As exciting as the launch of the Nexus 7 earlier this year was, it wasn’t the smartphone successor to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus that many had hoped for, but rather a tablet, devoid of any SIM tray whatsoever. Despite what many thought would be the only Nexus device in 2012, Google had not one, but three more tricks up their sleeves before November and following a little hiccup with a hurricane the Nexus 4, 32GB/3G Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 were all unveiled.

Whilst the latter two slot into the medium and large tablet categories of Google’s newly populated Nexus family, the LG-made Nexus 4 looks set as the true successor to the Galaxy Nexus. One year on and this new device improves on the existing hardware in every way, not to mention offering the newest version of Android available.

LG Nexus 4

What specifications does the LG Nexus 4 have?

Aside from the version of Android it brings to the scene, the Nexus 4’s hardware also shows a lot of innovation, with one of the first examples of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, an 8-megapixel camera and 2GB of RAM, but let’s look at the full picture:

  • Screen: 4.7-inch 720 HD WXGA IPS LCD (with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 on top)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad-core chip
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Memory: 8GB/16GB
  • Camera: 8-megapixel rear, 1.3-megapixel front-facing
  • Connectivity: HSPA+, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • Battery: 2100mAh

What operating systems does the LG Nexus 4 run?

As we mentioned up top, the LG Nexus 4 is the first smartphone to run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and takes the Android smartphone torch from Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. It along with the new Nexus 10 tablet are fresh on the scene, whilst the marginally older Nexus 7 served as the debut device to the original version of JB; Android 4.1 a few months back. The latest version of Jelly Bean adds new features like Photo Sphere and an improved version of Google Now which add to an already more refined Android experience.

What are the alternatives?

It’s difficult to ignore the idea that the Nexus 4 project landed in LG’s lap amidst development for their own flagship Android device; the LG Optimus G. Indeed there is one fundamental similarity between both phones and it’s a big one: the processor. Both the Nexus 4 and the Optimus G are the first smartphones to utilise that 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro made by Qualcomm. It’s one of their latest processors on the scene and it looks set to tango with the likes of NVIDIA’s popular Tegra 3 chip in the mobile device space.

The Tegra devices are also worth considering if the Nexus 4 isn’t your cup of tea. The first and best known being HTC One X, which recently received a makeover and a power boost resulting in the HTC One X+.

When will the LG Nexus 4 be available?

Here in the UK, Google’s own site lists both the 8GB and 16GB versions of the LG Nexus 4 as being available from November 13th. O2 have also bagged intial exclusivity for contract pricing, although we’re unsure of how long that’ll last.

What do we think?

We can’t wait to see how the latest Google smartphone experience feels first hand and we’re also interested to see what an LG-made Nexus device is like. LG Android devices seem to receive a polarizing reception in different global markets, their weaker reputation here in Europe might be bolstered by the now more widely recognised (thanks to the Nexus 7) Nexus brand, along with that all-important killer hardware.