For $299 (no contract) you can grab the new Nexus 4 — a 4.7-inch, quad-core smartphone powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

The Nexus 10 isn’t the only thing Google revealed today. In addition the the awesome 10-inch tablet, Google announced their fourth installation of a Nexus Android smartphone. This one, named the Nexus 4, may be more significant and marketing disrupting than the previous three (Nexus One, Nexus S, and Galaxy Nexus). for one main reason: it is priced so insanely low. If you thought the $350 unlocked, no contract Galaxy Nexus was a bargain (and it was), be prepared to be astonished by the Nexus 4’s price tag.

The following are the specs of the Nexus 4:

  • 4.7-inch “true HD” IPS+ display with 1280×768 resolution (320 ppi), protected by Gorilla Glass 2
  • Quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1.3 MP front-camera, 8 MP back-camera (1080p) with flash
  • 8GB or 16GB internal storage (no microSD)
  • Pentaband DC-HSPA+ (aka will work on AT&T and T-Mobile 3G — will not work on Sprint and Verizon)
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC
  • Built-in support for wireless charging
  • All the regular sensors (microphone, accelerometer, compass, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, barometer, GPS)
  • Micro USB and SlimPort HDMI ports, and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 2,100mAh battery (non-removable)
  • 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm dimensions with unibody design
  • 139g weight
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with direct updates from Google

With its blazing fast processor/GPU and excellent display (for comparison, the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display is 326 ppi) the Nexus 4 is, without a doubt, a top-of-the-line device. What makes this smartphone even better is its bottom-scraping price tag — the 8GB version costs $299 while the 16GB costs $349… and they come unlocked (aka you can use them on any GSM network worldwide) without you having to sign any contract! Really, why would anyone buy anything else?

Okay, there is one reason. The Nexus 4, unfortunately, doesn’t have LTE. Why doesn’t it have LTE? There is speculation that LTE would have driven the cost up for the device and including LTE requires Google to cooperate with carriers, something Google does not want to do for a Nexus device because cooperating with carriers slows down Android updates (e.g. updated to Galaxy Nexus on Sprint and Verizon were delayed by three months due to their interference); slow Android updates is counterproductive to one of the main attractions of Nexus devices — fast Android updates. Whatever the reason may be, not having LTE is definitely a deal killer for many people.

The Nexus 4 arrives on November 13 in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, and Canada. Will you be grabbing the Nexus 4? I likely will. Let us know in the comments below!

Nexus 4 homepage

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  • Mike

    Thanks for the link to the “chief designer”‘s explanation as to why no SD slot.

    Basically, his position is: it would complicate things as to where users want to store things.

    Well, yes, he’s right–choice in life complicates life. In the U.S., we vote next week on a president, plus many other issues–a dictatorship certainly would be easier. And life also has become complicated in the tablet field, having to consider the iPad, the Nexus, the Fire, the Nooks, Samsung tablets, etc., etc.–I guess, again, things just would be simpler if the only choice was the “original,” the iPad.

    I wouldn’t mind the decisions these dudes were making, if they really had a good and correct grasp on things. But, so often, they don’t–at times you can’t help but wonder, do they even know a consumer and, gasp, even talk to him/her?

    OK, rant is over. Just so frustrating. And unnecessarily so. And here’s the way to keep things simple for the consumer: if the user finds an SD slot too complicated, he/she just doesn’t have to use it. How’s that for simplicity, and not dumbing things down for the other 90% of us? (Oh, and by the way, consumers already face these “complications” in their daily use of a computer and external devices juch as audio players and otherwise, right?)

  • This is definitely my next phone. :D

    @Mike: I agree that the extra $50 is sort of a ripoff. I’m sticking with 8GB for mine. Regarding the SD card, here’s Android’s chief designer talking about it.

  • Mike

    Looks nice–but what is the Google insistence in burdening the user and not including a simple microSD slot? I just don’t get it. Nice job otherwise–but just frustrating!

    (Oh, and by the way: an extra $50 for an extra 8GB of memory? Available in the marketplace for less than $10–these considerable price jumps for extra memory are no longer warranted.)

  • No microsd expansion slot? And no LTE. Pity, this was looking very good.