An Owner's Perspective: Galaxy Nexus

On Wednesday, my Galaxy Nexus arrived. I bounded down the stairs and greeted the delivery man with relish, impatiently squiggled a passable signature and snatched the package from his cold, tired hands. I tore the plastic open, my eyes widened, there it was. A gleaming titanium silver sliver of magic. I cradled it lovingly, as I put it through it's first charge.

Now, here are some of my thoughts after a few days of use. Hopefully, those who are waiting to buy one (sorry, America!) and Nexus owners will find this informative.

  • It's been said many times but truly, Matias Duarte is the Billy Beane of Android. ICS just a fantastic OS to play with, and I'm so glad they built a font from the ground up. Typography is vital to how a phone feels, and Roboto (for me, at least) really makes Android feel vibrant again.
  • If you're reliant on Google services, or even just Gmail, it's a good enough reason to get this phone. When I get an email, I'll get a Chrome notification and one on my phone, and I find myself more tempted to reply on my phone.
  • The size really isn't the deal breaker some might think it is. I came from a 3.5" HTC Hero, and while it took a bit of getting used to (I find myself holding the phone in a slightly different way now), I can't go back to a 3.5" screen. 4" is probably my sweet spot, but the thinness of the phone helps alleviate the bulkiness. It really helps typing, and is brilliant to consume content on. In a weird way, I don't hanker after a tablet any more.
I do have some problems, though, Most small, some not so small.
  • The lock screen background is the same as the home screen, and I haven't found a way to change that. It seems small, but it really irritates me, because I like having separate visuals greeting me from the lock screen to my home screen, and I'm probably not alone in that. Hopefully this can be easily sorted out in a software update.
  • A lot of apps are basically unusable on the GN right now. Viber force closed every time I tried to open it, and more than a handful of apps weren't optimised for larger screen sizes and took up a tiny rectangle in the bottom corner of my screen. Personally, I feel not releasing the software to developers earlier was a big mistake on Google's part. A small, desktop remote app like RemoteDroid I can understand, but Facebook, Twitter and Skype? Obviously it lies with both parties, but I would hope that Google would want to work as closely as possible with the big apps before releasing one of the most important iterations in Android's history.
  • The battery. I've done a couple of full cycles, and I still keep getting pretty poor battery life - I just keep hoping it'll improve in a few more days. In fairness, I've seen others who've been getting better use, but frankly if doesn't, I might have to tote my old Sony Ericsson feature phone around when I'm out for long periods if I need to pop the SIM in. (Before anyone asks, no GPS, Wifi on, screen brightness at 15-20%). This morning was particularly strange, as I took it off the charger (at 100%), and in an hour it had gone to 88%, with Android OS using 64% (the Keep awake detail was 1hr 9m 35s, but the screen was off the whole time). If anyone can help here, I'd be mighty grateful.
Ultimately, battery life is my biggest concern, but if that improves I'll be very happy with my Galaxy Nexus. After spending years in the HTC wilderness, lost, cold and frightened, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to receiving regular updates. I hope this info helps, and I'm willing to answer a few questions, if anyone has any.
P.S. Google Currents is supoib, I tells ya.