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Nexus 4 Includes Support for LTE on Band 4 (anandtech.com)
114 points by watbe on Nov 23, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 72 comments

Glorious news this morning. Enabled it on my Nexus 4 with Telus and I can confirm that this works absolutely fine.

However, I'm quite curious about the battery life impact. So far the N4 isn't a champion in this category. Adding LTE..

LTE as implemented on current gen SOC's actually has improved battery life VS 3G. Its the first-gen multiple radio variants like the Thunderbolt which gave LTE a bad rep in that regard.

What's your claim of LTE offering better battery life VS 3G based on? The battery test that Anandtech designed for the iPhone5? I personally can't put much faith in this particular Anandtech battery test:

It doesn't jive with my personal experience using the iPhone5 on LTE and 3G

It contradicts Apple's own battery life claims

Devices with the old SOC get dramatically different results on the new test (see for example the results for the HTC OneX in Anand's initial review and compare with the results in the iPhone5 review chart).

The claim isn't that LTE has better battery life vs 3G. Instead it is:

LTE battery life with today's SoCs vs 3G on today's SoCs > LTE battery life with last year's SoCs vs 3G on last year's SoCs

with the suggestion is that the improvement is significant enough that LTE battery life isn't the problem it used to be. None of that claims that LTE battery life today is better than 3G battery life today.

IIRC this is still a problem if your carrier doesn't fully support LTE, i.e. you still need your 3G radio switched on to receive calls.

This is one reason I'm excited about the Google-Dish wireless carrier news. If they made a 4G-only carrier, you could use VoLTE for calls. By removing the need for non-4G chips, phones would become lighter, smaller, cheaper, and less hot when running. And hopefully service would be cheaper and more stable too.

Doesn't seem to make a noticeable impact on most recent VZ phones, and as far as I'm aware VZ doesn't run VoLTE[0] yet.

[0] Anecdotally, I'm hoping that's right. I've been on (GSM/UMTS) T-Mobile for years and switched to VZ a few months ago; and I've noticed a marked drop in call quality & stability vs. every GSM phone I've owned.

> However, I'm quite curious about the battery life impact. So far the N4 isn't a champion in this category. Adding LTE..

Just get a bigger battery. I got a 3900 mAh extended battery for my Verizon LTE Galaxy Nexus from Mugen Power[0]. Now my phone can run for 2.5 days without any problems. After a week, I didn't even notice the added thickness.

0: http://www.mugen-power-batteries.com/mugen-power-3900mah-ext...

The Nexus 4 has a sealed battery. Upgrading will be a bit tougher.

Wow, why is everyone jumping to copy Apple? I just bought a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon, and the battery, RAM, and SSD are all non-removable. I had to pay a huge premium to increase the RAM to the maximum of 8 GB, whereas in the past I would've bought it with the minimum amount and then upgraded it myself with aftermarket RAM purchased from Newegg or Amazon at a discount. I left the storage at 128 GB, so I'm going to have to carry around an external HDD. It's a really ugly trend in the industry.

I think you just answered the question yourself.

The extra profit from pre-emptive upgrades is probably cancelled out by the increased cost of warranty repairs. Repairs get more complicated, more costly, and more consumers end up having their devices swapped out where previously individual parts could have been replaced.

I think it's more so a side-effect of the relentless push for smaller, thinner devices.

That aligns with the priorities of most consumers. The average consumer is not going to upgrade their hardware — at least, not themselves — but they do want a sleek, slim design.

>The extra profit from pre-emptive upgrades is probably cancelled out by the increased cost of warranty repairs.

This is exactly the calculation apple has done; they now deem RAM to be reliable enough to not have a significant impact on warranty claim expenses. This is why they did not solder the (much less mature tech) SSD.

>I think it's more so a side-effect of the relentless push for smaller, thinner devices.

I think this is naive, personally. The extra 3d space of a RAM module on a laptop is minute. The size is a nice bonus. Also i'd bet a very significant chunk of macbook Pro owners upgraded their RAM.

