It’s real! It’s really real!
Of course I got one the day it came out, like there was any question I would. I wanted to write a post immediately, bragging to the interwebz about my awesome new phone, but I figured I would wait on it a bit to really get a feel for the phone (not to mention my incredible ability to procrastinate instead of writing posts). Oh but don’t bother looking for another unboxing video, I think there are more than enough already.
Really after coming from an OG Droid (do…do I owe Lucas Films money for writing that?) could anyone imagine me not adoring this phone in comparison? I doubt it. In almost every way this phone is spec’d twice as good, if not more so than the hardware on the Droid. Not to mention it’s the Nexus device to showcase Ice Cream Sandwich, so I’m sure Google has tweaked everything to hell to ensure the experience is a smooth one.
As much as I adore this phone, and the shiny new Android experience, it seems to be getting mixed reviews all over the place. With people making some very valid points. The main gripes being: camera, speaker/speakerphone, battery, and the phone’s gargantuan size.
Most of the time when I hear about the camera, it’s about Samsung going with a 5 Megapixel camera instead something like the 8 Megapixel from the Galaxy S II, which everyone seems to adore. Personally I have been pretty impressed with the camera on the Galaxy Nexus, though it might just be the awesome zero shutter lag courtesy of ICS. Sure, the auto-focus sometimes has trouble keeping up and the low light can be hit or miss, but for what it is (and compared to the 5MP in the Droid) I am usually impressed overall.
The speaker, I will admit, is pretty piss poor. If you don’t have a bluetooth headset, or want to use the phone as a boombox, then you should look elsewhere. Thankfully my car is bluetooth enabled, and I prefer listening to music through headphones while I am out and about, so personally I cannot find much of a use for the speaker making this a non-issue for me.
Now the battery, oh the battery, the eternal bane of my gadget filled life. As you can see by my handy little screenshot here (thank goodness for ICS) during normal use for me, I can squeeze between 12 and 15 hours out of the battery. This of course doesn’t include heavy navigation usage, where you will probably need some supplementation (non referral) to keep you going. Frankly for the awesomely huge screen, heavy 4G data, and for some damn reason Words With Friends usage, I think 12-15 hours is pretty good considering current battery technology.
In regards to the size of the phone, I don’t think I am the best person to speak to that since I am a big guy with big hands. To me, unless I want to type one-handed in landscape mode, I have no trouble with the size of the phone. Reports from other Galaxy Nexus owners who have smaller hands have told me that the thinness of the phone helps with the overall feel, stopping it from seeming overly bulky during use.
I have run into some minor issues since I have gotten the phone, most of which I can safely chalk up to being on the bleeding edge of Android OSs; semi-frequent apps crashing and such. On one occasion the front-facing camera failed to turn on for facial unlock, but restarting the phone fixed that. I should also mention the issue some are having with the 4G data connection on Verizon’s network cutting out until they switch airplane mode on and off, or even restart the phone. Thankfully I haven’t run into that problem myself, unless we are counting the nationwide 4G growing pains.
Beyond all that, using the Galaxy Nexus for the past few weeks has been a great experience. The UI always seems smooth and responsive, and no matter what game I play or app I use, there is no stuttering or performance lag. Who knows what the future will hold for super-phones, but for now I am more than satisfied with latest Nexus phone and ICS.