On the surface, the LG-manufactured Google Nexus 4 presents an impressive value proposition for consumers. Physically, it might not be too far removed from its predecessor, the Galaxy Nexus, but the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro found in the Nexus 4 is theoretically one of the most powerful smartphone systems-on-a-chip currently available.
That said, the new Google-branded handset isn’t free from possible issues.
AnandTech reports that not all is well and good with the Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC. In its initial performance preview of the Nexus 4, the website found that the two extra cores on the Nexus 4’s chip don’t provide too much of a performance gain based on a number of CPU benchmarks. In fact, some tests showed the Nexus 4 trailing its dual-core Snapdragon S4 competitors.
According to AnandTech, there may be some V8 optimization issues in play, and that theoretical performance of Snapdragon S4 Pro should just about match that of its dual-core predecessor.
More disturbingly, the graphics performance of the Adreno 320 in the Nexus 4’s S4 Pro has on more than a few occasions fallen behind the Adreno 225 in the dual-core S4. In fact, some tests showed the LG Optimus G – a device which shares most of its internal components with the Nexus 4 – pulling away from the upcoming Google-branded smartphone. AnandTech chalked up the performance discrepancy to thermal throttling, pointing out that the quad-core S4 Pro might run far too hot for a smartphone’s form factor.
Some of the issues uncovered by AnandTech could be software-based, and as such could be resolved before the Nexus 4 ships to buyers. However, The Verge warns that the Gorilla Glass covering on the device’s rear could be prone to cracking. Add the lack of 4G LTE connectivity and limited expansion options, and there could be some usability issues there.
Still, looking at the remarkably low price of the Nexus 4, buyers would still get a lot more from their cash than most of its competitors.