Last year’s Galaxy Nexus didn’t ship with LTE, but Google eventually released newer models that included the technology. Google had to give up some freedom with those LTE Nexus devices, though. Both Sprint and Verizon were slow to offer Android software updates, and Verizon initially blocked Google Wallet to promote its own alternatives. Since the Nexus devices are supposed to be “pure Android” experiences, where Google can control the entire software experience, it may be hesitant to be beholden to carriers once again.
I’ll admit, the LTE issue is primarily U.S.-specific. The Nexus 4 will work just fine on plenty of international networks, and if they support HSPA+, it should be plenty speedy. But I can’t help but think that U.S. consumers are getting a bad deal.
Wrapping up: A solid phone with a critical flaw
After seeing the glory of LTE, there’s no way I can recommend a phone without it. LTE isn’t just about being able to download massive files, its low latency makes almost anything you do on your phone happen instantly and effortlessly. For me, that boils down to a crucial email before I hit the subway, or a quick restaurant search without breaking conversation. Simply put, LTE means no more waiting.
Another year, another Nexus. There’s certainly plenty to like about the Nexus 4, especially if you’re not in an LTE-equipped area. If you’ve skipped the Galaxy Nexus, or are just looking to jump aboard the Android bandwagon, the Nexus 4 is a solid option.
But I’m hoping that with its next Nexus phone, Google finally offers us a flagship device that doesn’t leave us wanting. Now that it has a full Nexus lineup, Google should make sure that all of its flagship devices demonstrate the best Android has to offer. That means no more missing features, solid design, and Apple-levels of obsession (which we’re already seeing from Microsoft with the Surface).
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