My review of the GSM Galaxy Nexus compared to iPhone 4S (long)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Neon01, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Neon01, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

    Neon01 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    #1
    I’m making an effort here to be as impartial as possible, and I'm posting this on both android and iphone forums. Hopefully some will find this useful. Your thoughts are welcome. Edit: posted a comparison video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRgnjLs_gn4

    iPhone 4S
    Pros:
    -"look and feel" is really top notch. I've never been a fan of cases, but this is a phone that begs to be used without one, IMO. I like the solid, heavy feel, and the use of glass and metal resonates with me
    -icloud. it really does make syncing photos and videos taken with the onboard camera and my ipad and MBA just brain dead simple (read: automatic). Very nice to have. Also love the backup to the cloud, and that other apps use it too. That I can transfer pdfs between my ipad and iphone with the goodreader app and the cloud is very slick. I use my ipad at least 70% as a e-reader.
    -Display. Of course, what else can be said? color reproduction is very good, though not as eye-grabbing as an OLED display, more accurate. Blacks are still "very good", though not excellent.
    -The "experience". As mentioned, things "just work". It sounds like marketing BS to non-apple users, but it's true. First and foremost here is the browsing experience on the iphone. They have simply _mastered_ the use of touch-scrolling through a webpage. Just the right amount of "inertia" and as smooth as glass.
    -It's the de facto standard for a smartphone. The fact that there are more iphones sold than any other single smartphone is compelling when you're a peripheral/accessory manufacturer. Eventually though, I see this changing though with android's overtaking of iOS.
    -App store. There's an app for just about everything. Really.
    -Works exceedingly well with the apple ecosystem. With a MBA and ipad, it definitely complements these components well.
    -Size. Fits very nice in my small-average sized hands. Can hit any part of the screen with my thumb and use without too much trouble with a single hand.
    -Battery life. I have no clue what reviewers are complaining about with regard to battery life of iOS 5 and the iphone 4s. I can get a solid two days if I don't use it too much and I have a decent signal the entire time. I could _never_ get that with my Epic or Epic Touch (SG2), even rooted and with battery management.

    Cons:
    -Text entry. No swype is a big fail, IMO. After about 2 hours of use I did get much better at using iphones keypad, but it's still a far cry from android IMO.
    -Almost zero customization. Little things like "vibrate on key press" are conspicuously absent. Really apple? BB pioneered this very useful feature years ago and it's pretty much ubiquitous in the smartphone industry, why isn't it on the 4s? No widgets is also a big downer. Auto brightness sucks (way too dim in darkness), so when I want to change brightness at night, I have a rather complicated process for doing so, instead of just pulling down a bar from the top and changing there. Even the ipad gets this right, but the iphone, not so much. Just another example of how user customization would go a long way. Not to be harsh, but iOS feels like an app launcher with features added on as opposed to a true full featured OS (see “inflexible data storage…” below for some reasons why I say this).
    -Screen size. This is a big one. 3.5" screen reminds me of my old HTC Diamond Winmo 6.1 phone. Doesn't seem to be as much of a problem as I originally thought since the resolution is just awesome, but it does force me to browse very close to my face to seem decent size.
    -Ruggedness. Granted, I think from an electronics perspective, this phone will be working for quite awhile, but the materials used are not conducive to long term use. Period. Drops can be catastrophic, screen scratches relatively easily, the back is glass and scratches easily. Antenna is in an inconvenient spot, meaning cases and other external interfaces can reduce signal strength.
    -Apps are expensive. Even on sale, apps that are released on both android and ios are almost invariably more expensive on iOS. The vast bulk of android apps are free, which I can't say for iOS.
    -Inflexible for data storage/transfer/app usage. I hate hate hate the fact that if I want to read a single PDF in three different PDF viewers, I have to have it on my device three separate times. Each app "stovepipes" it's own file system. This is completely stupid. Not to mention how (relatively) difficult it is to get files on and off of the thing. This is getting better with iOS 5 and cloud, but it's definitely not where it needs to be.
    -Poor integration with google apps (like navigation, goggles, shopping, etc)
    -Poor navigation app (no turn by turn) and most decent ones cost money


