Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 02:14 UTC
Google "The Nexus 4 is absolutely wonderful, but it's also vexing. Frustrating. Annoying. It's easily the best Android phone on the market right now, and has some of the most powerful software that's ever been put on a mobile phone. It's an upgrade from last year's Galaxy Nexus in every way. It's terrific - save for one small thing. " Lack of LTE, obviously. Bigger issue for me as a European: glass back. Apparently it cracks. Who'da thunk?
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Here in the UK, only *one* network (Everything Everywhere) has released 4G (or LTE as the US likes to call it) and that was literally only a few weeks ago. It's fast, but very limited in coverage and expensive (I believe it can drain batteries faster too).

It does beg the question why the existing non-4G networks haven't had their coverage/speeds improved? That would benefit 99% of the UK that currently isn't on 4G for whatever reason (the phone, the area they're in, the contract price or they're not on EE).

4G in the UK looks to me to be about a year away from where we are with 3G - coverage has to improve, the prices have to drop, all the network providers have to actually launch 4G and, yes, phones have to launch with 4G. Until then, in the UK, a 4G phone is an utter waste of money.

To be fair, from what I could gather about LTE, it's pretty much what 3G should have been from a design standpoint, which might explain why carriers and phone manufacturers are so interested in it.

LTE and LTE Advance are designed to support an all-IP architecture, on which voice is just one stream of data packets like all others (save for higher QoS priority). That is conceptually much simpler (and should thus be more reliable and future-proof) than a weird hybrid between legacy 2G protocols (GSM, cdmaOne...) for phone services and more modern data protocols, requiring two simultaneous radio connexions and sucking power at a crazy pace.

Of course, that's theory, in practice it seems that you get early LTE modems that are even less energy-efficient than current 3G modems and carriers across the world that enjoy each using a different frequency band, resulting in a practical impossibility to build a true LTE world phone. Gotta love bleeding edge tech...

Edited 2012-11-03 17:25 UTC

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