/// Nexus 4 Is a Great Value With Small Improvements

November 7, 2012  |  All Things Digital

Google’s Android operating system is used on hundreds of smartphones and tablets. But the flagship Android devices, the ones the company calls “the best of Google,” are labeled Nexus. They are meant to show the world all that an Android device can be, and are designed and sold directly online by Google. Next week, the company will begin offering the latest phone in this line, the Nexus 4. [ See post to watch video ] This new phone is part of a Google-designed portfolio that now includes two other devices: the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. The phone, which features a new version of Android, hits the market at a time when Apple has had early success with its iPhone 5, and as Nokia and HTC are bringing out devices with a fresh version of Microsoft’s phone software, Windows Phone 8. I found the Nexus 4 more evolutionary than revolutionary. It has some nice features and carries on Google’s recent tablet tradition of low pricing. But there’s no knock-your-socks-off stuff in the new phone. Even the new version of Android is just a further iteration of the current variant, called Jelly Bean, rather than an all-new edition, such as Google introduced last year at this time with the prior Nexus phone. The Nexus 4′s Photo Sphere feature shows a 360-degree image, in which you can pan around to see up and down as well as side to side. Blue dots guide the photo taker. And the Nexus 4 is missing two important features: the ability to use LTE, the most consistently speedy 4G network in the U.S.; and a memory capacity greater than 16 gigabytes, the amount most smartphones start with. The new phone also lacks a memory-expansion slot. The phone’s most touted new capability, the ability to capture 360-degree pictures, worked poorly in my tests. Otherwise, I found the latest Nexus to be a solid, reliable, phone and a good value

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Nexus 4 Is a Great Value With Small Improvements

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