I don't think the 1-yr warranty claim rate is a needle-moving issue. Quality isn't it that bad. And extended warranties more than pay for themselves. The upgrade price for RAM basically includes the cost of repair and some extra room.

Personally wrt phones, I consider needing a third-party battery for normal use a failure on the manufacturer's part and buy something else.

(FWIW I use a Razr M, which also has a sealed battery. Remarkable little phone.)

I would imagine it is legitimately cheaper to design and manufacturer the devices this way.

It's sealed, but screws on the bottom make it easy to replace.

Not the battery, the battery is glued on to the case with a good amount of adhesive which requires a lot of prying.

Source: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nexus+4+Teardown/11781/2

But not easily replace with a higher capacity battery, given how various elements of the antenna are built into the back surface.

The Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5 have similar battery life if you disable LTE on the iPhone. The faster you can finish loading your data, the sooner you can turn off the LTE chip and start saving power again.

Well this is just rubbish.


The iPhone 5 has nearly DOUBLE the battery life of the Nexus 4 for typical usage. If you disable LTE it will be even better.

Doesn't that review affirm the core of danudey's statement?

> "As always we test across multiple air interfaces (3G, 4G LTE, WiFi), but due to the increased network load we actually find that on a given process technology we see an increase in battery life on faster network connections. The why is quite simple to understand: the faster a page is able to fully render, the quicker all components can drive down to their idle power states."

AnandTech's 3G benchmark scores for the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 are 4.55 and 4.15, respectively. It's only when the iPhone 5 runs on 4G LTE that it scores 8.19.

And while I appreciate AnandTech's quantitative reports, I'm not sure you can call this "typical usage", unless you typically spend all day refreshing web pages.

No. THIS is rubbish. Did you even read the article you linked, or did you just scroll through the pretty pictures?

> typical usage

Are you serious? This pretty much affirms my point that you didn't read the article, unless you consider constantly refreshing web pages at a fixed interval with fixed brightness 'typical usage'.

> If you disable LTE it will be even better.

Apparently you didn't look too closely at the pictures, either. The article contains an entire paragraph (that I'm not going to repeat) that explains why LTE provides better battery life in this particular benchmark. In fact, if you look at the exact same chart you're referencing the iPhone 5 is at 4.55 with LTE disabled, a mere 0.40 more than the Nexus 4.

Your blatant Apple propaganda is getting pretty old.

Presumably, since the n4 has no a antenna for late, your reception is going to be bad, so it may end up pinging towers all day and killing your battery.

Did you just have to change the setting via ##4636##?

I'm with Bell Canada and not having LTE is a deal-breaker for me.

Someone on the XDA forums confirmed that it works with Bell, but if LTE is that important to you, I don't know if it's a good idea to rely on what is essentially a 'hack' unless Google decides to officially support it.

Yes. I simply followed the procedure as shown in the OP.

You also need a LTE compatible Micro SIM card. Most phones sold by the canadian carriers nowadays do have them, even if they are not 4G.

I just read somewhere that to condition the battery of a phone you should do the usual full discharge/charge cycle every once in a while but also try charging the device via a computer's USB port (the slow way) instead of using the wall plug adapter.

Yeah... you'll want to ignore some of that. http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_li...

There really isn't any memory in them. There is value to slow charging, but even more important is temperature and avoiding keeping them near full charge for an extended period of time.

There isn't any "memory" in a lithium polymer battery's chemistry like was found in NiCd and early NiMh batteries, but on some devices, a full charge/discharge cycle functions to program a true digital memory in the battery management controller about the actual properties of the battery.

From the same source: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/battery_calibrati...

>There is value to slow charging

Only to a point. The provided charger tends to be well within this limit (no benefit to using USB).

Agreed. The real trick is to not keep the charge up at full.

It's generally a good idea to never take advice from someone who answers with "I just read somewhere..."

