Nexus 4 first impressions

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Google's Nexus 4 was just announced on Monday, but the search giant was kind enough to let me get some hands on time with the phone before it hits store shelves mid-November. The LG-built Nexus 4 is an improvement over last year's Galaxy Nexus, and I came away from my encounter quite impressed with the phone's performance and slew of interesting features.

The Nexus 4 feels great to hold, and made my own personal Galaxy Nexus feel chunky and cheap by comparison. I was initially worried that the Nexus 4's large 4.7-inch display would make the phone difficult to use one-handed, but those fears were put to rest shortly after I began handling the device: Unlike other similarly-sized smartphones, like the Droid Razr HD, I didn't have to keep readjusting my grip in order to do things like compose text messages or check notifications. The phone is roughly the same dimensions as the iPhone 5, though the Nexus 4 is about half an inch wider than Apple's smartphone. The Nexus 4's glass back looks nice, but I worry that a short fall is all it will take to shatter it. Unlike the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S, the Nexus 4 does not have a user-replaceable battery, and you will need to use a special tool to access the phone's microSIM card slot.

The phone has a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm S4 Pro processor, which seems to do a good job at keeping it running smoothly. Menus flew beneath my fingertips, and I noticed no lag while using the phone. The few games I was able to try on the Nexus 4 ran well, but the phone felt hot after a few minutes of gameplay. Odd, considering I didn't have these issues while using the LG Optimus G (another quad-core Android phone).

The Nexus 4 ships with Android 4.2, but I didn't have much time to get too deep into all of its features. I did manage to try out the new Photo Sphere functionality in the camera, which works really well, and I look forward to trying out more of the new camera app's functionalities.

From what I've seen thus far the Nexus 4 looks to be a quality smartphone, but I'm reserving all judgements until I've spent more time with the device. Stay tuned to TechHive for my full review of the Nexus 4, as well as an in-depth review of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

This story, "Nexus 4 first impressions" was originally published by TechHive.

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