- Posted by dan on March 23, 2012
So let me preface this by saying I was previously an owner of an IPhone 3GS. I didn't upgrade to the IPhone 4 or 4S my reasons were mixed. I didn't like the angular feel of it much, though I like the aluminium ribbon. I'd had my 3GS for over 2 years and was dissapointed enough with the lack of IPhone 5 that I jumped to Android.
I'm a C# developer by trade so Windows Phone would of been an obvious alternative especially with that lovely hardware but when I tried it I felt it a little slow. I've since read everywhere that it's blisteringly fast so it could be down to a dud demo model. I loved the tiles though and genuinely believe that is the most innovative thing I've seen in a long while.
So why Android with all its fragmentation? I liked the idea of widgets its Java based which I'm more familiar with than objective C and it looked nice.
So the Galaxy Nexus, I went for a pure a Google experience as I could. I initially thought HTC hardware looked better but having now played with my wife's Sensation XE, ( I offered her an IPhone or any phone she wanted for that manner). I'm happy with my choice.
So no surprises its plastic. So was my 3GS putting the battery in was a novelty. I'm with Apple on this seal the battery in thinking. I'd go further and have no plugs at all, Headphones maybe but nothing else. Inductive charging is rumoured with the Galaxy SIII and I welcome it. I love the slight chin, its subtle and my iPhone colleagues point it out as an imperfection but I like it, its so subtle you could easily miss it.
The bump on the back, again I like it, my thumb balanced on the screen and forefinger nestled on the bump, you appreciate how light weight this phone is. I'm compelled to wave the phone around like an oversized wand, murmuring various enchantments. If they could place a microphone in the top of the handset voice control could allow me to repeat "luminous" and the torch could come on. Generally I think the voice control interaction on phones is unnatural, People tend to hunch and focus their voice to the lower quartile of the screen, just the knowledge that there's a microphone on the top I think cod lead to a better experience.
The power and volume buttons, I'm left handed and as such use the volume buttons with my thumb. I miss the slight curvature of the IPhone 3GS I think it was replaced by dots on the IPhone 4. But its functional, I sorely miss the silence switch one IPhone feature that really convinced me that Apple really think about he design of their products. Having said that lowering he volume to silence is logical and I'm quite accustomed to it. The power button being on the side threw me at first but for a larger phone its perfectly placed.
It has a flash on the camera, this was an important reason for an upgrade and yes it works. I love the panoramic photo mode the camera is near instant though I can get some blurring on occasion. Its vastly superior to the 3GS but how it stacks up against the 4S I couldn't say, but its good enough for me. My one complaint is that initially opening the camera app is to slow. IPhone has a trick where the app launches and then the Iris receded, the Galaxy Nexus doesnt, with a little UI slight of hand I think they could give the illusion of a faster experience. Also the gallery experience from the camera is a little slow. The gallery overlays the camera so you can still see the camera preview in the background. I find this distracting and fear its wasting battery. I'm probably being over concerned but hey perception is everything.
While we're on the Gallery I love the instant photo uploading the it bites heavily into my meager 500mb data allowance. Brilliant is it works so well with picasa so my photo albums are streamed down, its brilliant how seamlessly it just works. My big complaint is that it losses the plot every now and again and I end up with a gallery of gray boxes. I have to resort to shutting the gallery and opening it again to resolve this niggle. Clearly a little bug but an embarrassing one when showing off your holiday snaps.
One of the primary things I do on my phone is listen to podcasts , not music but podcasts. My first app purchase in the then Android marketplace was beyond pod
and I've gone from there. One of the subtle things that attracted to the Galaxy Nexus was the headphone socket being positioned on the bottom of the phone and not the top like the iPhone. I put my phone head first in my left Jean pocket and now the headphones convenient trail out . Previously I had the cable bending round my phone which often lead to a dodgy headphone connection.
I know others have adapted to spinning their phones round as they place them i n their pockets but for me it just doesn't feel right.
Going onto the beyond pod software or more its integration with the lock screen, I appreciate that pause is there, my complaint is if I pause the podcast quickly play with the browser then flip on and off to get the lock screen I'm expecting the player to still be on the lock screen. It seems to dissapear if I've paused it in the actual app but left it running. Clever but not the behaviour I'd expect.
Volume control works simply, the volume bar can also be adjusted via onscreen touch. Personally I'd prefer it if this wasn't the case and ideally would prefer the volume indicator be more transparent or fade considerably faster. I often lower the volume of a podcast when trying to concentrate on reading an article and I find the volume control distracting as it pops up and then annoyingly slow to disappear.
Overall I'm more than happy with my new phone, but am still eagerly awaiting the IPhone 5.