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Old September 6th, 2012, 07:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Galaxy S II or Galaxy Nexus for T-Mobile?

I know the vs question has been asked a couple hundred thousand times, but I'm curious about the 2 devices on T-Mobile, not just in general. Does either tend to have better service on T-mobile than the other?

Also, I'd like some opinions on what you guys think is the better phone NOT including a few things. Forget the fact that the Nexus will stay more current with the software because either phone will more than likely have a custom ROM on it. Also, I know the Nexus has a much better screen resolution, but unless you compare them side by side, the Galaxy S II still has a really nice picture right?

I just bought the S II from Walmart for $300, haven't gotten it yet, have to wait for it to get here some time next week, but I'm really debating whether or not I should have went with the Nexus instead for $50 more...

So, considering both phones will be on Jelly Bean (S II would have CM10 on it), does anything really make the Nexus better than the S II?

I'm sorry again for the question that's been asked over and over again, I've went through tons of these threads trying to find MY questions and answers and I'm not really getting what I want to see...

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old September 6th, 2012, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have moved this thread into the T-Mobile forum, so that those who use these phones with T-Mobile can post their tips here to help you decide.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 10:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You are right that the big advantage the Nexus has is with the screen. It is larger (4.65 to 4.3 inches), higher resolution (1280x720 instead of 800x480) and higher pixels per inch (315 to 217 ppi). My understanding is that side by side the Nexus screen looks much better, that the resolution and size differences are noticeable, and brighter.

On the flip side, the SII has a 8MP camera and the Nexus only a 5MP, the SII has an FM radio, and a microSD slot.

I think there is an advantage to not needing to root to have the most recent Android version but understand that doesn't make a difference to you. OTOH, the updates will still be a bit faster to the Nexus (maybe a month); I believe the first Jellybean custom ROMs for the Nexus were available within a day of the Google announcement -- the source code will likely be available for the Nexus before it is for the SII.

As for T-Mobile service, I'm not aware as to why there would be any differences. From what I recall, both phones are HSPA+21. Though, this website claims that the Nexus does have better network performance.

Hope this helps.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You are right that the big advantage the Nexus has is with the screen. It is larger (4.65 to 4.3 inches), higher resolution (1280x720 instead of 800x480) and higher pixels per inch (315 to 217 ppi). My understanding is that side by side the Nexus screen looks much better, that the resolution and size differences are noticeable, and brighter.

On the flip side, the SII has a 8MP camera and the Nexus only a 5MP, the SII has an FM radio, and a microSD slot.

I think there is an advantage to not needing to root to have the most recent Android version but understand that doesn't make a difference to you. OTOH, the updates will still be a bit faster to the Nexus (maybe a month); I believe the first Jellybean custom ROMs for the Nexus were available within a day of the Google announcement -- the source code will likely be available for the Nexus before it is for the SII.

As for T-Mobile service, I'm not aware as to why there would be any differences. From what I recall, both phones are HSPA+21. Though, this website claims that the Nexus does have better network performance.

Hope this helps.
galaxy s2 has a 4.52 screen not 4.3 and its hspa+42 not 21
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Old September 7th, 2012, 10:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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galaxy s2 has a 4.52 screen not 4.3 and its hspa+42 not 21
That isn't what the specs show:

Display Type Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density) Multitouch Yes Protection Corning Gorilla Glass
Data GPRS Class 12 (4+1/3+2/2+3/1+4 slots), 32 - 48 kbps EDGE Class 12 Speed HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot Bluetooth Yes, v3.0+HS NFC Optional USB Yes, microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go
Here's the Samsung page that shows the same specs.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 10:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That isn't what the specs show:

Display Type Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density) Multitouch Yes Protection Corning Gorilla Glass
Data GPRS Class 12 (4+1/3+2/2+3/1+4 slots), 32 - 48 kbps EDGE Class 12 Speed HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot Bluetooth Yes, v3.0+HS NFC Optional USB Yes, microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go
Here's the Samsung page that shows the same specs.
you must be linking the specs for the s2 skyrocket since that has a 4.3 screen if im not mistaken..you can find the specs here for the galaxy s2
Samsung Galaxy S II | T-Mobile

and also at walmart.com and any number of vids on youtube.


edit-wasnt the skyrocket but i do remember seeing some s2 phone with a 4.3 screen but its definitly not the s2 for tmobile
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Old September 7th, 2012, 11:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You are right that the big advantage the Nexus has is with the screen. It is larger (4.65 to 4.3 inches), higher resolution (1280x720 instead of 800x480) and higher pixels per inch (315 to 217 ppi). My understanding is that side by side the Nexus screen looks much better, that the resolution and size differences are noticeable, and brighter.
Thank you for the response. I know side by side the Nexus screen would look much better, but I'm more curious if they weren't side by side. Basically, just asking how nice the S II picture is without comparing it to the Nexus. I hope that makes sense.

