This year’s Google Nexus smartphone comes from LG, after the release of similar devices from HTC and Samsung in the past few years, and it brings along a new Android platform version, as well as highly appealing hardware specifications.
Dubbed Nexus 4
, the smartphone features a 4.7-inch touchscreen display, a quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, and more, all aimed at making the device the best Nexus out there.
This is the manner in which previous Nexus smartphones arrived on shelves too, and Google remains truthful to tradition.
However, there is one thing that those who purchase the new Nexus 4 won’t be able to enjoy, namely support for 4G LTE networks.
According to Android
Head Andy Rubin, this was a tactical issue, with costs and battery life being the main drivers behind it. Handsets that pack support for multiple radios usually have this problem, he says.
“A lot of the networks that have deployed LTE haven't scaled completely yet — they're hybrid networks [...] which means the devices need both radios built into them. When we did the Galaxy Nexus
with LTE we had to do just that, and it just wasn't a great user experience,” Rubin said, The Verge
The issue might have been resolved with the addition of a larger battery inside the smartphone, but it seems that there might have been another aspect that Google had to take into consideration, namely control over the device.
To keep the LG Nexus 4 “pure Google
,” the company had to make sure that carriers wouldn’t influence its software, and the inclusion of LTE support inside it would have changed that.
In the US, the phone should have packed CDMA connectivity to connect to Sprint and Verizon, which would have made it almost impossible to sell it unlocked. If designed for AT&T’S LTE, the phone would have lacked support for other networks around the world due to different spectrum support.
Thus, The Verge notes that Google’s aim at releasing a truly open handset determined it to remove LTE from Nexus 4’s specs sheet, which also resulted in the device being cheaper. However, HSPA+ will still be included inside it.