Down voters please explain. He not reply so far is a link that substantiates the above advice. An Apple.com recommends a occasional full discharge, mainly to calibrate the percentage estimator.

There was a link making the rounds late last week about the "best" amperage to charge lithium ion batteries. Someone made the false remark that using a computers USB port to "slow charge" is better because it means you're staying under this value. However, that's not what the article said nor are wall changers actually above the stated value.

The better takeaway from the article is to keep Li batteries cooler than ~95F to extended their life.

There is also no need to condition Li batteries. Apple used to have you do a calibration step for new batteries, but that was to reset the circuitry that was used to estimate the charge left in a battery. The old replaceable batteries had this built into the battery (the little button you pushed to get the row of green lights.) In new MacBooks this is all factory calibrated.

Cool. Now just let me buy one, please.

I blogged about this yesterday. If that's their plan, it helps to occasionally have them in stock. But they've had none in stock, no preorders, nothing, for 10 days now. In fact, it's only been in stock for 30 minutes ever. False scarcity is a great marketing technique. Ask Apple and Nintendo. Key word is "false".

I don't think this is a marketing technique. I think Google + LG have genuinely screwed this one up through underestimation of demand, manufacturing/supply problems, or both. There's too much competition in phones right now for them to give up a customer to someone who is interested but needs to wait. Plus, with the holiday season in full swing, retailers are pushing discounts hard, and every day counts.

Constrained supply can be a good marketing technique for a short period time and can drive awareness and a sense of urgency, but the demand needs to be elastic. 12 months after the Wii launched, it was still highly sought and frequently sold out. I don't think we'll be saying the same for the Nexus 4 in November 2013.

There's no possibly way they screwed it up. Both companies are large enough to have competent production forecasting and supply chain management teams that this must be fully intentional. They decided exactly how many of the phones to make.

That's not to say that the limited number of phones must have been for marketing purposes. The decision could also have been balanced against other manufacturing commitments or other reasons.

Keep in mind that LG probably prefers to make their more profitable Optimus G, and that there has been a number of problems in the supply chain effecting the entire market place. Then consider that nobody expected a Google phone that wasn't backed by a carrier to sell that well, and that with the release of iPhone 5, a LOT of capacity in the system was locked up in guarantees (other phone makers had to lock up guarantees because Apple was locking up so much capacity). It wouldn't be hard for Nexus 4 to be in short supply.

In the mean-time, operators are re-selling it with a huge price increase. In the UK, Google Play's price is £239.00.

O2 sells it at £399.99 with no contract[1].

Carphone Warehouse, £389.95 with no contract[2].

In the same shops, the iPhone 5 is basically the same price than on the Apple store.

[1]: http://shop.o2.co.uk/mobile_phone/pay_monthly/init/LG/Nexus_... [2]: http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/mobiles/mobile-phones/LG_NE...

EDIT: It's not a counter argument, just adding more infos to the subject of pricing.

If you really want to buy it from Google play, and get an email when it's available, check out my site


Who [or what] decides whether scarcity is true or false?

The way I've looked at it is "everyone who wants one seems to be able to get one in a reasonable timeframe." Apple is a master of this. You might not get one on day one, but you'll get yours on day five. That's enough time to inspire people to line up to get theirs on day one.

The Wii was the same way. It was "hard to get" for two Christmases. How is that at all possible? A company misjudges their demand that badly for two years in a row? But really what happened was they just kept a decent pace of manufacturing that satisfied all demand just in time. I never heard of anyone not getting their Wii when they wanted it for either Christmas.

And you really need exactly that: stories of people "getting theirs". So the delays should be somewhat minimal, enough that people can show off getting theirs and tell the story in time for the next person to do the same thing. The Best Buy on Main Street gets deliveries on Tuesday. Come back then!

The Wii was the same way. It was "hard to get" for two Christmases. How is that at all possible?

People mess up forecasting all the time. I've been a personal witness to several instances of this. It usually results in someone getting fired.

