As we all know by now, the new Nexus 4 from LG and Google doesn’t do LTE. For some of you, that’s a deal-breaker, having grown accustom to the kind of breakneck speeds possible over 4G networks. Others will find the lack of support to be a non-issue, happily snatching-up the phones to use over HSPA+. There are probably even a few of you out there wondering if you should hold off a little, in case Google decides to release a new, LTE-supporting Nexus 4 a couple months down the line; frankly, we wouldn’t hold our breath. Even though we don’t expect to see the Nexus 4 operating on an LTE network anytime soon, it’s not a complete stranger to the technology, as it turns out the Nexus 4 runs an LTE-capable chipset.
Teardowns of the Nexus 4 reveal the presence of a Qualcomm WTR1605L (above, teal box); that just happens to be a multi-band LTE chip. Now, before you get any bright ideas about flashing a Nexus 4 with radio firmware from something like the Optimus G, you need to take a closer look at the hardware. While that Qualcomm chip is part of the LTE puzzle, it’s not much use without an LTE radio, which is altogether absent.
Speculation points to the chip being a holdover from the Optimus G, and leaving it in place, even with its LTE functionality going dormant, could have been cheaper for Google than having LG redesign the circuit for a different component.