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Am I the only one that finds it somewhat funny that a phone with no LTE, non-removable battery, no SD card slot and glass front and back is the most talked about Android phone to date?

I don't know if it is the "most talked Android phone to date". I think the Galaxy S series by Samsung have much more hype than Nexus (at least between "real" people that is not obsessed with gadgets), and I am pretty sure that the Nexus 4 will not sell as much phones as the S3.

There is a lot of controversy on the reviews because it lacks LTE. Apart from that, the only thing that this phone have that is not found in many other Android devices is the glass back. The HTC One X (lacks non-removable battery, no SD card slot) and the GNexus (no SD card slot) are famous devices that have this problems.

My point is that the "beauty" of the Android ecosystem is that you can choose between a lot of different designs and specs. The Nexus 4 have glass back, no LTE, no sd card slot and non-removable battery. Will it be more popular than the S3, that don't have any of this "problems"? I don't think so.

I am buying the Nexus 4 because I love the design, I love stock Android and there is no LTE in my country yet. I always really liked the iPhone design and hardware, but the OS and the locked ecosystem are deal breakers to me.

Non-removable battery is a choice which a lot of people are OK with. If the battery doesn't deteriorate, at least.

No LTE doesn't affect people on non-LTE networks (eg all of Ireland) and isn't a deal breaker for people who mostly connect via wireless (eg all those people who are happy enough with highly restricted data plans).

If those two things contribute to the attractive price and/or design then for a big group of people these are good things. They still get a phone that works great at a low price without paying for features they can't or won't use.

This isn't the highest end phone on the market, but it puts a a lot of computer in your pocket at a price that people will be willing to pay.

What was the median price of a phone pre-iphone?

Honestly, I'm drooling over the newer model before the battery in any of my phones deteriorates to the point of being useless. I really like the option of induction charging (like on my Palm Pre) and not being able to change the battery doesn't bother me one bit.

Also, I like the fact that a sealed case gives lint/dust/dirt less of a chance to invade my phone. I have a Galaxy Nexus and I have to take the back off every so often to clean the gunk out of the speaker & camera lens.

> No LTE doesn't affect people on non-LTE networks (eg all of Ireland)

Eg, all of T-Mobile, which is the only official launch partner for the Nexus 4 in the US.

The worst part about a non-removable battery, besides no replacement, is if the phone is dropped. The battery usually ejects and takes the force of the fall. I have never had a phone case and have dropped my 3 droids many times without incident.

With case, you lose a lot of the sleekness.

As an iPhone user (4S) that all sounds pretty standard!

On a more serious note, I don't understand all the fuss about LTE. IIRC it's something like 20Mbps in practice, which is faster than most Internet connections in the US.

What is the use case for such bandwidth on a phone? YouTube already plays just fine with HSPA+.

Wow 6 replies here and nobody has specifically called out latency.

I have a verizon LTE device that I tether with from time to time, and the ping times I get to my home server are insane, usually around 20ms. When I tether on my HSPA galaxy nexus, ping times are usually around 100+ms.

Now this could be verizon vs t-mobile and not LTE vs HSPA (or some mix). Verizon is the only/main LTE-supporting provider right now, so LTE and Verizon are conflated in my mind, for better or for worse.

Do you have a more convincing measurement than ping times to some other location?

Do you have real-looking latency data for the first few hops from your phone? (...keeping in mind that latency information for intermediate hops is not always accurate.)

100ms vs 20ms could be t-mobile peering with your home ISP in some far away city, while Verizon peers locally. Based on only pings, you'd never know.

Ahh, a quick bit of googling does seem to suggest that LTE should provide lower latency than HSPA. That certainly is a benefit, much more so IMHO than the bandwidth numbers we see carriers boasting about!

The real fuss about LTE is that the total bandwidth of your serving cell is much higher and more people get "fast enough" speeds and response times.

No doubt that very few of the reviewers actually understand that and complain about getting not getting 50Mbps now.

I went from HSPA+ on a Galaxy Nexus (AT&T) to LTE on an iPhone 5 (Verizon), and the difference is very noticeable, at least in my area of the US. HSPA+ was alright but still felt like a cellular data connection. LTE feels just like I'm on a fast wifi connection. It's probably the lower latency that makes it seem like wifi, not just the faster data transfer speeds.

On a counter anecdote, as I've mentioned in the past, my Nexus S on T-Mobile with "regular" HSPA gets faster "4G" internet speeds than my Galaxy Nexus on Verizon using LTE, and latency seems roughly the same.

I have been wondering this exact same thing myself. I get 16Mbps on HSPA+, and that's more than plenty for everything I do. I could sort of see LTE making sense in tablets (streaming 1080p on HSPA+ is definitely doable, but doesn't leave a lot of extra bandwidth), but I genuinely have no idea why it's (currently) important in phones.

