Google Galaxy Nexus Review
I have been a Nexus One owner for two years and have been hoping that Google would again start letting us "buy direct" another pure Google phone. Earlier this week, without any advance notice, Google casually mentioned on the bottom of their search page that the Galaxy Nexus was being offered direct- from Google Play.
I have been in the market for a new phone for the past few months and my Nexus One is down to the bare bones in terms of apps- all that can are loaded onto the SD card- and it is still telling me that apps can’t function because there is not enough memory. I have had my eye on the HTC One S (I am with T-Mobile) and after seeing that the reviews for it have been very positive I was about to take the plunge and order one. But everyone was saying to wait and see how good the Galaxy S III was going to be and it might also come out on T-Mobile. And I didn’t know how intensely involved I wanted to be in the cell phone wars and needing to have the latest and greatest handset. So when Google announced the Galaxy Nexus was going to be offered with pure Android, sold directly from Google- so T-Mobile will stay out of my phone’s inner-workings and that it would cost $399- compared to $600 or more for the "latest thing" I decided to jump.
The shipping is two-day, and you have no choice in the matter- and they charge you $11 for the privilege. But it actually did arrive Friday morning after I ordered it Wednesday afternoon. It came in a smaller, less fancy box that the Nexus One- I guess they have decided not to go against Apple in presentation. Another thing I missed was there was no option to order accessories with the phone. With my Nexus One I ordered the desktop dock with the phone and later ordered the car dock- directly from Google. Now they only want to sell you the phone. And by the way- you do have to be careful shopping for accessories for this phone as the Verizon version of the phone is slightly different and not all accessories will fit. But it is a pretty phone. I was impressed when I took it out of the box- it is rather large and has a nice look. It is very lightweight- due in large part to the plastic exterior which doesn’t make the phone feel quite as nice as it looks.
I charged up the phone and turning it on I was amused by the start up display that Google chose- showing off the graphics of the new phone in a much fancier way than on the Nexus One. But it is a nice display- so why not show it off. The Galaxy Nexus was quicker from the start compared to my old phone. Both in start-up time and in opening apps, flipping screens, scrolling, etc. I could easily see how it was a big improvement and I thought it was really very fast- until I went to the T-Mobile store yesterday to make some changes to my plan and I saw the HTC One S there on display and had to try it out- big mistake- that thing flies. It is a whole other order of faster than the Galaxy Nexus- which shouldn’t be surprising considering the latest and greatest hardware IS in the One S. I made the conscious decision to not get caught up in that rat race- but I couldn’t help but feel some phone envy while experiencing the screaming fast One S.
For $399 you are not going to get the fastest phone- but you do get a fast phone, and a good one. I know I now have a big crush on the One S, but if I had bought one my heart would soon be lusting after the Galaxy S III or whatever quad-care beast would come out this summer and I would still be having buyer’s remorse. The screen is nice and big, it runs plenty fast, the navigation lady’s voice is now much more human and easier to understand, there is room for lots of new apps, and when there is an update to the OS I expect to be near the head of the line in receiving the latest fixes and improvements. And if the phone envy bug does get the better of me in a year at least I only spent $399 for this phone.
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