Updated on December 10, 2021
Several months back, I bought the Nexus 4 smartphone, which I spent much time pondering whether it’d be worth buying. My main concern was the various reports about the phone’s back glass cracking. While I posted an initial review, I thought I’d offer an update on how the phone’s going so far.
I signed up with the $30/month T-Mobile plan, advertised on their website. The plan comes with 100 minutes plus 5GB of data. Data with T-Mobile works fine for me, even at my workplace, which often has issues with dead zones. And since I’m not streaming YouTube or Netflix heavily, I’m not in danger of hitting the 5GB cap.
The minutes, however, I have hit at least once; while I don’t talk much on the phone, conversations with family may sometimes stretch on at length. Hitting the limit while I was on vacation also wasn’t the most convenient time. Thus, I’ve kept an extra $5-$10 on my T-Mobile account in case time runs over. The $30/month plan charges an extra 10 cents per minute ($6/hour) for anything over 100 minutes.
I’m thinking about signing up with the non-free version of Skype, which for $3/month offers an unlimited calling plan from Skype’s mobile app to phone lines. It’d be cheap (versus what the next suitable tier of T-Mobile service would run), give me the benefits of unlimited calling, and save on my T-Mobile phone minutes.
The Nexus 4 comes with stock Android, which I’ve greatly enjoyed. The two best aspects being that my phone’s 8GB of space isn’t eaten up by unwanted garbage apps put there by the manufacturer, and I get to receive upgrades to the newest Android versions fairly quickly.
The apps work as well as any other mid-to-high end Android phone, of course.
I’ve made use of the phone’s camera, such as on my recent trip to Seattle. While the camera works fine for taking casual snapshots, the camera isn’t one of the Nexus 4’s strong points. It’s nicer than my previous phone’s cameras, but probably not as nice as the iPhone’s camera.
Protecting the phone
This was my biggest concern, per the various online reports about the phone breaking. However, most of these reports seem to show the phone never had any sort of case on it. In my case, I bought a generic $25 case from a T-Mobile kiosk; probably thanks to the case, the Nexus 4 has held up so far, even after the inevitable dropping of my phone a few times. I also put a screen protector on the phone, ones that I ordered from an Amazon vendor. The shields have prevented scratches so far, but the ones I bought seem to give the phone screen a slightly grainy look.
Overall, I’m enjoying the Nexus 4, and glad I bought it. I’d still consider this phone as a viable choice, provided one has a case for it. I assume Google will want to release an updated version soon, as the Nexus 4 model is about a year old.
If one’s considering alternate phones, other phones I’d look at include the recently-announced Moto X, the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S 4, and (for iOS fans) the iPhone 5. Engadget’s summer 2013 smartphone guide might be worth reading.