    Galaxy Nexus
    Pros:
    -Display, display, display. HD and OLED = one drool worthy display. PPI might not be quite as high as the iphone, but it's still better than print, so it's good enough for me. Colors have a ton of punch, and blacks are to die for. I love that I can’t tell where the display stops and where the bezel picks up if I’m looking at a black background.
    -Customizable. Yeah, you can do just about anything you want with this device, especially once it's rooted.
    -Google mentality. Granted, I don't like everything about Google, but their mentality when it comes to open source and free sharing of information is a damn sight better than apple IMO
    -Durability. The Galaxy line of devices are all very durable, this one seems to be no exception. They say the screen is fortified, but I can’t attest to actual strength or scratch resistance. Still, the body feels very tight and well put together, no play in the back or any of the construction, and though it feels light, it’s not light enough that it feels cheap.
    -NFC. Don't think I'll use this right away, but it's very nice to have. I understand hackers have already gotten this to work with google wallet.
    -More "command buttons". This is a big one for me. Having multiple buttons (menu, home, etc) just makes apps easier to work with. Instead of taking up screen real estate with "back" buttons and the like (a la apple), it's all available to the app. After having no dedicated back button for a month while using the iphone, going back to it is extremely refreshing. It’s amazing just how useful it is.
    -User replaceable battery. Yeah, this is definitely a low priority for me, but it's nice to have.
    -Google experience. Navigation, apps, places, goggles, etc. Android will always get all of them and get them first. Plays well with gmail, which is my go-to for email.
    -Google music integration. This one is big enough to stand on its own. The fact that google allows you to upload up to 20000 of your OWN DRM-free songs to its cloud server and use them anywhere is INSANE. I’m currently taking advantage of this to the tune of about 45 GB of storage for FREE, with apparently no upload/download caps. What’s even better you can simply have it synced to your music directory on your desktop (like dropbox), so anything you add in there is automatically added to the cloud. Awesome, just awesome.
    -Ergos. Curved glass, soft touch back, thin. All very practical, if not beautiful. Was hoping the soft touch plastic would be a little more no-slip – though it’s definitely a step up from the Galaxy S2, it’s not like HTC soft touch no-slip products that use that creamy feeling plastic. That’s what I was hoping for. Also, it feels great in the hand – it’s not all sharp edges and squared off like the iphone. Part of this is probably the fact that the on-screen keys are closer to the screen than the previous capacitive buttons. I have average to small-sized hands and, for all its size, I have no trouble using the Gnex one-handed.
    -Hacking community. This may sound like a pretty flimsy "pro", but the hacking community always seems to be able to accomplish far more with android devices than with ios.
    -Notification light. This could have been a LOT better than it actually is (I was hoping for a charging indicator, a “charge full” indicator, and longer flashing frequency – right now it only flashes for a second out of maybe 5-6 seconds, a casual glance can easily miss the notification), but it’s still better than nothing.
    -Voice command. I like Siri sometimes, and it does a much better job with some things (mainly, the stuff that google voice command doesn't do at all) like setting reminders, setting timers, checking weather, stuff like that. But overall I found google voice command to be much better and much faster than Siri. Finding phone numbers, calling places or contacts, writing text messages and emails, dictation, and finding websites were all consistently more accurate and usually faster with voice command. Plus, the near real time dictation is just incredible and simply doesn't have an analog in Siri.

    Cons:
    -Plastic. You just can't beat the look and feel of Apple products. The curved shape may be ergonomic, but it certainly ain't a looker (IMO).
    -Not true "state of the art" hardware, with the exception of the display. This is a big one. CPU, GPU, Ram, etc are all at or even below industry standards established several months ago. Feels like a cop out for a true game-changer and flagship device. Why didn't they at least give it the Note internals?
    -No SD slot. I'm shocked about this one. Except cloud storage, you're limited like the iphone.
    -New OS version and display resolution means app support is somewhat sub-par right now. For example, my “go to” video player app for android, Rockplayer, doesn’t always seem to work, and many of the other apps I’ve used either crash, don’t display at the right res, or are just buggy in general. Naturally, this is likely only temporary.
    -Unfortunately, touch screen buttons aren’t all good. I’ve found myself hitting the home button on occasion when I’m typing a note and hit the space bar. There’s something to be said for a physical button – you can rest your finger on it to make the phone easier to hold without actually _pressing_ it.

