Nexus 4: My Next Phone
It's been over 16 months since I got the HTC Sensation on T-Mobile. If you're wondering why that phone and why T-Mobile, answer is price. My contract cost me $40 a month with 5GBs of data. I live in NYC so I get respectable "4G" speeds. This was also pre Samsung Galaxy SII.
I'm tired of my phone. It's slow, it lags, and I hate reading about Jelly Bean and knowing I will never see it on this phone.
I need a new phone. I want a new phone. I'm getting a new phone. But which one?
iOS (iPhone) vs Android vs Windows 8 Phone
Windows Phone - I seen the videos, I read the Microsoft fanboy's mantra. I like their selection of hardware and I even like the idea of the OS overall. But it's still too young as a OS and I'm not a early adopter. (By the time iPhone 4 came out, I just got my first Android device). It comes down to the ecosystem and best case scenario Microsoft developes most of the apps I use, worst case scenario Microsoft developes all the apps I use most. For your "average" user, what ever that means, I hear it can send out e-mails, listen to music, and play games. But that could also be used to describe the Blackberry. So not this year.
iOS (iPhone 5) - Hands down the best iPhone ever is the iPhone 5. It's thin, it's sleek, it's ridiculously light and the camera is amazing. It even allows you to wirelessly sync your music, videos and other files! (If someone can show me how to do that without downloading more then one app on Android I'm all ears) But I'm a Google fanatic and it's become blantanly obvious that you will never get the native app experiences on iOS like you do on Android. I don't know who's fault this is but either way it doesn't change the facts. I travel too often and Google Maps with it's custom maps feature and offline downloading has become too valuable to me. If there was a App on iOS to replace Google Maps, I would get the iPhone. Alas.....
Android - I have narrowed down my selection to three phones:
1. Samsung Galaxy SIII
2. Samsung Galaxy Note II
2. LG Nexus 4
My one takeaway from the iPhone is that manufacturer and software has to be tightly knit. We've come to that point in mobile technology where the specs have little affect on the User Interface. Specifically, how smooth the OS operates. Quad core and more ram will do little when out of the box the phone is sluggish. Talking about that one second lag when you swipe between homescreens or anytime you see the Android loading animation. This is of course is before the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Note II. I've seen these two in action, both in person and in videos and it's not bad. It's actually quite compelling to own either of these two devices.
What's stopping me?
The LG Nexus 4 has two compelling features about it that has nothing to do with the phone itself.
1. Updates - Google comes out with a new Android Operating System every year. These are not insignificant updates either. From Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean it has been pretty "significant" leaps. Overall, the devices just feels fresh and faster.
If I buy the Nexus 4 today, I will probably continue to see Google Software updates for the next two years or so. Today if you buy a SIII and Google comes out with Key Lime Pie in March, you won't see it on your phone till 2014. Maybe. Would you get the Galaxy S4 if it ran the same software as Galaxy S3? You're not just paying for hardware, software is everything in electronics. Continual software support is essential for a device to last over a year. Just ask the folks with Windows 7 phones.
2. Pricing - Any flagship phone from either LG, HTC or Samsung will cost you 600+ off contract. My phone gets dropped, 600 is alot of risk to take on for one device. 400 (after tax and shipping) is a slightly more acceptable price. If you're patient, wait for it to sell on Amazon and ship it to your friend in New Jersey with a Amazon Prime account. We all know someone like that. Save yourself another 50 bucks from taxes and shipping.
Last note about this phone, is the lack of LTE. If you don't know what that is, then it doesn't matter. I know T-Mobile doesn't have LTE and I also know that LTE is easily 4x times faster then HSPA+. That's great, but when I start thinking about data usuage, I don't use alot of it and I don't use if often. There's wifi at home and at work my 40 minute commute via the MTA involves over 50% of it underground and data less. I avoid the browsers and use mostly native apps where I can. Those don't require much data speeds. LTE isn't a issue for me b/c I don't need it and I also don't need to pay twice the monthly rate for it.
That internal conflict on which phone to get has been haunting me for months. Finally made a decision and posted my phone on GLYDE.com in 20 seconds and sold it in two days (great service so far). After a hectic afternoon of trying to order the LG Nexus 4 it's finally on it's way.
Side note, the Nexus 4 was "sold out" in US and UK in a matter of minutes. I honestly don't know who Google is trying to fool. You're not selling a iPhone here, you're selling a okay device to your biggest fan base (pure Android fanatics), is it really smart to limit supply to them? Or is it smarter to just get your flagship device in as many hands with $400 as soon as possible so they could start raving about the device around the holiday season? It's always possible that Google really made 5 million units and sold it out in an hour.