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I got a new smartphone, here's my review


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So, there's lots of threads here about the iPhone, or Android overall, but not really an all in one 'I got a new phone, here's my thoughts' so people can read what others think.

I suppose this thread could be useful, or not, but I'll give it a shot, for humanities sake!

If you do post, please post:

- the phone you got

- the OS

- the carrier

- is it your first smart phone

-- what other smartphone's you've used before

- and then your review

Phone: Samsung Galaxy Nexus

OS: Android (version 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich")

carrier: tmobile

1st smartphone: No

others I've used: 2 windows mobile phones from back in the 4.x/5.x days; iPhone 3g; Blackberry (work phone); Android Nexus 1

Review:

Background:

Overall, I'm not a huge "OMG NEW OS MUST HAVE NOW" kind of guy (hell, I kept using Win2000 up until about 2 years ago when I needed more ram than the OS could see), so I wasn't jonesing for the Ice Cream Sandwich experience over the Gingerbread experience I got with the Nexus 1. but the hardware for the Nexus 1 is 2 years old, the screen is "only" 3.7", only 512 MB of internal storage!!! basically the hardware is old tech (by phone standards). While the version of the OS isn't a big deal for me, I DO NOT like to root/rom my phone, and I DO NOT like the idea of a manufacturer OS overlay (sense, motoblur, etc). So maybe I have more exacting demands of what I want out of a phone, but then, from my history of smartphones, I've tried basically everything, so I know exactly what I want. So I chose the galaxy Nexus.

First impression on unboxing it, this thing is A LOT wider/taller than I anticipated. but it's relative, cause the screen sizes on my phones has only increased by small margins 2.8", 3.2", 3.5", 3.7" and now this one jumps straight to 4.65". I mean, I'm no math guru, but that's a big % leap. anyway, I was also pleasantly surprised that the phone is much thinner, and significantly lighter than the nexus 1 than I was anticipating as well. after a week of use, I'm certainly feeling more comfortable holding it and grabbing it from my pocket with it being as wide/tall as it is.

I am however NOT comfortable with the sleep/power button being on the side rather than the top. I can't think of a single cell phone (let alone smart phone) I've ever had that didn't have the power button on top of the phone! sometimes it's been middle, sometimes it's been left, sometimes it's been right, but always top. this is going to take some serious re-learning and breaking of muscle memory.

plug in the battery, charge it up, tell Tmo I am putting my sim in another phone, turn it on and WOW!!! the quality of the display on this display (pentile) is nothing short of amazing. First thing that pops up is the Google logo in white letters on a stark black BG, if you haven't seen black on a pentile matrix, it is BLACK, no light bleed, just pixels that are turned off. then the color flows hit, so smooth, no hint of pixels themselves, just vibrant colors on a dead as night black background. In short, this is the best display I have EVER seen on a phone at full brightness, iphone retina display doesn't stand a chance next to this. for this alone, before I even get into having more storage space (and don't have to go in and decide what history to delete to ensure I don't drop below a threshold), more processor, more ram. In short, this screen is just amazing.

That being said, there appears to be a weird issue in low light, where the pentile matrix doesn't seem to adjust brightness for each row of pixels uniformly, and there are lines when the phone is very dark, but I assume that there will be a patch released that updates the display drivers and fixes this, cause I'm not the only one to notice it. it could be a big issue for some though.

lots of ram, dual core processor at 1.x Ghz, and 16GB of internal memory make this thing feel limitless, especially compared against the Nexus 1, which was very limited at 512 MB of internal space, an underpowered single core 1.x Ghz processor and 512mb ram. angry birds loads up in 1/4 of the time it used to take. flicking between home windows is lag free, just amazing how fast this phone moves to inputs.

