LG Nexus 4

Counterfeit Replacement Screens

3 Nexus 4 Screens

I'm somewhat shocked at the extent of the counterfeits available through amazon and ebay. All of these are substantially inferior to the original hardware. It's impressive that someone setup a mfg process to make a screen and glass to fit a smaller LCD.

  • Smaller LCD size: original 103x61mm, replacement was 98x58mm.
  • Screen proximity sensor does not work. (turn around gasket to fix)
  • Softer glass, can press on screen and distort LCD.
  • Fewer simultaneous touches detected by digitizer.
  • Glass separating from front frame at top or bottom. (not smooth around edges)


N4 in pieces I couldn't live a week with the randomized rumors of a more expensive Nexus 5 and the old HTC Magic. Vivisection was performed and successful!

Bye bye touchscreen!

N4 Screen toast This October morning, the tile floor finally got the best of the Nexus 4. The back glass was done in by a tile floor suicide dive in Puerto Rico while the alarm was buzzing "wake up, or I'm going to jump."

If you've ever watched a N4 on a false flat surface, it will slide off, especially while vibrating. This, combined with a glass front and glass back is a recipe for success!

What to do with 3 buttons and a micro usb interface

Surprisingly lots! With debugging and adb, everything seems to function properly. Unfortunately all touch inputs must be translated by hand, like this:

input touchscreen swipe 450 300 600 1000

input touchscreen tap 600

Also, there is no way to change directions once this goes afoul so unlocking the phone was near impossible the normal way, even after I made a script to touch the points in order.

Repair Options

I'm always up for some vivisection of electronics. Unfortunately, this is not so straightforward here. Through some manufacturing process, the digitizer for the touchscreen is glued to the glass. Therefore, if the glass breaks, no more touchscreen input. There have been a few lucky chaps where the phone breaks at the bottom and they only lose the back buttons but this is not my situation. The most straightforward method appears to be buying the LCD, digitizer and glass all in one go.

DISPLAY AND TOUCH NEXUS 4 - LG E960 for €80 + tax. The backside is still broken so I'd have to shell out extra for that, Ouch.

Current prices for the 8GB N4 are $199 but out of stock at Google play. Why is new hardware almost as cheap as replacement parts!

Nexus 5 Rumors, October 14-15 announcement. Expecting $299 new price. It looks like I won't have a nice phone for a few weeks after cutting the myTouch 3g's defunct sim card into a holder. This thing feels tiny now and has survived many more drops ( mostly tarmac ). Micro SIM surgery

What to do with it

I'm thinking it could do with some raspberry pi style ingenuity, if I can can get something more useful than android running...

  • The camera works well, perhaps it could go to space like the Register chaps have done.
  • Home automation. Setup as a doorbell to email a picture of whomever rings.
  • Ubuntu seems to have a relatively robust linux installer. I'd like to know how this works without an input.
  • Bike Computer, run MyTracks semi-permanently attached to the bike.

Accessibility Input

I think the biggest challenge here is no functional touchscreen, where everything is designed to use this. If we can get around this, using shakes, volume + power buttons, voice, ssh, and adb the phone should be completely useful.

History with the N4

This phone is fantastic. Priced to sell, unlocked, excellent screen, feels slick, and is still faster than all of the computers in my house. With the lower price before the N5 comes out, I'm tempted to buy it again in spite of all of the glass woes. Changing to a prepaid plan, the monthly savings paid for it in 8 months. When I got it, I almost instantly stopped hating using my phone again! My only complaints are that it's slightly too big and made of glass.

  • I want to be able to do everything with my thumb on the phone. For this, I can't quite reach the top left corner in spite of having long fingers.
  • Glass Breaks, and it slides off surfaces. It was never going to die a different death. The falls which broke the front and back were both about a meter fall to the tile. I've dropped the HTC Magic dozens of dozens of times to tarmac, from heights over 2 meters, with only scratches and ejected batteries to show. Why couldn't they have used Pyrex instead of Gorilla Glass and engineered a better edge.