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Andy Rubin Talks About the Lack of LTE in the LG Nexus 4

Google’s new Nexus 4 is official as of this morning. While the device itself has almost every top-of-the-line spec in the business, there is one that was left out that has a few scratching their heads. Why doesn’t the Nexus 4 have LTE support? According to Andy Rubin, there are a number of reasons, most of which they learned after releasing the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon with LTE. 

“We certainly have a desire to offer devices on every carrier on the planet,” Rubin said. “The tactical issue is GSM vs. LTE. A lot of the networks that have deployed LTE haven’t scaled completely yet — they’re hybrid networks. They’ll do their old thing and they’ll do LTE, which means the devices need both radios built into them.”

“For now we’re gonna sit back and watch those networks evolve. Two radios in a device right now certainly raises the cost, and diminishes battery life.” This point seems to frustrate him. “When we did the Galaxy Nexus with LTE we had to do just that, and it just wasn’t a great user experience. It’s possible to do it right, but that’s not where we’ll put our resources initially. Tactically, we want to make sure the devices are available for every network on the planet.”

So Rubin admits that the Galaxy Nexus with LTE was a horrible experience for most users because of battery life. I think most of us would tend to agree with him on that. Unfortunately, he also mentioned that it probably would have been possible to still put LTE in the Nexus 4 and “do it right,” however, they have decided to put their resources elsewhere for now. At this time, they are letting these new “hybrid” LTE networks mature before diving in fully.

I don’t want to shatter dreams, but that sounds like we may not see a new LTE-equipped Nexus until the next one arrives next winter. Since many of you are Verizon and AT&T customers, this means your upgrade will have to wait or you’ll have to decide on a non-Nexus phone. Unless those of you on AT&T are willing to drop back to HSPA+ from LTE.


Via:  The Verge

  • daryle barden jr

    So no LTE Nexus until next winter. I can live with that as long as i have a device to hold me over. RAZR HD maybe? I’d actually like to know more about the RAZR X :). Sounds bad ass. Google knows what they’re doing for sure. We may not be happy about it but they know what they’re doing.

  • Mike Snyder

    Nexus is supposed to mean “Best of Google”. If this is the best Google can do (seeing as how the GS3 has amazing battery life with dual radios), then perhaps they should simply drop the Nexus line of smartphones and focus on tablets going forward. Boo on you, Goog. I’m almost ashamed to see you take the Apple road…

  • As long as its in the next one, its no big deal. GNex is a great phone on Verizon and LTE. I don’t have real battery concerns or issues and get a full day every day; as does my wife.

    But if there is no LTE/Verizon Nexus in 2013 when I go to upgrade, I will be leaving Verizon. Nexus is simply the best option for Android. I wish OEMs would scrap their skins and just have pure Android with specialized apps unique to them for differentiation along with obvious hardware differences.

  • Christopher Riner

    Man, judging by these comments, the nexus 4 is nowhere near as sought after as the gnex was last year. For one, it was called the frickin unicorn. Secondly, you.would not find this many people leaving comments saying, “the g nex looks nice but I’m gonna keep my nexus s”

    • Justin Swanson

      I think part of that is the tech has kinda peaked. 1/2/3 years ago people would get sick of their devices because they got slow, crashed, etc. (I know mine did). Now with the Galaxy S2/Gnex/other similar hardware it is lasting MUCH longer than previous hardware so no one has a hardware reason to move, just software but because the Gnex will get all of the same updates you don’t need to upgrade? 😉

      • Christopher Riner


  • Ibrick

    As much as I hate that we won’t see an LTE capable device until probably next year at the earliest, it makes sense. Even then, VZW will probably be the only network capable of supporting an LTE only device.
    When we have VOLTE, we’ll have an LTE Nexus. Until then, CDMA is a dying technology, and LTE isn’t widespread enough to eliminate it yet.

  • Kevin

    They’re going to have to suck it up and support mixed networks at some point. The learning curve should be over by now for making two-radio phones. What are they going to do next fall when Verizon is on the verge of moving to VoLTE and ATT and Sprint are frantically bringing new markets online? It will be too soon to release a LTE-only phone but crazy to not support it.

  • cgalyon

    I’m still tempted to do this new Nexus because I’ve been looking at leaving Verizon anyway, but for those that want to stay with LTE devices there are (thanks to the dev community) quite a few options for unlocking other nice devices.

  • mr android

    Hey dudes, it wasn’t me! My
    lady friend vzw doesn’t like me
    to put my ‘nexus’ in her ‘network’
    anymore. Something about not
    feeling bloated enough, or the crazy
    kids running across the lawn, but, either way,
    partys over.

  • Cipher Zero

    I’ll just sit back and wait until Google decides to put LTE back in the Nexus phones. “Hey, look, here is a 16-core, 6GHz monster of a computer, and it comes with this great 9600 baud modem, because it doesn’t have broadband functionality, and there is no way of upgrading it, and here is a lame excuse because we were high as hell when we made this decision. Enjoy!”

