The Nexus 4 beats out the iPhone 5 in screen resolution, and only at a slight cost to pixel density. On local storage, the iPhone 5 has a bit of a lead; neither support microSD, and Apple’s offering additional 32 GB and 64 Gb denominations. The iPhone 5 also takes the lead in cellular connectivity thanks to LTE. The iPhone 5 is slimmer, lighter, and has a smaller overall footprint, though the LG Nexus 4 has a significantly bigger battery, plus that cool inductive charging technology and NFC.
It’s as close to perfect as I’ve seen any Android smartphone get. But the Nexus 4 falls just short of perfection due to one major omission: It’s not compatible with any LTE networks. The Nexus 4 will run on just about any other cellular network outside of LTE (GSM, UMTS, Edge, GPRS, 3G and HSPA+), which means you can take the handset with you all over the world, swapping SIM cards as needed. It also means Google can sell one device in multiple markets all over the world, since Europe, Asia and other continents are still largely without LTE service. This is likely a big reason why Google can charge so little for the Nexus 4 — $300 with 8GB and $350 with 16GB, unlocked and off-contract. For comparison’s sake, an unlocked iPhone 4S from Apple sells for about $650 to $850. An unlocked Samsung Galaxy S III runs $800.
The lack of LTE connectivity will spoil the Nexus 4 for some. But if you don’t mind living without LTE — and you likely currently are, given AT&T and Sprint’s small LTE footprint, and the fact T-Mobile has yet to begin building its LTE network — then the Nexus 4 is a good buy.