Friday, November 30, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Nexus REVIEW

  Before reading:
 Please keep in mind that I am in no way affiliated with the Samsung company and I am NOT promoting their products by any means. This review is a strictly personal point of view and has nothing to do with marketing issues.
 This post might be very helpful to you because it delivers a customer's opinion over his newly bought smartphone.


   So I decided to become an Android developer. It's a long way to go from 0 (and we'll talk about this in future posts), but the first thing to do was clear to me: get a smartphone!
   Here comes next a long research phase as to decide what's the best smartphone that would make me happy. I'll spare you from a long and probably boring story filled with technical details and many twists and I'll skip to the end where I was left with only two candidates: the Samsung Galaxy S2 and Google's Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
   To help my decision, I obviously took the usual way of comparing on and then I headed into various forums to see people's opinions on those two top-class Samsung smartphones and which one they think is better, since the price tags fall into the same category. Eventually I decisively leaned over to Google's smartphone and I'll tell you why I think it was the best choice.

  This post in not a comparison between the two. It is about why I like Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

  I will not give you the technical details as you can find those just about anywhere on the internet.

  Instead I'll give you a closer look from a buyer's perspective.


   If you're reading this I'm guessing you want to know if Samsung Galaxy Nexus is exactly what you need and if its weaknesses are too small to matter in front of it's amazing features.
   In order to give you a clear, honest picture of the SGN phone, I am going to start by presenting the disadvantages first. 
   Everything shared here is my (a customer's) point of view after using the phone for 1 month.


There are mainly 3 cons that people keep reminding in their comparisons with fellow cousin S2:
  • the camera is only 5MP, comparing to similar smartphones that offer 8MP
  • no micro-SD card slot
  • short-lasting battery

Here's my opinion on these matters:

  • SGN's camera came with a big surprise for me in terms of quality and speed of reaction! Yes I kept thinking about the fact that 5MP < 8MP, so before buying it I tried to say to myself "Okay it's not gonna have the best camera out there but I don't really need the best, after all, I have a 14MP, 18x optical zoom Fujifilm Finepix camera in case I want high quality photos!". And by the way, I wanted a very good smartphone so I could enjoy Android, so camera wasn't a big deal for me. So it came as a very pleasant feeling to discover that SGN's photos were still very nice and clear, and the best part was the delay between two pictures: almost non-existent. You can take consecutive shots quite easily and the 5MP < 8MP argument really comes into the picture once you start zooming - you won't be able to read the license numbers of cars in the background, but you will perfectly see your friend's face before uploading it to Facebook! And also there's the HD filming which I think is great for capturing casual video clips, especially given the high sound quality. However the bizarre fact remains on why did Google/Samsung choose a 5MP camera when 8MP might have been considered "standard" for a high-end smartphone nowadays.

  • For those complaining about no micro-SD slot, I have a question: what on Earth do you want to upload on your mobile phone? Really isn't 16GB enough to hold a lot of music and lots of pictures you may take, plus lots of apps (which usually need a few MBs)? You can even take with you a few movies if you like, but why turning you phone into a multimedia database? Anyway, that my opinion. I'm sure other people have different views. So I say it again, this didn't matter to me. If I really want to carry some movies with me, I'll just upload new content every evening from my laptop. And all the music I need fits in a few GBs which leaves me plenty of room for thousands of pictures and hundreds of apps and games.

  • Oh well, when it comes to battery life, I can not find a good argument simply because there isn't. Due to its high processing power and consuming display, the battery quality is really poor. You can use the phone's full features in a day's usual activities, but be sure that you'll have to recharge it every evening. Obviously, average battery time is different from user to user. It lasts a day for me and my activities include, in average: 30 mins of talking, 30 mins of SMS, couple of hours of WiFi/3G and probably 1 hour of playing games and browsing apps. I always keep the charger with me at work.


  When it comes to SGN's good things, the list is so long and attractive that I'm not even going to try exhaust it. In short, I may say that all those nice features you read about on the internet are very freakin' true.

  So let me tell you what I liked the most and convinced me that I made a very good choice with this phone.

  • The display is truly amazing! If you were trying to find a reason why the battery is so poor, here it is! The 1280x720 resolution with 316 dpi on a 4.65'' Super AMOLED screen gives you a superb feeling and you might find that simply scrolling the desktop can be very addictive. Color are very clean with good contrasts and you can't miss the resemblance to a big tablet.

  • The processor is very powerful and makes everything move very fast. The touchscreen is very responsive and apps and games run highly smooth.

  • The Ice-Cream Sandwich OS needs no introduction or description, I loved it immediately and recently upgraded it to Jelly Bean which is not very different but still further improves on accessibility. Android is an OS that really lets you customize your phone is any possible way and its latest version makes no exception. But this is another subject I'll probably cover later on.

  • The overall physical design is a very relative characteristic, but it certainly fits my preferences since I find SGN to have a very "technological' aspect (I have the white version by the way, but I've dressed it in a black protective cover so that's hardly visible).

  • The price is a clear advantage. I've even heard people comparing SGN to Galaxy S3. It didn't win, but it came close and considering the big price gap between the two, I'd give it a big plus.


   As you can see SGN's weaknesses are relative, some of them might not matter to you, although battery life remains a big drawback if you want full independence from a power source for more than one day. I've read on the internet that Samsung has prepared an additional battery to be attached to SGN, thus extending its life, at the expense of physical dimensions and weight. I'm not interested in that for the moment, but I might be in the future.

   I'd give SGN an overall 9.5/10 evaluation.

   Now I can get to the next step in becoming an Android developer so I'll be back here soon with a new post.

   Until that, cheers!

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