  • Chuck Finley

    “So Rubin admits that the Galaxy Nexus with LTE was a horrible experience for most users because of battery life.”

    – I respectfully disagree…. It was a horrible experience of Verizon.

  • Bravo to $GOOG for putting user experience above the carriers’ horseshit. LTE isn’t cost-effective by any stretch of the imagination and won’t be for years.

  • I Can Haz Droid RAZR en HD?

    I like the Galaxy Nexus. It offers a great user experience and the battery life is not as atrocious as Rubin would make it seem. However, the radio performance was terrible. To be honest, it was worse than the HTC ThunderBolt and Samsung Droid Charge. I ultimately switched to the Galaxy S III, then to the RAZR MAXX HD. So far, I love the RAZR, which has the best radios ever put into a LTE smartphone, and I am hoping that the next Nexus device is manufactured by Motorola with support for Verizon’s LTE network.

  • Knlegend1

    Fine with me !!!!

  • Thats the nail in the coffin for me.. I guess the Note 2 will be my next phone..

  • Trillville

    Come one people use your head and stop believing the hype around LTE. These speeds on a phone mean nothing after 9mbps anyway as if your allowed to use LTE speeds at the fullest because there is traffic on websites and everything has a limit so if you want horrible battery life, slow updates, and videos to load 1.4sec sooner than go for it and waste your money

  • Liderc

    This is such a deal breaker, I mean – no LTE means no Nexus for me. I’m going to go buy another Galaxy nexus soon so that whenever mine dies, I’ll have the back up because I literally do not want another device. Man, what a total let down. Also, I’d call my Galaxy Nexus experience anything BUT “horrible.” It’s been the best device I’ve ever used.

  • DanWazz

    “We didn’t want to deal with Verizon, so no LTE for now.” I just hope that the next Nexus has LTE radios and can be bought off contract for $350. Hopefully T-mobile will step up their game by then.

  • MKader17

    I hate comparing Apples to Androids but if the iPhone can do it and people not claim it is LTEgate then why can’t Android?

    • S Bosworth

      Because iOS isn’t open source. AOSP requires releasing binaries that are not avalable to the open public typically. This is the whole reason we had the GNexus removed for a time from AOSP.

  • When the iPhone 4s didn’t have LTE Oh the uproar on all these sites … NOW the Nexus 4 comes out no LTE and it gets a pass, a quite pass.. Now all of a sudden HSPA+ is acceptable??? WOOOOOWW !!!! Why does google do this. Why cant they just make it work. True the Nexus brand was never a big seller but all that can change …. I like the Nexus 4… No LTE is a deal breaker…

  • Butters619

    You know, I’m not too mad. My next upgrade is December 2013. Moto LTE/GSM Nexus please please please.

  • chris125

    Andy Rubin, SVP, Google “Tactically, we want to make sure the devices are available for every network on the planet.” yet they alienate their largest carrier in the US. Ok Andy

    • Robin Ha


    • Nathan

      Stupid Verizon!!!!

  • satsmine2k4

    Am OK!!! with no LTE but 16gb max capacity for a phone is atrocious…to say the least look at the competition, apple’s been offering 64gb iphone’s since ages now…Google i really like you and i will buy this nexus 4 but are you really building ur Nexus phones for the masses or are they just for techy guys?

  • itznfb

    Hopefully the thin rumors of a Moto Nexus device in the near future are true.

  • CharlesJorgenson

    put a bigger battery in to compensate for the additional battery drain? Nah, lets just take away 4G. Way to pull an Apple Google… you make me sad

    • pseudonym_b

      look at the off contract price. that is what they were targeting. $300 off contract? thats amazing, $350 for 16 gb off contract? again, amazing. i dont know why tmobile is selling it so high though…

  • Alexander Garcia

    My mind’s made up. I’m gettin’ the RAZR Maxx HD. =)

  • So when NY current nexus on vzw is up contract officially done. If they don’t have on in the works its a no vrainer for me. Adios. I’ve been closing lines this year with them anyway.

  • JordanMcRae

    I’m on an AT&T GS3 and I am ok with stepping down to HSPA+ for this.

  • Tom

    This phone plus MVNO carriers FTW! I’ll take a $350 powerhouse phone on my $45 Straight Talk unlimited plan over any other phone/plan combo out there. Plus this thing will sing on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ band. (You have the choice of either SIM with ST). I currently have an AT&T compatible SIM and it’s about 4-6mbps down in NYC, which is plenty serviceable during the 20% of the time I’m not in WiFi. Might just switch for the faster TMo service tho. But SHEESH… GET OUT OF THOSE DAMN CARRIER CONTRACTS PPL!!

  • interstellarmind

    Maybe this is google’s way of punishing vzw. HSPA+ on tmobile is just as fast as my vzw lte was here in nyc. Is google trying to persuade people to ditch vzw for tmobile (as I have)?

