Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Google Nexus 4 - Not a Flagship but a Great Value for Money Proposition

The Google Nexus 4 is not designed to compete with the 2012 Android flagship phones like the HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S III. Instead, the Nexus 4 is designed to be the best mid-level Android for 2013. I think I should explain.

The Google Nexus 4 has a 8 MP camera, which can best be described as adequate. It is not as good as the 8 MP camera on the HTC One X, both of which fall far behind the 8 MP shooters on the Samsung Galaxy S III and Note II. The Google Nexus 4 is has 16 GB of non-expandable internal storage. There are no 32 GB and 64 GB models, and no way to expand the internal memory via a MicroSD card. The Google Nexus 4 does not have LTE on board. The Nexus 4 also did not launch with the cutting edge in screen technology, 1080p displays, which you are now seeing in phones released by HTC, Oppo and Sharp.

So basically, if you are looking for a great camera phone, gobs of local storage and the fastest internet connectivity there are better options or the cutting edge in technology.

What Google has designed is what is pretty much mid-level phone specifications come May-June 2013, but packing top end power to make sure that it will be powerful enough for two years of updates. The quad core Krait Processor with 2 GB of RAM will be able to keep up with Samsung's latest Exynos and the next release of Nvidia's Tegra. 

Priced at Php24,990 suggested retail price (Php22,240 cash) is 8K lower than the price point of most new flagship phones. Google strategy with the Nexus line seems quite clear. The Nexus 4, like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S are targeted at the mid-level market. The last Nexus phone which embodied all the cutting edge technologies of the time was the Nexus One (though that one had limited internal storage). In Q1 and Q2 every year, its OEM partners will release their new phones. At the end of the year Google will release a phone that will be current for the year following its release. This keeps something fresh in the Android line-up all year round.  


  1. I'm not sure if I'd agree, but quad-core phones would still be among the top of the line of its kind in the foreseeable future. It's specced the same as that of the S3 and Note2, both of which are flagships. Unless we get to see 6 or 8 core phones becoming the norm for the next year or so, quad core phones [especially this one which has 2GB, the One X only has 1GB] are still slated to be "flagship". Besides, Google doesn't have any other phones on their line now.

    1. Without a top grade camera and LTE support, it really cannot be a flagship phone. But it is not priced like one either. Speed alone does not make it a top of the line offering.

  2. Clearly you do not know the definition of flagship means.

    It means top of the line.

    It also signals google's intent of making high end phones for the masses. Also the N4 does have LTE they just didn't have the rights.

    Its pretty much a high end phone with a mid-end price.

    Thats all.

    The Nissan GTR and Chevy Corvette ZR1 are a 100,000 dollar cars with a performance of a 500,000 car. Why do you think it is compared to super cars costing atleast 5 times the amount of those cheap cars???

    1. The Nexus 4 is based on LG's flagship (top of the line phone) the Optimus G, so I guess you can view it as a downgraded flagship. The chipset on the Nexus 4 does have a seven band modem, but LG took out some of the other LTE components to cut on cost. Still, some guys at XDA have managed to enable one band, with limited efficiency.

      The performance argument is where the Nexus 4 falls short. Fastest chipset, with two year old technology in terms of cutting edge internet connectivity.

      So, I guess you can consider it a high-end phone without LTE, or the best mid-level handset in the market.

  3. I think this is overpricing. Why call it a mid.level smarthphone if it has a price like this.

    1. Google subsidized priced on Google Play is US$349. Retail price is US$450, so local pricing is not bad.

      Phone like the Galaxy S III and HTC One X had suggested retail prices of Php32,900 at launch. This one is priced at Php24,900 (Php22,240) so it is priced at the lower end of the high end scale, or the higher end of the low end scale.

      In the end what makes it a mid-level device is the not so great camera and absence of LTE.

    2. I see, thanks for the info... I'm still confused between htc one x, galaxy nexus, nexus 4, s3, and note 2...

    3. Overall, the Galaxy S III is still the best locally available Android. Better camera, longer battery life and expandable storage mainly. The Note II is essentially a bigger S III.

      The Nexus 4 is a lot cheaper than both and offers enough for the asking price. I would look at all, and pick the one I personally liked best. They all do work pretty well.


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