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!