This is a dramatic twist. One of the biggest sore points of the Nexus 4 launch was its lack of LTE but an iFixit teardown has revealed that the Nexus 4 actually has a “Qualcomm WTR1605L Seven-Band 4G LTE chip” inside, the turquoise highlighted chip in the picture above.
Quite why LG and/or Google decided not to activate it is a mystery. Conspiracy theorist will point to carriers not wanting such a cheap device being sold with 4G functionality when LTE devices are still sold at a relative premium. Other theories are that the device uses the same chipset as the LG Optimus G and it’s left in to save on production costs.
What will be interesting to see is if Google opts to enable the functionality in future or if some enterprising hackers are able to enable it via custom software. If that happens, then this device could potentially be the bargain of the year when it comes to buying a new phone.
Update: Android Police have a good explanation as to why it’s unusable
First, there’s no guarantee that the device even has an antenna that supports this radio. Should that not be an issue, iFixit found no LTE power amplifier on the board. That’s the part in a phone that takes electricity and turns it into radio waves. It’s also the principal reason your device gets hot enough to fry an egg. Basically, it’s important, and the Nexus 4 only has a UMTS power amplifier inside. We also know that devices like the T-Mobile Galaxy S III have permanently disabled LTE chips inside. Even if everything else was sorted out, the chip could still be dead.
Source – iFixit