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LG Nexus 4

LG Nexus 4 Experiencing Cracking Problems Due to Glass Backing

LG Nexus 4

The LG Nexus 4 is certainly a gorgeous looking handset, and it doesn’t hurt that it also has excellent specs alongside a killer price tag. Unfortunately, gorgeous doesn’t always translate into durable. For the iPhone 5 its beautiful casing resulted in scuffs and dents. For the LG Nexus 4 it results in the back of the case potentially cracking.

The culprit is the back of the case, which is blanketed in glass. The back is supposed to be more durable than regular glass thanks to Corning Gorilla 2 protection, but with reports coming in of cracked backs, this just doesn’t seem to be the case. This isn’t a freak incident either, it has happened to several tech journalists and many everyday LG Nexus 4 owners as well. The same problem is said to occur with the LG Optimus G.

It seems that we have reached a point where smartphones focus on beauty first and durability second. Ironic, because consumers end up shoving these vulnerable handsets into protective cases where no one can see the work-of-art styling (I’m talking about you, iPhone 5). Of course if you are careful not to drop it you should probably be safe, but accidents do happen.

Could a fix arrive down the road? For new owners, maybe. For existing stock, I don’t see what can really be done other than for Google to maybe offer free protective cases or something. Have you had any problems with the glass back on your LG Nexus 4, or is the media simply blowing this out of portion? Let us know what you think.

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  1. mine cracked from corner to corner, speaker to camera lens for no reason

  2. I had the glass crack around the speaker hole on my Nexus 4 within a week of owning it, it was just sat there charging at the end of the day, Google and LG are both refusing to admit they have a problem or even warranty the unit let along refund, terrible customer service, I am pondering cutting my losses and going back to an iPhone.

  3. I have a lg optimus g . My son got 1. At same time. We were having many problems with phones then my son set his on a picnic table tgen went back 5 min later screen cracked. Then 5 days ir so latter i was charging mine and it was 5 feet from me went to check it scren was shattered never dropped either phone, had to turn in to insuranse and pay 150 per phone after owing them for less then a few months. Now son called phone has crack in ir. Was in pocket pukled out was cracked. They are defective and need to fix them the glass is bad. Why must i pay 159 to buy then a few weeks later another 150 on insurance on. 2 phones. Now maybe another had phones since 2000 never had a problem. Till niw. Great phone but should crack for no reasons. Never again will i use this companys phones or my carrier since they dont stand behind them

  4. I agree that Google should offer free protective cases or something

  5. My 8 weeks old n4 cracked on the back, yesterday. Did not drop it, step on it, put it in the fridge and so on, it just lay on the table for more than two hours and then made a soft “click!” and had this crack all over it.
    No problem, concern at Google and LG. But LG told me it’s impossible it happened this way and that they won’t pay me anything to get this complete, again.
    All I’d ask would be to replace the crappy glass by something more durable.

  6. My BRAND new Optimus G was in my purse, went through the airport secuity and came out cracked…I’m a woman and have my phone in my purse everyday. What the heck..what a wimpy phone. Cracked glass has rendered my phone unresponsive and useless. Piece of garbage

    • Yeah atleast when an iphone cracks u can still use it. Yet to smash a droids screen and still have a working phone. Goddamn iphone ! I need my back button

  7. had a phone for 4 weeks and has more (minor) scratches than my old nokia n8 after 2 years, that gorilla glass looks like load of bollocks to me, doesn’t seem to be scratch resistant at all…

  8. I had my Nexus 4 a day and a crack on the back showed up. Call Google arranging for a
    replacement, while sitting in the shipping box another crack shows up on the
    back up the middle has to be some type of defect. You would think you would be
    able to get some help from better business Bureau if you have problems with getting
    it replacement. Drops are one thing but cracking while sitting on a table and
    they crack vibrating ringer defect.

