"Fast, Well-Priced, Flawed"3.0 starson by pcorning
Pros: Very fast Android phone
Frequent Android updates
Great price for a contract-free phone
Cons: Washed out colors on the screen
Non-replaceable battery will probably degrade in around a year
Non-expandable memory will bother power users
Glass back is slippery and fragile
Android 4.2 is a bit buggy still
Summary: I upgraded to Nexus 4 from a HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus. Never really loved the Galaxy Nexus, but it was a solid phone overall. After a week with the phone it does not feel like a necessary upgrade.
There are a lot of good professional reviews out there, so I'll just mention some things that other reviewers missed, or issues where I disagree with the majority of the reviews.
Most reviewers love the Nexus 4's screen. They say that it only appears washed out because people are used to over-saturated AMOLED screens from Samsung. They're wrong - the screen is great for text, but very cold and washed out for photos. If you love showing photos from your phone you'll be disappointed in the Nexus 4.
Others have mentioned that the way the glass curves at the edge of the screen is beautiful and strangely pleasurable to use. I have to agree here - the glass seems more slippery than on other screens, which makes swiping something of a sensual experience. Can't explain it, just like it. Touch sensitivity is also really superior on this screen - much better than on the Galaxy Nexus.
The device is fast enough in all ways. WiFi transfer rates are faster than with Galaxy Nexus (AnandTech says the processor gets the credit for this), but this may not matter if your broadband connection is slower than 12 MB/s. T-Mobile's HSPA+ is fast enough, when you can get signal, that you shouldn't worry about Nexus 4 missing LTE - it just doesn't matter.
Android 4.2 offers some nice upgrades, but Google also missed the boat on some of the key ones:
* The quick access to phone setting you get from dragging two fingers down from the top of the screen is poorly done, saves users no time. For example, if you want to use this tool to toggle WiFi on and off it will send you into the standard settings menu when it would have been much faster to let people turn features off right from the first window.
* The revised camera settings are cute, but users will find themselves changing camera settings by mistake because errant touches ANYWHERE on the image can alter settings.
Android 4.2 is buggy as well. The phone seems to become easily confused between multiple access points, dropping data access even while showing a strong connection. Turn WiFi off, then on, to restore data connection, and the Nexus 4 may take a minute (literally) to re-establish a WiFi connection. It is often faster to turn the phone off, then on again.
Call clarity seems much better on Nexus 4 than on Galaxy Nexus - the other party's voice is sharp and clear, even if you'd wish you could make it louder sometimes.
The glass back is slippery. Hold the phone between thumb and finger as you take it out of the pocket, and Nexus 4 seems to want to escape to the ground, where its cute glass back can be shattered. Try one-handed typing on it and your Nexus will start slipping out of your hand. If you are happy putting cases on phones, this should not be a problem for you. If you want to keep the phone thin, think serously about this design flaw.
The camera lens is not recessed at all, so it may collect scratches more readily than on other cameras where a raised border protects the lens (I haven't seen scratches, but this seems dumb).
I replaced the battery in my Galaxy Nexus after 10 months, and it added a bit of battery life. Sad that I can't do this with Nexus 4,and I wonder how much cost they saved on this.
Memory expansion is not a problem for me - I stream everything - but I do keep enough data on the phone that an 8 GB model would not have been enough.
$349 is a great deal for an unlocked, fast 16 GB phone. Buy the Nexus 4 if you are coming from a non-Nexus phone. But if you have a Galaxy Nexus already, don't bother with the upgrade.