Nexus 4

Google this week cut the price of its Nexus 4 smartphone, whose lack of LTE technology makes it inferior to many other devices. (Google Play / August 28, 2013)

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Google this week cut the price of the Nexus 4 smartphone to just $200, but because the sleek device is missing one key feature you may want to wait for the Nexus 5 unless you're looking to save some money.

The $100 price cut brings the Nexus 4 in line with the iPhone 5 and many other top devices, but unlike the others, the Nexus 4 doesn't require a two-year service contract.

Having no contract benefits consumers by leaving them free to walk away from carriers or upgrade their phones whenever they want. But the lack of contract isn't all there is to like with the Nexus 4.

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The device, which is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile, came out late last year and quickly sold out online. The Nexus 4, which features a sleek design and one of the nicest screens on any phone, got great reviews, but there is one big hang-up: the Nexus 4 cannot connect to LTE networks.

LTE, or long-term evolution, is the name used for the fastest data networks currently available to consumers in the U.S.

Many parts of the country are still without LTE and some carriers are rolling out their LTE networks to major areas, but at this point, LTE has arrived and most top-of-the-line smartphones are equipped to connect to it. The iPhone 5, Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One are all capable of connecting to LTE networks.

Another issue with buying a Nexus 4 now is that Google is likely to come out with a new Nexus phone that will probably be LTE capable in the next few months.

Price cuts typically come when companies want to start getting rid of old inventory and bring in new models, and if Google follows the same timetable as last year we can expect the Nexus 5, or whatever its name will be, no later than November.

So the question of whether to get the Nexus 4 comes down to whether you prefer to pay a low price for an unlocked device, or to pay more and have the ability to connect to the fastest data networks.

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