    Anecdotes

    Unfortunately these, by nature, are going to be more use-case specific, so whether they will apply to you I can’t say.
    Android has made a big step with ICS over Gingerbread (or even Honeycomb, IMO). In general, it’s cleaner and less cluttered than GB, and the UI is noticeably more responsive to homescreen and app drawer swipes and the like. Clicking the home screen button works instantly without lag, and the back button is a bit faster too. Does it achieve parity with iOS? I would say no. “Smoothness” is still not quite on par with iOS, though it’s clear that this is because iOS essentially takes the easy way out in many situations, and Android is attempting to give the user a bit more of a “flashy” or windows-like experience. Examples include the multitasking command – in ICS it has its own button (which, to me, is overkill – I really don’t use it that much) and it pops up an overlay with a condensed version of what’s displayed in each “window” of those apps at the current time. These can be swiped away very nicely, and it gives a very desktop feel to multitasking. In iOS, a double click of the home button gives you a bar that pops up at the bottom of the screen with a list of the apps currently running, though it only gives their icons, not an image of the app, since, in reality, most of them are not actually running simultaneously. In ICS (at least on the Gnex), the multitasking button was one of the most consistently laggy commands you can issue. If I had more than about 2 apps running, it almost always took a half a second for it to respond to my button press. In iOS, it’s always instant. This theme – additional functionality or ability to customize at the expense of some smoothness/responsiveness – is pervasive throughout ICS (and Android in general).

    The browsing experience on the iOS device is slightly better than on Android IMO, but it’s VERY close. The GNex pretty consistently beat my 4S on page loading times, but the browser and interface on iOS is slightly smoother and feels more connected to your inputs. On the Gnex, when I put my thumb on a line and swipe up and down a bit to move the website vertically, the response of the browser is always a split second behind your finger, unlike the iphone, and it doesn’t inspire confidence with a true no lag experience like the iphone does. The double-tap-to-zoom-in process on the iphone is a little more effective at getting me zoomed in where I need to be, though not by much, and though both devices don’t do flash right now, video content loading is not a flawless experience on ICS, whereas it usually is on the iphone. On iphone, you just click the video to run it and it will usually load right into the youtube app for you and play the video - very easy. On the Gnex, if you click it once, it’ll play right in the browser first, but then if you want to load it into the youtube app, you (strangely) have to click the title, NOT the little “full screen” button as you would think. The latter does nothing but make it pause – maybe that requires flash to work correctly? Clicking on the video title isn’t a flawless experience too, as it disappears after a second or two. Both stock browsers are among the best available for each platform, but I have to give the edge to the ICS browser itself - as far as features are concerned - since it allows for true full screen browsing, unlike safari.

    The display on another big factor here, and I would say it’s an unequivocal win for the Gnex. Size DOES matter, and in this case (to me) the relatively small size of the display on the iphone is extremely limiting when switching back from the Gnex. I used to think that I liked AMOLED much more than IPS (for phones), but now I’d have to say they’re about even. Colors have more punch on the AMOLED, but they’re definitely more accurate on the iphone. The image on the iphone is noticeably sharper, even though the PPI is about the same, which is almost certainly because of the pentile matrix of the Gnex. Pentile also tends to yield some unwanted side effects, like a visible crosshatched pattern on a dim gray background (something ICS has plenty of). Still, the size issue is key. Though you can physically see almost as much on the iphone display, I found myself having to hold the phone much closer to my face to do things like browse the web and read pdfs on the iphone.

