Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sizing up Google Nexus 4 phone

With the Nexus 4, LG finally gets its flagship phone

The Nexus 4 from LG.
(Credit: LG)
CNET - Even though its New York event was pushed off track by Hurricane Sandy, just as expected, Google announced the fourth-generation Nexus smartphone today. An unlocked device, the LG Nexus 4 will arrive in the Google Play online store on November 13 starting at $299 (8GB).

Significantly, the Nexus 4 represents a real opportunity for LG to take some clout away from arch rival Samsung, maker of the previous few Nexus devices. One flaw though is the Nexus 4's lack of fast 4G LTE but that likely won't matter to die-hard Android users who crave the swift upgrade path for Google Nexus products.

Google will also sell an unlocked 16GB model for $349, while T-Mobile will offer its own 16GB version for $199 on November 14.

LG Nexus 4
Running 4.2 Jelly Bean, the Nexus 4 uses the latest version of Android.
(Credit: Google)
Design and features

Like the original Nexus One, the LG Nexus 4 delivers the latest version of Google's Android software -- in this case, 4.2 Jelly Bean -- without any manufacturer or carrier skins. Some notable improvements to the operating system include what Google calls the Photo Sphere plus Gesture Typing. Photo Sphere is a feature that lets you stitch multiple images from various directions into a 360-degree super panorama. Gesture Typing, as its name implies, is a text input method that allows users to string letters together by dragging fingers through them on the keyboard similar to Swype.