Google has always made its Indian consumers wait a bit longer than the rest of the world to get their hands on its products. The Google device that created the most buzz in the last couple of months or so is the Google Nexus 4, manufactured by LG. While many people have already gone ahead and purchased the device from abroad, here’s a lowdown on the phone for those who are planning to go for one!

The Nexus 4 is definitely a good-looking device with a stealth black fascia. The only controls that light when you start using the phone are the three virtual buttons on the home screen. The hardware buttons are kept to a minimum with only the power and the volume rocker. Android’s latest interface in its purest form serves as the user interface on the Nexus 4 and it’s endearingly simple and beautiful. The lock screen mode on the Nexus 4 lets you swipe to the right or the left (on the locked screen) to show up your camera and a screen full of customisable widgets respectively. The 4.7-inch might strike as just the right size to a lot of consumers, especially those who think 5-inches and up screens are an inconvenience. Although the Nexus 4 doesn’t sport a 1080p full HD display, the quality is still impressive.

We checked out Play Movies and it had a pretty wide and quirky selection of movies to choose from. There was the Shiney Ahuja-starrer Sins and (about Rs 50 to rent) and Hugh Jackman-starrer Les Miserables (available for rent at about Rs 125).

The Google Nexus 4 comes with a 8-meg camera. In there too, Google has introduced a cool new interface – you tap on a part of the screen and a virtual scroll wheel come sup presenting you with all the settings possible before you take a picture. A single tap on any part of the screen helps you focus, as with any other mobile camera.

While it did give us some sharp, blur-free snaps, the camera (in the default mode) tends to overexpose a bit. And with the HDR mode on, it does the exact opposite. Apart from this, we had no other problems with the snapper.

The Google Nexus 4 comes with a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor - a quad-core one running at 1.5 GHz. It also makes use of the Adreno 320 graphics processor, and 2 gigabytes of RAM and has become popular for these top-notch specs. And they definitely deliver the kind of performance expected of them. The phones, almost always, was quick on its virtual toes, even when we had a handful of apps such as YouTube, Flipboard, Gmail and WhatsApp open.

The battery life on the Nexus 4 wasn’t bad either. We did have to plug it in for a charge at the end of the day, something you would have to do with most high-end smartphones these days.

One of the downsides to the handset might be the limited storage capacities offered. With the Nexus 4, you can either get an 8 GB or a 16 GB handset and there’s no external storage available. The battery compartment is sealed so you can’t swap batteries if need be.

The Google Nexus 4 packs in the right amount of style and power that would appeal to most consumers looking for their next smartphone. Good thing then that it won’t burn as big a hole in the pocket as most of its competitors!

Rs 25,999

Love – Subtle design, simple interface

Hate – Heats up a bit at times

mahananda.bohidar@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 17, 2013)
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