    Battery life is important to a lot of people, and I’d say that this is a qualified win for the iphone. In terms of actual use time, the iphone battery will last you MUCH longer than the Gnex. That is to say, if you used both with the display (obviously) on and running various apps, the iphone would go much longer until the battery is dead. However, with my normal use profile, they’re probably about even. With about 2 hours of use each, and the rest of the time in standby (push gmail, google voice, facebook notifications, wifi active, etc), both phones put me at about 30-40% battery life when I got to bed, assuming a full charge in the morning. The gnex standby in standby just SIPS power. I’ve found it’s not uncommon to use only about 2% battery in an hour! My iphone in standby uses about 3-4% over the same period with the same signal conditions. So though this is really a win for the iphone, for most of my use, the Gnex has enough battery for me to be comfortable.

    This probably relates to the display, but I think it’s really more about the OS, so I’ll separate it – iOS seems to be much more “information dense” with regard to the display. This is a good thing. Despite the massive difference in size, you still have the same amount of “app squares” on each desktop, and the font seems to be more compact for some reason as well. Just an observation, but as previously stated, with the exception of things like websites, it seems that Apple just chooses to pack more information onto the any given screen than Google does with android. Personally I wish I had 5 icon columns on ICS, as the standard is becoming larger and higher res displays, the previous 4x4 home screen grid looks somewhat sparse. I also like Apple’s uniformity of icons. The shape of Android icons varies so wildly that it gives it a somewhat cheaper appearance. Yes, this is purely aesthetic, but things like this matter overall. Apple has clearly put more time into making each element of the experience polished, as opposed to focusing on the overall interface and functionality, like Google. Both approaches yield benefits for their respective platforms, and I do think Google made big strides here from GB to ICS.

    I won’t comment too much on the camera as I’ve not had a whole lot of experience with Gnex’ camera yet. What I did like about it was the zero shutter lag aspect. Even though this does translate to a lot of blurry pictures, I found it preferable to simply take 5-10 photos like this and throw out the chaff than work to get a couple good ones with the iphone. I’ve found the video on the Gnex to be very good, and I love the zoom feature, even though it comes at the expense of quality. Sometimes this is just nice to have. Neither has a dedicated camera button, but the slight nod there goes to the iphone since you can at least use its volume up button to snap pics. Overall, the iphone 4s wins decidedly here, but for my purposes, I actually like the camera on the Gnex just as much, since for anything beyond fun shots and stuff I’m going to post with the craigslist app, I’m going to use my Nikon D300 DSLR with a dedicated flash.

    Conclusion

    For me the decision was really “which one do I keep?” My answer isn’t straightforward, unfortunately, but the the bottom line is that the Gnex will likely be my "daily driver" for now. It was very close though – the key differentiators for me were the display size, ICS functionality, the open file architecture, and google music. With that said, all but one of these (the display) are not deal breakers for me, and if Apple comes out with a iphone 5 with a 4”+ display (with the same PPI – keeping the same res will lose the “retina” factor), I’ll likely be switching back to iOS. Android has a bit further to go before it feels as seamless as iOS IMO. Then again, we’re seeing ICS at its worst right now, and knowing Google’s track record for rolling out significant incremental updates, I feel that the Gnex is the best phone (for me) to have at the current moment.

    For those people who’ve always been iOS users and are now considering Android for the first time, unless you’re really bothered by the size of the screen on the iphone like I am, I don’t think ICS and the Gnex as it currently sits fixes everything that was wrong with Android before. With that said, as to the difference in responsiveness and overall build of the OS, I feel ICS is only a very slight step down from iOS at this point, so if you can find enough positive in what the Gnex offers, I recommend at least trying one out.
    For Android users that have bought into the google ecosystem, happily used Android to date and have never used iOS as a basis for comparison, it’s probably best to just go out and buy the Gnex and be happy. Though I’ve never tried the Droid RAZR or Rezound, after my experience with the Galaxy S, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, LG Nitro HD (only demoed in the store yesterday), Bionic, and a few other Android phones, IMO the Gnex and iphone are definitely the two best phones on the market.

    flame suit on :eek:
     
  2. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #2
  3. MacBookPro13" macrumors 6502a

    MacBookPro13"

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    #3
    The iPhone 4S is better, all things considered.
     
  4. tekker macrumors regular

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #4
    lol good one buddy.
     
