x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Nexus 4 shines but hardly dazzles

The Life: At $299, the rather modestly-priced Nexus 4 smart phone has many high-end specifications, yet it does not have the feel of a high-end product. The look and feel is more akin to a mid-range phone.

The Nexus 4 works on the Android operating system. Ethan Miller / AFP
The Nexus 4 works on the Android operating system. Ethan Miller / AFP

At US$299, the rather modestly priced Nexus 4 smartphone has many high-end specifications, yet it does not have the feel of a high-end product. The look and feel is more akin to a mid-range phone.

The Google-branded smartphone was manufactured by Japan's LG Electronics, making it a product of a long-standing collaboration between the two companies.

As expected from a Google phone, it works on the Android operating system, running the latest 4.2 JellyBean.

It features Qualcomm's Snapdragon quad-core processor, a 4.7-inch phone with 1280x768p display, not too dissimilar to Apple's iPhone 5. The Nexus 4 is a little uncomfortable to hold, particularly with just one hand. The curves of the phone are not as ergonomic as the HTC One or even the harsher oblong sides of the Sony Xperia Z, which is slightly wider than the Nexus. Happily the on and off and volume buttons (both physical) are well placed and within easy reach however you hold the phone.

The back of the phone shines and glimmers in the light, a bit like a disco ball to give a glamorous touch. The user interface is the standard Android, and can be customised with shortcuts to apps and widgets. But there are only five home-screens.

Making phone calls was a satisfying experience, Google has made an effort, unlike others, to ensure that this feature was not forgotten. Noise cancellation is top notch and finding contacts a doddle as well as dialling numbers on the big keypad that pops up as soon as you press the phone call option.

The keyboard includes the swipe-typing feature, which is useful when you can type with only one hand. Otherwise the screen is responsive enough to type accurately.

The front-facing camera is 1.3 megapixels and the rear-facing camera is 8 megapixels. The autofocus is impressive but pictures taken in zoom come out grainy. There are a set of filters installed to help buff up pictures.

Overall, the Nexus 4 is a respectable phone given its price. Nothing amazing. You will, however, need a Google account to be able to use this phone.

 

thamid@thenational.ae