Nexus 4 preorders begin in UK - but not from Google

Carphone Warehouse, the same retailer that outed the Nexus 4 ahead of its launch on Monday, has again stolen a march on Google by inviting customers to preorder their units.

The UK handset retailer Carphone Warehouse has opened preorders for the Nexus 4, Google's latest flagship Android smartphone.

The LG-made Nexus 4 was officially unveiled on Monday . It is a highly-specified device that comes at a lower price than anything comparable on the market: £239 for the 8GB version and £279 for the 16GB version. It is due for release on 13 November.

Nexus 4
Carphone Warhouse is taking preorders for the Nexus 4.

Even Google's own Play Store is not yet offering preorders for the device, instead only letting people register their interest for now. However, Carphone Warehouse — the same retailer that 'accidentally' listed the Nexus 4 ahead of its launch — is now letting people preorder it on contract with the operators O2 and Vodafone.

With both operators, it appears the phone will be free on two-year contracts of at least £31 per month.

The Nexus 4 comes with almost all the latest features, such as a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, 2GB of RAM and the Android 4.2 operating system, still known as Jelly Bean. However, it lacks LTE capabilities.

In the UK, only EE offers '4G' LTE at the moment, so the impact of the omission will be limited.

The Nexus line of Android devices involves close partnerships between Google and a range of manufacturers — Samsung is making the new Nexus 10 tablet, for example, and Asus makes the highly successful Nexus 7 .

Nexus phones and tablets are the first to get updates to the Android operating system, as they use the stock versions of Android without manufacturers' customised skins. This has chimed with their traditional role as developer-oriented devices, although the aggressively low prices Google has been sticking on them recently suggests the company is aiming them squarely at consumers.