  5. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

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    Kitchener, Ontario
    #5
    The whole tethering part in your iPhone "cons" list is entirely the Carrier's decision. Apple enables in for anyone to use, it's the carrier who blocks it unless you pay for it. Here in Canada, even if you have the smallest data plan it comes with tethering included.
     
  6. Neon01 thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Thanks for posting that - it's a good point. I'll edit my post.
     
  7. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

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    #7
    If you really DO consider all things, it is personal preference. I use both the 4S and the Galaxy S2 and recently started using the Nexus on AT&T.

    The 64gb 4S will lilkely see little more use.
     
  8. macinnv macrumors regular

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    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Thanks OP, great analysis. I plan on getting a Nexus next week and have been reading everything I can on it. I will be getting the GSM version but I want to wait until VZ has floor models available so I can play with it first.
     
  9. hizzaah macrumors 6502

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    Oct 22, 2011
    #9
    Very interesting comparison.. I've had my 4S since launch and I'm kinda bored with it. It's a great phone, I just want a new toy. I might look into a GNex soon :) either that or a new home theater system.. Decisions, decisions..
     
  10. Randizzledante macrumors regular

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    May 21, 2011
    #10
    Good comparison, seemed really unbiased to me which is refreshing.

    I owned and played around with both, and while I agree with you on most points, my end result was actually the opposite - I'm going to be going with the iPhone 4S as opposed to the GNex.

    When comparing them for myself, I could openly admit that the GNex was an overall "better" phone, at least in my opinion. But at the end of the day, I just enjoy the iPhone experience more. And this is coming from someone who doesn't even own a single other Apple product, so I have no way to take advantage of the ecosystem benefits.

    It all simply comes down to personal preference.

    Also, I'd be a dang liar if I didn't admit Infinity Blade II factored into my decision, at least a little bit... :p
     
  11. mysterioustko macrumors 6502

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    May 7, 2011
    #11
    OP,
    Well written review, though I have to disagree with you on a couple of things. I disagree with your assessment of the browsing experience. I've found the browser to be head and shoulders above that of the iPhone's. Full screen capability, text reflow, and then when you throw in the use of quick controls (which I didn't see you mention) it makes for an unmatched browsing experience. As for what you stated about the iPhone's browser, I have to whole heartedly disagree. I find it hard to argue they "have the right amount of inertia" when no matter how I flick, it still travels the same amount. If I flick faster, it should travel faster. Instead the iPhone browser limits the distance of the scrolling so that it doesn't have to render all of the page quickly. Instead it only has a small section to deal with and delivers that "smoothness" that people tend to reference (notice the browser is the only place they have this limitation, so it's obvious it's deliberate and why). I find the iPhone's browser to be somewhat cumbersome when it comes to scrolling on large pages, because it takes a ridiculous amount of swipes to navigate up and down a page due to the limitations set for the in the OS. I don't need my phone to manage my scrolling, I'd like a phone that can handle ME scrolling where I want to..not a phone that wants me to scroll HOW IT wants me to.

    Also, I have to disagree with your assessment of the displays. I have never seen the "crosshatch pattern" you referred to earlier (if that's what you experienced your device may be defective). Overall, there isn't a better display on the market right now than the super amoled hd, period. Here's a brief comparison so you can kind of get the idea: GNex has a 100,000:1 contrast ratio where as the iphone has a 800:1...massive difference and it's quite visible. Then obviously there's the size difference, which I won't go into because it speaks for itself.

    In regards to what you said about the on-screen buttons. With all due respect, it sounds like your experience is limited to physical button phones. As far as button placement, the on screen buttons aren't really any closer to the keyboard than capacitive buttons were. In other words, they're basically in the same place. So if you were able to use a phone with capacitive buttons without that problem, then you should be able to do the same with the on-screen buttons. I have yet to hit an on-screen button accidently.

    I enjoyed reading your review, nice work.
     
  12. ninjaw95 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    if you jailbreak half of those Cons on the iPhone 4s go away
    Jailbroken iPhones > Rooted Androids
     
  13. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #13
    PS This is not what this review was about...
     
