Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Google Galaxy Nexus:Review and Compare


Having using the Google Galaxy Nexus phone for couple of months, over all I am pretty satisfied with it. I bought this unlocked phone from US Google Play store for US $349. It is a amazing price considering this is one of the best Android phone on the market in my opinion (the other best phones are Sumsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X).
Comparing with the price of new iPhone5 ($699), Google Galaxy Nexus is only half of the price (think how many money Apple earns from iPhone5)! In my opinion, Google Galaxy Nexus is better than iPhone 5 in many ways.

  • Bigger screen (4.65 vs. 4 inches, see the image below). Super AMOLED looks great.
  • More hardware features (NFC, LED light indicator, replaceable battery)
  • Support widgets (iOS's icon grid is too boring. Why need to open weather app if you can see the weather directly from widget)
  • Better notification menu (I like swipe to clear gesture)
  • Pattern unlock (easier than PIN or password)
  • Better keyboard (Swift Key3, iFlytek and Goolge Pinyin for Chinese are much better than the ones comes with iOS).
  • Seamless integration of Google services (If you use Gmail, Google Talk, Google Drive/Docs, Picasa, you definitely have to choose Android) 
  • Much better Google Map app (Apple Map in iOS6 sucks). 
  • True multi-task (iOS is not true multi-task. For example, apps can not download at background except for system apps)
  • Google Play Store is easier to use and more powerful than iTune store.
    • Every time iTune install an app, it quits. You have to reopen and find the list again.
    • Google Play supports install apps remotely through Web to any of your Android devices. Cool.
As for the design, it all depends on personal taste. I like the slightly curve screen design of the Galaxy Nexus. I do not like the back of the iPhone 5 which is divided by three parts of two different materials. Plus, iPhone 5 has problem of losing paint due to scratch.
The most important advantage is Android is open. I can buy app, music and books from places other than Google Play store. With Android 4.1, the smoothness and responsiveness is on par with iOS. Once you get used to Android you never want to go back to iOS.
Sure iPhone 5 is faster (CPU, LTE and WiFi), but that is less important to me. I am very satisfied with the speed of Galaxy Nexus already. Actually, the network speeds also depends on the phone company and the location. See the speed test below:


Accessories

I bought Diztronic Matte Back Black from Amazon for about $10. I am pretty happy with it. It is high quality and fit tightly. The matte back feels good and not slippery. 

Issues

Camera

I can not believe the Camera app comes with Android 4.1 does not support wide screen photos. Even my previous Sumsung Galaxy S supports that. In Android 4.1, you can only choose the Picture Size. No matter which size you choose, it is not wide screen. 
There are some third party camera apps like Camera 360 allows wide screen format. However, it seems has conflicts with the Gallery app comes with Android 4.1. Once you take some photos using Camera 360, Gallery app will quit after a few seconds after it starts. Once you delete those photos from Camera 360, this problem is gone. 
Hope Google can add the support to wide screen photos in next Android update. 

Calendar

This is a even bigger shock than wide screen photo support. There is no ending date for repetitive calendar events! All repetitive events will go on forever. This is a basic function, even the Calendar on my previous Galaxy S has that. Google Calendar on Web has this function. This definitely a big bug, wondering how did it pass the test.  
For now, I have to use third party Calendar app like (Jorte Calendar) to create repetitive event. But please fix this bug, Google!






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