Nexus 4 design flaws revealed by internal shot, battery might be easily replaceable after all

November 5, 2012
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Credit: @nerdtalker, Anandtech

LG and Google’s Nexus 4 is all everyone’s talking about lately, but, with so many great things going for it, it was only a matter of time until people started finding the 4.7-incher some faults. After all, you can’t make a quad-core super-phone with Android 4.2 on board available for $300 and not sacrifice something, right?

But while we already knew about the lack of 4G LTE speeds, microSD support and the non-removable battery, one major concern that seems to only arise now refers to a possible mediocre build quality. The guys over at XDA Developers analyzed an internal shot of the Nexus 4 and found that design flaws overwhelm the strong points.

Though it is obviously far too early to give out any build quality verdict – with the phone still not being up for grabs – the observations seem to be mostly valid, so let’s dig in.

Out of the four design minuses noticed by XDA, the biggest cause for concern is probably the “lack of impact zones”, meaning that the Nexus 4, as it is built, might be more fragile than the average smartphone.

It’s definitely not recommended to drop your mobile device (that is, if you don’t have Darcy LaCouvee’s bizarre hobbies), but if the Nexus 4 does happen to slip your hands, impacts might alter the “physical structure of the board, causing components to come loose”. Oh, well, you can always protect the phone with a case, right?

Credit: @nerdtalker, Anandtech

Another design flaw that XDA found is the using of spring antenna connections, which can easily cause signal losses on the long haul. This is an issue that won’t be noticeable firsthand, but that might plague Nexus 4 users once the phone will age or after an unfortunate drop or impact due to warping of back plates and loss of tensions between them and the board.

The using of tape instead of structure and shielding might be another thing to make the Nexus 4’s internals look a bit cheap, being messy and leaving residue on components. This is definitely another reason for concern on the long run, especially if the tape comes off.

The fourth and last design minus noticed by XDA is one we already knew about – the non-removable battery. The phone’s robustness can definitely be affected if you try to change the battery, but hey, that is to be expected. After all, Google and LG don’t want you to take it off, so why would they make it easy for you?

Then again, as one Reddit user found, the Nexus 4’s battery might not be impossible to replace after all, requiring the simple use of a screwdriver and some basic handy work. Of course, the fragility issue stands, not to mention that it’ll be very difficult to find a spare battery for the phone.

Still, it is nice to hear that, come an emergency situation when, say, your battery is fried and your warranty void, you might just be able to do something to save the day. Happy to hear that? How about the supposed design flaws found by XDA, are they really reason for concern? Do you think that LG will do something about those before the Nexus 4 will see the light of day?

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