Google Nexus 4

It’s not easy getting hold of a Google Nexus 4 in Ireland. It’s not on sale here, from Google, or from any of the mobile networks. So you need to be a bit creative to get your hands on it.

The Nexus 4 has been getting some amazing reviews in the tech press. It’s pretty much the best Android phone on the market at the moment, but at less than half the price of the competition.

The cheapest iPhone 5 costs €679, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 is about the same price – but the Nexus 4 starts at £239 (€276) £159 / €184 (*Updated price) SIM-free direct from the Google Play store. That’s amazing value for such a good phone!

Of course, getting hold of one is another matter. Since going on sale last year, it’s been out of stock for the last couple of months – until the middle of last week.  Yes, it’s available again, but only in a limited number of countries, including the UK, Germany, and the US.

I decided to order from the UK, as I have both a UK credit card and family in England who could receive and forward on the phone. The ordering process itself takes place on the Google Play Store, but I had to access the store using a UK VPN/proxy in order to view the Nexus product range. I already have a paid VPN service, but if you search Google I’m sure you can find a free one (some people suggest using Tunnel Bear).

If you don’t have a UK address, then you may also want to try ordering for delivery to Parcel Motel, who have a UK address in Northern Ireland, but will let you pick up from any of their locations in the republic.

The crazy thing about jumping through all these hoops to get the phone delivered to the UK, is that that the Nexux 4 actually gets dispatched from the Google offices in Dublin. However they won’t deliver direct to a republic address, and so my phone had to travel from Dublin, to England, and back to Dublin.

I ordered it last Wednesday, it was dispatched on Thursday, and arrived in England on Friday. It then went straight back in the post, and arrived back in Dublin yesterday.  We had a slightly anxious wait for it to arrive back in Ireland, as the Royal Mail will not insure mobile phones sent through the post for more than £50 – so it if had been lost en route, I’d have been out of pocket.

Anyway, so the phone did arrive, and my fiancée is delighted with her early Valentine’s gift. And I have to admit, it’s a lovely phone. The screen quality is fantastic, it’s very responsive, and the latest version of Android (4.2 “Jelly Bean”) has some great features. Indeed, I was tempted for a while to defect away from my beloved iPhone. And at such a good price, it’s hard to argue against it.