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Google Nexus 4 on O2 on 13 November is a 'shocking deal'

The Google Nexus 4 is on O2 from 13 November -- but it's so cheap SIM-free, why would you buy it on a contract?

The Google Nexus 4 hits O2 from 13 November -- but with its shockingly low price tag, we struggle to see why you'd buy it on a contract from any network -- and we're not the only ones, as the oxygenated operator struggled to defend its pricing to discerning punters.

The Nexus 4 is shaping up to be an awesome phone: quad-core power, high-definition screen and cutting-edge Android 4.2 Jelly bean software, starting at just £240 from Google Play.

Or to bag yourself a free Nexus 4 from O2, sign up for a £36 per month contract, which comes with unlimited texts and calls and 1GB of data each month. Except, as several O2 customers point out on O2's news post, why would you do that? "Considering this phone is less than £300 to buy off-contract from Google Play," says Jordan Khoviteri-Zadeh, "I don't actually understand why you'd bother doing this."

"This is a shocking 'deal'," adds Russ Underhill. "The phone costs £280 (for the 16GB model), anyone with any sense will buy it SIM-free and run it on GiffGaff, not this crazy contact."

For many people, signing a lengthy contract is the only way to get hold of a high-end phone if you really, really can't scrape together the up-front cost of five or six hundred quid. With the Nexus 4 starting at £240 for the 8GB model though, you don't need to commit to a lengthy contract to nab one at a decent price.

Buy the phone SIM-free then get a separate SIM-only deal and over the course of a year, 18 months or two years, the monthly savings of the cheaper tariff will more than pay for the phone. Plus, if you're SIM-free you can swap phones or hop onto a better deal with a different network at the drop of a hat. Handsome!

To prove it, let's bust out the calculator for a second. Once we've finished typing out 58,008, let's do some quick and dirty sums. Say you sign up to a £36 O2 contract and bag a free Nexus 4, over two years that's a total of £864 laid out.

Buy the phone from Google Play and bung in a GiffGaff SIM costing just £12 per month, and you'll get unlimited data too -- for a total cost of £492 over the same period!

Network extras

O2 and the other networks all have extras such as gig ticket offers to tempt you. But Serge Hautefort retorts, "Keep up with the times, fuddy duddies; your 'Priority Moments' and other gimmicks aren't worth a 24-month (!) contract that ends up being more expensive in the end!"

Speaking of gimmicks, the first 20 people in the queue for the Nexus 4 at the O2 Arena in East London get to climb the top of the dome to use their new phone taking pictures of the city. And the first 50 in the queue get a new 32-inch LG telly, as do selected people who tweet fun pictures to O2 in coming weeks.

Now playing: Watch this: Google Nexus 4 preview

Is the Nexus 4 the best value smart phone ever? How much is a reasonable amount to pay for the Nexus 4? Or do you prefer the security of being on a network contract, even if it costs you money? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.