Google galaxy Nexus HSPA+ Review - Part 1

Some background for everyone,  I am a long time iPhone owner and user.   I still carry an iPhone 4S and will continue to do so.   for the past year I also have been carrying around an Android phone.  I chose the Dell Streak 5 due to it's size and a lot of rave reviews...  All of which I discovered are 100% fake or done by people that really did not use the phone but regurgitated the PR release from Dell.  I quickly went from "Ohh this is a cool phone" to a "this dang thing failed again?" and then tried to fix the problems with the phone and the inferior OS (2.3.3) it was running.   Not all the fault was on the horribly out of date OS, dell crammed in there own junk that made things worse, but honestly a phone released in Aug, 2011 should have had 4.0 on it.  Any phone with 2.3.3 that is newer than Aug 2011 is defective by design. There is no excuse to not be running the latest android, it's the phone makers intentionally crippling the phones they release.    This is another dark underbelly secret that none of the Android fanboys will tell you.  Most Android phones will never get OS updates,  the phone makers don't care at all about the end user.  This is a gigantic flaw in the android ecosystem, which has a way for an educated android person to avoid....   More on that later.
The last straw for my Dell Streak was the screen developing failed lines in the screen.  This started my quest for a "non junk" phone that will last 3+ years.  I am unwilling to pay $600.00 for a unlocked no contract phone from Motorola, HTC or Samsung.  But while watching the Google IO conference I was shocked to find out they are selling direct from google the Nexus phone unlocked and the head of google said, "This phone will always be the first to get new OS updates.",   so I jumped on the chance to buy this phone. 

First off this phone is thin.  Super thin.  and it's a little larger than the iphone in length.  Nothing that will cause normal people problems,  tiny little people will whine about it's size.  I like a big phone.  The display is as crisp as the iphone 4s display.  incredible color, awesome resolution. Visibility outside is as good as any phone,  not as good as the nokia phones from 5 years ago that were easier to read in full sunlight. but still not bad,  the curved front glass gives a little bit of a wierd magnification effect of the reflections.

Example from the phone a bush Outside...

And now a shot with the camera of my desk inside.

The phone is fast and snappy,  this is a combination of being dual core AND android 4.1 Jelly bean.   Older android releases, like 2.3.3 are dog slow even on fast hardware, problem is companies like HTC are still selling out of date phones and refusing to upgrade the OS..  This is a red flag that you should not buy their products.  If you buy an android phone right now and it does not come with a guarantee that it will have JellyBean for it in the next 60 days, do not buy it.  the camera is not as good as the iphone 4s camera.  It is stellar in bright sunlight outside, but inside it takes mediocre photos, like every other android phone I have used.   Honestly the iPhone 4S has a utterly fantastic camera that can not be beat.  now this thin is about 2/3rds as a thick as an iphone,  that makes it utterly disappear in my pocket, and it is very light. I can see the phone getting destroyed by the silly people that put it in their back pockets, no phone should ever be in a back pocket, but I see a lot of people that do it (and are almost losing their phone as they hang out of the pocket.) but being a cheap phone at $350.00  it's affordability to break compared to a SIII or an iphone.  And that is the kicker,  this phone is 100% as good as a Galaxy S-III or iphone 4S.

The biggest difference about the phone is that it runs JellyBean.  This is a blessing and a curse as google redesigned all of it, making it impossible to find settings. yes they moved everything around so a new iphone user has the same footing as a long time android veteran.   After about 3 days of tinkering you will eventually find most of what you need.  Audio quality is absolutely on par with the iPhone 4s except for audio to a caller.  the iphone has 3 microphones to do noise cancelling, so in a convertible you can talk to someone at highways speeds.  this phone in a Grand Cherokee with the windows down at 30mph the caller could hear wind noise.  but they were clear to me and they could easily hear me.   Signal strength is identical to an iphone 4s.  I had the same "bars" as the iphone does, except the meter has what looks like 11 bars all 1 pixel wide than 5 stylized bars.. so you have a greater resolution of display on that tiny icon.

battery life,  coming from the dell streak with it's giant 4500mah battery it seems to have a lot less.  From 9:00am off the charger to 5:30pm with typical usage I currently have 50% of the battery remaining. I have been in Wifi for 70% of that time with 30% on 4G running around town in my pocket.  I need to use it through a few more battery charge discharge cycles to see what real battery life is.  My old streak I could shut everything down and have the phone last 2-3 days on a charge while camping.   This phone I am looking at solar chargers to keep it going.   I was told by a lot of friends that I would hate the fixed 16gig space with no SD card slot.  But this is simply not reality.  I used my Dell Streak with a single 16gig card for a year solid and never got near to filling it completely.   yes if I carried movies in it or 80,000 songs I can see a problem,  but in reality most people do not do this, Google and Samsung seem to realize it as well.

One quirk that I have not fully investigated,  it did not want to connect to the windows PC through a off brand cable.  the cable that came with it worked fine, but the $11.99 off-brand did not.  if Samsung has a "special" cable then they are no better than apple.

Overall right now I am OVERJOYED with this phone.  it's utterly dirt cheap at it's $350 price point, it's built nicely but has a significant lack of aftermarket accessories.. the Verizon nexus is thicker so  cases will not fit well.  I'll do some updates as I live with this phone.


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