Without LTE Should the Nexus 4 be a Flagship Phone?

November 8, 2012 - Written By Alexander Maxham

One of the biggest complaints with the Nexus 4, is the lack of LTE connectivity. Now that also means no CDMA compatibility as well, so no Sprint or Verizon version at least right now. Since October 29th, when the Nexus 4 became official, we’ve heard many people upset about there being no LTE. From fellow Android writers, to our readers on Google+, and in our comments. So the big question is, can the Nexus 4 be a flagship device with just HSPA+ and no LTE?

I know what your thinking, Google and LG is taking a step backwards leaving out LTE right? Well yes, I do agree. While Google did state that the reason why there’s no LTE in the Nexus 4 was due to cost and battery life. I still strongly believe it is because Google wants to keep carriers out of Android updates on the Nexus 4. We all remember Verizon and the Galaxy Nexus right? The launch was delayed several times, it took a couple months just to get Android 4.0.4, and it took about three months to get Jelly Bean. I don’t think Google was happy about that, and this is their solution.

Now yes AT&T does have LTE, but their network is locked down. So that users can’t access LTE without an AT&T device. Which kind of sucks, but that’s AT&T’s choice. That leaves us with T-Mobile. The only US launch partner of the Nexus 4. In the past T-Mobile has been very accepting of Google and it’s services. We all remember the T-Mobile G1 right? The first Android device. T-Mobile was also the first carrier to have carrier billing in the Play Store. So T-Mobile and Google have a good relationship, outside of T-Mobile not having LTE quite yet.

Okay, so no LTE. Can the Nexus 4 still be a flagship device? It can be, but was it built to be one? The Nexus line isn’t normally built to be the best of the best. Those devices are built to have great specs, showcase the latest version of Android, and be as cheap as possible unlocked and available around the world. And that is exactly what the Nexus 4 is.

So no, I don’t think it’s a flagship device. But not because of the no LTE thing. But because it’s not available on every carrier like the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3. But what are your thoughts? Flagship or not.