Nexus4 the win?

Despite my travails with my Nexus7 (that blog post still accounts for most of my traffic!) I took the leap and ordered a Nexus4 as soon as it was released. In fact I ordered it on my Nexus7 while shivering on a platform at Bristol Parkway station which was  a neat join up I thought 🙂

Once again the delivery wasn’t without its problems. I returned home from work to find a package just left on my doorstep. As it happens it was a rare day it wasn’t raining and as the entrance to my flat is at the rear of the building it wasn’t in plain sight but I do live in a slightly dodgy area (recently I awoke to someone trying to break into my flat by climbing in my bedroom window while I was asleep in there!) so that could of easily ended poorly!

However it didn’t and I was able to have a little ‘unboxing’ ceremony straight away. My first thoughts on the phone were that the build quality was better than the 7 and that it was a little bigger than I expected (though weirdly also lighter.) The screen is very crisp and is very responsive – better again than the 7 I think and certainly than my current HTC Android phone. As usual the integration and syncing with my Google account made things pretty painless (but clearly this is a sign I am pretty locked in to Google as a ‘vendor’ – that is OK for me now but needs thinking about.)

I’m not really someone who gets overly concerned about things like OS versions (I am writing this on a Mac running a long unsupported version of OSX) but it seems like Android 4.2 (Jellybean) is another nice step forward – though the idea of ‘widgets’ on the lock screen isn’t something I really understand the need for. I also much prefer this ‘naked’ version of Android before the telcos get their paws on it.

I only use a handful of apps – still being a web browsing dinosaur for the most part – and they are all present and correct. They feel a bit more natural on a phone (apart from the Kindle app) which I think says more about the haste in which they were converted to tablet scale than anything else.

The lack of storage is a bit odd. My phone only comes with 8gb and has no capacity for that to be extended. As it happens for me that isn’t much of a problem as I still use an iPod for my music and like I said before don’t go big on apps but it seems like an error to me and is better too much on the idea of streaming and cloud storage. I guess I’ll need to look at Google Music at some point though.

The Nexus4 requires a microsim – something I didn’t have so all my initial experiments were on wifi. After a quick Twitter survey I ordered a sim from GiffGaff and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Then I got fed up and ordered again and that one showed up straight away thankfully.

GiffGaff certainly represent value for money but it does all feel a little budget. Spelling Android wrong in the welcome email didn’t bode well;

Then there was the fact that neither the internet nor MMS works out of the box and instead requires quite a few changes to your settings – and only talks about working on up to version 2.2 of Android which is pretty old now.

As it happened all of this was pretty straightforward and I was soon connected – my signal so far has been pretty variable but to be honest I was paying double to Vodafone than I am  to GiffGaff and I get more for my money. Plus connectivity was never great with Vodafone locally anyway.

I’m interested to see what the battery life will be like – it has been an issue with every smart  phone I have ever owned but at least I only need to carry a single charger for my phone and tablet.

All in all I am pretty impressed – it is certainly the best phone I have owned – but it has been a while since I owned an iPhone!

2 responses to “Nexus4 the win?”

  1. GiffGaff should give pretty good results – they’re a wholly owned subsidiary of O2 and I found their network to be better than Vodaphone around town.

    And you are right about Nexi being preferable without all the junk that comes preinstalled on everything else. You really have to wonder what they think they are up to. Mind you, the manufacturers aren’t much better. A perfectly good OS and they bugger it up – then don’t let you remove their “improvements”.

  2. Well yesterday I did Bristol to London to Cambridge and the signal was much better than I ever got with Vodafone so I’m most impressed with GffGaff!

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