January 25th, 2012
I just got my third Android phone. You can read about my previous experiences: T-Mobile MyTouch 3G First Impressions, Why people get Nexus phones: I rooted my MyTouch 4G after less than one day
This time, I got a Nexus phone—the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I’m just going to list the positives and negatives. These are positives and negatives for me. There may be things you care about that I don’t and things I care about that you don’t. Either way, you may find these lists useful in some way.
- Swipe-away notifications.
- Swipe-away recent apps list.
- Software buttons.
- Beautiful screen.
- Built-in screenshot ability without root (volume down button and power button together).
- Verizon LTE network.
- I have a Tasker profile that’s a tweaked version of what Juice Defender does. It’s either near-instant or only one second to reconnect when the screen turns back on.
- No shutter lag on camera.
- Camera photo quality better than most reviews would have you believe.
- Speaker is audible, despite what negative reviews say.
- No need to root to get vanilla Android.
- Will get updates to new version of Android before other phone models.
- Not much bloatware on here, but Verizon managed to squeeze a couple of useless apps on. With Ice Cream Sandwich, you can disable these apps even if you can’t uninstall them.
- Headphones are noise-reducing ones, which are really uncomfortable for me. I know others prefer these. And I found an extra set of old headphones I can use instead.
- Autorotate is slow.
- The Android File Transfer app for Mac OS X needs the phone to be unlocked (makes sense, but confusing before you know it), and can transfer only one folder at a time from Finder.
- Even though speakers are audible, they are not loud, so you will have to crank them up to the max volume to get decent sound.
- Facial recognition to unlock takes too long. It has to load in a second or two before it even tries to recognize your face.
- Battery life is not good. The screen is huge, and in the battery stats it easily takes up more than 50% of the battery use. Fortunately I can make it through the whole day using my pseudo–Juice Defender profile in Tasker. I also bought an extra battery from Verizon for $20.
- The menu soft key (which is now three dots) is sometimes at the top of the screen and sometimes at the bottom of the screen.
- Keyboard autosuggestions is worse than the Gingerbread keyboard, which was awesome. I used to get four or five autosuggestions. Now I get only three and have to long-press on one to get more.
- Now that file transfer is MTP, I can’t use DoubleTwist as I normally would. Luckily, I could copy a ton of music and then use the AirSync plugin to finish the rest of the sync wirelessly. I understand why Google moved from MSC to MTP, but it’s also screwed things up a bit.
- The screen is large, which is beautiful, but it also means I can’t do one-handed WordFeud/Words with Friends while on the bus.
- If you use the slide-to-unlock unlock method, there’s no way to disable the haptic feedback on it.
Overall, despite all the cons, I love this phone. Ice Cream Sandwich has a beautiful UI, which is a joy to use. The phone is fast. And Verizon’s LTE is wonderful.