The nexus brand has always been a bit of a mystery to me, on one hand it seemed like a fierce anticompetitive move, and on the other it seemed like the freedom Android devices deserved. Even after getting my hands on the Nexus 4, the Nexus series continues to be such.

I suppose a good place to start would be the hardware. This LG built, Google inspired slab of technology is a joy to fondle. Not that LG has had a track record of flair, but this device has plenty of it. The back of the device is covered by a micro board like design overlaid with glass, while the front features the now popular edge to edge screen design, gorilla glass 2 no less. Officially measured at 4.7”, it pushes out an impressive 1280 x 768 resolution. Its not the the thinnest, not the lightest smartphone on the market, but this thing sure is well designed.

The Nexus 4 is not all looks, it is pretty much a powerhouse. Pushing a 1.5 GHz quad core processor accompanied by 2GB of ram, this is the current champion in the spec race. It comes loaded with all the popular connectivity options you’d expect on any smartphone today, NFC, Bluetooth, Wifi, so on and so forth. Rounding out the specs are a 8mp camera with either 8 or 16Gb of storage.

The software offering on this or any other Nexus device for that matter, continues to be its strong point. This is pure Android! Android at its finest I would even argue. I’ve always said, to truly appreciate a Nexus device, you would have had to go through hell with one of the other OEM devices. There is no Sense UI or Touch Wiz trickery to speak of, the experience here is directly from Google, as Google intended it to be. Also a big deal, when updates are announced from the big G, you can expect to see them almost days later on Nexus devices, you can’t be mad at that.

Android 4.2.1 is currently what I am enjoying on the Nexus 4, and let me tell you, Google has got thing thing down to a science. Jellybean is fast, stable and surprisingly not bad to look at.

The Nexus 4 is not without its drawbacks, the camera for instance could be a bit better. Although it was fine, when compared with something like the Lumia 920, it started to show short comings. My second complaint was the placement of the speaker, it wasn’t exactly powerful to begin with, but when placed on its back, sound was muffled quite a bit. Lastly, the battery life on the device was acceptable, but wasn’t great. I’ve read a few forums complaining for this exact thing, Google is supposedly looking into that as we speak.

Overall, I enjoy this device a lot. I had no idea just how good it was, and truthfully, I am sure a lot of people overlooked this thing. Also worth mentioning, this phone can be had from Google for $350 out right, that’s an amazing price for such an amazing device. I have no problem recommending this device to anyone on the market for a new smartphone, this might be as good as it gets for Android right now.

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