  9. 2 days in…slid off my knee onto tiled floor….smashed front screen…LG picking it up Today or Monday *sigh*

  10. i rcently recieved the nexus 4 as a replacement for a samsung s2.. and have had it for approx 25 hours when it slipped off the arm of my couch landing on my ceramic tile floor…. ugh.. i picked up the phone to find both front and back of phone shattered…. so here goes the fun of calling tmobile because i now am left without a phone… and have a brand new less than a day old phone that is toast… insurance will help cover this but at a cost of $130… so not only did i just spend an arm and a leg on this phone… i get to spend more to have it replaced!! needless to say i am beyond unhappy… i can see this is going to be a long and horrible experience with this phone…..

  11. Mine lasted 3 days before the back cracked. Never dropped but must have bumped into something while the phone was in my pocket. Pulled it out back was completely shattered. Very annoying but at least it won’t be visible with a phone case on it.

  12. i have to say that im treating him like a new born baby, and except one time that it’s has slipped , i now saw a little scratch out of no where. best advice : buy a back screen protector, otherwise u will eat your self up for a lot of little scratches in the back that came out of nowhere

  13. yes had phone less than a week and my granddaughter aged two pushed the front of the phone and the whole front glass panel shattered. reply: google play not our problem its lg. lg reply: its not our problem its google play.

  14. Mine fell off a desk, about 2 and a half feet up. Screen shattered and is completely unresponsive.

  15. having owned this phone for less than a week…i dropped mine on the concrete face down from about 3 ft and it shattered…after reading all the comments, i think i’m just gonna give on this phone. what a complete waste of money

  16. For those who have sent their phones to Texas for repair, how much did you end up paying? I’ll be sending mine for a crack on the front screen. Bullshit that they can’t tell me how much everything will end up costing – they should know exactly how much it is to fix the front screen.

    • Just got a call back today from LG after following the advice of this forum, and indeed. $140 to replace my busted front screen. Not bad at all. Was looking at replacing myself, but digitizer and screen on eBay would’ve cost around $150 alone. Then I’d have to respect my own skills at replacing.
      Sent phone out last Fri, called back today, Thurs, should get it mid next week.
      I called the Google number on my receipt and told them what was up, they tried to give me ASUS’s repair number, I corrected them that I needed LG’s, and then I spoke to LG, got a Service repair authorization and shipped it Signature Confirmation.
      For those that HAVE THE LG NEXUS 4 with repair concerns, you’re welcome:

      Please don’t spoil this! :)

  17. My phone slid off the table while charging today and the back cracked. My husband’s arrived already cracked. This is definitely a problem. I hope Google is going to do something about it.

  18. Mine broke after justa few days of owning the phone. it didn’t drop, I was just carrying in my back pocket like I do with all my previous smartphones.

  19. My phone just fell off a chair onto a carpeted concrete floor and the back glass shattered. I think this may be an inconsistent defect in the glass. What makes it more frustrating is I have been waiting for a bumper case to become available since release day.

  20. Just dropped mine. Huge flip-drop with landing face down. 3-4 feet. and……Nothing :)

  21. Just get a Lumia 920 and the problem goes away, Nokia definitely don’t skimp on build quality.

  22. And this is why you get a Galaxy Note II. So much better in every way.

  23. Had the phone in my pocket while sitting in a stadium seat. Stood up halfway to let someone by and my leg lightly pushed up against the armrest for no more than one second (nothing hard or out of the ordinary). That’s all it took for a massive spiderweb of cracks to appear starting at the rear speaker.

    As for Google? They said contact LG. LG? They said I can send it to them for repair, but I’d have to cover shipping to them, any cost associated with the repair if they deem it outside of “manufacturer defect” warranty, and any cost associated with replacing my SIM card so that I could use another phone while it’s gone for the shipping timeframes + the 5 – 7 business days to repair it.

    Considering Gorilla Glass 2 is supposed to withstand over 100,000 pounds of pressure, I’d say that’s a manufacturer defect if I’ve heard of it. Nonetheless, Google/LG will do nothing.

