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General Read 1st if considering GNex

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by breynolds007, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. breynolds007

    breynolds007 Well-Known Member
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    Like many others, I've been waiting for the this phone since the Bionic turned out to be a bust. The Hong Kong release had me excited and then as we all know, the waiting went on and on. Over the last couple weeks, I've been perusing though the GNex forums to get a good "feel" for the phone while waiting on my upgrade to become available. I had become a little discouraged by all the complaints and started considering a Rezound, Razr or just keeping my DroidX.

    Yesterday I went to the VZW store and played will all of them. Initial impressions were that I like the thinness of the Razr, but seemed too much like my X. And, the Rezound like a newer Incredible. I've been an earlier adopter of Android (pre-ordered G1 on T-Mobile) and have loved Vanilla Android ever since. So, honestly, these phones were already at a disadvantage since I didn't really want another Blur, Sense or any skinned device.

    At first glance, the GNex appeared pretty nice. Screen looked great, felt snappy without any lag and size was similar to my X...which I love. So, after doing some research online, I took my Target Mobile print-out showing the upgrade price of $229 and picked one up from my nearest Cellular Sales Retailer where they price match.

    First off, I want to say that I've only been using the phone for 1 day, so these opinions may change as I notice other issues after more use. And, all my comparisons are my experience coming from a Droid X. (Which I've liked very much the whole time I've had it, has had a few issues with locking up and re-booting but overall a good phone).

    Overall, I feel that the phone has been given a somewhat poor reputation on this site that it doesn't deserve. Honestly, with all the feedback I have been reading, I was worried this phone was going to give me a ton of problems and ultimately I would have to return it, that's not been the case at all. I think this phone was soo hyped that it was bound to disappoint if you aren't realistic about it.

    Build quality-compared to the X, GNex feels a little light, but I feel the build just as good if not better than most other devices. The feel isn't a huge concern to me, as I always have my phones in cases. I opted for the OtterBox Defender for $50 from VZW. It's actually larger than what I normally purchase, but it fits and feels great and I like the added protection (Especially after seeing what 1 drop wearing the Verizon hard shell case did to Superbad's phone).

    Screen-looks great, it is adequate for me at about half brightness.

    ICS-Amazing! With the X, I had quite a bit of lag and had just gotten used to it. Not with this phone! ICS has worked flawlessly for me thus far. All my Google integration was smooth and I haven't noticed any lag or had a FC yet. Interestingly enough, I though Pandora was a crap app because it skipped so much on the X (even on wi-fi) that I never used it. Well works perfect on the GNex. Still getting used to the placement of everything, but ICS is a huge jump forward for Android. Hope all the overlays aren't going to take away from it on other devices.

    Camera-For me, this was a big concern. I'm not a pro photographer by any means, but I do like having a decent camera on my phone that I can use at any time. I expected it to greatly disappoint me, but it has not. I really like the ability to take no-lag photos, it works lightning fast and the quality is better than I expected. Shots in bright light, appear to be similar to my DroidX. Some look a little more washed out, but it makes up for it with the pics I've taken at night. The flash works great in comparison to the X. The X takes pretty poor shots at night and the flash never seems bright enough. GNex is the opposite, flash may be almost too bright and washes the pic out a little, but glad it's clearly visible. And the panoramic mode works great, surprised how good the video capture played back.

    Signal/Call Quality-I haven't had any of the issues people have complained about. While not showing a lot of bars like my X, I haven't had 1 time where I didn't have data or couldn't make a clear call. My signal strength at home was usually around -87 to -90 on the X and it's been showing -90 to -93 on the GNex. I've really noticed no difference...except how fast 4G is!

    Battery-This is the one thing I'm still not sure about as it is certainly a strong point with the X. I think as many have posted, it will get better after a few more days/week and a 4G phone is going to use more juice. After starting yesterday with a full charge, I was down to 12% after about 7.5 hours but this was with me hardly putting it down. I expect it to be good enough to get me through the day with normal use and I still may get the extended battery.

    Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised with the phone. While it's not going to make everyone completely happy, I think it's the best phone out there right now. Pure Android the way Google intended on the best network in the country. I hope the phone proves to be as good as it seems so far and other's aren't discouraged from buying...I'm very happy with my purchase.
     

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  2. darkuni

    darkuni Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks for sharing your story. I, too, sicken of the horrid press people give the Nexus. It isn't without it's issues - but no phone is.

    I did my review here if anyone wants another positive view of the phone.
     