I'm not going to focus on the OS at all really, other than to say that there are some great features it offers, resizeable widgets being the biggest of them, and an email widget that lets you preview emails on the homescreen with limited interaction. really nice feature, but the resizeable widgets is HUGE, makes it so much easier to manage the inbox. imagine going from a email inbox that had no preview mail option to one that did. usability out the roof.

otherwise, this phone is well put together, it's mostly plastic, and the back cover is hard to access (and even harder to put back on) hopefully I don't have to pop it off too often, but it still "feels" pretty strong, even being mostly plastic. and eventhough it is much wider and taller than any phone I've ever owned, it's also the lightest smartphone I've ever owned, and thinnest, which makes a big difference in my pocket. I remember walking around with the old tmo wing in my pocket, it was nearly 1/2" thick, and always felt awkward in my pocket, but this thing is so thin, it's barely noticeable.

A big negative for some (not me, cause I've managed with 512mb of internal memory for so long, it's old habit to be conscientious, and I've found ways around storing music, or movies on the phone) is no SD slot, IMO, 16GB is more than ample space unless I want to store movies for 24 hours of flight, but I went through the phase of needing to carry every single song I owned with me, and these days, so long as I can put 1 or 2 days of music play time on there, it's fine. maybe if app sizes start to run in the GB requirements, but I doubt it will happen anytime soon.

Overall, I'm EXCEEDINGLY pleased with this phone, it offers all i was looking to upgrade to. the big negative for me is power button on side rather than top, small issue that will likely be addressed is the low light brightness issues, and not an issue for me (but will be for some) is no SD slot for expansion card. I'm very glad I just went ahead and got it, rather than continue to fight with the available storage space on the N1.

Edited by samagon
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Wait for your battery life disgust to kick in. A colleague had one of these and got about 6 hours out of a charge.

I'll stick with my Samsung Droid Charge, which I love.

I'm used to less than a day out of a charge, so far it's exceeding my expectations, when I plug it in at night, it's still got over half a charge. I expect it to drop once the phone "learns" the battery.

Edit: i suspect that also his was the lte version, lte radios are huge battery hogs, at least the one for the gnex is. Being that this is the other one it will fare better, but only time will tell.

Edited by samagon
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Yes, my colleagues phone was an LTE version, from Verizon. He had waited months for the phine to come out and was very unhappy at the result.

As for the Droid Charge, I reiterate how much I like mine. It's an LTE phone, and I can go 24 hours on acharge, assuming my son isn't playing Angry Birds on it. It works great as a phone, and is a solid performer in the parts of the state that are 3G only. On 4G, I've seen 21mbs on downloads, but 15 is probably the average. I like that I was able t obuy a dock and extra battery. I hope I am never forced to buy a phone that doesn't allow you to swap batteries rather than having to tie the phone to a plug to recharge.

If you are a Verizon customer, I highly recommend the Charge.

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  • 4 months later...

I bought a tmobile Samsung Dart about 3 months ago. Screen isn't as big as some of the fancier and more expensive phones, but for 120 bucks it is a pretty good deal. Runs android, not sure which version. I've been able to download various apps and run them with no problems so it's probably one of the newer OS versions. Has a decent camera (3MP) and can stream video with no problem. It's a far cry from my almost 6 year old tmoble MDA running Windows Mobile 5. Half the thickness and weight of the MDA. Best thing about it, though, is that it's prepaid. I cut my cell phone charges from $60 under contract to $30 for prepaid and got a (albeit small) 3G data allowance. Full unlimited talk, text and data under tmobile prepaid is $50 so that'd still be less than I was paying for talk only under contract.

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  • 1 year later...

iPhone 5s (gold)/5c (blue) (I'm the OMG MUST GET NEW IPHONE!)

NOT my first smart phone. I had the galaxy s3 (hated it) iphone 3, 4s, and 5 (Yes, I know I missed the 4).

Runs on iOS 7

Verizon

Both phones are awesome. I'll start with the 5s. I like the new champagne/gold color, touch ID is cool but not useful to me. None if my phones have ever been hacked into before so what's different about now? Definitely faster. I don't like though that it is the same weight as the five. I was expecting something thinner.

5c: feels WAY better to hold than the s. Otherwise just like the 5. The plastic though is incredible and who didn't like a price of 99 bucks?

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