PSA: Do not buy a Nexus 4 if having USB OTG support is important to you
Well there is now a little more proof that you really can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Even if what you’re reading comes directly from Google’s own support website about their own phone.
Google’s Nexus 4 support website had always claimed that Nexus 4 owners would have the option to connect a keyboard, mouse, & other devices to their phone via USB and the appropriate adapter. That implied USB OTG (on-the-go) cable support, which would have allowed Nexus 4 users to do all kinds of cool stuff, such as expand the device’s limited storage capacity, or use a wired game pad. This isn’t new, previous Nexus devices have also featured USB OTG support. Only problem is – the feature never worked on the Nexus 4 and now Google has finally edited their support page to reflect that.
Unfortunately, this news comes a little late to help the earliest of early adopters like myself. When I purchased my Nexus 4, I went with the 8GB model specifically because of Google’s claim that the device had USB OTG support. I was planing to use a OTG cable and a SD card reader to help give the device more storage. I know of several other people that had the same plan. At the time, the extra $50 for only 8GB worth of additional storage seemed like a waste of money. Especially when you consider that a USB OTG cable costs a buck and pretty much everyone already has a SD card and card reader anyway. I mean, why spend an extra $50 if Google gave the Nexus 4 the ability to connect to devices via USB? Too bad they didn’t and it’s starting to look like they wont. Now, $50 for 8GB of additional storage seems like a bargain.
Sadly, everyone that was thinking what I was thinking, and was patiently waiting for the feature to become enabled is kind of out of luck now. The 15 day buyer’s remorse period has expired. Meaning that if you was like me, and was one of the first to buy a 8GB model, you are now stuck with it. Of course, you can always sell your current 8GB Nexus 4, but the likely-hood of getting one with 16GB anytime soon is very bleak. So anyone that did what I did, and tried to save a little money by using USB OTG is in an unfortunate situation.
I actually started to become a little concerned about this once I realized that the Optimus G, which is nearly identical to the Nexus 4 hardware wise, doesn’t support OTG either. So I attempted to ask Google Play Support about it a few days after my Nexus 4 arrived. I ended up spending around 30 minutes on hold before I gave up. I should have kept waiting, because by the time I did get the chance to talk to someone, which was earlier this week, it was already too late. I was informed that I am out of the 15 day return period and that I can no longer return it or even exchange the device for a 16GB model. So there you have it. I learned a lesson.
I am still talking with Google Play Support about this matter right now. I explained that I only purchased the 8GB Nexus 4 because of Google’s claims of USB OTG support. I also provided them with screen shots of Google’s website and the Nexus 4 guidebook before any changes were made. I’ll provide updates as the situation continues to unfold, but for now, be warned – USB OTG doesn’t work on the Nexus 4 and probably never will. So keep that in mind before you purchase one.
Source: Google Nexus Support