  3. alejovh1

    alejovh1 Well-Known Member
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    Same here, my gn is great. No issues with signal or any other problems absolutely love ICS
     
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  4. artman540

    artman540 Android Enthusiast
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    I love my nexus. Don't ever believe bad reviews. The way I see it, if you go to eat at a restaurant, you won't send an email to corporate when you've had a good experience. However, if it's a bad one, complain is the first thing you'll do.
     
  5. pragmatous

    pragmatous Android Enthusiast
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    Cool.

    My problem is I bought the phone so I can read my books on it instead of getting the asus transformer prime tablet which is a lot more. My thinking was kill 4 birds with one stone. 4g, faster phone, ICS, and big display - big enough where you can actually read a book on it.

    unfortunately at low brightness the display looks dirty. If this display was on a TV set no one would buy the TV. Trying to read a book at 50% brightness I might as well stab my eye with a tooth pick.

    In my opinion SAMOLED displays are not geared for my intended use of this phone. I'm guessing other people are saying the same thing.

    If you just use your phone as a phone then great the nexus is a fantastic phone but I had other plans for it that didn't work out.

    It happens.
     
  6. CharlzO

    CharlzO Android Expert
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    Exactly right. I must also add that for all the people considering reviews and posts on this site: For every person that has a problem with their phone, or certain features, there are countless others who have a problem-free device. There is no definitive way of knowing percentages of defective devices, or reasons behind certain issues, etc. But people are far more compelled to come on and complain about when something ISN'T working right, than they are when all is well. Take every review with a grain of salt, and ultimately, play with the phone and make your own choices based on that.

    Glad you've been happy with your phone! Here's to many more trouble-free days for you!
     
  7. breynolds007

    breynolds007 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, your review is excellent and you hit on many great misconceptions!
     
  8. darkuni

    darkuni Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks!
     
  9. CharlzO

    CharlzO Android Expert
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    To be honest, I don't read many books on my phone. I do surf some web pages and things, but I've found that it really depends on the time of day. I usually keep my phone on 100% brightness anyway, but in the dark at night, I can easily turn it down and it's still fine to read. Less strain on my eyes usually too, since it's not overly bright. But, I can easily see how in many conditions, it wouldn't be ideal to do that. I do feel ya on that, even though it doesn't apply to me myself. However, you said it pretty well, that each person will have their own individual tastes, preferences, and intended uses for their phones, and not every device will cater to every person perfectly. It's all about finding what will cover most of your bases.

    Just as an aside, did your phone ever show those banding issues or anything else? The only reason I ask, is in the event that maybe yours is having some of the issues that other people have had. I am sitting at work, directly under a light fixture, set my brightness on 50%, and opened my free copy of White Fang in my Aldiko app, and it looked fine. Easier to read on my laptop on full, actually. (better contrast in the letters). Just wondering if there's anything for your case that might be a remedy to help out, is all :)
     
  10. pragmatous

    pragmatous Android Enthusiast
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    I get banding plus a purple hue in the lines. It's really disgusting to look at. I already swapped it out and this is my replacement. My last nexus had banding but not this bad with this purple hue to it.

    I would go and replace it again but I don't play that game. If it isn't fixed the 2nd time that's just a bad omen that it's just not meant to be.

    I love my little droid incredible so I'll just go back to that and buy the asus transformer prime. That was my original plan.

     
  11. abijnk

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    I've been extremely impressed. I'm coming in from an iPhone 4S, but as a big phone nerd I've used tons of phones, my most recent Android being a Thunderbolt.

    I do have slight banding on the screen, but it is only visible in very specific situations, so I'm letting it slide.

    Also, the sentiment expressed by the OP about the camera is spot on in my opinion. For the life of me I don't know why they went with 5MP, but it is a quality camera nonetheless. Coming from the 4S, with its stellar camera, I knew I would be taking a step down in quality, but I'm very pleased that it hasn't been as big of a step as I was expecting. Overall I think the biggest difference is that the SGN camera isn't as forgiving as some others on the market. If you point the 4S at something you're almost always going to get a decent shot. With this phone it takes a little more care, but quality results are definitely achievable.
     
  12. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Android Expert
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    5MP is not the reason why Nexus camera doesn't do as well as 8MP iPhone4S camera. On the tiny phone camera sensor, 5MP is already more than enough in terms of pixel density. Going higher in MP on phone camera will only hurt image quality due to escalating noise on sensor.

    iPhone has excellent lens and imaging software making great pictures. Also SGSII camera is better because Samsung, not Google developed the camera software. I'm sure that Nexus camera will be improved quite a bit with future updates.
     
  13. Jay3

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    I feel the same as the OP. I've almost stopped visiting this site because it's pages filled up with minutae of little things going wrong, not really worthy of discussion. I wish there were a separate sub-forum for troubleshooting problems. But I guess the line is gray there -- the difference between getting an app to work versus some obvious hardware problem.
     
