Nexus 4 doesn’t actually have USB OTG support and may never have it

The LG Nexus 4 is either a great new flagship, or a half-baked device missing several important features, depending on who you ask. Unfortunately it looks like the latter is getting a little more ammunition as it’s recently surfaced that the Nexus 4 has no USB OTG (on-the-go) support. USB OTG cables allow users to connect a mouse, keyboard, flash drive, etc. to the phone to set it up as a more powerful workstation or add more memory to a phone that, like the Nexus 4, has no other expandable storage.

Originally, the Nexus 4 specs did say it supported USB connections just like the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Galaxy Nexus. Now, however, the support page lists connecting devices via bluetooth and clearly saying that USB connections are not supported. There’s been some speculation over whether this is a matter of hardware or just a software bug, but since the bigger brothers in the Nexus line still have USB OTG support, I think it’s more likely to be hardware. Of course, for that crazy price point Google hit with the Nexus 4, it’s not surprising that some cuts had to be made. Depending on how you use the phone, this could be a pretty big deal breaker, especially considering competing phones have enough power to almost act as a full desktop PC replacement.

Is this going to affect any of you about whether or not you were going to buy a Nexus 4?

source: Google

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  • Derail Doax

    It really is just another nail in the coffin. Really the lack of a user replaceable battery already killed its chances for me. Not because I’m some difficult hard headed nerd. But because some work days I can burn through a full battery on my GS3 in only four hours of work emails, phone calls, and work texts. I have to carry two spare batteries for those “screen always on” days. But I do have an OTG cable I carry around with me daily just in case I need to move some files to a thumb drive. So yes this is another deal breaker. If I wanted a basic smartphone with a lack of function I would have bought an iPhone.

  • Derail Doax

    It really is just another nail in the coffin. Really the lack of a user replaceable battery already killed its chances for me. Not because I’m some difficult hard headed nerd. But because some work days I can burn through a full battery on my GS3 in only four hours of work emails, phone calls, and work texts. I have to carry two spare batteries for those “screen always on” days. But I do have an OTG cable I carry around with me daily just in case I need to move some files to a thumb drive. So yes this is another deal breaker. If I wanted a basic smartphone with a lack of function I would have bought an iPhone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.pavel Benjamin Pavel

      As for irreplaceable battery you can always buy Battery bank/Portable battery charger and on eBay you get them quite a few.
      And some last even for 4-5 full charges of a phone.

      • sc2pilot

        +1. The days of user replaceable batteries are over. The portable battery bank is replacing that idea.

  • xyz

    I use OTG pretty frequently on my Galaxy s2. I can move things areound or copy stuff from flash drives at school without needing a PC. I’ll be skipping the upgrade to N4. I’ll get the S4. Samsung doesn’t mess up the way LG does.

  • Mark Mc caffee

    S4, Did u hear about the processor in that beast! RIP nexus 4 you could have been a contender!

    • http://twitter.com/DforDesign DforDesign

      S4? It is not rleased, so these are only speculations.

      • xyz

        Typically when a galaxy s flagship is released, it packs a punch CPU/GPU combo that belittles everything else in the market. ;-)

        • http://twitter.com/DforDesign DforDesign

          Yeah and is made of beer cups plastic. Hmm overclocked mali400 is a punch?

          • xyz

            I really don’t get why most people complain of the construction in the galaxy series. I never had any problem with the build on galaxy devices.

            Samsung’s low cost but rugged/reliable construction allows them to spend where it actually counts, the screen and the CPU. They also have the max set of features enabled for their devices, from OTG to hw video acceleration for sevetal codecs. Also beer cups plastic doesn’t attenuate radio signals. + it is lighter as well.

            • http://twitter.com/DforDesign DforDesign

              I have galaxy s II and I cant imagine using it withouit a bumper or any other protection to not get “chrome” border scratched. After 2 months I had it looking like a crap. Thats why I complain… I didn’t used it as a hammer, normal usage only. Now, after a year of usage I don’t have any border anymore.

              It may have a good specs but thats not everything. It’s like having rust-eated supercar. Is it still a supercar? Not for me…

  • Chris

    Surely it wouldn’t be difficult for someone with a Nexus 4 to confirm this?

  • Chris

    Surely it wouldn’t be difficult for someone with a Nexus 4 to confirm this?

