Verizon Galaxy Nexus First Impressions

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.

Positives

  • 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.

Negatives

  • 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.

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2 Comments

  1. just wanted to say thanx for all of your guides, you’ve helped me through many hard ubuntu times. thanx alot.//mack

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