  14. daddyd302

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    Excellent review!!
     
  15. zebug

    zebug Android Enthusiast
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    the thing is, it this day and age of the internet, every game, car, phone, TV, sewing needle, etc will have people bash said product and the bigger the release, the bigger response from haters and lovers alike. Bottom line, you have to make your own judgement and if you like it, then enjoy it, if you don't then return it.
     
  16. breynolds007

    breynolds007 Well-Known Member
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    Absolutely correct!

    Also, I got a chance to use the camera some more with a large group of family and friends at a restaurant last night. I gotta say I was pretty impressed (as were they) with it's performance. While other phone cameras have higher resolution, I found the ability to take pics super fast well worth the trade-off. It's amazing what you can catch when there's no lag...and I found most looked great, very few were blurry at all, just held the button to let it focus instead of merely tapping. :D
     
  17. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    Hello breynolds007. That ^ quoted portion of your write-up caught my eye, mainly because it is a thought process that I share.. at least one that I had prior to my first Android purchase about two years ago.

    I'd been reading around the many Android forums about the Eris. I googled "droid eris," and found myself awash in posts about "lag," "dropped calls," "poor reception" and plenty of other complaints.

    So I bought one. :D

    As expected, it turned out to be one gem of a phone, and I had to chuckle at the whole thing because it was a reminder about something that we all tend to forget in its simplicity: device forums, "support forums" as some refer to them, attract about 90% complaints and 10% compliments as to a given device.

    So, if we were to go by forums as to our decision making wrt to purchases, Android sales would basically never have gotten off the ground. For every user with issues, many of which are transient issues or just user error, there are hordes of others doing just fine and enjoying their new device. :)
     
  18. TrumpetMan

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    Exactly, people get so hung up on the MP thing while it's more important to have good software, a good lens and a quality sensor; 5MP should be sufficient for most shots with a phone or a point-and-shoot camera (if the lens, software and sensor are good) since you're not trying to print at 12"x14" I would hope.

    I was complaining about the Nexus camera along with other folks here, then I started using other apps and I've been getting photos that are at least as good as my Dinc and in many cases better.
     
  19. MutantCheese

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    Got my GN at 9am on release day. Couldn't be happier. Hatters gonna hate.
     
  20. breynolds007

    breynolds007 Well-Known Member
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    Well after a few days, I'm happy to say I still love the phone. Everything is so fluid and works great. I use the Navigation a lot for work (Realtor) and it loads up soo much faster and hasn't locked up once like my X did all the time. I've only noticed one issue with the phone. A couple times, I've completely lost data for no apparent reason and it won't come back until I restart. Not a biggie, I'm sure it will be sorted out with an update. Also, Battery life has improved some, with moderate use, I think I'm getting 8-9 hours which isn't terrible but it does make me miss getting 12-15 with my X. Anybody think the Ext battery is worth it? Plus, I need to find out if it will work with my Otterbox Case?
     
  21. SeattleYanksFan

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    There's a thread called Cases! where I believe people discuss the different cases that fit the extended battery.

    Obviously YMMV, but with the extended battery I generally get about 2-3 hours of screen on time using a combo of 4G and wifi. Wednesday, for example, I got 2.5 hours of screen on time and 45 mins of voice calls and still had another 10-15% left after like 12 hours. Not amazing, but not too shabby. I use no battery saving apps/techniques.
     
  22. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique
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    Never met a hatter but I wouldn't expect them to be such haters? :p:)

    Anyway, as Frisco pointed out (and others too) is that forums/review boards, whatever you want to call them generally attract more dissapointed consumers rather than elated ones. I always keep reading reviews on Yelp for the restaurant I work at and get really pissed at really negative reviews for us. Why? Cause I'm an idiot that way :eek: But that's usual the biggest reason people make accounts on these type of sites - to complain :rolleyes:
    (btw, I love my Nexus!)
     
  23. pool_shark

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    My only major problemis with javascript.
    Someone on another forum showed me the javascript problem doesn't exist on the gummynex ROM which means it can be fixed with an update, so I can wait it out. If the update is slow coming or doesn't fix it, I guess I'll be trying my first alternate ROM.
     
  24. breynolds007

    breynolds007 Well-Known Member
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    Picked up a GNex for my wife today at best buy. Knew it was just a matter of time before she decided she "needed" one lol. Best thing is I hadn't tried using Google wallet yet so I used the free $10 towards her phone...sweet :)
     
  25. jaybeewaybee

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    + 1
     
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