  14. mysterioustko macrumors 6502

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    #14
    First, I'll start by saying we're not talking about "Androids", we're talking about the Galaxy Nexus. Android is an OS, not a phone. That being said, I believe the OP is comparing the experiences of both phones without modding. That being said, the majority of the cons the OP listed can't be corrected with modding. Some can to a degree but most of the ones he named cannot...not to mention you would be jailbreaking to add functionality that the OP already was using out of the box on his GNex (hence why he listed it as a con in the first place).
    SN: You cannot compare a jailbreaking an iphone to to modding (not just rooting) a GNex. The level of functionality just isn't the same. For example, you add the ability to use Google Wallet from your phone, you can changed your buttons to what you want them to be, or change roms completely. You really can't compare the amount of flexibility present when you mod a nexus to when you jailbreak an iPhone. It's definitely not the same thing...by the way, you're speaking on something that isn't really even much of an option at the present time on the 4S.
     
  15. Neon01 thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    First, I'd echo what the other's who have responded to your post have said - that's not particularly what this review was about. I could have easily started to talk about rooted phone vs JB phone, but I'm not about to go down that rabbit hole.

    Second, from my experience having jailbroken my ipad and having rooted multiple phones, you're absolutely incorrect. That some of the cons on my list for the iphone can be addressed through JB'ing is, without a doubt, true. However, to say you can't do as much with a rooted Android phone is unequivocally false. You can literally run a different OS with a rooted phone. I used to own a HTC Touch Pro 2 with dual boot Android and Windows Mobile 6.5. That's how flexible it is. Jailbreaking, by comparison, is relatively limited. Not to mention cydia apps (most of the decent ones, anyway) actually cost money.

    Regardless, stock for stock, I stand by my review points, for the most part.
     
  16. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

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    #16
    Let me preface my reply by saying that I had a Samsung Galaxy S (verizon fascinate) as my first samsung and first smartphone. That was enough to drive me away from Android and into the welcoming arms of the iPhone. I won't say I'll never get an Android phone again... only that my experience with Samsung/Verizon/whoever was at fault/Galaxy S was so aweful, I gladly joined the "iSheep" as they say on the android forums and went for a much more user-friendly and (god forbid) manufacturer-supported device.

    So for anyone interested, here are my qualms with Samsung/Android. Some are device-specific, some are Samsung specific, and some may be a combo of device/samsung/verizon:

    1. Lack of support from Samsung. This is first and foremost. I purchased this device when almost all others were on 2.2 and some were a few weeks from 2.3. The verizon fascinate was stuck on 2.1 with rumors/pseudo-promises of 2.2 before "new year, 2011". Wait, wait, wait... finally one day in march or something... it came! ...and cut our battery life in half. Then, samsung seemed to wash their hands of it. We got one minor update after that and done. This REALLY soured my opinion of Samsung as a manufacturer or Verizon (never did find out who was to blame) or both for not being able to work together enough to deliver a good experience for the customer.

    2. Bugs. The 2.2 that ran on my device was so flawed with so many small nuances, it drove me NUTS. I didn't want to root cause I had a warranty and to be honest, I shouldn't have to hack at my phone and jeapordize my warranty just to make it work NORMALLY.

    3. Lost? One of the biggest things I was hyped about when going from an LG voyager to a smartphone was google nav. Mine, as with many others, never could grab a signal. NEVER. When it really counted, it let me down. When it didn't matter too much, it let me down. It works for my wife 99% of the time so I figured it was just bad hardware. The refurb they sent me had horribly low volume compared to my phone so I chose to live w/o navi and be able to hear. I didn't feel like pursuing the issue further. However the jury is still out as to weather this was a hardware or software issue. It seemed to work for me AFTER I reflashed the firmware on my phone...but degraded quickly.

