Moving On Part 2: The Nexus 4 and the Magenta Giant [T-Mobile]

By now I’m sure you’re up to speed on my Sprint and Samsung debacle. If not, go do that. I’ll wait. OK, good.

After my return from the weekend getaway that was anything but relaxing (for more reasons than just my shitty phone service, but I don’t know you well enough to tell that story), plans were set in motion to escape Sprint’s big yellow prison. The LG Nexus 4 had been release only a few weeks prior and it was getting rave reviews, and subsequently was impossible to get thanks to high demand on the Google Play store. T-Mobile had partnered with Google once again to offer the phone through their stores/website. I immediately pursued this option, but hit a brick wall when T-Mo wanted a $200 deposit before I could sign a contract. Hell naw.

Flash forward to the week before New Year’s. A Craigslist search showed multiple people in the Atlanta area selling unused Nexus 4s at a markup that was less of a screw than any in the state of Alabama. As it turned out, a friend and I had been considering the idea of ringing in New Year’s at some Atlanta hot spots. The fact that I could come back unshackled by Sprint cemented the idea.

nexus 4

The entire day seemed to be a work of serendipity. We checked into the Georgia Tech Hotel, walked across the street to the Barnes and Noble where the seller suggested we meet and, after the exchange and a very pleasant conversation with the Craigslist dude, sauntered across the opposite street corner and into the T-Mobile store, where I walked out with my new Nexus happily alive on a $30 a month prepaid plan with all the data and text I could devour. And for those who say that the Nexus 4 is crippled by lack of LTE support, let me tell you that my data speeds were topping out at just over 20Mbps, quite a bit faster than what my friend was getting on Verizon’s LTE at the same time. Yes, I agree that LTE is the future of cellular technology, but it’s still in the early stages of life, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by not having it, especially since Verizon is the only carrier so far to have major deployment.

The phone itself is a gorgeous piece of work by LG, trumping anything Samsung has tossed out to the public in…EVER. I’m not going to go in-depth on the actual hardware; there are plenty of reviews out there that do a better job than I ever could. Just know that the phone definitely lives up to the hype.

On New Year’s Day we decided to spend a few hours at IKEA, inside which I had a full, super fast signal the whole time. I was even able to fire up Google Maps and use their indoor mapping feature because, you know, IKEA is one huge rat maze of awesome. That’s something I would have NEVER been able to do, not just with my Galaxy Nexus, but on the Sprint network in general.

It’s been nearly 2 months since I made the switch, and it’s like I’m living in another world. One where I’m unhindered by contracts and shit cell service. I suddenly find myself able to actually use my phone in the ways it was meant to be used. And amazingly enough, my friends say I’m much less frustrated all the time. It’s amazing what changing your mobile provider can do for your attitude. Though I guess that’s another point for the side that says smartphones are the new detriment of society. But screw it! Mobile data is my Prozac, man. And besides, Google Glass isn’t that far off.

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The Nexus 4 or How Google Wised Up and Dropped Samsung

If you’re a Android fanatic like I am, then you’re probably aware that Monday was the long-awaited announcement of the new line of Nexus devices from Google, namely the LG Nexus 4 (though other Nexus devices were announced).

For the past 2 years, if you wanted the newest Nexus phone you had to suffer with one of Samsung’s toddler-grade products. It’s no secret that I despised the Nexus S and got rid of it after 2 weeks. And though I haven’t chronicled it as much, I have a bipolar love/hate relationship with the Galaxy Nexus (read shitty Wifi/cell antennas). But it looks like that might change once the Nexus 4 is released.

Featuring a nice bump in specs (view the full rundown here) and first to run Android 4.2, the 4 will first be available in the Google Play store in 8 and 16 gigabyte flavors starting November 13. For geeks like me, that’s a little disappointing since the Galaxy Nexus features a robust 32GB of space, which is easy enough to fill with your Spotify or Google Music downloads. But I guess that’s what the cloud is for…if you’re not on Sprint’s painfully slow 3G network.

As of right now, the only announced carrier that will offer the phone on contract is T-Mobile, though it’s possible Verizon or at least Sprint will get a variant for their CDMA/LTE networks. If you’re an AT&T prisoner subscriber then you can pick one up off-contract in the Play store, which is a good way to go since it won’t cost that much more than contract price and you won’t have to lock yourself in for another 2 years.

Me? I might consider jumping the Sprint ship for T-Mo, but that’s another post.