  • @Agito

    Otg isn’t enough to stop the buy but no late or Verizon varient is more than enough to not buy.

    • sc2pilot

      There will never be a CDMA Nexus phone. CDMA networks are not open and GSM portability is the major selling point of the Nexus phones.

  • Stefan B.

    I waited yearningly for the Nexus 4 (to be a replacement of my old Desire), but after the first batch being sold-out so quickly, I decided to buy a Galaxy S3, which has OTG BTW. I’m happy, that I didn’t wait for the Nexus 4, since OTG was one of my demands for a new phone, especially when it has no SD card either.

  • Stefan B.

    I waited yearningly for the Nexus 4 (to be a replacement of my old Desire), but after the first batch being sold-out so quickly, I decided to buy a Galaxy S3, which has OTG BTW. I’m happy, that I didn’t wait for the Nexus 4, since OTG was one of my demands for a new phone, especially when it has no SD card either.

  • Christopher Eckeard

    Actually none of the Nexus devices since the Nexus Galaxy has supported OTG natively. For OTG to work on these devices and I assume also the Nexus 4,they must be rooted and running the app StickMount for OTG functionality.

    • sc2pilot

      My Nexus 7 supported OTG out of the box.

    • fusorx

      They support OTG, but to mount a flash drive google would need fat32 support, which is owned by microsoft. So, yes it has OTG, but no, most flash drives wouldn’t work out of the box.

  • Christopher Eckeard

    Actually none of the Nexus devices since the Nexus Galaxy has supported OTG natively. For OTG to work on these devices and I assume also the Nexus 4,they must be rooted and running the app StickMount for OTG functionality.

  • phor11

    The nexus 4 is a flagship device, just not for the crowd in the US that’s still buying into overpriced carrier contract pricing. Its a flagship for the budget conscious.

    For T-mo $30 a month unlimited text/data, there is no better phone.
    Same for straight talk $45 a month unlimited talk/text/data.
    It’s also the best phone on the market for quite a few local carriers and the majority of GSM carriers outside the US.

    I don’t think a lack of OTG changes that.
    If you are looking to drop Verizon/AT&T’s ludicrously overpriced data plans and don’t want to have to throw $600+ into a phone, there are simply no other options that even come close to the N4.

    • Major_Pita

      Since when is the Nexus line supposed to be a cheap alternative to Tier-one carriers? It was supposed to be the phone for someone who wants a top-notch device along with the Pure Android experience. What it’s turning into is a phone that’s crippled as far a being used as a serious camera/multi-media device that’s aimed at the pre-paid crowd who want a cheap half-way decent Android phone. Might as well put a Cricket or Virgin Mobile logo on it.

      • phor11

        “It was supposed to be the phone for someone who wants a top-notch device along with the Pure Android experience.”

        Huh? That may be what you were hoping a Nexus phone would be, but as far as I know Google has never come out and said that’s what the Nexus program represents.

        I wouldn’t describe it as “a cheap alternative to tier-one carriers”; I would call it the smart alternative to bending over and getting ripped off. :D

      • sc2pilot

        You know the carriers are starting to ditch subsidies, right? T-mobile sells you phones at full price but lets you finance $400 of it by paying an additional $20/month for the first 20 months of your contract.

  • Major_Pita

    Lame. Between the non-replaceable battery, no memory card slot, paltry on-board storage (8GB or 16GB… WTF?) Who in their right mind would ever call a phone with less than 8 GB of user-available storage and no memory expansion a Lexus device? Now there’s evidently no USB OTG? I’ll be perfectly fine with my 32 GB GNex until Google pulls their head out and sees some reason. If this keeps up I can confidently say I’m done with Nexus. As long as I can find a device with an unlocked bootloader, a serviceable battery, memory card and decent specs, who cares any more if it’s a Nexus.

  • st crago

    Bunch of nex 4 haters out there. If you dont like the phone then dont get it dont bash it becasue BTW it is a bada@@ phone and blows the s2 n 3 out the door. I have both and i much more prefer the LG nex. Feels betters feels like class and not a cheap thin piece of plastic like the s2 n 3. Love samsung but for the money they are a little over priced. THe otg thing is a bummer but maybe a update will fix it

  • xanuser