Nexus 4 DOES have an LTE chip after all!

Nexus 4 DOES have an LTE chip after all!

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

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  • Anonymous

    iPad 3 does have world-wide-compatible LTE chip as well. So what?

    • Guest

      The iPad 3 works on LTE, the Nexus 4 doesn’t.

      • Anonymous

        Outside US? Really?

        • Guest

          That’s a frequency issue (rectified in the iPad 4) whereas the Nexus 4 isn’t supposed to have LTE at all.

          • Anonymous

            No, it’s just decision to disable LTE bands other than US.
            Same as decision to disable and not advertise LTE chip support in Nexus.
            Not first and not last in mobile phones
            Let me think: GPU support in HTC Kaiser, FM transmitter in HTC HD2, Wifi chip not soldered in T-Mobile version of HTC Artemis, and many, many more.

          • Guest

            The hardware used in the iPad wasn’t compatible with those bands. Apple have now changed the wireless chip used to ensure more compatibility worldwide. The article wasn’t about the iPad, it was about whether or not LTE could be made available on the Nexus 4 after all

          • Anonymous

            Wrong, it WAS compatible. EXACTLY same LTE chip is used in Mifi sold by Australian networks (remember multi-million fine for misleading Apple adverts in Australia) and in EU-sold modems. It’s not even problem with antenna, as UK LTE is using 1.8GHz band, same as GSM.
            The only problem is with support for certain LTE bands in radio ROM (baseband as it’s called by Apple) – so it’s software problem

          • Anonymous

            iPad 3 LTE chip is Qualcomm RTR8600, EXACTLY SAME CHIP as used in:
            – Samsung Galaxy SIII
            – iPhone 5
            – iPad 4 (worldwide LTE)
            and many, many others. Neither antenna is the problem, as I mentioned before – EU LTE band is same as GSM bands – 1.7 and 1.8GHz, so proper antenna is already there.
            I can only guess that during iPad 3 manufacturing process there was no cooperating EU LTE network to perform tests and later Apple was working on iPad 4, so they has no interest to enable EU bands in iPad 3.

            Apparently looks the same problem could be the reason why LTE in Nexus 4 is still not in use – Google PROBABLY was trying to avoid delays in manufacturing caused by LTE tests and certification. Only good thing in this situation is that there is a chance to enable LTE in Nexus in the future