My "Tempting Review" of the Galaxy Nexus.

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy Nexus' started by revelated, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. revelated

    revelated Member

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    So for those that know, I have been a Thunderbolt user, a Bionic user, and a RAZR (still am) user. The Bionic and Thunderbolt, along with the Xperia Play I got for gaming, are going to be sold whenever I get the time to actually ship them to back to T-mobile. Would do the Best Buy trade but they don't take the Bionic in stores and it's $300. Meh.

    Anyway, I had an early upgrade on my Mobile Hotspot line so I figured I would take advantage of it since I don't use the hotspot anymore. It was either the Nexus or the Rezound...and try as I might, I simply could not get past the sheer unattractiveness that is the Rezound. So I decided to give the Nexus a whirl as I quite frankly was not impressed the first time around, and the RAZR is a dependable phone that has managed to impress me in everything except its battery life overall. What I discovered was surprising...and not surprising.

    First the not-surprising. The screen. It's definitely superior to the RAZR in terms of fine details, fonts, and general definition, but more importantly it seemed more accurate with the touches than the RAZR. This didn't surprise me, as it seems the Nexus has a slimmer glass panel than the RAZR does, which likely lends itself to better contact with the capacitive layer than with the thicker glass of the RAZR. Also, ICS is certainly a refined operating system that feels like a true evolution of the platform in many ways; there is a degree of control here that falls just shy of perfection with its implementation, failing only in terms of the fact that parts of it feel "developer" in nature, which I suppose is the point. It'll be interesting to see how phone manufacturers modify ICS to suit their devices. I wouldn't want to see the exact same OS on every single phone, but at the same time, I couldn't imagine ICS being butchered with Sense or or TouchWiz. Then again, I suppose that if they all used the same OS, they'd be forced to use the design of their devices and the battery life to differentiate.

    Now, the surprising. And I need to tackle this with bullets based on my reading about the device since before its release.

    1. The Galaxy Nexus has terrible battery life. Indeed, it did not last as long as, say, the Samsung Fascinate or the iPhone, but the reality here is that it's a 4G phone. Its battery won't be epic. But that said, the phone actually managed to last LONGER than the RAZR, and I don't mean under identical conditions, because that would be too easy. No...the RAZR was mostly left alone all day, except for two text messages. 4G was on but I wasn't actively using the device. To be equal I left 4G, GPS and Wi-Fi on for both devices; so the only then differentiators would be screen brightness (since the RAZR was off), and Bluetooth (since the Nexus is not connected to my car). I actively used the Nexus all day as though it were my only device. For me that's some maps, emails, one phone call, and a whole lot of web browsing...and by the time 3pm rolled around, the Nexus was at 50% and the RAZR was at 40% - and again, I hardly touched the thing. So if people say the Nexus' battery is bad, they really should skip the RAZR.
    2. The Galaxy Nexus experiences data drop outs. I never encountered this, not once. The data stayed connected the entire time I used it, in fact it never even dropped to 3G and I was in multiple cities all weekend - two parts of San Diego, and 4 cities in the Washington State area, and 4G remained active the entire time. The RAZR was on Mobile Hotspot duty most of this time, and it only had one drop where I had to restart to get it to come back again.
    3. The Galaxy Nexus has a weak 4G signal radio. First let me clarify. In San Diego the Nexus had full signal the whole time. That was odd, because even the RAZR could never achieve such a milestone. But in Washington State, where it's literally saturated in 4G and the RAZR remains at full signal except if I'm in a parking structure, the Nexus got weaker. I could visibly see where the signal was lower than the RAZR in the exact same area. But like right now, in my townhome, both phones show maximum signal. So I know it's definitely possible to get strong signal on this phone; I think it's got something to do with how many people are actually accessing it from whatever tower it's connected to. In this area most people are on Sprint (why, I have no idea).
    4. The Galaxy Nexus has terrible build quality. Yes, it's plastic. No, it's not metal and glass like another fruity phone. No, it's not metal like the RAZR or the Bionic. No, it's not ruggedized like the Rezound. But it doesn't rattle. There are no loose parts. There are no separate "pieces" to lose. The battery is replaceable. In fact the worst part of the build is the battery cover, and that seems to be a growing trend these days for some reason - flimsy battery covers, likely in an attempt to save on weight. The phone feels solid. It doesn't feel like something easily damaged, though some rough types have managed to do just that. It's not bulky like the Rezound, no hump like the RAZR.
    5. The Galaxy Nexus' speaker is pathetic. Here's one where I actually agree. The volume level of the speaker is for the birds and that surprises me - the Fascinate, for example, had a great speaker that was loud and easily heard, so to have Samsung go all this way for a Nexus device only to stop short at the speaker volume is rather appalling for a device that is this expensive. But what's really surprising is that the speaker only swallows when you're NOT in a call. For calls the volume is at least acceptable, for other speaker-type stuff there is just no comparison to other devices on the market today and that's really disheartening.
    6. The Galaxy Nexus does not come with Swype. It most certainly does not. A guy hacked a version that does 50% work, but what you'll find is that in certain fields Swype will not add the data. Until and unless Swype themselves release a keyboard for the Nexus I'm afraid this may remain a dealbreaker for some.
    So that's just a few things that I've observed. Once I figured out how to disable the animations and add widgets (and I was bothered to see that not all of my preferred widgets were supported), I started to like the phone just a bit more. It certainly has issues. And I haven't had a chance to test Mobile Hotspot with it as I am waiting to run it through its paces for a couple of days for any jarring things. But I can see how it would be appealing for some. I have no intention of rooting or ROMing the Nexus, I think it's fine as-is. I know quite a few people have posted the dreaded "returned Nexus for Rezound" over the past two weeks...but honestly, the Nexus is totally not that bad. Maybe some prefer Sense, I can't stand it personally, and I think the RAZR still has the lean when it comes to out-of-the-box "work" and general beauty, but the Nexus should not be overlooked.
     
