Nexus 4: The Top Phone In The Market

Nexus 4
Nexus 4 (Photo credit: abuakel)
In my opinion Google's Nexus 4 is the top smartphone in the market right now, the other two contenders being Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S III. Google's Android overtook Apple in quantity a long time ago. But with this phone Google has also beat Apple on quality. And the unlocked Nexus 4 selling at $299 is a steal compared to the iPhone's price tag of over $700. Couple that with a $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and data with T-Mobile and you are in for a treat.

Nexus 4 is my first smartphone. I am a Google fanboy. I love Google like some people love Apple. The iPhone was not something I ever looked at for me. And the Nexus 4 was not easy to get hold of. When it first went on sale online, it was all gone in 30 seconds. The next time it was gone in a few hours. I managed to place an order the second time. A tip I found on Twitter was to keep clicking on Order even thought the site claimed the phone had gone out of stock. After about half an hour of trying I was finally able to place my order. The phone still took over a month to show up. I went to the UPS facility to pick it up. By now the phone is fully in stock online.

My number one gripe with the phone has been the battery, the number two gripe is the storage space, but then I did opt for the cheaper 8 GB version. One car racing game I bought for five dollars alone is 2 GB. I wish the battery lasted three times longer and the storage space was also three times bigger. As for battery what would truly satisfy me is a small nuclear reactor embedded in there, but I don't see that on the horizon.

I consume a lot of news on my phone, I take a lot of pictures. I regularly check in on FourSquare. Gmail is my top app. I am frequent on Facebook. I have been playing Google's augmented reality game Ingress. I really like my Amazon Kindle app. I play chess. There are so many wonderful apps. I have one that makes me a doctor of sorts, another gives me a virtual gun, bam, bam, bam, a third gives me so many tools in one it is like a Swiss knife. I scan documents with an app on my phone. I have apps that are musical instruments. I have one app that my tech consulting firm made for a client. It is still in the works.

Because of Android's robust integration with Google services, my Google Voice contacts show up in name when they call, even when they call from Nepal. I often talk to my engineers on Skype on my phone. I also chat away on my Google Talk app. An unlimited calling plan brings peace of mind, even though I don't currently spend too much time talking on my phone. I am more of an email kind of guy.

My mobile phone is my mobile office as well as my personal assistant.

$299 is still not a globally cheap price. Android phones costing $80 are set to flood the Global South markets. If the PC hit hundreds of millions in volume, the smartphone is set to hit billions. The smartphone has become the internet access device of choice in both the rich and poor countries. People expect to be always on.

Google is not resting on its success at the operating system level. It has systematically entered the app space also on the iPhone. The iPhone's map fiasco got a lot of publicity. But Google has offered iPhone users substitutes to more than the iPhone's map app. It can be argued Google has been hollowing out the iPhone.

But 2013 is the year when bendable phones and new operating systems besides Android and Apple's iOS are supposed to arrive. Even Nexus 4 will feel like yesterday's phone in a matter of months.

(Written on 2/9/13)
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