The Galaxy Nexus Experience, 8 Months Later

Samsung and Google’s second child in the mobile department, the Galaxy Nexus has been around for almost two years now and although the Nexus 4 improves on many of the gripes I have with the Galaxy Nexus, I never made the switch. That’s partly due to the fact that I picked up the Galaxy Nexus a week before they announced the Nexus 4. Even though the GNex has been around for quite a while we can’t necessarily call it “old-gen”. With a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 720p display, the GNex is probably the best mid range android handset around today. Having said that there definitely were a few instances where I’ve wanted to bang my phone against the wall.

Let’s start with software. The biggest advantage to buying a nexus device is that you get the assurance that your software is probably going to work better on your phone as compared to anything else you might pick up as it is maintained by google itself. It runs the latest version of android (4.2.2) and its smooth, most of the time. My biggest problem with the phone is probably the battery. Not the battery life (which is abysmal) but the battery itself. My battery is constantly at 38 degrees but more that often above 47. That not only makes the phone really hot but also causes an immense performance drop. Swiping through home screens takes long and it takes the phone about 3 seconds to register touches. Apps like the gallery and browser are unusable and often force close. Apps that are more power hungry refuse to even open and often cause the phone to just crash.

The thing I love the most about my phone is how customisable it is. Rooting and tinkering with a nexus device is a breeze, especially with Wugs toolkit. There’s nothing about the phone you can’t change. When I got the phone I went crazy with all the things you could customise. I was running CM10.1 with Franco’s Kernel, used ROM toolbox pro to root and configure the little things, changed my font, my boot animation, my softkeys and made many other customisations. This however brings me to my next point.

At the beginning when I had the phone it was flawless. No lag, never force closed, no issues. However, after a while, one by one issues started to arise. It got so bad that I had to do a complete wipe of the phone and go fully back to stock. I’m now on the stock ROM with the stock kernel and action launcher + flatro icons on the front end. Things were never the same however. It could be due to the battery over heating or maybe some other issues. I tried loading Paranoid Android over the weekend to try out the ‘HALO’ feature, much to my dismay my phone was beyond unusable. I went through all the checkpoints (wipe system, cache, dalvik, etc.) but nothing worked. The phone booted up fine but navigating through the home screens and menus were a nightmare. Everything lagged like it never lagged before. I couldn’t open any apps and when some would open I wouldn’t be able to use them (like the settings app).  So alas, I restored my nandroid backup and even though its running well now on stock android, I steel feel like I’m a burger without fries or like SpongeBob without Patrick, I feel like I’m missing a part of me.

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New Phone Time?

Is that phone in your pocket rotting? is it time for an upgrade? can’t decide which phone to use, because of the dastardly large number of new phones releasing each week? well you’ve come to the right place, cause I got the perfect guide for you!

instead of making this a top 5 phones thing like I usually do, I’ll split this guide into priorities and what you need out of a phone, such as simplicity, power or nerd-gasmic experiences. that’s right, I made my own word, nerdgasmic.

Let’s start with the most thought about factor for teens and the working adult:

Communication 

BlackBerry Bold 9900

yes, it’s a blackberry. no, I’m not high. With a 1.2GHz processor coupled with Liquid Display hardware acceleration, a 2.8″ HVGA capacitive touchscreen display and the best keyboard on earth, the blackberry bold 9900 takes the no. 1 spot for communication. why? well because blackberries are excellent communication tools, with the best email integration, BBM, and heavy social network integration, BlackBerries are excellent devices for keeping in touch with your friends, families or co-workers. sure the apps aren’t that great, but honestly who needs apps? well everyone but still, you probably have a tablet or media device for those… Other than apps, the only limitation I have found on this phone is the terrible 1300mAh battery that juices this device.

WOW- Factor

Apple iPhone 4S

Sure it looks exactly like the 4 and many were disappointed with this release of the iPhone, even I was at first but it’s really starting to grow on me now. I loved the design of the 4 and was glad to see them stick with it, although I do wish they had gone with a 4″ Display. Other than that it sports very welcome updates such as a dual core processor and bumped up camera, this phone is perfect for the every day user, with its amazing ecosystem of apps, integration with your life and for the love of God, Siri! This phone is perfect for the every day user.

NERD APPEAL

Google Galaxy Nexus

That’s right, everything about this phone screams AWESOME to nerds like me, possibly the only real Android phone (read here for why) The 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, Android 4.0 and that brilliant 4.65″ Super AMOLED HD 720p display, that’s right, 720p!! it’s like having a theater in your pocket! this phone should be crowned king o’ the geeks!

All Rounder 

Nokia Lumia 800

Yes, know what you must be thinking, didn’t nokia die? well no, and yes this is the best phone out there right now, according to me. Other than the completely sexy unibody polycarbonate design (look at how sexy it is) The Nokia Lumia 800 is one amazing phone. Packed with a 1.4GHz Qualcomm chip, 16Gigs of memory, An 8 Megapixel camera, 3.7″ clearblack AMOLED and windows phone mango, this is the real deal. The focal point of this phone is the OS, windows phone 7.5 is a brilliant blend of easy to use software and beauty. It has a minimalistic feel to it, so you feel elegant and classy when using it. Best of all it’s practical, it does everything you need it to, and makes day to day living just a tad more elegant. To know more about windows phone and it’s awesomeness, check out the youtube vids. One things for sure, when I go to university, I’m definitely getting myself a windows phone.