Nexus 4 pictures and hands-on

Google understands something a lot of manufacturers don't. Not every person on the planet can afford a £400 handset, and perhaps even some people who CAN afford one, aren't inclined to pay that much for what is, essentially, a phone.

So the Nexus 4 is designed to appeal to people looking to spend £240 (8GB) or £280 for the 16GB version, but still get a proper Google experience, with a well-designed and sturdy handset. It's a very clever idea.

Capacity is, to some extent, a little more limited than we'd like, but Google is increasingly offering cloud storage to make this less of a problem. There's no microSD slot though, which is a shame, because it's a route to adding a lot of very cheap storage, very easily.

But as far as compromises go, that's about it. What you have here is a very sturdy feeling handset. It's arguably more sturdy than the Samsung Galaxy S III, but you lose the replaceable battery and upgradable storage of Samsung's flagship.

The processor offers four cores, running at 1.5GHz and 2GB of RAM, which makes this a pretty powerful phone. Battery is reasonable too, at 2100mAh, and should see the handset last most, or all, of a day with reasonable use.

The camera is the usual 8-megapixel affair that's common in phones these days. We had a play, albeit briefly, and found the app great, but the camera results mixed. Some shots were amazing, some less so. It seems to suffer quite badly from highlight blowout in strong light. But, we'll do more testing in our review. 

Our first impressions are, quite simply, "wow". This handset is a lot more impressive than we really expected. The spec is decent for a mid-range handset. We're disappointed by the lack of microSD card support, but that's a "Nexus" thing, it seems. While the device is a little bit of a chunky monkey, it's also authoritative and nice to hold. It's no brick, but it feels strong and sturdy. The design follows the Google Nexus "theme" and has the same simple, but likeable style.

Our handset was provided, very kindly, by O2. The Nexus 4 will be exclusive to O2 on contract for the first month, and you'll be able to buy it from 13 November. You may also get it direct from Google SIM-free. We have a feeling plenty of people will, too.

A full review will be on Pocket-lint next week.



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