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March 15, 2013
Google Nexus 4
First the bad. . .
- The Nexus 4 does not support LTE. Those in the know can make it work but may lose access to software updates since Google has disabled the LTE options in newer versions of the software. Probably not a problem, because if you can afford the LTE data then you probably shouldn't be getting the Nexus 4 unless you know why you're getting a Nexus device.
- The Nexus 4 has no MicroSD slot. In other words you have the 8GB or 16GB that the phone comes with and that's all (a big reason to buy the 16GB model instead of the 8GB)
- The Nexus 4 does not support USB-OTG (which means nothing to most people). What this means to the uninformed, though, is important. The Nexus 4 cannot use a USB/Flash drive to supplement the internal storage.
- Glass. It has a glass front and glass back. While this makes it pretty and helps it to feel very solid, it also means that if you drop it without a case you can almost guarantee one of them will break. A quick check shows the back glass to cost about $60 and the front to be roughly $150-200 (parts only).
- This is NOT a phone to use without a case or at least a bumper and screen protectors (like XtremeGuard, Zagg or one of the other "military grade" protection films).
Now the good. . .
- With the exceptions above (and possibly a few I'm forgetting) the Nexus 4 is "almost" on par with the Samsung Galaxy S III for virtually half the price. That means it's a superb value for a handset (but it's not a Galaxy S III so don't think it is).
- Without question (and by far), the Nexus 4 is absolutely the best mobile phone in it's price class
That's right. No full review here or a long listing of specs, you can find that all over the internet.
The first thing to consider when buying a new phone is cost. If you are considering a Nexus 4, DO NOT buy it from a carrier. Go to the Google play store (http://www.google.ca/nexus/4/) and buy it directly from Google.
The reason is simple . . . Price (Prices shown were taken online as of March 1, 2013 and will not be updated to reflect changes in price or promotional offers).
Price directly from Google = $359 for 16GB version
Price from Windmobile = $549.00 (that's $190 more than Google)
$449 on WINDtab on $20 plan (still $90 more)
$349 on WINDtab on $30 plan (only $10 less)
$249 on WINDtab on $40 plan (only $110 less)
*Note that purchases through Windmobile are based on a 3 year term to clear the WindTab. Do you really want to be locked for 3 years to save $110? I mean if you're willing to lock in for 3 years, see Virgin Mobile (which is effectively Bell Mobility) with the same phone for $0 on a three year term.
Price from Fido = $449 ($90 more than Google)
$100 on a 2 year agreement
Price from Virgin Mobile = $400 (since the penny is phased out it really is $400 and not $399.99 - who are they trying to kid?)
$250 (on a 3 year term - Silver Plan)
$100 (on a 3 year term - Gold Plan)
$0 (on a 3 year term through Future Shop) Also, since Future Shop price matches web prices, you might even be able to purchase it outright from them at the same price as from Google.
Of course when you break down the math of how much you pay over time (often with a mandatory data plan included), it's always going to be cheaper to buy it outright. Arguably if you're already with a carrier it "may" be worth it to lock yourself into a 2 or 3 year contract if you know you won't be changing carriers. But to be honest about it...
The Nexus 4 is not the handset to get locked in on. It is one of the best deals out there at the moment but the choice is yours.
The Nexus 4 also has some of the newest features available including wireless charging, wireless display and slimport. These are thing's you'll probably hear more about as time rolls on. And, of course, being a Nexus it will be among the first to get upgrades to the operating system when new versions of Android are released.
Links on this page will not be updated as prices or promotions change.