Google’s Nexus 4 Smartphone Gets $100 Cheaper Amid Low-Cost iPhone Rumors

For $200, it's an unlocked, off-contract Android phone that's actually decent.

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Google’s Nexus 4 made a splash last fall simply because it was well-built and inexpensive, and yet it didn’t require a two-year contract with a wireless carrier. Now, it’s even cheaper.

The Nexus 4 now costs $200 for the 8 GB model and $250 for the 16 GB model–a $100 price reduction from before. Those prices aren’t incredible if you’re used to buying your phones through major wireless carriers at subsidized prices, but compared to most unlocked phones, the Nexus 4 is cheap. And it’s a decent phone, running the latest version of Google’s Android operating system.

Buying the phone unlocked means you can bring it to certain wireless carriers in the United States and save a lot of money on service. For example, with T-Mobile you can pay as little as $50 per month if you bring your own phone. Or, you can get a SIM card from Straight Talk and pay $45 per month for service. An unlocked phone also allows you to travel overseas and take advantage of lower service prices from local carriers.

The only major drawback to the Nexus 4 is that it doesn’t support 4G LTE data speeds, which can sometimes rival the speeds of home Internet service. Most smartphones sold in the United States now support 4G LTE, so this is one area where the Nexus 4 seems seriously outdated. Still, at $200, the slower data speeds are more palatable, especially for new smartphone adopters that are willing to sacrifice performance for a lower monthly bill.

Rumor has it that a new Nexus phone, dubbed the Nexus 5, is coming soon. It’s unknown whether this phone will be as cheap as the Nexus 4 was when it launched last year.

But with lower prices on the Nexus 4, Google seems to be girding itself for the arrival of a cheaper iPhone, supposedly called the “iPhone 5C.” Like the Nexus 4, Apple’s phone could be aimed at customers who want an unlocked, off-contract handset without spending gobs of cash. I’ll be surprised if the Nexus 4 doesn’t stick around to do battle with Apple, even after the Nexus 5 comes into existence.


WHy would this have anything to do with the cheaper iPhone? The Galaxy Nexus received a similar price reduction before the Nexus 4 was released last year. Google's own Moto X is coming out at $199 this month. Why does everything have to be associated with Apple in every tech article?

feurie92 1 Like

How could this possibly have to do with the release of a cheaper iPhone? Apple won't make a phone cheaper for the consumer; the plastic iPhone will be cheaper for Apple. Instead of the 4 and 5 on sale, it will probably be the 5S, 5, and 5C, with 5C being free on contract.

The Nexus 4 is still an incredibly powerful device with a now ridiculous price point. Google doesn't respond to anyone, they honestly don't have to. Google is pushing to the cloud whether people want them to or not, and they price the phones for their own reasons, most likely to clear stock and make room for a new phone.

The Nexus devices used to be for hardcore Android users, but with Android becoming so user friendly and the price dropping so low, the Nexus crowd is expanding, allowing users to not deal with carrier contracts, branding, or network locks. They appeal to anyone who sees them, but most don't.

blisterpeanuts 1 Like

The Nexus 4 *was* a very good deal.  Now, it's a *great* deal.  I just ordered one for my wife to replace her slow little LG, and I'm thinking about replacing my Galaxy Nexus for myself as well.

84Dublicious 1 Like

I love that the assumption is that this has something to do with the iPhone. They're clearly going for different crowds. I think the price drop is to get rid of Nexus 4 stock. Also, having HSPA+ is just fine. I can relate to the fact that LTE burns battery life. Before my Nexus 4 I had the HTC One XL (LTE version of One X). I kept LTE off almost entirely and went with HSPA+ because of the HUGE difference in battery life I experienced.

Is the Nexus 4 the best phone on the market? Depends on what you're looking for. I don't like Sense/Touchwiz or the other crap manufacturers put on their phones. I'll take a minor performance hit in hardware to avoid the performance hit in software.

newmanjb moderator 1 Like

@84Dublicious Why do you think they're going for different crowds? I mean, I get that Nexus devices appeal to hardcore Android fans who won't touch an iPhone and don't care for non-stock firmware. But that's a small niche. Meanwhile, the prepaid/unlocked smartphone market is booming, and it seems to me that both Apple and Google want a piece of it.


@newmanjb  I have an Android phone (Samsung Intercept), and I am one of those who would never even THINK of touching an iPhone or ANYTHING made by Apple.  IMHO, Apple products are ALL overpriced, and always have been, and do NOT provide good value for your money.  Like all goods and services I purchase, I want, like most Americans, a high quality product at the cheapest price.  I pay a flat $25 a month for service (that includes unlimited text & web) on my Android phone thru Virgin Mobile.  I would LIKE to pay LESS THAN the $25 per month I have been paying for the past few years for my celfone service, but I haven't been able to find any company that charges less than Virgin Mobile.

justin.preacher 1 Like

Terrible article.  Nexus 4 is a decent phone?  Outdated because it doesn't have 4G LTE?  The phone intentionally did not come with 4G LTE, helps with battery life and other issues.  The Nexus 4 is a GREAT phone the only phones that can beat it are the two big guys HTC One and S4.  

newmanjb moderator

@justin.preacher Because it intentionally doesn't have 4G LTE, that makes it okay to not have 4G LTE? I find your logic odd. It's a drawback whether intentional or not.

Besides, your point about battery life isn't entirely accurate. Not including 4G LTE was a business decision Google made so it wouldn't have to produce several Nexus 4 variants to accommodate the various 4G LTE networks around the world. The other option would be to include a radio for every single frequency band in every single Nexus 4, which, yes, would have hurt the battery life.

Also: I would categorize the HTC One as a "GREAT" phone. The Nexus 4 is a step down in my view. That makes it "good," or "decent." But feel free to argue the semantics if you like.

definesinsanity 1 Like

@newmanjb @justin.preacher It **does** have LTE on Band4, which is disabled through software, but can be enabled by any user who actually wants it.


@newmanjb @definesinsanity @justin.preacher The vast majority of Nexus 4 owners would not bother!! You might wanna check out XDA site, Now there's a Vast majority over there that has LTE enable without any hassle's or trouble..

Sent from My Nexus 4 running LTE


@newmanjb @definesinsanity @justin.preacher No. Its trivial.

 But you are right that most owners wouldn't bother... Not because its difficult, but because it doesn't actually yield a benefit. How much data can you really consume on a smartphone? HSPA+-DC (which nexus4 supports) yields 42 Mb/s, which is higher than the specified maximum bitrate of a bluray video. So why subject yourself to the increased power consumption?

tvikr 2 Like

With a Nexus 4, you can get a plan on T-Mobile that includes 100 minutes, unlimited text and unlimited data for $30 a month.


@shwho Wow--that's a good price. But I need to overcome the notion that having a 4" *and* a 7" Android device is overkill/overboard.


@kevinmilligan @shwho I know people who have an iPhone, iPad Mini and iPad. Not counting the MacBook Pro and iMac which are integrating the iOS features. I still can't figure out why.