The processor of the Google Nexus 4 is its best point. The device is equipped with the latest quad-core Qualcomm chipset — the Krait processor that runs at 1.5GHz, with Adreno 320 graphics. It comes with 2GB of RAM, which is a combination that proved to be very reliable and exceptionally fast in collaboration with this screen and operating system. Thus, the Google Nexus 4 really impresses with its speed, as well as the smoothness with which it runs applications, zooms in and scrolls even the heaviest of web sites, plays video, etc.
Taking a look at many synthetic benchmarks, according to results provided by AnTuTu and BrowserMark 2, the Nexus 4 is currently the fastest device available on the market. According to other software speed measuring tools, it is not the fastest, but is in the top few. There’s really no way to be dissatisfied with the performance of this smartphone.
What many users will see as a shortcoming is the small data storage capacity. The device comes with a humble 8 or 16GB of internal memory, without the possibility of expanding the capacity with memory cards.
Furthermore, Nexus 4 does not offer 4G LTE support, even though the necessary hardware is built in. LG representatives, however, have informed me this might might be activated in time, software-wise, but only on the 700 MHz frequency. NFC is supported, though.
As it is usual for new devices in Google’s Nexus series, this one also comes with the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. Changes in Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) compared to 4.1 are evident on the lock-screen, which now has the option of showing widgets. These are different widgets than those on the homescreen, and just those prepared by Google are available at the moment: Digital Clock, Messages, Calendar and Gmail.
Widgets stretch out across the entire screen by default, but can also be shrunk. The one shown on the main lock-screen is resized, in order to leave room for the padlock icon which unlocks the device, but can be expanded downward. Others are accessed by moving the screen to the right. If you move the display to the left, you activate the device’s camera, which means it is now available as a separate widget, not an icon on the lock-screen.
Once the device is unlocked, the desktop appears — dominated by icons, widgets and three navigation keys (Back, Home and Tasks) at the bottom of the screen. There is a dock with five shortcuts above the navigation keys. The central shortcut opens the apps drawer, which now has five lines and five columns, while the remaining four can be personalized.
Interestingly, Android 4.2 has introduced screensavers to the world of Android. This option is called Daydream, and it can display photographs from the gallery, animations, Google Currents news etc., while the device is charging or while it is simply not being used.
All the rest has been seen before from Android 4.0 and 4.1. The most valuable of all these is Google Now, a type of personal assistant that resembles Siri on Apple’s iOS. This learns about the user from their everyday routine and provides useful information accordingly. If it is morning, Google Now can save you valuable commuting time by showing traffic jam information, how your stocks are doing on the stock exchange, whether your booked flights have been canceled or postponed etc. Of course, this application also supports voice control, just like Siri.
Google News is activated by dragging any of the three navigation keys from the homescreen upward, followed by a brief summary of relevant information at that moment.
Compared to the previous versions of Android OS, the camera-management application has been improved. When it is started, all that is necessary is to touch the screen with a finger and a circle with icons will appear. The icons access certain shooting options. If you move your finger across one of the icons, additional options appear and this makes setting up shooting options much easier, like selecting the resolution, ISO value, white balance, etc.
However, the quality of photographs taken on the Nexis 4 is below average. Most photos come with a significant amount of noise and without many visible details. On the other hand, the contrast and the colors are spot on, which compensates the sharpness issue to a certain degree if the photos are being taken with good lighting.
The same remarks go for recording videos — video clips have realistically displayed colors, but a lot of noise suggests that the recordings have been made with a cheap device.
In my tests, the built-in battery has displayed great resilience and provided solid autonomy time. Apart from a solid capacity of 2100 mAh, the great processor is credited for this, which can handle Nexus 4’s screen and software without drawing excessive power. With average telephone use, the device needs to be recharged every other night.