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Challenge the Nexus (4): community-stressing an old SoC

Introduction

As I mentioned in some recent post, I’ve repaired today my pre-FP2 phone, a LG Nexus 4. It had multiple lifes when I used it (with the awesome help of iFixit), and it kind of died drowned, but now it’s a franken-survivor with a second-hand motherboard I got for a good price. It only lacks a good battery, but anyway, it works for some hours fine. I’m writting this post from it, BTW.

I initially though about opening a thread about repair experiences à la @Stefan with his FP1, but I came out with a better idea: STRESS ITS SoC RUNNING HEAVY APPS!!!11 (!)

Motivation behind

In recent threads a recursive idea about #lifecycle has been mentioned: the old and limited hardware of a Fairphone 2 in 2018 and its doubtful utility in the future (2-4 years from now). I just think it’ll be ok for most tasks, and I myself looked for a similar hardware as the N4 (quad-core @ 1.5 GHz & 2 GB of RAM) when I found the FP2 and it appeared me as too powerful (quad-core @ 2.4 GHz & 2 GB of RAM).

Raising a voice

I’d like to take this oportunity and test a really old hardware (released in 2012) with a recent OS (LineageOS 15.1, Android Oreo). I think it will run just fine for most people (conservative techy people like me included). It’s fine to have an old gadget if it does its work just fine!

The callenge

I’ve not over-though this too much, as I don’t want to bias this with my way of using smartphones or devices.

Propose me intensive tasks to do with this phone. I will do some of them (I’m human and I want to keep this fun!). It can be daily things or apps you use, and we can incrementaly go for heavier tasks or games, to complete a stress test. but whatever, there are no rules, you can be creative!

I’ll get free Google Play apps with Yalp Store (read below).

Disclaimer

This is intended as a community game, not a thorough test. I’m running LineageOS 15.1 (Android Oreo) without GApps, so I’ll also report apps compatibility. I may change to LineageOS for microG eventually and test it too, faking Google Mobile Services. I only have the F-Droid store installed, so I’ll get Google Play apps from Yalp Store. I’m a person with a thing for privacy, so I’ll block by default access to the internet for apps, evaluate the risk, and maybe enable it if the app/game doesn’t work, although with a proper Ad and Tracking Blocker (currently Blokada, a local VPN) and LineageOS’s Privacy Guard —although I don’t have any sensitive data in this device, so I can eventualy disable this setup for some challenge. I’ll be transparent about all of this.

I’m a human. I may get bored and stop doing this, or have a backlog of challenges —like Fairphone’s Support experience because they are human too. If my FP2 breaks somehow, then I’ll wipe this N4 and use it, unfortunately stopping this game. Be fair with me!

Three…
Two…
One…

GO!!!

9 Likes

The toughest thing for my FP2 was car navigation with USB power plugged in and using OSMAnd. No internet connection, so it only could get the position from GPS (requires more calculation power).
How about a tour in the country side, driving through tunnels (loss of GPS signal), occasionally not following the instructions so it has to calculate new routes etc. The weather is good for this, even by bike. Have fun.

Just for completeness: I have no issues since using Android 6 (FP Open), but I am not using OSMAnd for navigation any more either.

2 Likes

My heavy stresstest on FP2 is allways (in car), so i propose:

  • runnig GPS navigation with Here WeGo
  • running speed camera warning: Blitzer.de
  • playing music from Spotify via bluetooth

Everything else in my daily useage is never that stressful as this “on-the-road” scenario.

Btw. Thank you for this “game”! I’m very curious of the results!

1 Like

Cool idea! What made my FP1 extremely laggy lately was a 15,6KB text-only e-mail that wanted to reply to in K-9 Mail. You could try to edit an e-mail with a lot of text and see if you can still type anything in there without lagging. :wink:

1 Like

Not directly related to your question, but Nexus 4 is a supported device for Ubuntu Touch :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hello again. Two days ago I read your replies and I spend yesterday morning fighting with the GPS. I didn’t install a network location provider nor have mobile data, so I spend nearly half an hour in a centric place of Madrid trying to get a GPS fix— and I didn’t get it. My FP2, in the other hand (pun intended), got it almost instantly. I should’ve read and payed attention to the awesome #gpsguide before! Anyway, I switched to LineageOS for microG and all this was solved with Mozilla location services and refreshing A-GPS data with SatStat. I’m ready to test GPS-stuff.

Pictures about this

I also tested the Camera (with HDR), just because reasons:


(Licensed under CC0, i.e. you can do what you want with this photo without asking or mentioning me)
(BTW, this statue is called —translated— “The Spanish People have a Path that Leads to a Star”)

Few satellites, no fix:

Some steps away, in the Paseo del Prado, 9 satellites, still no fix:

@DietmarP: Yay! That looks like a good plan. I’m not a regular driver (public transport is great here), so I’ll go for the “good weather” variant. I already installed a Maps.me libre fork. OSMand’s route calculation is quite intensive, in my experience, so I’ll take te oportunity to test both and compare, :slight_smile: I’ll report my findings on Monday night, :+1:

@schmulschubiak: Yeah, in car phone usage is the most stressful use, indeed! Yalp Store is not working these days (a fix is in the works) and I only drive my car from time to time, but I’ll test that setup the next time (probably this week, I can’t assure that). Since I don’t have a mobile data plan, I’ll try the offline mode of Here WeGo (if any, else I’ll just use Maps/OSMand) and I’ll sideload my playlists and play them via Bluetooth, though. Sorry to lower the resource level, :man_shrugging:

@Stefan: Err… I think that will just pass fine (maybe I’m wrong). I’ll copy a public domain book to an e-mail body and try it, :+1: Any suggestion with the title of the tome? Alice’s in Wonderland is quite a cliché, :stuck_out_tongue: (although a brilliant book)

@oli.sax: Thank you for reminding me! Last thing I tried to do with the N4 in its past life was trying to install Ubuntu Touch Vivid (it was an officialy supported phone back in the days when Canonical developed UT). I’ll surely try UBports’s work at some point! :smiley:

2 Likes

Since TWRP wasn’t unable to unencrypt Oreo userdata and I couldn’t get a GPS fix without spending money in mobile data (I don’t have a data plan, nor I want any), I grew tired of trying different things.

Ultimately, I’ve been using the Nexus 4 as a Bluetooth podcast player :microphone: and a retrogaming machine :video_game: dropping on it some emulators and using an 8bitdo Bluetooth gamepad. FYI, unfortunately the N4’s kernel Lineage OS Oreo lacks the driver to get an original wiimote working, though, :frowning:

Thank you all for your suggestions and ideas! I was fun while it lasted, :smile::open_hands: