Compare apples to oranges with the Nexus 4

:: technology, Android

About a month ago I got my Nexus 4. My observations follow.

Google Nexus 4

Google Nexus 4

Pure Android experience

Most Android phones are adulterated with stuff added by the phone hardware manufacturer and/or the mobile carrier.

The Nexus 4 is the pure Android experience as Google intended. This lets you compare apples to oranges: the Platonic ideals of iOS vs. Android.

Android 4.2 on Nexus 4 is polished and smooth. Although I haven’t used an iPhone, I’m pretty familiar with iOS from using an iPad. Both iOS6 and Android 4.2 are fast, mature mobile OSs.

My opinion? Android 4.2 is more zazzy.

Google Now

I took it on a 3-cities-in–1-week trip to the West Coast. Google Now was surprisingly smart. I got “cards” about travel time to appointments and airports, flights, nearby sightseeing and photo opportunities, the local time back home, and so on. Pretty neat.

Although slightly creepy, it’s using information I’ve already chosen to give Gmail and Google Calendar, plus location information I knowingly opted to share. I feel a little better knowing that Google pioneered transparency reports.


There was a four week wait for my order to be fulfilled. In December 2012, nearly all of the devices on Google Play store had multi-week waits or were “out of stock” entirely: Nexus 4, Nexus 7, both Chromebooks, even accessories like the bumper for the Nexus 4.

Although this is a good problem to have, it is a problem. For the first time, Google created a coherent, appealing set of hardware products. It’s generating excitement. And … they can’t fill orders. I don’t get the impression this is an intentional tactic (“scarcity makes people want it more”). Hopefully with more experience and volume they will show more confidence, as well as command more mindshare with their supply chain.