Tethering. If you're travelling a lot, tethering to your LTE phone would give you a relatively consistent, fast internet connection.

Aside from that, it's just another way for carriers to charge you $$$ for a feature that is only marginally useful.

LTE is seriously fast, seriously low latency and makes the experience of using the internet (which is pretty much everything a phone does) much better. A slow connection is frustrating, a high latency connection makes me just not bother, but try LTE and you'll see what all the fuss is about.

Use case is everything you currently do, but faster.

Potentially there's less latency on an LTE connection, so far as I can tell from a quick search. This could be useful for a bunch of stuff - playing TF2 via a tethered phone perhaps?

I achieved a 56mbps lte download on AT&T in Houston. Average has ranged from 10-30 though

The best part is that they give you high speed LTE but with only 3 GB/month cap, and after that it caps to GPRS; at least here for vodafone.de

Well the difference is, you can just buy a different Android phone which is just as powerful but doesn't have these 'defects'. The choice is yours. With an iPhone, you either buy one "with no LTE, non-removable battery, no SD card slot and glass front and back" or you don't buy an iPhone at all.

The iPhone 5 has LTE and an aluminum back.

Edit: Not being snarky. Just a minor correction.

Thanks, +1, but I was just replying to the parent comment, which was implying that Android fans are being unfair as they disliked 4S for the reasons mentioned but seem to be okay with those reasons now. I'm pointing out that it is about choice. I didn't know that iPhone 5 has LTE. If I did, I'd have used the past tense.

I think he was referring to the state of the world prior to iPhone 5 being announced.

But then how will I find a phone that doesn't have crap-ware preinstalled by the carrier by default, and allows a user to update to the latest version of the OS without going through the carrier?

2011 called, it wants its 4S back.

Remember, outside of the US LTE is essentially a non-feature, so there are lots of people who don't actually care. Then there are the people who could use LTE, but find their current network fast enough.

I live in a place with no LTE, but honestly if it were to degrade battery life I'd rather live without it: faster network is always nice, but the current one is fast enough.

It may not be widely deployed outside the US, but that doesn't mean new devices shouldn't support the new standards.

Imagine if when Microsoft was designing Windows 7 they said "well, no one is using IPv6 right now so we won't include any support."

The difference between Windows 7 supporting IPv6 and the Nexus 4 supporting LTE is that LTE requires a physical chip that costs extra to manufacture. Why force all users to pay extra for an LTE radio if most users will not see any benefit from it?

The difference is Google will release another Nexus within one year that will likely have LTE. MSFT makes a new Windows version every 4 years or so.

> Imagine if when Microsoft was designing Windows 7 they said "well, no one is using IPv6 right now so we won't include any support."

That's not a fair comparison. IPv6 is required so our internet doesn't crumble around us, LTE is just getting cat pictures to your eyeballs quicker.

Current operators don't have voice working on LTE, phone vendors need to keep both 3G and LTE radios on to kludge around this.

When the operators/LTE network vendors get their voice act together, phone vendors can start selling proper LTE phones.

Due to faster download times it can apparently actually _boost_ battery life in some web surfing scenarios.

Not that it matters if your network has no LTE.

It's in a different price range than phones with LTE and SD slots - $350 unlocked which is insanely cheap.

I didn't believe the specs when I first saw them. Those are some of the things that have always made Android phones a no-brainer over the iPhone for me. I've heard this phone still has huge appeal in the international market, but those are definitely deal breakers for a lot of U.S. users.

1. 4G tethering / hotspot is amazing and doesn't require an additional subscription on previous Nexus phones. 2. 16 GB (13 GB free) is miniscule today, especially for a phone with limited streaming capability due to #1. 3. Non-removable battery also means no extended batteries. One of the first accessories I buy is usually an extra or extended battery.

> 3. Non-removable battery also means no extended batteries. One of the first accessories I buy is usually an extra or extended battery.

That's not entirely true, it's less efficient but you can get charge packs or battery pack "case" which provide USB power to the phone, either on the go or to top up the battery.

Are you implying that tethering is different on the Nexus 4?

No, it's more about the lack of 4G. Streaming full-screen HD videos and playing games on a laptop over 3G is a stretch, but I have no issues doing either with the 4G connection of my Galaxy Nexus. Even loading large web pages was noticeably slower using the 3G connection of my previous Droid.

Verizon's 4G definitely rivals Comcast's cable in terms of latency and reliability, if not in raw speed.

Well it doesn't just support 3G. The Nexus 4 runs HSPA+ 42 (basically non-LTE 4G) which is available in Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa, and on Tmobile in the US. My Tmobile HSPA+ is actually faster than most home internet connections in my area.

