When the folks over at iFixit tore open the Nexus 4 a few days ago, they discovered that the smartphone actually comes with a 4G LTE chip installed, but without any 4G LTE radio, apparently rendering the chip useless. So, every Nexus 4 owner moved on with their boring, stuck-in-3G lives; that is, until today, when hackers from XDA-Developers discovered that it is actually possible to enable and use 4G LTE on Nexus 4. All it takes is dialing a number! Check out all the details after the jump.
As nice as this must be for Nexus 4 owners to hear, there is one huge “if” condition involved with enabling 4G: it only works if you’re on a wireless carrier that uses spectrum included in Band 4. As of typing, this includes Telus, Rogers and Bell in Canada, as well as AT&T in the US in some regions. Other wireless carriers in the US, Europe and Australia use different bands, so the majority of Nexus 4 owners are out of luck.
This is why Google/LG didn’t announce support for 4G LTE as a feature in the Nexus 4: it only supports a very small fraction of wireless carriers.
- Launch the Phone app on your Nexus 4.
- Dial in the following number: *#*#4636#*#*. You will be taken into “Phone info”.
- Tap WCDMA from below “Set preferred network type”.
- Scroll down and select “LTE/GSM/CDMA auto (PRL)”.
- Your signal will die down and reconnect to 4G LTE network.
That’s it! You can use an app like SpeedTest to check for improved speeds. Multiple users have reported success with this method.
Keep in mind, though, that since Nexus 4 doesn’t come with signal amplifiers for the LTE radio, you may see decreased signal performance. In addition to that, your battery life may also be reduced. You can easily revert back to your non-4G connection by choosing “WCDMA” (or GSM only, depending on your carrier) after dialing *#*#4636#*#* from the Phone app.
So, what’s next for the Nexus 4? A hidden microSD card slot? Some sort of mechanism to replace the non-removable battery? Who knows!
If you tried enabling 4G on your Nexus 4, please let us know of your experience by leaving a comment below.