  24. ive had the nexus 4 about 2weeks and have dropped it many times. Never on concrete but 2-5iah feet height onto hardwood floors and no cracks! a few minor scratches but barely noticable. Waiting on a case from amazon…

  25. OVERFUCKING REACTING. I’m sorry but i think cases are necessary for the beast we invest money into. A simple fix that could prevent all this. (Now that i think about it, im overeating to this article :P)

  26. Never dropped it yet the back glass got a couple of cracks. Google refuses to help me. What can I do?

  27. YoSaintLaurent

    Its called thermal downshock. The same thing will happen if you place a hot Pyrex dish on a cold granite countertop. The effect is much worse(and faster) if there is any moisture between the two. The reason this isn’t as much of a issue with the iPhone 4/4S is because the glass is thicker and doesn’t get as hot.

  28. I think you guys are just having some bad luck. I’ve dropped mine twice on concrete. Once I dropped it getting out of my car and it slid down a hill. I could not believe the face wasn’t scratched. But a scratch it does have. :( Damn sand. I single grain of sand was on the screen when I was cleaning it. It didn’t look like sand but all I had to do was try to clean the phone and it scratched it when I wiped the face of the phone.

  29. Sand off the glass as much as your can and lay up a ply of carbon fiber in place of it. will look sick!

  30. This is article is written another Isheeple DEFINITELY sponsored by ibusiness….

  31. Hey ford motors ,I crashed my truck can u give me a new one ? Give me a break !!! It just cracked huh NICE !!

  32. Glass cracks? Who knew.

  33. I dropped mine on my concrete floor basement and it fell 4 ft. Not a crack or even a scratch. To me the glass is very smooth and durable

  34. Nexus 4 trouble

    I dropped the Nexus 4 and it is cracked. This is where the nightmare started.Called Google for advice on repair, was sent to LG (as expected, but no more details than go to their website).
    LG tells me that they are not going to repair the phone since they say is a phone sold on a foreign market. I live in the US and have bought it from google play.Nothing helped. Tried talking to manager, no luck, they put the phone down. Back to google, also no luck, we do not repair these, LG does, maybe contact LG UK. Said they might look into some more, and if I don’t
    hear anything by Monday I should call back.

    So, it looks like I might be stuck with a phone that I cannot use, cannot get repaired …. the almost $400 might be lost.

    Anyone else has any experience with getting a Nexus 4 repaired?

    • Same experience except LG said they would repair the phone (though I would have to pay for it and they won’t know how much until they see it). They gave me instructions to ship it to Texas for repair. I was on hold with Google for 20min, and all they did was give me LG’s phone number, ugh. My front glass has broken and touch screen is unusable. I had a minor drop, but my Galaxy S has survived much worse. I think this should be considered defective, but I doubt Google or LG will agree.

      • I has the same exact issue and response from all parties. It was just shipped out – we will see what they charge for repairs. I think it is crazy how fragile they are – the front glass was all scratched up from talking on the phone with earrings on….I think that is something they should have planned for in the design.

        • I was not as fortunate as most. It was Christmas eve and I was getting out of my car when the phone slipped out of my hand, bounced off the car door and down onto the parking lot surface. I picked it up and saw the damage immediately. The bottom right corner impacted the pavement and it shattered the screen all the way across and up on an angle to the midway point vertically. The phone was locked at the time, the power and volume buttons still worked but the screen is totally unresponsive!

          I called LG Canada because the manual that came with the phone said LG does all the warranty work. I was not expecting them to cover accidental damage under warranty but I was expecting them to be able to repair it. “Where did you buy the phone? ” was the question from LG. I told them I bought it from Google. “We don’t support devices bought on the internet from places like eBay, etc” they told me.

          I informed them that Google is the only one selling this phone (in Canada). And the warranty manual said LG is the service contract. LG refused to help me.