You forgot to mention that it's a very powerful unlocked phone at a $300 - $350 price point. When you compare it to the competition, of course people are gonna talk about it.

Besides, I think the most talked about phone award probably goes to the Samsung S3...

I think you'll find that most people were unimpressed when the specs leaked. Then the price was revealed ...

I think that what many people forget is that Nexus line has always been targeted at developers. Not general public. At least that's what I've taken for granted since the first Nexus device. Yes, there are glaring deficiencies. However, it's still a very powerful device without carrier lock-in or locked bootloader. And cheap. Excellent choice for someone who develops Android apps.

Don't forget: average consumer has no clue about nexus devices. But they do know about Samsung or Htc phones.

Well, it does have a barometer!

Not sure about funny; it's useful for a quicker GPS fix : https://plus.google.com/112413860260589530492/posts/jVJhPyou...

What exactly is the usefulness of having thousands of barometer readings measured from the inside of a phone inside peoples' homes, purses, pockets, workplaces, and so on? Seems destined to be a network of meaningless bad reads.

Well, that's part of why it is the most talked about. There's just pages and pages and pages about the SD card here: https://plus.google.com/114892667463719782631/posts/JAAMUzx1...

Yeah for instance when Apple did this design a few years ago it was mostly unacceptable among Fandroids and HN crowd. Now its good, because its Android. Its no secret that HN is heavily biased against Apple (and to some extent MS). I don't know, must be all the Google employees here or something. Its always interesting to watch how these conversations turn out. Its been getting a lot more noticeable over the years on here.

Yeah for instance when Apple did this design a few years ago it was mostly unacceptable among Fandroids and HN crowd. Now its good, because its Android.

Or the people who disliked it when it Apple did it are a different group of people that like it when an Android phone does it. Or they see it as an acceptable trade-off given the non-subsidized price of the Nexus 4.

But hey, don't let that stop you from pointing out such a grave injustice.

> HN is heavily biased against Apple

This is absurd. HN is not a monolith. Every time Apple has a new product there's plenty of people fawning over it, plenty deriding it, and most people somewhere in between who don't care enough to comment.

According to The Verge, it was a choice between faster data on the one hand, and timely updates, better battery life, and lower price on the other.

I'm guessing for a lot of the Nexus's target market, and for Google, faster updates win out.


I'm just surprised they're alienating so much of the U.S. market. People here were writing off the Galaxy Nexus because of the missing SD card slot alone. Take away LTE and the removable battery and this thing has absolutely zero chance of being successful in the U.S.

I'm not so sure that people in the US are "writing off the Galaxy Nexus". Especially when combined with a prepaid plan (such as Straight Talk, Simple Mobile, or TMobile Monthly4G), this phone is a really good deal. $300 is similar to the starting prices for some phone ON contract.

A lot of people really don't need the extra space from an SD card, and LTE is just a more costly option with slightly higher speeds. The lack of a removable battery is somewhat of a let down, but be honest, when is the last time you replaced your phone's battery? I never have. People also seem to indicate that you can still replace the battery by removing a few screws, it is just a little more difficult.

I think the US market is moving towards prepaid, non-contract plans, and this is the PERFECT phone for it. On top of that, most of the rest of the world uses prepaid phone plans, which this is perfect for.

Absolutely, I get why they did it, and its a nice device (if a bit big for me). However I feel its more about getting it into as many markets as possible as well.

Please compare the price of an unlocked iPhone to the price of this unlocked, powerful phone. If you have more money you can go with the S3 or any of the other Android phones with all the features that are missing in the N4. The power of choice...

"Fandroids" - really? sigh...

Why funny? Android is finally getting some hardware design love, and as a happy Droid 2 owner, I think it's about time.

> Why funny?

Because those are pretty much all points on which the iphone 4 was derided/criticized by the android community 2 years ago?

He's drawing a parallel to an iPhone 4s and the negative hype Android users gave it at the time.

I will say at least in my case I'm not thrilled by the lack of SD card and no removable battery. As I already am on TMobile HSPA+ is better for me, however. But with Android it seems like every phone is trade offs, and to get good battery life, latest version of android, and the nexus experience, I'll give up those things.

Or do what I did and go with a phone with near-vendor support of an AOSP ROM. Hello, Galaxy S III and CyanogenMod.

Sure, though personally I don't want to spend my time rooting my phone. For those who do, awesome. I don't feel like investing the time in that process when I could be doing more productive things (to me) with my day.

It really doesn't take that long. I flashed a stable 4.1 build onto nmy S3 from a new computer in about 10 minutes, starting from scratch, following step by step instructions. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=33460541&...

Down to 10 minutes? Huh. Depending on things, I may consider the SIII after all then. Last I'd heard it still took an hour.

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