Overproduction can be a terrible burden on any company. It is often better to take the low forecast to reduce risk.

Until someone comes out with proof that Google is sitting on warehouses full of unsold phones, I'll accept that it is a true scarcity.

I was about to say the same thing, but timeshifter (whose account appears to be hellbanned) beat me to it:

>If they actually can provide, but claim they can't, it's false.

I adjusted the settings on my Nexus 4 (T-Mobile in the SF Bay Area). I saw a marginal increase in my bandwidth (going from preferred WCDMA to LTE/GSM/CDMA/(PRE) in the menu entries. It is no way a scientific test but the results are a consistent 2 MBps increase which is not enough to claim that LTE works but is a nice to have. I will do more research and post it here.

T-Mobile doesn't offer LTE in the States...


The real test if it's actually doing anything is to set "LTE only" and see if you still have a connection.

I was a bit confused as to why this was remarkable. I found out that the Nexus 4 isn't billed as supporting LTE, so this unofficial support is essentially "for free".

Anyone know whether that applies to rogers in canada?


Confirmed working on Rogers in Canada. :D http://imgur.com/bkyWL It's not only faster than the HSPA speeds I was getting, but it's faster than my home internet connection from Telus. This is awesome.

I had to add an apn with these settings: Name - Rogers LTE APN- ltemobile.apn Port- 80 MMSC- http://mms.gprs.rogers.com MMS Proxy- MCC- 302 MNC- 720 Apn type 1- (default,supl,mms) 2- (*)

Taken from: http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/13nr12/this_video_s...

So, the takeaway for US AT&T customers is that they may potentially roll out LTE on a band that the Nexus 4 supports, but it hasn't yet?

I'd be surprised if they did- why use more bands when you're doing OK with the ones you use now?

The possible win is when T-Mobile eventually rolls out LTE. They are likely to use Band 4... but AFAIK haven't announced when they're ever going to roll it out.

T-Mobile is turning on LTE in 2013. It looks like the Nexus 4 was designed to be ready for it.

What I wondering know if samsung sgs3 i9300 and new note2 international also has LTE chips on board, which can be activated that simple.

Does that mean I could use the Nexus 4 on Verizon?

Even if it mystically had band 13 LTE and CDMA support hiding somewhere, good luck getting Verizon to activate it.

The LTE radio is a ~~7-band radio~~. Edit: I'm finding a bit of contradicting info here, let me look harder.


No, the bands aren't the same

It should be noted that the INFO code does not work on most OEM customised builds (HTC, Samsung, LG et. al.)

Works on my stock Samsung Galaxy Note I.

YMMV, but afaik, all stock Samsung builds have retained this feature.

Oh good. Anyone know if that will work with EE in the UK?

Band 4 is 1700Mhz

EE UK uses LTE on the 1800Mhz

Here's a list of the LTE networking bands

http://niviuk.free.fr/lte_band.php (nice graphics below)

The Anandtech article didn't test out 1800MHz, but I would guess that 1800MHz (band 3) would be the second most likely band to be supported on the Nexus 4. It is a band until now normally used for GSM.

The other bands he has tested for aren't really in use for LTE yet.

Thanks - appreciated :)

Yup, unfortunately EE is Band 3.

Personally, I don't find the lack of LTE to be a problem at all.

Three's DC-HSDPA network has been excellent with my Nexus 4. I've done a few speed tests and I regularly get between 10-18Mbps down and 2-3Mbps up. It feels really snappy and, at £9.60 a month for a rolling 30 day sim only contract with unlimited data, it's cheap as hell.

>£9.60 a month for a rolling 30 day sim only contract with unlimited data

how? link/info please?

AFAIK the best they offered was £6.90/mo base + £3/mo for unlimited data. And that was 12month contract where you had to call up to add on the data. ?

Ah, apologies. For some reason my brain isn't working too well tonight.

I had it in my head that my contract was costing me £9.60 per month while it's actually costing me £12.90 per month. Doh.

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