Android / Google & Nexus / Mobile Devices / Samsung / Texas Instruments

My experience with the Galaxy Nexus


Its been a while, dual core devices have come and gone, quad cores have come and gone, even octa-core devices don’t surprise us consumers anymore. But in all this advancement, the one thing us users appreciate the most, is the user experience. At the end of the day the best feeling is the one I get when I meet someone new (usually a cute girl I’d like to take out on a date…maybe :P), we hit it off, and then decide to exchange numbers, I pull out my smartphone to take her number, turn on the power, unlock the device, hit the dialer app, enter her number, hit save to contacts, have it sync with my online account (so I never lose it even if I lose my phone), and boom!: date set up that very evening! All done like a boss! Any hitch at this point, and yeah… I WILL hate my phone.

With an iPhone, this was the norm. But we’ve all come to know, that we sacrifice a lot of functionality, choice and price, in the process. This is where my Galaxy nexus has completely won me over.

I cannot recall the last time I’ve actually reached into my pocket to pull out my phone, and I’ve actually looked forward to the experience like a five year old looks forward to Disneyland!

I just got the Galaxy Nexus a week ago. It was a malfunctioning unit. The guy who sold it to me had soft-bricked (phone would turn on but just stay stuck at the “Google” logo), and didn’t know how to fix it. So I got it for $150.00. Which is basically a steal since the Galaxy Nexus STILL sells for an average price of $210.00 in fairly good condition. I took it home, flashed a factory version of the latest ROM, and BOOM!, I was good to go.

So why do I like this device so much? IT.JUST.WORKS. Yes. This is a device that quickly becomes yours. All yours. Anyone else holds it and it basically just becomes the baddest bitch out there. Difficult. And that’s the way personal devices should be.

I’ve used a lot of android smartphones. And my experience with almost all of them has been pretty good. But quite honestly, the galaxy nexus just gets me. So lets go over why this device does it for me:

The screen:

The one thing I have to say about the screen is this: it grows on you. It trains you to like it, even though its not the best screen out there. Super AMOLED HD is basically something you start to appreciate with time. And honestly, on full brightness, this thing looks gorgeous. At quarter to minimum brightness, it almost has a monochrome kindle display look and feel. Its a head turner. No argument there. This screen needs taking care of though. Do not keep it at full brightness ALL the time. Screen burn-in WILL occur. And you won’t like that. I have it set at auto brightness.

The hardware:

For today’s standards, this device doesn’t even come close to being a mid-range contender. A dual-core cortex A-9 based TEXAS INSTRUMENTS OMAP 4460 processor with a powerVR SGX 540 GPU drives it, a 5 megapixel rear camera, 1.2 megapixel front facing camera and an approximately 1800 mAH battery under the hood. So…nothing to write home about.

The Software:

This is where this device shines. With Android 4.1, Google ironed out virtually every kink in the 4.0 ice cream sandwich chain-mail. This is a polished mobile OS. And its light years ahead of iOS when it comes to functionality. The power of Android is displayed in all its glory on this device. It goes to show that you don’t need a massively powerful device to get uber-functionality. You will really appreciate what this OS and this device has to offer.

The experience:

I cannot talk enough about the experience on this device. Its nothing short of amazing. Its got JUST glass in front. No fancy hardware buttons, not capacitive buttons…just a display. That’s just how pretty this device is. I have my device set to unlock on face recognition. And trust me, this thing is reliable. Even in the darkness of night, I can unlock this device as long as my face is decently lit.

A lot of people complain about the plastic construction, but I’m glad its mad of plastic. And no, it doesn’t feel cheap. It feels pretty premium.

The Apps:

Since this is a Nexus Device, we have access to the whole Google Play store. And trust me when I say, the days of sub par android apps is definitely behind us. Android’s Holo themed approach is refreshing and very user-friendly. More app developers are developing according to this guideline everyday, and the quality of the apps has gotten very good as of recent. Google’s own core apps are just a pleasure to use. Everything syncs along with my Gmail account. So when it comes to apps, we have barely anything to complain about. Google has built an ecosystem that has gotten better with every update on each of its core apps. This is where the power of open source software really comes into play. Updates happen because people ask for them, and similar people make those changes.

The device as a whole:

So why am I actually writing this piece? Its pertinent that consumers realize that the era of truly “smart” smartphones has only just begun. The future is bright. But when it comes to the average user, if you’ve got $250.00 to spend towards a smartphone, give the galaxy nexus a shot. I have a pretty good feeling you’ll not be disappointed.