Google Nexus 4 deep-dive review: Android at its best

An in-depth examination of Google's new Android 4.2 flagship smartphone.

By , Computerworld |  Consumerization of IT, android phones, Google

The phone also supports Miracast, a new wireless display-sharing protocol. With the right adapter, Google says you can stream both audio and video directly from the Nexus 4 to any HDTV, with the TV mirroring everything on the phone. Be warned, though: Finding an adapter that works right now is easier said than done.

I tried setting up wireless display sharing with my TV using a NetGear Push2TV Wireless Display Adapter, which costs $60 and promises support for "Miracast-capable" devices. As I discovered, though, the product is limited only to "pre-standard compliant" Miracast devices (to NetGear's credit, that is in the fine print) and consequently doesn't work with the Nexus 4.

A full line of standard Miracast adapters is expected to become available soon. LG is also expected to start shipping TVs with native Miracast support sometime in 2013.

Under the hood

Google's Nexus 4 has a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor along with 2GB of RAM. You can crunch benchmarks all you want, but here's what matters: When it comes to real-world performance, this phone is fast. Really fast.

The Nexus 4 flies through app-loading, Web browsing and multitasking without a single blip or stutter. Home screen swiping and system animations are smooth as can be. I've put this phone through its paces, and no matter what I've thrown its way, I've yet to see one performance-related fault.

For perspective, most Web pages loaded a solid five to 10 seconds faster on the Nexus 4 than on the Galaxy Nexus when I performed side-by-side tests, with both phones on Wi-Fi. The Nexus 4 also booted up about 30 seconds faster than the Galaxy Nexus.

The Nexus 4 has a 2100mAh battery that's listed for 15.3 hours of talk-time and 390 hours of standby. In my experience, the device's stamina was consistently solid, though not out of this world.

With moderate to heavy daily usage -- a mix of regular on-screen browsing, network-based music streaming and a smattering of phone calls and video streaming -- I was always able to make it through a full day without hitting empty. When my usage skewed more toward the heavy side, though, the phone would sometimes fall into low-battery territory by the end of the day. Save for a stamina-centric device like the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD, that's pretty much in line with what you'd expect from any well-performing smartphone today.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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