the words:
    Hidden text
    The photo was taken from a dull review mobile-review.

    Stuffing and Productivity

    The device consists not only of a beautiful case and a high-quality display, and a fiery heart is hidden behind the touch screen, which can be safely called the most powerful mobile chip in its generation. The central processor was developed by Quallcomm, it has four cores based on the Krait architecture (it cannot be called ARM v7 Cortex A9, but it has not grown to A15, although it is close to it). Similar quad-core solutions from Samsung, Ti OMAP, and ARM reference solutions (based on the Cortex A9 architecture) are slightly worse in performance when compared with benchmarks and number crushers, however, all the flagships of 2012 show excellent results in real life: there is enough computing power, and synthetic performance Krait's four-core solution can be called redundant. Although, to be honest, I have not seen a single user, which would refuse powerful pieces of iron, and it is hardly believed that the phone would work longer on a similar dual-core processor. In addition, the more powerful the piece of hardware, the longer Google will be able to support Nexus 4 and distribute current versions of the OS to it.

    For graphics, one of the best solutions at the time of release is also responsible - Adreno 320. In the list of supported technologies, there are probably all modern chips: OpenGL ES 3.0 1 , 2.0 & 1.1, OpenCL 1.2, OpenVG 1.1, EGL 1.4, plus Direct3D 9.3 (desktop features graphics cards of the generation Nvidia 6000, Ati x1900), SVGT 1.2, Direct Draw and GDI.

    All benchmarks show excellent results, in all tested games FPS does not sag even in the most complex and dynamic scenes, and compatibility with existing and outgoing games is excellent. On rooted devices with the ChainFire utility you can get all the special effects available for the Nvidia Tegra GPU (if the lazy or biased developer did not bother to fasten them to the game’s Adreno cache), and game performance will not change one iota. Now games on mobile phones have come close to the graphics on consoles, and ported GTA 3 / Vice City already look faded and cause more nostalgic feelings than admiration for opportunities.

    Here are screenshots of modern mobile toys:

    And here are the ported games of the early 2000s:

    Well, here's a test run of NFS MostWanted 2012. Gameplay - from 0:40, for some reason, the anchor in the link is not set :(

    Wireless interfaces

    Among the wireless interfaces is the standard set of 2012: Bluetooth 4.0 with support for stereo sound A2DP and EDR, NFC, 2G (850/900/1800/1900) and 3G (850/900/1700/1900/2100), Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n. Of course, tehtering is supported. There is LTE, but it is hidden in the engineering menu and I'm not sure that it will work with our frequencies. Nothing special here, the communication quality is excellent, the device confidently catches the network and WiFi, and tenaciously holds the signal. Where the iPhone surrenders and switches from WiFi to 3G, and Meizu MX2 does not see the operator’s network, Nexus confidently uses WiFi and holds the network, albeit with two sticks.

    The GPS gpsOneGen 8A chip with Glonass support is responsible for navigation capabilities.

    I have no complaints about wireless interfaces, but you won’t write anything interesting here. The phone receives a signal, knows how to call, the voice transmits clearly and quite loudly, cuts noise, if possible. What else does? Screenshot of a Wi-Fi signal strength test? I don’t think that anyone is very interested. Super-antennas are not declared in the device, so we will not see anything supernatural.


    The smartphone has two cameras, useless, at 1.3 megapixels, and the rear (that is, the main one), at 8. Funny, but a separate frame and a mini-glass got a flash, not a “lens”.

    Image # 1755309, 374.3 KB

    I think this is done so that the flash does not light up the glass of the rear panel and does not interfere with the camera module. And I would not say that photography is the hobby of this device, it shoots at the level of smartphones in 2012, but the camera application interface is the best, in my opinion, in the mobile industry. Here are some photos in different conditions:
    Hidden text
    All pictures are clickable.

    Image # 1755569, 3.8 MB

    Image # 1755577, 2.2 MB

    Image # 1755581, 974.5 KB

    Image # 1755587, 2 MB

    Image # 1755586, 561.3 KB

    Image # 1755592, 2.6 MB

    Image # 1755593, 1.8 MB

    Image # 1755624, 1.9 MB

    In the afternoon, the camera tries to keep to the minimum ISO (100-200), shoot at a shutter speed from 1/1500 to 1/100. Evening or night shots are obtained at a shutter speed of 1 / 60-1 / 20, ISO takes off to 1600 and higher. There is not a lot of noise (for the camera of a mobile device), against the background of past Nexus, there is progress on the face. But the quality of the picture leaves much to be desired: algorithms for obtaining information from the matrix aggressively eat parts and produce artifacts.

    HDR mode is supported, and it honestly glues out of three frames, and is not pulled out of one RAW, as on some devices. Here is a proof from dynamic scenes (without HDR, with HDR, and a glitch when mixing with changing light):
    Hidden text
    Image # 1755640, 1.8 MB

    Image # 1755641, 1.7 MB

    Image # 1755626, 2.4 MB

    The camera does not work perfectly, but sometimes successful shots are obtained. The main problem is the shooting speed, for 2012 it is so-so. Autofocus is tenacious, it shoots close-ups perfectly, but in the dark it catches a contrasting object for a long time to get started. An optical stabilizer (or even an electronic analogue) is not provided in the camera; it will be possible to photograph the text of the announcement in the shaking transport from the tenth attempt.

