LG debuts a new Nexus 4: It’s white! Sorta. But why?

I’m not sure any potential Nexus 4 buyers have been waiting for the handset in a new color, but on Tuesday, one was launched. LG announced the Nexus 4 White, which has one single difference from the original Nexus 4: it’s white. Instead of an all-black case and cover, the new Android 4.2(s goog) phone has a white back and side. That’s it. There’s no change to the front face of the device.

LG Nexus 4 White angled

I’m a bit stymied as to why LG even bothered, to be honest. It could have just sold a white case back to accomplish much of the same customization. And I doubt people aren’t buying the original Nexus, which debuted in October of last year, because it doesn’t come in white. Then again, I didn’t think millions would go berserk when Apple(s aapl) first added a white iPhone to its lineup either, so who knows?

LG Nexus 4 White backMy color blindness aside, the Nexus 4 is still an exceptional value at $299 (8 GB) or $349 (16 GB), fully unlocked and contract free. The phone doesn’t (officially) support speedy LTE networks; instead it works on HSPA+ 42, which I found plenty fast enough for most uses when reviewing the phone.

From a hardware perspective, it may not compete against the latest Android flagships from Samsung, HTC, and LG but it’s not a slouch either with a Qualcomm(s qcom) Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, 8 megapixel camera, 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 IPS touchscreen, and 2 GB of memory.

Whether you opt for black or white, I’d recommend spending the extra $50 for the 16 GB model as there is no memory expansion slot. And if you buy the Nexus 4 in White, consider passing on the bumper that Google sells: It’s just going to cover up that white sidewall!