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Thread: Seven Band LTE Chip Revealed in Nexus 4 Teardown by iFixit

  1. Editor in Chief
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    Seven Band LTE Chip Revealed in Nexus 4 Teardown by iFixit


    Over the weekend the folks at iFixit posted an article on what they do best, tear-appart devices. This time they worked their magic on the new LG-made Google Nexus 4 smartphone, and found an interesting "treasure" inside. Apparently, the Nexus 4 actually has a 7-band LTE chip inside of it already. Needless to say, this was a pleasant surprise to many folks, and this obviously begs two important questions:
    1. Why would Google launch the device without LTE support if the hardware is inside to make it work?
    2. Is it possible to enable this LTE chip and give yourself LTE capabilities with your carrier and this phone?

    The answer to the first question is unlikely to be answered definitively anytime soon. The best speculation is that Google may have plans to release an LTE equipped version of the phone sometime in the future. One other theory suggests that it was simply cheaper for LG to use the same structural platform as their LG Optimus G, which is the phone the Nexus 4 is based on. It might have been more expensive to have a separate production process for a model without the chip than it was to simply leave it in there.

    The answer to the second question is unfortunately a big no. The problem isn't that it wouldn't be possible to create some custom software that would enable the LTE on the device. The problem is the phone does not have the LTE antenna built-in. Thus it would require a major hardware modification to make happen. Of course, there might be a few stubborn genius developers out there who are up to a challenge of this size, so you never know...

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks for the tip, combatmedic870!

    Source: Nexus4Forum via iFixit
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  3. Droid Ninja
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    #2
    I always find it funny how news here gets posted days after the rest of the forums and blogs already know about it.

    Yes the Nexus 4 has an LTE-compatibile chipset, however that's not all you need to get LTE connectivity. For one, these phones are radio transceivers, they need the radio, AND antennas (which are nowhere to be found on the N4, or the FCC patents). Most people are in agreement that they just used many of the same internals as the Optimus G and used them in the N4.

    EDIT: Next time I'll read your answers first :P I just read the questions then replied.
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    I always find it funny how news here gets posted days after the rest of the forums and blogs already know about it.
    I must admit that I am bit saddened by this statement because it is generally untrue. While it is true that when news hits on the weekends I don't get to it until Monday, for the most part, we are actually faster for regular news during the week than many sites. In fact, we frequently get news stories up in the mornings an hour or more before several other sites. Of course the news articles I pull from have theirs up first, but the info has to originate somewhere before I can post it. We do our best to post news as quickly as possible, but we are a very small team here, and we do our best with the limited resources we have.
    Last edited by dgstorm; 11-19-2012 at 10:18 AM.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by dgstorm

    I must admit that I am bit saddened by this statement because it is generally untrue. While it is true that when news hits on the weekends I don't get to it until Monday, for the most part, we are actually faster for regular news during the week than many sites. In fact, we frequently get news stories up in the mornings an hour or more before several other sites. Of course the news articles I pull from have theirs up first, but the info has to originate somewhere before I can post it. We do our best to post news as quickly as possible, but we are a very small team here, and we do our best with the limited resources we have.
    Work weekends, I have noticed the news page is the same until Monday morning. During the week You guys are on top of it. Reading the technology news on Google sometimes nets me a 30 minute edge.
    Stellar job in my opinion.
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    I think you're doing a fine job bringing us the news we want to read. I don't like working weekends either. Thank you
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgstorm View Post
    I must admit that I am bit saddened by this statement because it is generally untrue. While it is true that when news hits on the weekends I don't get to it until Monday, for the most part, we are actually faster for regular news during the week than many sites. In fact, we frequently get news stories up in the mornings an hour or more before several other sites. Of course the news articles I pull from have theirs up first, but the info has to originate somewhere before I can post it. We do our best to post news as quickly as possible, but we are a very small team here, and we do our best with the limited resources we have.
    It must be because of the weekends, that's when I typically read up on a lot of Android and tech news, so after I read it over the weekend I see it get posted here on Monday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgstorm View Post
    We do our best to post news as quickly as possible, but we are a very small team here, and we do our best with the limited resources we have.
    Out of all factors, this is the one thing that the site administration can do something about. With a member base >290,000 users; I am SURE if you guys put up a front page item recruiting for news team members, you'd have a lot of folks willing to help. I myself would make the offer, but in the past I've held positions on various sites and end up being too busy to devote enough time.
  9. Editor in Chief
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoff5093 View Post
    It must be because of the weekends, that's when I typically read up on a lot of Android and tech news, so after I read it over the weekend I see it get posted here on Monday.
    That makes sense, and we appreciate you coming back to post with us even if we are a little behind on Mondays!

    It also occurred to me that occasionally I will que up a good news story in the morning to write, but will not get to it until after lunch because I run out of time posting the other ones. This creates a delay from time to time, but I gotta fill my belly!

    Thanks to all you guys who commented, and for the feedback.

    @Dave12308: Unfortunately, finding people to do news consistently on the weekends is easier said than done. You are probably right that we could find some interested folks. We may have a large user base but we still have a small budget. Also, it's tough to find folks who can reliably post news on the weekends, precisely for the same reason you cited. Everyone gets busy sometimes, I guess.
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    Can we get into subject here for a moment?

    Because this could mean that I can use my Galaxy nexus to do a frankenexus that has LTE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asgard View Post
    Can we get into subject here for a moment?

    Because this could mean that I can use my Galaxy nexus to do a frankenexus that has LTE.
    How so?



    The N4 has a 4G chip because its the same mainboard as the LG Optimius G which has 4G and its cheaper production wise to use the same board on the same production line.

    The N4 will not see LTE; it missing not only the antenna but an amplifier as well. There's at least two pieces of physical hardware missing. I would also assume that the software lacks the required drivers needed for those missing pieces of hardware and I would also assume it missing the proper baseband software required to communicate properly. Google would also have to license the phone for LTE and pass it through FCC as well (unless Google/FCC kept it super hush and no one knows; highly doubtful).

    So unless you can get a hold of the hardware needed and can code the needed software, this'll never see LTE, unless somehow someway Google did pull a fast one on us and NO ONE ever caught it; again, unlikely because its hard to keep something like this hush hush ya know? Its almost impossible to keep secrets in the tech industry.
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