Also, since their processors are so similar in speed, would that make the S II a little more snappy considering the resolution is so much lower?
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Old September 7th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you for the response. I know side by side the Nexus screen would look much better, but I'm more curious if they weren't side by side. Basically, just asking how nice the S II picture is without comparing it to the Nexus. I hope that makes sense.

Also, since their processors are so similar in speed, would that make the S II a little more snappy considering the resolution is so much lower?
The Nexus runs very fast, especially with Jellybean. As for the screen, I think you likely need to make your own determination, as that seems to be more of a personal preference. My recommendation is to go into a T-Mobile store and play with the display SII.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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you must be linking the specs for the s2 skyrocket since that has a 4.3 screen if im not mistaken..you can find the specs here for the galaxy s2
Samsung Galaxy S II | T-Mobile

and also at walmart.com and any number of vids on youtube.


edit-wasnt the skyrocket but i do remember seeing some s2 phone with a 4.3 screen but its definitly not the s2 for tmobile
As you found, it was not the Skyrocket I was looking at. The specs I quote are the S II's actual specs, just that the T-Mobile is actually a different phone that was code named "Hercules" and is being marketed as an S II. Apparently the processor in the stock S II is not compatible with T-Mobile's network. It was also released about 8 months after the original version of the S II.

So my apologies for not looking at the T-Mobile variant of the S II.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My supervisor has an S2. I was messing with it last week. Its a very nice phone, well worth the money. However, it pales in comparison to my Nexus. Seriously, the screen is simply in a different league.That being said, price being a factor I consider them equal. If you held them side by side you would definitely know where that extra $50 went.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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So does pretty much everybody prefer the Nexus over the S II?
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Old September 7th, 2012, 01:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ok, I just looked at Google's return policy... If for whatever reason the Nexus doesn't work too great around here and I have to return it, Google charges a 15% restocking fee on opened items plus shipping isn't refunded... I don't know if I want to risk that now. Walmart will refund everything if I run into some sort of problem... That MAY have made up my mind, I'm still kind of on the fence though, it's driving me nuts.

Edit: Meant to edit the above post, not make a new one, don't know what I was thinking... Sorry for the double post.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ok, I just looked at Google's return policy... If for whatever reason the Nexus doesn't work too great around here and I have to return it, Google charges a 15% restocking fee on opened items plus shipping isn't refunded... I don't know if I want to risk that now. Walmart will refund everything if I run into some sort of problem... That MAY have made up my mind, I'm still kind of on the fence though, it's driving me nuts.

Edit: Meant to edit the above post, not make a new one, don't know what I was thinking... Sorry for the double post.
I have to question why you would want to return the Nexus once you have it?

Both are great phones. It seems like most agree with me that the Nexus is a nicer phone, the S II is still a very nice phone. So I wouldn't worry about it too much, both are solid choices especially with the S II being $50 cheaper with the $30 card.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have to question why you would want to return the Nexus once you have it?
Lol, not because I disliked the phone in any way, just worried that I may not get a strong signal or SOMETHING that would just make me have to return it for some reason. I'd hate to lose like $60+ if I had to return it for SOME reason...

I was literally about to purchase the phone after hearing what all you guys had to say and just return the S II when it was delivered until I saw their return policy, I'd just be really mad if I got stuck paying that much for absolutely nothing.

Lol, I'm still really on edge about what I want to do though... I figure it wouldn't be shipped out until Monday anyways, so I have until Sunday to think about it to get it as soon as possible... I really still have no idea what I want to do though. The return policy scares me, but the upsides to the phone is driving me crazy that it would only be about another $50.


Is there any reason the phone wouldn't get just as good a signal as my current T-Mobile phone?
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Old September 7th, 2012, 03:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ok, I just looked at Google's return policy... If for whatever reason the Nexus doesn't work too great around here and I have to return it, Google charges a 15% restocking fee on opened items plus shipping isn't refunded... I don't know if I want to risk that now. Walmart will refund everything if I run into some sort of problem... That MAY have made up my mind, I'm still kind of on the fence though, it's driving me nuts.

Edit: Meant to edit the above post, not make a new one, don't know what I was thinking... Sorry for the double post.
i actually did return a nexus because of bad signal strength and ended up getting everything i paid for the phone refunded.

now i dont know if it was because i contacted the bbb when around 30 days have passed and no refund but the day after bbb contacted google about my complaint i got a email that said my total purchase price(381) was being refunded even though that had nothing to do with my complaint.my complaint was only about how long they were taking to do a refund.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 03:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i actually did return a nexus because of bad signal strength and ended up getting everything i paid for the phone refunded.

now i dont know if it was because i contacted the bbb when around 30 days have passed and no refund but the day after bbb contacted google about my complaint i got a email that said my total purchase price(381) was being refunded even though that had nothing to do with my complaint.my complaint was only about how long they were taking to do a refund.
Really? Ok, I just e-mailed them asking if I was to buy the phone and had to return it because of bad signal strength if I would still be subject to the 15% restocking fee..