  • brad

    this must be what apple kids felt like after the 4s dropped without 4g. hope VoLTE comes soon

  • KreeTerry

    While disappointing i can see where he’s coming from. I might pick up the nexus 4 16gb and just tether my vzw gnex to it lol. That phone is looking pretty sweet

  • Eh not a big deal for me as I have grown tired of Verizon and have been thinking of going back to gsm and pick up a tmobile prepaid sim, On my Gnex I rarely turn LTE maybe for a few minutes here or there, but from what I read 3g on gsm with HSPA+ is very capable of of speeds close to LTE

  • MichaelFranz

    as much as i love the nexus program and i think the GNEX paved the way for future android being the first ICS enabled phone. I have to say i do agree with Google and the choice to go non LTE for now…

    However the balance between nexus and other phones is about on par. the GS3 is just as capable as the gnex, while still having a dual core chipset. Now granted the gs3 s4 chip out shines the dual core omap, but i really think software is the key here.

    As much as i love stock android i do think there needs to be some more software features and stuff non bloat. What some of the manufactures are doing with their OEM skins and software are great. Its just the skins themselves are ugly. I love the touchwiz launcher feel, but the graphics and images are what sucks. and on a flip side samsungs original software isnt half bad

    I loved my gnex but dumped it for an S3.for now and i love it. Waiting to see what the future holds with 4.2 on horizon.

  • The Dude Abides

    No LTE. No dice.

  • Bill Mitchell

    I love The Verge <333333

  • Franz

    What good is LTE when you only have 2GB to use?… maybe 4GB for some. Even if you are grandfathered in, unlimited data is over. Be it 2013 or 2014. It has come to an end.

    • Unlimited data is over? Tell that to my unlimited plan. Apparently it didn’t get the memo.

  • ksat

    Maybe I’ll ask Andy Rubin for a new LTE Phone when it becomes available in the Nexus 5 running Android 5.0. By that time, most of the networks will have “evolved” much to his liking and they’ll be able to do more! For now, my GNex will continue to suffer of poor radio quality and failed battery life – thanks, Google! ;(

  • G3spike

    No 4G LTE, 8mp camera vs the Opgimus G (Sprint) 13mp camera, 16gb storage vs 32vb Optimus G with expandable storage, and it will cost at or other $300. Surely Google cannot expect the hardcore android community to buy this downgraded device. Kinda sad… I will sticking with my GNex.

  • lunas

    Sounds to me like someones bitching about how much they suck and how they are unloved, There is something they need to learn LTE is not going away verizon has been busting its ass to get it out to all of its markets at&t has as well but not quite as fast as big red. Now i might be wrong but is not x1 mode still capable on current phones that is 2g STILL ON OUR PHONES. So much for a nexus i would want to buy the issues of the first generation of lte + 3g radios mostly stemmed from it being a new standard the new chips are going to going to get more and more efficient and batteries are only going to get better. Overall i would say step in the wrong direction….

  • ddevito

    For a minute there I thought that was Steve Jobs.

    Hey Andy – WE’LL be the judge. Thanks.

  • schoat333

    I’d probably take back all of my complaints about battery life if I could see a new Nexus on VZW with LTE.

  • NorCalGuy

    As “bad” as it is which I don’t agree with at all…my gnex seems to do just as good as my moms RAZR and much better than a few phones co workers have, thunderbolt and bionic. And if you throw the 2100 batt in its much better and lasts another couple hours. Also if people dive into the rooting/roming you can tweak all kinds of battery life out of your phone.

  • Uhhh, False. MDM9*15 radios are capable of CDMA, WCDMA, HSPA, HSPA+, LTE. LTE is a GSM technology. Try again Google.

  • With the major carriers (yes I”m excluding Sprint and TMo here) moving everyone off of unlimited data, and Google moving everyone to cloud storage with Nexus, unless they change this and start offering either SD support or WAY more storage, I will not buy a Nexus.

  • I could care less about LTE… my Tmobile HSPA+ is fast as HELL!! Faster than a lot of real world LTE use i have seen so i think it was actually a pretty smart decision. That and the crap hole town i live in wont be getting LTE for a super long time.. lol so yay better battery

    • Wes

      That’s HSPA+42, this phone only supports HSPA+21.

  • David

    Wow. Google admits its expensive and hard to do LTE right.

    Yet Apple manged to do it in a much smaller device still with excellent battery life.

    iPhone 5 looking even more impressive.

    • summit1986

      The battery life on the 5 is far from impressive.

  • ezpotato

    welp, razr maxx hd or HTC DNA….. hmmmm………

  • chris125

    Damn that phone looks tiny in his hand. And pretty much it is because google does not have any balls to lay down the law on the carriers to push for updates and that.

  • Br_d

    I’m not interested in excuses. LTE is a required feature in any phone in order for me to consider purchasing it.

    • dangolds

      I agree. I switched to Android earlier this year over Apple because I got tired of waiting for Apple to release an LTE device. So now that Google is pulling this nonsense with their Nexus device, I’m certainly not going to cut them any slack either.

  • My Maxx with CM10 will do just fine until I get my upgrade next September. Hopefully VZW will have fully integrated their LTE network by then.