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.
- 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.
P.S. Google Currents is supoib, I tells ya.