Nexus 4

Aaron Poffenberger

I've had my Nexus 4 now a couple of days. I like it!

Initial Impression

In a word: awesome. The Nexus 4 is far and a way the best Android device I've handled. The Samsung Note devices are cool because of the Wacom technology but in all other respects the Nexus 4 is better.


The Nexus 4 is thin, just a shade thicker than an iPhone 5. In fact in all dimensions is a bit bigger than the iPhone. In thickness that's not a compliment but in length and depth it means more screen and for me an easier device to hang onto.

Save for a small part of the bezel border and the writing on the back, it's all black. It looks really good. The Gorilla Glass 2 on front and back show all that black off to good effect.


The screen is 4.7" and very high-resolution: 1280x768 at 320 ppi (pixels-per inch). It looks fantastic. I like the screen on my HTC Sensation but this one is even better.


The Nexus 4 is a GSM device so it works with T-Mobile and ATT (and most of the civilized world). It's not 4G. It's fast, just not iPhone-5-on-LTE fast.

It also has built-in wifi (as if it wouldn't). And since it's stock Android tethering works out of the box.

Processor and RAM

It has a 4-core Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Pro CPU and 2 GB of RAM. My HTC Sensation has a dual core proc and 768 MB of RAM. The Nexus 4 feels snappier. I'm sure part of that is due to less bloat and more RAM.


I bought the 16 GB model. I'm not quite ready to rely 100% on the "cloud" for my data. I'd like enough room to store a decent amount of music, photos and books. I could probably make it with 8 GB but 16 added $50 to the price. Well worth it.

Notably, though, the Nexus is not expandable. There's no mini-SD card slot. Here are two explanations (first and second) for Google's preference for internal storage only. (And it's not to sell more Google Drive subscriptions.) They sound plausible. I can certainly relate to the issue of dismount the SD card whenever it's needed. Using a modern, Linux-based file system also makes sense.


The device has 3: power, volume up and volume down. That's it. Android 4.x has completely eschewed hardware buttons. All other navigation and input to the device is via the touchscreen.


There are three ports: micro USB, earphone and two contact pins on the bottom.

The micro USB slot is also a SlimPort connector. SlimPort is a display port for connecting devices to standard monitors, projectors and TVs. It appears to be based on DisplayPort. This could be useful for on-the-road presentations similar to the way Apple users plug iPhones and iPads into projectors. You might even be able to watch movies with it on the TV.[1]


There are two cameras: an 8MP camera on the back and 1.3MP camera on the front.

In my preliminary testing the photos are very good. I haven't tried the panorama feature yet. I'm looking forward to trying it.

The 8MP camera is capable of capturing HD video at 1080p. Again, I haven't tried it yet.

NFC and Wireless Charging

The Nexus 4 also has NFC (near-field communication), Google's technology for short-distance data transfers and part of the Google Wallet.

The wireless charging sounds intriguing. I don't have any inductive-charging devices. I may have to acquire a charger and try it out.


Very good! I like it so far. I'll post further reflections as I get to know it.


[1] Yeah, why not use your computer. Perhaps in a pinch or for in the car with the kids.