Clint on Mobile

Nexus 4 to get mild upgrade (Galaxy S 4, HTC One looking even better now)

I’m looking to jump ship asap from the Nexus 4, and was hoping to see an X-Phone at I/O. Either that or GSM versions of the HTC One, or Galaxy S4.

Google Nexus 4: To get memory bump (32GB) and LTE antenna in May.

Google Nexus 4: To get memory bump (32GB) and LTE antenna in May.

Taking a page out of Apple’s song book (iPhone 4s) it looks like Google will release a mid-cycle upgrade to the Nexus 4.

From what I know so far the LG built smartphone will get a bump in memory to 32GB and a new LTE antenna. Expect to see the unlocked flagship Android debut at Google I/O next month in San Francisco. Also, odds are that Google will also showcase Android 5.0, Key Lime Pie.

That there won’t be a new piece of hardware at I/O if this rumor stands up is slightly disappointing.

Both HTC and Samsung released flagship Androids in Q1, with the One and Galaxy S 4 respectively. Android faithful, including myself, had been hoping to see a “Google X-Phone” of some sort, preferably made by in-house unit Motorola. While that still may happen (head fake anyone?), it appears increasingly unlikely. Management has spoken publicly about internal delays. And for those hoping to see a Nexus 5 in May, that too seems like a long shot. Every previous Nexus has been released in Q4 (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4) or January (Nexus One). Still, in the words of Ellie Goulding, anything could happen.

I’ve been underwhelmed so far by the Nexus 4. It’s not a bad phone. But I expected a lot more from a flagship Nexus. All told, the software is far better than the hardware.

Neither the increased storage or inclusion of LTE is a big deal to me. I suspect that many, however, with Verizon plans will finally add the Nexus 4 to their short-lists when upgrading. Last year, the absence of LTE/4G capability created a minor uproar across the tech blogosphere. Why on earth didn’t Google and LG make two versions of the Nexus 4–one HSPA+ based (T-Mobile) and another for LTE networks (Verizon, AT&T)?! It was a fair question, and the criticism deserved. With the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (2011), Google had done exactly that. Now here it is a year later, with a slick new flagship model, with fewer features. Worst of all, the lack of LTE no doubt limited sales potential of the device.

I’ve been underwhelmed so far by the Nexus 4.

It’s not a bad phone. But I expected a lot more from a flagship Nexus. All told, the software is far better than the hardware. Jelly Bean is refined, powerful. Notifications, an integral part of modern mobile devices, are best-in-class; iOS, by comparison, feels dated. But the hardware, made by partner LG, is basic. The glass back is fragile. Buttons (volume, power) don’t respond crisply. Battery life is ho-hum. There’s no memory expansion slot. And the display is just OK, especially in comparison to the beauts seen on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4.

I’m looking to jump ship asap from the Nexus 4, and was hoping to see an X-Phone at I/O. If that doesn’t come to be, I’m going to be looking for unlocked, GSM versions of either the HTC One or Galaxy S4.

Dare to live a little. Follow Stark Insider on Twitter and Facebook. Join our 7,000 subscribers who read SI on tablets and smartphones on the Google Newsstand. Prefer video? Subscribe to Stark Insider TV on YouTube, the largest arts & entertainment and food/wine channel in San Francisco.
Clinton Stark
Clint is based in Silicon Valley and co-founded Stark Insider. A new media venture, the goal was to fill the increasing gap in arts and food & wine coverage. This site has consumed his every fiber. Yet, he still has time to talk Android, praise Pebble, and shoot videos. More: Clint's story...
  • matt

    get an iphone.

    • Not You

      Why?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tyler.roygbiv.wilson Tyler Wilson

    Software is better than hardware!? It’s a quad-core processor that outruns the iPhone 5 and HTC One in everything but GPU-intensive games, with 2GB of RAM. The only hardware complaint is lack of LTE, which quite frankly the vast majority of people don’t need. Also, what are you doing with more than 8 gigs of space on your phone? Music? That’s stupid, get an iPod or similarly dedicated MP3 player. Apps? You have too much time on your hands and you probably don’t even use 10% of them.

    • icyrock1

      “You don’t use your phone like I do, so you must be stupid/doing it wrong!”

  • Dana Foote

    The nexus 4 didn’t come out on Verizon because they screwed up the Galaxy Nexus and didn’t let Google control updates and blocked Google Wallet.

    • Dana Foote

      That was one hell of a run on sentence!