The device went on sale first in Australia, where it sold out in several hours. Later, the Nexus 4 hit the Play Store in the U.K., where it also sold out in about an hour. In addition to the quick sellouts, disappointed would-be Nexus 4 shoppers complained of slow performance of the Google Play Store website, which strained under the demand for the Nexus 4.
Why so much fuss over an Android smartphone? Google releases only one Nexus-branded handset per year. It is meant to serve as the developer device for its Android smartphone platform. Previous versions include the Galaxy Nexus (released in November 2011), Nexus S (December 2010), and the Nexus One (January 2010).
[ Why did Google omit 4G LTE from its hot new smartphone? See Google Nexus 4: Why No LTE? ]
The Nexus 4 and its predecessors all run a clean, stock version of Android. In the Nexus 4's case, that means Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Nexus devices are free of carrier and manufacturer bloatware. They are also the first devices to receive major and minor system updates and features throughout the year. In other words, if you want to be on the cutting edge of all things Android, the latest Nexus is the device you want.
The Nexus 4 is being sold for an incredibly low price: The 8GB model costs $299 and the 16GB model costs $349. These are the prices to own the device outright, which is being sold unlocked and without a carrier contract. That means the Nexus 4 can be used on most any GSM-based network.
In the U.S., it is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile's 2G/3G networks, which includes their fastest HSPA+ mobile broadband. While HSPA+ is fast, however, LTE is much faster. The Nexus 4 lacks LTE support for any network.
Features of the Nexus 4 include a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 pixel display, 1.5-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2 GB of RAM, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, and wireless charging.
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