    4. Latest and greatest! When it came time to find a new device, I hadn't really made up my mind yet. Actually, I was only looking at Android. I noted rather quickly while researching that I should really wait 2-3 weeks.... and as soon as whatever I was waiting for came out, I should probably wait another 2-3 weeks for the next best. I found that no matter what device I thought I may want, something "better" was just on the horizon. Now you may be telling yourself that you really don't care to have the latest and greatest so good for you, pat on the back... but for most people who are about to get into a 2-year contract and plop down $200-$400 on a device, they want to make sure their device will be "new" for at least a MONTH... but in the Android world, that's not possible. Your device will not be in the store 6 months after you purchase it. Period. With the iPhone, at least I know Apple isn't going to come out with a bigger/better iphone in the next few weeks that renders mine obselete.

    OP, thanks for the review. You make some good points. For one consumer however, Samsung has done wrong and really needs to prove themselves...

    ----------

    By the way, have you tried "waze" for the iphone? Seems to be a good, free, turn-by-turn navi solution... Haven't really played with it too much so I can't comment on it from all perspectives but just thought I'd throw that one out there as I noticed it was one of your items on your list.

    I find the app store for Apple to be one of the big draws. Sure a lot of apps are paid apps but a co-worker told me about "app shopper" where you can find on-sale or previously-paid, now-free apps.

    I used to think people were crazy when I asked what they liked most abotu the iphone and they'd list the app store. Now I understand. Like you said, there literally is an app for everything.
     
  17. mysterioustko macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Very well said!


    NONE of your points have anything to do with, nor have any bearing on the Galaxy Nexus. Your experience with an old phone running an even older version of Android has absolutely nothing to do with what the OP is saying. Your experience with the Galaxy S is nothing like what an experience on a Nexus device would be.
     
  18. Neon01 thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 7, 2011
    #18
    I agree with some of your points (some of which I specifically call out in my review), but overall I still stand by my opinion. I haven't been able to get text reflow to work in the ICS browser. It was working fine on my GB Sprint Epic 4G (Galaxy S) before I switched to the iphone though, so I imagine this will be added soon. Once it does, I will very likely agree with you about ICS being definitively better. The only other thing it needs is a slightly more responsive UI. If I had to analogize, right now safari browsing feels like you're playing an FPS on a desktop at 70 frames per second. The ICS browser feels like 40, to me. Sorry, I'm just calling it like I see it.


    I see what you're saying, but I guess I actually prefer that. Sometimes I find the less "viscous" scrolling of Android to be difficult to control. Occasionally I'll just swipe a bit too hard and off it goes, shooting beyond what I wanted. Regarding why the iphone only scrolls a short distance, your assumption seem valid and I wouldn't be surprised if you were correct in that they're doing it to improve performance. However, it's not exactly entirely true that you can't control how far it scrolls with how fast you swipe. The way you control it isn't in how fast a single swipe is, but how fast you repeat the swipe. Try this test sometime on your iphone - go to a really long website, and swipe 12 times, pausing about 2 seconds in between each swipe. Then do it again with the same pressure, only try to execute all 12 swipes in as rapid succession as you can. I bet you'll be much farther toward the bottom in the latter case than the former. I know it works that way for me anyway.

    I'm not exactly sure why you're disagreeing here, as I believe we're in agreement - the Gnex display is simply better. But is it better in every way? I don't believe so. If you've truly held the two devices side by side at approximately the same brightness, perhaps you see what I'm talking about when I say that the Gnex isn't quite as sharp. The image just looks softer overall. That's not to say it's "soft" subjectively, at all! It's still tack-sharp, and the best display on the market IMO. I don't believe my device is defective, but I do in fact see the crosshatch pattern. I'm VERY picky with these kinds of things, and if you want to see what I'm talking about (provided I'm not crazy and I really don't have a defective device), go to the dialer and select the contacts option at the top. The screen should be a solid dark grayish color (just the plain background, not any of the images, lines, or text on the screen), and it definitely displays a rectilinear crosshatched pattern to me - albeit very slight.

    Not so. I believe I've listed some of the devices I've had experience with, and among them are the Galaxy S with capacity buttons, which I owned and used daily for over a year and a half. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the on-screen buttons on the Gnex, and I actually feel that they make it easier to use the device one handed because I still believe they're actually closer to the core screen than the capacitive buttons are with a (admittedly) slim black divider just below the screen. I guess I'm a sloppy typist, but I've definitely hit the home button a few times when banging out a text or email.

