Google is now 4 years into their nexus program. But after suffering a black eye as a result of the Galaxy Nexus, Google decided to give LG a crack at it. So how would LG fare post Galaxy Nexus?
With LTE radios being a problem for Google with the Galaxy Nexus, they decided to go back to being a 3G phone. Specs wise it was a beast of a phone rocking the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad core processor, 2 GB of RAM, 8 & 16 GB of internal memory, a 21 mAh battery, and came running 4.2 Jellybean (one of the few nexus phones that did not release with a major software upgrade). The Nexus 4 was a beautifully designed phone, and having a glass back meant it was able to support wireless charging. But some criticized the design for being prone to scratches; yet we now see a lot more phones aiming for that beautiful glass backed design.
Critics overall had a positive review for the phone. The problem for a lot of customers, especially me, was there were just too many things missing. This phone was released in the same year as the Note 2, which boasted a larger screen, larger removable battery, LTE radios which were far better than the Galaxy Nexus, and the phone was coming off of the momentum of both the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy S3. And with carriers significantly improving their LTE coverage, not having LTE capabilities in 2012 was a problem for a number of customers. Plus you add in the ability to Root and ROM on the Note 2, and there was no reason to seriously consider the Nexus 4. And even if you wanted to pick up the Nexus 4, Google only releasing a GSM version limited the carriers you could use the phone on.
I honestly do not know if Google could have slowed down Samsung’s momentum, as 2012 was their year. Plus people were really sour about the Galaxy Nexus. So as much as I am critical of the Nexus 4 for leaving out the LTE radios, I don’t know if them having LTE radios would have changed sales much. 2012 was a year for them to regroup, and find a partner that they could lean on for phones in years to come. And they found that partner in LG.
Though 2012 was not a major win for Google, it allowed them to put a few foundation pieces in place. Software wise we saw Google Now debut, which has morphed into what we see today on Google home screens. We also saw gesture typing come native to Google’s keyboard, photo sphere, lock screen widgets, and quick setting menu.