          So next option is to try and find a number for Google online. This is not the easiest thing to do. I was able to find a number for Google Play Store and called that one. From there the operator was able to transfer me to support for devices. The operator was very friendly and connected me to Samsung support/repair. Needless to say, Samsung couldn’t help me. I called Google devices back and got the same operator who apologized and connected me to Asus who she said did all Nexus repairs. Guess what, they only support the Nexus 7. Not surprised, I said ok, I will call Google again. This time I got a different operator who put me through to LG Mobile in Texas. I quick conversation with them and an email sent to my address explained how to ship my phone in for a repair estimate.

          Then I had a thought…what about my visa card? They have automatic extended warranty on all purchases up to one additional year. I called them and asked if they covered accidental damage as well. Turns out they do, for 90 days from the date of purchase. My phone is only 2 weeks old so it looks like I won’t have to pay for the repairs (assuming it can be repaired).

          • Did visa end up paying for the purchase? I might have to do the same. I would love to hear more information about this process.

          • Yes they did. Each bank does it a little differently so you have to inquire with your visa provider to find out the process.

          • Thanks for your post….Can u share the no. of Google customer care, i just dropped my phone & back cover is two pieces, luckily the phone is still working…

          • Sorry for not responding sooner. I just called Google support and got transferred to the devices department.

        • Did they get back to you with the charge? I heard they will give it back to you if the costs of the repair are more than $100.

    • Same happened with me today, very minor drop, and it got cracked like hell… I had so many drops with my Galaxy Nexus, previously Motorola RAZR Phones, but nothing happened even in worst care… Terrible!!!!!

  35. This is probably such an isolated event, but tech blogs blow it out of proportion. So a few tech journalists have had cracks, big deal. On a percentage basis, the actual number is probably minuscule.

  36. I ordered my n4 however there is a huge shortage of good cases. I am a big fan of rugged phones however they seem to lack good specs.

  37. I just dropped my Nexus 4 4 feet away from the ground. After reading all these posts I was sure my Nexus shattered. To my surprise no cracking and just a scratch on the bottom left hand corner. Fear not Nexus fans, don’t let this stear you away from buying one!

    • Agreed. I think the LG Nexus 4 is a solid device. It seems that the shattering is random and isn’t affecting everyone. If a user is really worried about it, they can always get a case. :)

  38. Dropped mine twice from about 3 feet. No damage yet. But jeez… I need to be more careful.

  39. Similar problem has been reported with sponatenously shattering tempured glass shower doors. It seems tempured glass does not do well with impact from the edges. LG are you listening?

  40. Dropped mine from 3 ft…not a single dent or scratch.

    • Marini Mat Isa

      I dropped mine twice nothing happen, so i was relieved. This morning, my nexus 4 just slipped softly on the carpet but turn out the crack was unbelievable. It crack at the back and front.. it is total loss now and I do not know where to fix.

  41. other reviews say that they didnt drop it. one reviewer said he placed it gently on a stone counter, but it was the temperature difference (warm phone) and the stone table (cold) that cracked the back.

  42. Were they dropped? or are they spontaneously cracking? because there is a big difference. If the glass is breaking when they’re dropped, well…that would make this a non-issue. If it’s sitting on their desk and just suddenly gets a great big crack in it that’s a different story. I haven’t had any trouble and I got mine last week. I have a solid case coming from Amazon next week.

    • A little bit of both, from the reports. Most of these incidents had to do with dropping, yes.

      Still, there have also been reports of things like placing it on a cold counter-top (stone) and having it crack– etc.

      I agree though, largely if you are careful with the phone, you should have a problem at all.

      • Got mine 12/31/12 and dropped just after midnight 1/31/13.
        I was sitting on my back patio while we were getting a cold wind storm, and it fell from my lap to the cold cement patio, and shattered up the screen. Not more than a foot and a half. Second drop ever. First drop was approx 3 feet onto laminate floor.
        Only the top quarter of the screen responds to touch.
        I’ve NEVER busted a phone, and my HTC G2 took a jogging dive out of my armband on asphalt, among tens of other drops in it’s still going lifetime.
        I loved every min of that month I had a working Nexus 4, but 2 basic drops? Seriously?
        And I sell phones for a living.

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