Nexus 4 has LTE without 4G support; what gives?

News Stacy Warden 10:52, Nov 26 2012

LG explains why its Nexus 4 can't tap into a 4G connection

You may already be aware that LG's Nexus 4 has an LTE chip, which is required for 4G support. But did you know that it can't actually access a 4G connection? It's one of those things that makes you scratch your head in slight confusion at first. But there is, of course, a reason for the non-functional equipment in the Nexus 4, sort of.

First, it makes sense on some level that the LTE chip is baked into the Nexus 4, as it's also found in the Optimus G; most likely many of these parts were mass-produced together. But in order for the Nexus 4 to be 4G-compatible, it would have required a little something extra. And that additional hardware would have made the phone cost more, taking away from its whole budget-friendly appeal.

Here's how an LG spokesperson explained it in a recent interview with Tech Radar:

"In order to provide the best possible specification for Nexus 4, LG utilized the same powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset as can be found in its 4G LTE product, namely LG Optimus G. This powerful chipset is only available with a combined processor and modem and cannot be implemented separately. The modem contains 4G LTE capabilities but is only effective when combined with other essential hardware parts such as a signal amplifier and filter in order for it to work. It therefore cannot be upgraded to 4G LTE capability through software."

To put it simply, if you're currently sporting the Nexus 4, don't hold your breath on any kind of a 4G boost -- at least not until you're ready to upgrade your entire device. 

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