Google’s Nexus 4 now starts at $199 — making a great no-contract deal even better

Successful CMOs achieve growth by leveraging technology. Join us for GrowthBeat Summit on June 1-2 in Boston, where we'll discuss how to merge creativity with technology to drive growth. Space is limited. Request your personal invitation here!

At this price, it’s easy to forgive the Nexus 4’s its lack of LTE.

The Nexus 4, Google’s latest pure Android smartphone, now starts at $199 for the 8 gigabyte model (the 16GB version will run you $250). Google says the phone has also been discounted by 25 percent in other countries.

When it launched at $299 last year, the LG-built Nexus 4 was the best no-contract smartphone I’d ever seen. (New off-contract smartphones typically cost between $600 and $800.) It was elegant, well-built, and speedy. Its only problem? No LTE 4G.

That didn’t stop the Nexus 4 from being a popular smartphone among people looking for a crud-free Android experience, with the freedom to throw in new SIM cards at will. (And, honestly, the HSPA+ network speeds were probably good enough for most people.)

The discount could signify that a new Nexus phone is on the horizon. Rumors point to LG or Motorola building a larger “Nexus 5″ model for release later this year. There’s also more competition for this year’s Nexus phone: The recently released Moto X runs an almost-stock version of Android, and both Samsung and HTC have released stock Android versions of their flagship phones (the Galaxy S4 and HTC One).

VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing analytics... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.