Anyone try out the Nexus 5 or Galaxy 4s recently?

DoNoHarm

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 8, 2008
1,120
12
Maine
I seem to be having my once-every-5-year thoughts of trying out an android phone. The last time I did this, I was just absolutely horrified with Google's Nexus S and it's crappy touch screen, constant crashing, and really, really bad customer service. Instead of dealing with problems like a normal company, Google was forcing customers with problems into these forums where customers were actively revolting against Google. It really was incredible and frankly, I'm surprised they stayed in the mobile business

Has this situation changed recently? What's getting me to entertain switching is how much better Google Maps and Google voice are compared to the iphone experience. I realize there are apps for that on the iphone, and I use them, but i'm just wondering what the experience is like these days with an android phone.

Any past/current users that could share their $0.02?
 

Agent-P

macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
2,502
21
The Tri-State Area
Android has come a long way since you've last used it. I've only used a GS3 recently, but I figure the experience should be pretty similar. It's still not as smooth as iOS (or Windows Phone for that matter), but I was disappointed to find that it still lagged for no reason occasionally with just normal UI animations. Android isn't really my cup of tea, but I like to keep tabs on the alternatives. I'd say now it's much more useable than it used to be. It really would come down to how comfortable you are with actually using the OS itself.
 

co.ag.2005

macrumors 68020
Jun 17, 2009
2,294
1,691
Fort Worth, TX
I tried the Nexus 5 for a few weeks. I really liked it. Android has come a long way with KitKat (Ive used about a dozen Android phones since the Nexus One days and Android 2.1 (Eclair)).

However, for me, the apple ecosystem brought be back to the iPhone. Everyone I know uses iMessages and FaceTime and I wanted to stay a part of that. Plus, I will still say that the apps from Apple Appstore are still a bit more polished than their Android counterpart. Android has caught up quite a bit but still isn't quite there.

I'd say go give it a try, the screen is great and KitKat is leaps and bounds better than Android was a few years ago. You can order and then return within the proper window if you aren't satisfied. That's what I did.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,626
342
Android has pretty much gone from a platform I'd never even consider in a heartbeat (I would have used a Blackberry before using Android) to an OS that I see can work decently well for some users. If my workflow was different, or maybe if this was my first time buying a smartphone, I think the current crop of Android phones would have a chance with me.

But, there's a certain bit of polish, integration and other niceties that "just work" well for me, and so switching would not be something I'd do easily. An android device would REALLY have to hit it out of the park with some good features, OR Apple would really have to screw up, hard, before I'd switch.

Oh, there would also have to be a good tablet on Android, since i have both and want both to be not he same ecosystem. So far I have yet to see a good tablet implementation on Android. Either the form factor, or the hardware, or the interface comes up short.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,089
2,057
Oregon
I'd say go give it a try, the screen is great and KitKat is leaps and bounds better than Android was a few years ago. You can order and then return within the proper window if you aren't satisfied. That's what I did.
Android 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 have all been really good. 4.1 was ok, but I think they made huge improvements with the versions after that.

But I totally agree that Android is a totally different animal than it was just a few years ago. It really has gotten good.
 

biohead

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2010
428
5
West Drayton, UK
I ditched my iPhone after 5 years for a Nexus 5. I'm still rocking it, and needless to say I don't miss iOS in any particular way. Just about anything iOS could do, Android now does it in it's own way. Android certainly has matured now and it's pretty good. The one thing I always found in the past was just how much more fluid-like iOS was - it's exactly the same now on the Nexus 5.

And personally, for me, I can't see myself going back to an iPhone whilst ever the Nexus devices are out. I'm the type of person who has a dirt cheap contract (£15pm/2000mins/5000txts/ult data), and I buy my handset sim-free. An extremely high specced handset for almost half the cost of an iPhone is a no-brainer in my situation.

Don't get me wrong, I do miss my iPhone - but it has been replaced by something which is just as capable.
 

co.ag.2005

macrumors 68020
Jun 17, 2009
2,294
1,691
Fort Worth, TX
Android 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 have all been really good. 4.1 was ok, but I think they made huge improvements with the versions after that.

But I totally agree that Android is a totally different animal than it was just a few years ago. It really has gotten good.
I had too many bugs on 4.2.1 on my N4... didn't ever try 4.2.2 and beyond (besides 4.4). I kind of threw in the towel with my N4 and 4.2.1 and got an iPhone 5... but all those builds were definitely working Android in the right direction.
 

Bacong

macrumors 68020
Mar 7, 2009
2,148
365
Westland, Michigan
Android has pretty much gone from a platform I'd never even consider in a heartbeat (I would have used a Blackberry before using Android) to an OS that I see can work decently well for some users. If my workflow was different, or maybe if this was my first time buying a smartphone, I think the current crop of Android phones would have a chance with me.

But, there's a certain bit of polish, integration and other niceties that "just work" well for me, and so switching would not be something I'd do easily. An android device would REALLY have to hit it out of the park with some good features, OR Apple would really have to screw up, hard, before I'd switch.

Oh, there would also have to be a good tablet on Android, since i have both and want both to be not he same ecosystem. So far I have yet to see a good tablet implementation on Android. Either the form factor, or the hardware, or the interface comes up short.
Yes, this. Android is great for a lot of people but iOS is just so good at delivering a consistent experience, from the UI to the performance. Android still has tons of inconsistencies in the UI and there are still apps from big time companies that STILL look like froyo/gingerbread..it just feels cheap and slapped together. It's so hard to find functional, beautiful apps on Android. iOS has Tweetbot, Android has the hideous Tweetcaster.




Pardon me while I suppress emesis. Apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc look good on Android but my main problem is a serious lack of beautiful alternatives. For instance, the default messages app on Android looks fine, but it's seriously lacking in features. Alternatives? Ugly or lacking functionality. GO SMS looked good and had functionality, but then it decided to start literally sending spam messages to me. So, had to drop that. Hangouts? Feels like it's in Alpha still. I could never send a MMS and the UI had some unnecessary flourishes. The messaging app on iOS is all I could ever need. Fast, sends picture messages without issue..never a single issue with it.

Android 5.0 needs to have core animation built in. 4.4 is nice, but why is my quad core 2012 Nexus 7 so bad? As mentioned: quad core, 1 GB ram, STOCK ANDROID, no bloat, not rooted, and it lags like an iPhone 4 on iOS 7. The tablet isn't even 2 years old. This is Android's biggest problem. Until they can solve that, I won't consider switching back.

----------

I ditched my iPhone after 5 years for a Nexus 5. I'm still rocking it, and needless to say I don't miss iOS in any particular way. Just about anything iOS could do, Android now does it in it's own way. Android certainly has matured now and it's pretty good. The one thing I always found in the past was just how much more fluid-like iOS was - it's exactly the same now on the Nexus 5.

And personally, for me, I can't see myself going back to an iPhone whilst ever the Nexus devices are out. I'm the type of person who has a dirt cheap contract (£15pm/2000mins/5000txts/ult data), and I buy my handset sim-free. An extremely high specced handset for almost half the cost of an iPhone is a no-brainer in my situation.

Don't get me wrong, I do miss my iPhone - but it has been replaced by something which is just as capable.
I hope your Nexus 5 doesn't suck by next Summer like my Nexus 7 tablet does now.
 

dizmonk

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2010
207
12
I'm not quite in your boat but pretty close. I just wanted to try going back to the Droid system even though I was happy with the iPhone 4 and 5. I tried the Galaxy s4 which was okay. I hated the HTC One. (It felt like i had a brick in my pocket.) So on a whim I tried the Nexus 5... I REALLY like this phone. I feel like it's almost the perfect size. I really like the lack of bloatware (unlike the Galaxy s4).

I'm very happy with it. I'm not sure if/when I'll go back to an iPhone. It's nice having something a little different. :cool:


I ditched my iPhone after 5 years for a Nexus 5. I'm still rocking it, and needless to say I don't miss iOS in any particular way. Just about anything iOS could do, Android now does it in it's own way. Android certainly has matured now and it's pretty good. The one thing I always found in the past was just how much more fluid-like iOS was - it's exactly the same now on the Nexus 5.

And personally, for me, I can't see myself going back to an iPhone whilst ever the Nexus devices are out. I'm the type of person who has a dirt cheap contract (£15pm/2000mins/5000txts/ult data), and I buy my handset sim-free. An extremely high specced handset for almost half the cost of an iPhone is a no-brainer in my situation.

Don't get me wrong, I do miss my iPhone - but it has been replaced by something which is just as capable.
 

bigjim83

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2011
470
3
Nexus phones are great if you buy them direct from google. I don't like the carrier bloat that gets loaded on. For the price of an unlocked phone you really can't beat it
 

Caesars

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2013
257
96
I have used a nexus 5, 5s, and s4 recently. Android has come a long way since 5 years ago, honestly I prefer my android 10/10 times now, however I can never decide what I want.... In my honest opinion, use the iPhone if you do more calling on your phone, if you do more gaming - web browsing - media consumption go for the android. iMHO
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,089
2,057
Oregon
I hope your Nexus 5 doesn't suck by next Summer like my Nexus 7 tablet does now.
I've always felt that the first Nexus 7 was a bit of a lame duck due to the fact that these used the Tegra 3. The second N7 was quite a bit better hardware wise, but honestly as much as I like android, the their tablet experience leaves something to be desired. A lot of it has to do with the tablet versions of Apps that are available.
 

IFRIT

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2012
840
131
Why are you asking in the iPhone section OP, what response do you really exspect to get, post in the correct section.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,089
2,057
Oregon
Why are you asking in the iPhone section OP, what response do you really exspect to get, post in the correct section.
To be totally honest, the replies have been pretty fair and honest so far. Also, if the OP were to have posted this in the Alternatives to iOS devices section, they'd obviously get much different answers.
 

BuryMeInSmoke

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2012
70
1
I had the s4 back when it launched. Nice phone but it did have some lag issues. The nexus 5 is fantastic considering it's price. The battery life is hit and miss, and the sound quality is so so, but corners have to be cut somewhere to reach that price point.
 

Abs_p

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2011
887
391
You can even look into Moto G. I ordered one last week got it yesterday. 199-40 promo code. I dont think there is a better phone at the price. About nexus 5/galaxy s4. Get the nexus 5, my sister uses it and its a great phone if you dont mind android.Samsung sucks :p .

Android has improved greatly but i still prefer iOS. The app quality is the main reason for that.
 

DoNoHarm

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 8, 2008
1,120
12
Maine
To be totally honest, the replies have been pretty fair and honest so far. Also, if the OP were to have posted this in the Alternatives to iOS devices section, they'd obviously get much different answers.
Exactly. And I don't want somebody who has not recently tried out the iphone to chime in about Android. I need people who have had real time experience with both. My past experience with the Nexus showed that even though the nexus seemed like a better phone on paper, the day to day proved to be quite the contrary.

Another thing- has anyone noticed how android phones are not able to come in small packages while delivering equivalent power/features to the iphone? It takes a lot more skill and engineering to have a powerful phone with a long lasting battery come in form factors as small as the iphone. That right there tells you something.

I think philosophically I'm really enthusiastic about Android, Linux, and other open source projects, but from a practical standpoint, I'm a fan of the Apple fit and finish. If I drop/loose my iphone, I'll probably try out the Nexus, but suspect I'll bounce back to Apple.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,089
2,057
Oregon
Another thing- has anyone noticed how android phones are not able to come in small packages while delivering equivalent power/features to the iphone? It takes a lot more skill and engineering to have a powerful phone with a long lasting battery come in form factors as small as the iphone. That right there tells you something.
While not EXACTLY as small as an iPhone, the Moto X has great battery life, useful features and it is in a relatively small package. In hand it doesn't feel nearly as large as the 4.7" screen would suggest.
 

DoNoHarm

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 8, 2008
1,120
12
Maine
While not EXACTLY as small as an iPhone, the Moto X has great battery life, useful features and it is in a relatively small package. In hand it doesn't feel nearly as large as the 4.7" screen would suggest.
yeah i noticed that after writing this post. I'll have to look at the moto x too.
 

shelt

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2007
73
56
NorCal
I actually keep switching back and forth between my iPhone 5 and Droid Maxx. I've had every iPhone from the original through 5. I've bailed on Android twice in the past (S3 and Note 2). I REALLY want a larger device, and the 4.7-5.0" phones are perfect for me (older eyes...).

The Droid Maxx was my daily driver in Dec, Jan, and part of Feb, and works great for the most part. The one thing I really miss is Messages/iMessage -- most people I know have iPhones, and the seamless switch and message sync between iPhone, iPad, and Mac is great. I've compiled a bit of a list of pluses and minuses at this point, and it's pretty much a toss-up:

iPhone:

++iMessage/Messages/Facetime (Apple's killer feature IMO)
+System Fonts
+Camera (vs Maxx)
++Seamless backup
+iPhoto/photostream (though Dropbox is solid too)
+Hot Links (email, phone numbers, package tracking)
++Security (locked down apps for the most part)
++No Crapware
+Fingerprint lock (Android face unlock is pretty good, tho not super secure)
+Polish (one set of software/hardware)
+OS Update support for years
+Click to top of page
+Address Book Layout
+App Badges (you can hack them in some Android apps)
--ringer/vibrate switch always moving to vibrate at worst times
+Connectivity between messages/camera/etc doesn't require extra apps
+Set custom tones/vibration in address book (Android requires custom message apps)
+App uniformity, choice, finish

Android:
++ Form Factors/Size Choice (big screens are very tough to give up!)
+/- Massive customizability
+Huge Battery (Droid Maxx)
+Active Notifications are great (Moto)
+Notification Center (Still better than iOS)
+Wireless Charging (built in many phones)
+Micro USB (standard and cheap)
+Better Bluetooth integration w my car
+NFC (Payments and camera downloads)
++System keyboard choices (Swype is awesome!)
++Seamless Google integration (my email, contacts, calendars are google)
+Google Now (like it better than Siri generally)
+Gmail App on a large screen
+Speakerphone quality (Maxx)
+Call quality/Signal strength (Maxx)
++Simultaneous call and data on VZW
--Crapware (most can be deleted or hidden)
++Custom launchers (Nova is great!)
+Widgets
+Ringer Volume (Maxx very loud when needed)

Overall, it's a toss-up for me, and I never thought I'd say that. If Android had Apple Messages, that would send me over for good. If the iPhone 6 is larger, I'll probably be happy to stay.

The analogy between OS X and macs vs big box PCs and Windows carries through to phones. Apple's model of building their own hardware and software brings many advantages to Macs and iPhones. The other model brings many hardware choices, customization, various price points, and extra effort to get things just right.

But....it's very clear to me what used to be a huge gap in the overall experience is now essentially a tossup. Hopefully Apple realizes this too and is bringing innovation to this year's hardware and software updates!
 

Stuntman06

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2011
961
5
Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
I have a Galaxy S3 actually, not the other two devices you mentioned in your title. I've had this phone for over a year and a half and I am very impressed with it. I can see myself using this phone for at least another year and a half. The phone came with ICS (4.0). It received JB (4.1) in December 2012 and JB (4.3) in 2013 (forgot when exactly). These two updates made my phone run better than before.

As for Google Maps, I don't use it. I actually don't like it very much for various reasons. I use Waze instead. It works, but I just don't like it.

With regard to problems, every phone has problems. You won't find a flawless phone. I have a BlackBerry at work and it has a few issues. My family owns a number of iOS devices and I have had to deal with issues they encounter. Apps may force close or not work from time to time with all phones. On my GS3, I've had apps crash once in a while. If it happen often, the fix is usually just to uninstall and reinstall the app or just restart the phone. For my day to day usage, I generally don't encounter any such issues. My previous phone was an HTC Desire Z (also Android) and in comparison, the Galaxy S3 was significantly more stable. I don't use an iOS device on a regular basis, so I have no direct stability comparison.
 

sentinelsx

macrumors 68010
Feb 28, 2011
2,004
0
Nexus 5 is neck and neck with all flagships right now, even the camera is told to be quite good now.

I use a GS4 and i would tell you this: get a nexus 5. There was no Nexus 5 out by last May when i got the GS4 and i am tempted to switch over so many times already.