    My point with the comment about the physical button on the iphone was that it's kind of slick that I can hold it right on that button without actually triggering it. This lets me use the iphone very easily and comfortably with one hand since I can hold it essentially cantilevered by only the bottom part of the phone, which is pivoting on the first two joints of my index finger with my thumb on the front of the phone. This is because I can hit the home button to trigger the unlock screen, then the unlock swipe is right near the bottom of the screen, so it can easily be reached, and unless I need to hit something near the top of the screen, I don't even have to move from that grip.

    Thanks, I think we're in agreement in the larger context. We're clearly just details people and we're focused on our own view of each device (and rightly so).
     
  19. mysterioustko macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    #19
    For me, it's always scrolled the same. No matter how I swipe, it always goes to that same maximum amount of scrolling at one time. It is quite annoying to me.

    Yeah I just looked again, and no I don't see that. Now if you're talking about the pattern that's on the dialer that's supposed to be there (but I don't think that's what you're talking about).


    I think where we differ here is that you enjoy the physical buttons. I find them to be archaic and takes more effort to press when the device is laying down (without causing the device to start moving) or in certain types of mounts, than it is with capacitives or on screen buttons where you need only make contact with them.

    I agree. It seems overall we agree for the most part, it's just we seem to a have a few fundamental differences. That's what makes technology interesting to me, being able to get other people's perspectives on how they would like it to function. That and it's nice to have an intelligent conversation regarding phones without name calling and broad brush claims. Great post!
     
  20. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #20


    Hi, yeah... you fall into the "not interested" category so everything below the bold item above OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU. I said it's for anyone interested. You should have stopped reading there.... I didn't force you to read it or say that it had anything to do with the GNex phone.

    Thanks for reading (well, reading everything but the part that told you to stop reading if you weren't interested) and commenting though! :p
     
  21. mysterioustko macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    #21
    Then there was no reason for it to be posted in this thread. Seems you would have been better served creating your own thread. If everyone started interjecting unrelated things in every thread and just prefaced it with "for anyone who's interested", then threads would just become chaotic. In the end, if it isn't related to the thread then it doesn't belong. Not trying to give you a hard time, it's just that your post added nothing constructive or related to the topic. For example, you noted Samsung's lack of support on the Galaxy S, this doesn't relate to the Galaxy Nexus because Google supports the Nexus not Samsung...so your point is irrelevant. That's just an example of what I mean.
     
  22. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #22
    well, to be honest, I was going to pick apart the OP's review (not in a bad way) but then I just got lazy and realized I had better ***** to do... but I had already spent some time on the rant portion so I just went ahead and posted it. Fortunately for me, forums are basically "open" (read: Open forum) and if someone says the word "samsung" I can pretty much say whatever I want related to samsung. and it's typically up to the mods to discern relevance.

    I understand your point... perhaps it wasn't extremely related but in a roundabout way, it brings up a point that the OP neglected to bring up -- samsung devices can be buggy and unsupported as they have been historcally. Anytime anyone compares the Apple iPhone to the Samsung _______ I have a notion to speak my experince with Samsung... especially given the recent legal rivalry between the two organizations.

    We're all on the same team here (as far as I know)... Take what I've said thusfar at face value and don't look too much into it and please believe me. Honestly.
     
  23. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    #23
    I had a Samsung Focus for two months. Cheap. Plasticy. Flimsy. Battery cover popped off numerous times a day. I'm talking about cell phone here, not a Dell Inspiron laptop. Which could be made by Samsung...
     
  24. Yumunum macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.
    #24
    I'm highly considering selling my iPad and iPhone for a GN (Nexus, not Note) Thanks for the review! How possible is it that you could make a video showing how speedy it is with animations turned off? And show desktop-version webpages to see how clear they are on the 4.6" screen?
     
  25. mysterioustko macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    #25
    lol still at it huh? So the link the guy in the xda forums gave you when you asked this same question wasn't enough? It gave you a side by side comparison. Even with the animations on it was enough for you to see.
     

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