I think my mind is pretty set on the Nexus if I have nothing to worry about if I was to have to return it.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You will love it. Personally, I would hate to get the lesser phone and be kicking myself later. For what its worth, I get an excellent signal and usually get about 7-8 Mbps speeds.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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You will love it. Personally, I would hate to get the lesser phone and be kicking myself later. For what its worth, I get an excellent signal and usually get about 7-8 Mbps speeds.
That's exactly where I am... If I don't get the Nexus, I'm just going to be kicking myself forever until I upgrade again eventually. BUT if I get it, and I get stuck paying like $60 for nothing, I might be even more mad.... As of now though, I'm really leaning towards just getting the Nexus and really hoping for the best... Like I said, it wouldn't be shipped until Monday anyways, so I have until Sunday to make up my mind so I can get it some time next week.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Really? Ok, I just e-mailed them asking if I was to buy the phone and had to return it because of bad signal strength if I would still be subject to the 15% restocking fee..

I think my mind is pretty set on the Nexus if I have nothing to worry about if I was to have to return it.
yep i dont feel like posting the whole email but here is the headline.for what its worth i had two samsung phones on t mobile with about the same signal strength.so imo that really shouldnt be a concern when you choose which phone you want.if you think the nexus is worth $50 more to you then i wouldnt hesitate to buy it.


oh and i was told up until i got my refund about the restocking fee but when my refund came they didnt deduct for it.im not sure if it was because of bbb though
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Old September 7th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Does the T-Mobile S II have Gorilla glass? How is the Nexus glass?

Ugh... I'm still bouncing back and forth after looking up like a hundred different comparison reviews... Plus, it's kind of hard to find comparison reviews with people using the T-Mobile GSII instead of the older one. Then, it's almost impossible to find comparison reviews with the GSII not on Gingerbread.

Ok, if we were ONLY comparing performance, speed of the devices, forget the screen and all that... Are they pretty much the same when it comes to how smooth and fast they run?

The T-Mobile GSII has the 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, the Nexus has the 1.2GHz dual-core processor, but they are different. So I'm assuming they are pretty much identical with speed and smoothness right?

I've been stuck on wanting the GNex pretty much since I started asking you guys, but I think I'm just going to go on the performance, as long as they are just as smooth and fast as each other, I don't need to spend the extra money or worry about the possibility of a return.

Please let me know what you guys think so my mind can finally be made up... I thank all of you very much for the help you have given me.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Does the T-Mobile S II have Gorilla glass? How is the Nexus glass?

Ugh... I'm still bouncing back and forth after looking up like a hundred different comparison reviews... Plus, it's kind of hard to find comparison reviews with people using the T-Mobile GSII instead of the older one. Then, it's almost impossible to find comparison reviews with the GSII not on Gingerbread.

Ok, if we were ONLY comparing performance, speed of the devices, forget the screen and all that... Are they pretty much the same when it comes to how smooth and fast they run?

The T-Mobile GSII has the 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, the Nexus has the 1.2GHz dual-core processor, but they are different. So I'm assuming they are pretty much identical with speed and smoothness right?

I've been stuck on wanting the GNex pretty much since I started asking you guys, but I think I'm just going to go on the performance, as long as they are just as smooth and fast as each other, I don't need to spend the extra money or worry about the possibility of a return.

Please let me know what you guys think so my mind can finally be made up... I thank all of you very much for the help you have given me.
i only owned a nexus and not a s2 so what i say about that phone is what i read or seen in videos.going by benchmarks the t mobile s2 is faster but only buy a for hundreds.when i had my nexus i had zero lag after i updated to jellybean.

now if you like watching movies or vids on your phone it should be a no brainer that the nexus would be better.

phonedog has a lot of dog fight vids on youtube and im pretty sure i remember watching one against the nexus.now it would be against a s2 using gingerbread but it will give you some idea which one you want.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 01:42 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Not to take the thread away from the OP, but I too have a question. And didn't just want to add to the forum.
Which is MORE VALUE for my money; Nexus on $30 prepaid plan, or Galaxy S3 on contract? Does T-Mobile move their pre-paid customers down the priority "list" for those on their Pre-Paid plans, as opposed to someone with a contract? I just ask because Sprint does that with Virgin and Boost customers?
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Old September 18th, 2012, 06:41 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Not to take the thread away from the OP, but I too have a question. And didn't just want to add to the forum.
Which is MORE VALUE for my money; Nexus on $30 prepaid plan, or Galaxy S3 on contract? Does T-Mobile move their pre-paid customers down the priority "list" for those on their Pre-Paid plans, as opposed to someone with a contract? I just ask because Sprint does that with Virgin and Boost customers?