    Spherical panoramas are perfectly implemented, the main thing is to shoot under reasonable conditions so that this does not work out in a flat version:

    Flattened the panorama, 196.5 KB

    As you can see, the photographic abilities of the smartphone do not allow it to fight for the title of “Best Mobile Camera of the Year”, but against the background of the previous Nexus cameras and all the cameras of the LG 2012 smartphones that I have seen, it's super. Compared with the current generation of smartphones - a confident average, but given the price of Nexus on the official website, I think he can forgive not the best pictures in the mobile industry.

    But there is another kind of camera operation. Shooting a video. It is not interesting in itself (due to the lack of any outstanding results in this area over the past year), and I would not write anything if it were not for the terrifying sound quality when shooting at a concert. A similar video on SGS III and iPhone 5 sounded absolutely normal. Apparently, the problem is software. Here is an example of a bug:

    The quality of the picture is quite “smartphone” level. In conditions with the absence of extremely loud sound sources, everything is OK.


    To write about Nexus and not write about its OS would be a crime. Perhaps the entire Nexus program is primarily an example of pure Google-flavored Android, and secondly, everything else. The most current software versions, the fastest update, and the longest official support are Nexus. The device comes with the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, and is sure to be one of the first (if not the first) to upgrade to Key Lime Pie. Nexus differs from Samsungs, LG, and any other HTC with Sony by its uncluttered interface, a minimum of vendor junk and pseudo technologies, an abundance of free space in the device’s memory (which is not so much: there are no memory cards in Nexus again that upsets me), the simplicity and functionality of the basic Google applications. After you turn on the device and enter the WiFi keys, most likely, you will immediately receive a message that there are updates for it. They wrote about the features of Android 4.2 everywhere; I don’t see the point here to give the same information. I'd better write about impressions.
    Previously, a new smartphone was used how? For several days (weeks) I went with stock firmware, trying to put up with some of its shortcomings. Then he rutted (if rutted), and demolished a bunch of vendor junk. I walked another week or two, periodically bumping into uncomfortable moments in the official ROM. Then followed the installation of Android AOKP with a small number of tweaks, and the smartphone remained in this state, occasionally receiving OTA updates from the creator of the firmware.
    Nexus 4 I still have not rutted. I don’t see the point. There is simply nothing superfluous in the phone that I would like to remove, and there is nothing that I would like to fix by installing a third-party ROM. I hope that Google will click on manufacturers and make them prudent. You can not turn a clean, neat, perfectly working system into such a hotbed as we can see with the same Samsung. Compare for yourself, firmware based on Cyanogen for the third galaxy - from 80 to 150 megabytes, depending on the "stuffing". Samsung firmware - 800-900 megabytes. What could be crammed there in such a volume? Yes, of course, on the drain, the S III works better with the camera and there is a two-panel mode (it seems that LG also has something similar in new smartphones. I have not yet encountered it). But that’s where the bonuses end. It's hard to believe,
    Perfectly working Google Now, excellent Google Currents application, convenient built-in software. Guidelines UI. In general, I am now an adherent of the Nexus approach to Android. A minimum of excess, a maximum of possibilities.


    Nexus 4 is an inexpensive (especially if ordered from the USA and delivered via ShopFans), a powerful, beautiful smartphone that still has a minimum of flaws with a large number of advantages.


    • Nexus
    • Screen
    • Camera
    • Materials and quality of the case
    • Stuffing and performance
    • A complete set of all modern interfaces
    • Standard MicroUSB, headphone output and Qi standard for wireless charging


    • There is not enough memory / there is no slot for MicroSD (although half of this volume is enough for someone, does someone buy eight-gig versions?).
    • It is not known what will happen to the device after the fall. Glass, after all.
    • The official price in Russia.
    • Скудная комплектация, родной Wireless Charger не найти в продаже.
    • С выключенным экраном при извлечении из кармана/сумки/рюкзака сразу не поймешь, где верх, а где низ. Кнопки маленькие, незаметные, а сам девайс максимально симметричен.

    My vision of Nexus (and especially its eight-gig version) is a working smartphone. If you use it as a workhorse, it will not have gigabytes of music and video, 500 photos “we are on the beach”, photos of scraps on instagram and other “home” situations, but there will be an excellent stock keyboard and browser, almost perfect work with several mail drawers, messenger, camera to take a picture of a document / business card, an excellent screen with a very accurate touch sensor that will allow you to edit incoming documents on the fly through Google Drive or any mobile office. In general, the entire user case, which does not imply storing a large amount of “heavy” content on the phone. On the road, you can always throw yourself one or two films, some music or books, the smartphone will perfectly cope with any load, with any toy and with any application,

    1 - with OpenGL ES 3.0 support, everything is not so smooth: Mairon claims that 3.0 is only supported by the Adreno 320 HF chip, which is installed in the updated Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC.

    Also popular now: