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Useless 4G Chip Discovered in Google Nexus 4

Google's LG-developed Nexus 4 apparently features a previously unknown 4G chip.

Repair experts iFixit found that the recently released smartphone features a Qualcomm WTR1605L Seven-Band 4G LTE chip situated on its motherboard. It also sports a Avago ACPM-7251 Quad-Band GSM/EDGE chip for 3G support.

Although Nexus 4 owners will be delighted with their handset boasting a 4G chip, it's still missing several key components in order for users to utilize the 4G technology itself. A 4G antenna and power amplifier is not present, which leaves no way of enabling it.

The Nexus 4 is powered by a quad-core processor, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro, as well as 2GB of RAM. In addition to a 4.7-inch display with a 1,280 x 768 pixel resolution, the device also has a 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and supports wireless charging and NFC.

Within minutes of its availability on Google's Play Store, both the smartphone's 8GB and 16GB variants sold out.

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  • HopelessNoob
    I'm still waiting for my Nexus 4 :(
    Reply
  • juncture
    This would suggest there will be a upgrade model in the future with an added antenna and amplifier.
    Reply
  • gamingboy
    "Useless 4G Chip Discovered in Google Nexus 4"

    Best headline of the day.
    Reply
  • So is Google passing the cost of that off on the consumer? If so that's BS.
    Reply
  • samwelaye
    mikehoncho84So is Google passing the cost of that off on the consumer? If so that's BS.
    More likely its simply cheaper to include this cheap than to exclude it as it simplifies LG's manufacturing structure since it shares similarities with the optimus G
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Even if the Nexus4 shared the same PCB as some other LG phone, the 4G chip should have been omitted at the PCB assembly stage (empty component pads) if it serves absolutely no purpose.
    Reply
  • faster23rd
    Hmmm. Would that mean that customers are paying for something they don't use but is present in the device? Wouldn't that mean that buyers paid more (for the chip) but got nothing? Just a thought, I may be missing something.
    Reply
  • kog91
    InvalidErrorEven if the Nexus4 shared the same PCB as some other LG phone, the 4G chip should have been omitted at the PCB assembly stage (empty component pads) if it serves absolutely no purpose.

    Unless they plan on using the same assembly line to build the 4G version.

    Also, you can't just omit a part when the whole line is tooled to build a specific motherboard. It is much more cost effective to be able to produce motherboards for multiple devices on the same line, so that you don't have the down-time to retool. This in turn passes on a savings to the consumer, reducing the cost of a device.

    It is much easier to omit the antenna at the hand-assembly portion of the device build.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    What the F was the point of putting the chip on the board if it can't do anything????
    That is till some modders come along =D
    Reply
  • kog91
    memadmaxWhat the F was the point of putting the chip on the board if it can't do anything????That is till some modders come along =D
    BGA devices (such as 4G modems) are fairly difficult to reliably (millions of units) hand solder to a board. Power amplifiers are very easy to attach. By producing a board compatible with multiple handsets, LG can use the same board over and over. In fact, they only need to have one component soldered to the motherboard to make it 4G ready. This is very cost effective, as the development cost for each motherboard design is fairly high.
    Reply