There are some things I don't get on the $30 monthly 4G plan that contract customers do, like visual voicemail. Monthly customers also do not get an option for upgrading phones either.

Do you talk a lot on your phone? I don't much at all. 100 minutes and 5gb data is perfect for me. If you talk more you might need another plan. Over 100 minutes is 10 cents a minute.

Personally, I would go with the Nexus from Google mainly because it will get updates long before the carrier branded phones.

If you like a big screen, you could wait until next month and all the carriers will probably be getting the Note 2.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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There are some things I don't get on the $30 monthly 4G plan that contract customers do, like visual voicemail. Monthly customers also do not get an option for upgrading phones either.

Do you talk a lot on your phone? I don't much at all. 100 minutes and 5gb data is perfect for me. If you talk more you might need another plan. Over 100 minutes is 10 cents a minute.

Personally, I would go with the Nexus from Google mainly because it will get updates long before the carrier branded phones.

If you like a big screen, you could wait until next month and all the carriers will probably be getting the Note 2.

Yeah that's not a bad idea about the Note 2, my gut is telling me that the price of that thing is gonna be a pretty penny.... I just seen last night that they had the S3 for $99 for s limited time... I'm guessing though that the Nexus has a good development community behind it than the S3?
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Old September 18th, 2012, 02:43 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm guessing though that the Nexus has a good development community behind it than the S3?
Yes probably so. Although the S3 is a very popular phone and has a lot of dev support, the Nexus has a humongous amount.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Yes probably so. Although the S3 is a very popular phone and has a lot of dev support, the Nexus has a humongous amount.

Yeah I was looking over at XDA and saw that the Nexus forum for Android Development has almost 200,000 posts! And the list of ROMs is incredible, could be flashing for days! How is the data speed on their prepaid? I know coverage, and what not, but just in general?
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Old September 20th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #27 (permalink)
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How is the data speed on their prepaid?

It depends on where I am. I probably average 15000 down / 2000 up kbps. Some places around the city I get Edge speeds. T-Mobile is supposed to be upgrading towers in many cities. Mine is one of them. I hope it gets a lot faster.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 10:26 AM   #28 (permalink)
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How is the data speed on their prepaid?
I'm on their prepaid plan. Here's my last screenie, and this is roughly the general speeds I get (give or take). Of course this will depend on your area and time of day.

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Old September 23rd, 2012, 10:58 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I got a little bit lower speeds than Petrah on my Exhibit 2

5429 kbps down
2197 kbps up
613 ms ping

So far very happy on the $30 plan.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 11:53 AM   #30 (permalink)
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How is the data speed on their prepaid?
I usually get between 8-10 down and about 3 up. But add others stated, it depends a lot on the time of day and my location. Sometimes more, sometimes less.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 06:58 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Here is a speed test from my Galaxy Nexus connected with T-Mobile from this morning:


And I likely could have sped it up a bit if I hadn't been right in front of my computer when I did the speed test.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 08:51 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the help and input on this decision. It was a tough one, the GS3 and the Nexus are both REALLY good phones. But what it came down to for me was hardware. Don't get me wrong, direct updates from google is awesome, but I... really like the screen on the GS3. I myself am an AOSP kind of guy, as many of you are , so in the meantime before JB is offically released, the first app I downloaded was Holo Launcher HD. Hate Touchwiz... And also I am surprised at how fast the mobile data is! At work I was getting 5.5mbps down! I am glad I left virgin mobile. Sorry about the long post...
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Old September 24th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I may get a lot of push-back on this comment, but even in comparing the S2 to the Nexus: I'd go with the S2. (Note: No experience with either. Just going by reviews, specs and comments around the web.)

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Old September 24th, 2012, 11:58 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the help and input on this decision. It was a tough one, the GS3 and the Nexus are both REALLY good phones. But what it came down to for me was hardware. Don't get me wrong, direct updates from google is awesome, but I... really like the screen on the GS3.

You can't go wrong with the GS3. I saw that Jellybean is rolling out for it today. Maybe you won't have to wait long before it trickles down to T-Mobile.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I may get a lot of push-back on this comment, but even in comparing the S2 to the Nexus: I'd go with the S2. (Note: No experience with either. Just going by reviews, specs and comments around the web.)

Jim
For some, the superior camera and expandable storage will push them towards the S2, others will go for the GNex for its superior screen and fast updates. IMO, its a wash, and you really can't go wrong with either.
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