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  2. Isaiah

    Isaiah Member

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    battery -> 4g, dual core, and a massive screen. my swype works 100% except for password text boxes. that might be a "feature" though.
     
  3. SSHGuru

    SSHGuru Silver Member

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    1. The Galaxy Nexus' speaker is pathetic. Here's one where I actually agree. The volume level of the speaker is for the birds and that surprises me - the Fascinate, for example, had a great speaker that was loud and easily heard, so to have Samsung go all this way for a Nexus device only to stop short at the speaker volume is rather appalling for a device that is this expensive. But what's really surprising is that the speaker only swallows when you're NOT in a call. For calls the volume is at least acceptable, for other speaker-type stuff there is just no comparison to other devices on the market today and that's really disheartening.

    Download Equalizer and keep it running. It fixes the volume issues through software meaning Google will probably fix it soon in an update.

    SwiftKey is better than Swipe IMHO.

    The back cover seems cheap but it has a multitude of tabs that make it fit very snugly on the back. Further, while it may seem like it can break easily you can bend the whole back back and forth and it will still do the job. As you said - it's a solid phone.
     
  4. revelated

    revelated Member

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    Does not work on certain HTML5-generated text fields. RAZR works fine in the same field. Regular keyboard and even peck-type Swype keyboard work fine. The Swype motion does not, however.

    As for SwiftKey, I liken that to using a CVS-brand version of a cold medicine instead of just buying NyQuil. While I'm sure there's little-to-no difference, I stick with the brand that did it first, did it best. Let's say I trust Vicks' chemists more than CVS' chemists.
     
  5. samiusmc

    samiusmc Member

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    You forgot to mention the Galaxy Nexus's GPS takes forever to lock.
     
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  6. SSHGuru

    SSHGuru Silver Member

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    Mine takes no time at all to lock.
     
  7. SSHGuru

    SSHGuru Silver Member

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    Actually that's not a fair comparison. Swiftkey is not Swype in the least bit. You use it as a regular keyboard and it predicts the next word and the word you're currently typing. There is no "swyping" involved at all.

    You should try it.

    Also by the way and off topic - many generic's are the exact same as the non-generics. It's very possible that "NyQuil" makes the CVS medication.

     
  8. revelated

    revelated Member

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    I didn't have an issue with GPS locking that I don't also have with the Nexus, so I call it a stalemate. Also for some reason Google Navigation is extremely inaccurate in the Greater Seattle area - to the point it tells me to turn on streets that are half a mile away. It's at the point I've gotten tempted to just get an actual GPS.


    Here's the thing. I don't want to peck the keyboard. Not at this size. Not even if I only have to type a few characters. I also don't want too much prediction going on before I'm done. That's how you get the thing saying "constipation" when I meant to type "contradiction" and obviously when typing out business emails the former is unacceptable.

    One day you will have to reconcile with yourself that there are people in this community who prefer Swype, and then learn to adjust your opinion accordingly. So what you really meant to say earlier was, "you know, I found SwiftKey to be more useful for my own personal tastes than Swype". It's not "better". You prefer it.
     
  9. mjones73

    mjones73 Member

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    Just as a test, try giving Waze a try to see if it's Google Maps or just the GPS having issues. It's another free nav app, I've found it's not as much a resource hog as Nav and have been using it on my D1 for some time.
     
  10. orion2001

    orion2001 Member

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    Sheesh, get off your high horse. He said "SwiftKey is better than Swipe IMHO." Perhaps you should improve your reading comprehension before getting your panties in a bunch over someone expressing their opinion on what keyboard they find to be better.

    I personally find Swiftkey to also be better than Swype. Swyping across larger screens feels clunkier and after training Swiftkey X over a week, I rarely have to type more than 2 letters before being able to select the word I'm looking for. I did prefer Swype on my OG as it seemed to work much better on the smaller screens.

    Btw, you can set SwiftkeyX to turn off autocorrection (I turn it off because I prefer having full control over what I type) so your argument about autocorrection resulting in incorrect words being inserted seems a bit moot.

    PS - I also have no GPS lock issues. It seems to lock on really really fast compared to my OG.
     
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  11. dezymond

    dezymond Tech Support Mod
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    Good read, revelated.

    As for those multiple "Nexus for Rezound" threads, it just turns out the phone was too buggy or not their type of phone. Those types of threads haven't showed up for a bit, but it makes me wonder if those people really knew what they were getting into, or if they just wanted the latest device.
     
  12. WookieClaws

    WookieClaws Member

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    I've thought that too, but I'm very happy with the Galaxy Nexus. Looking forward to it getting better and better.