**UPDATE** 1/4/2012 – I was switching my domain over, so my site was down for a little while and it looked like I was a cheap git who didn’t renew. That’s a lie! I never pay for it! It’s my annual birthday present from my brother. So I started writing this post ages ago, so bear that in mind. Oh and as usual, I will try and blog more blah blah blah.
I always said if I didn’t have a Blackberry, I’d go for an Android. Ok, I haven’t always said that, because Android hasn’t been around for that long. But if I didn’t have a Blackberry I’d go for an Android.
I no longer have a Blackberry. Well I do, but it broke, so I needed a new phone. Vodafone hooked me up with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the latest jewel in the Android crown, the contender to Apple’s mighty iPhone.
Ima tell you, it’s a big phone. It is bigger than the iPhone. I don’t have one to compare it to, so I’m going to let your mind figure that out. But it’s slim. Like super sexy slim.*
Ignore the mess and my sleeve isn’t dirty, that’s just ’shadow’
*Yes I just used italics to reiterate the word ‘sexy’. I’m a cock.
But look how pretty it is. The whole phone is a display. A HD display. Yes, it has the HD. You see those buttons on the bottom? They’re not ACTUALLY BUTTONS. They flip around to whatever orientation the phone is at, tip it upside down, and the buttons sit next to the speaker. Magic.
Back to the phone in a bit. I especially wanted to try the Samsung Galaxy Nexus out because of the new Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0. Android just has the best names for their OS’s. Previous incarnations were Honeycomb and Gingerbread. And of course, there’s a cute icon to go with it.
It’s an…sandwich made of…ICE CREAM!
All yokes aside, everything about this phone was pretty damn sweet (all jokes aside.) Let me count the ways:
1. That Big Ol’ Screen
The display is absolutely ridiculous. When I say ridiculous, it is ridiculously good. The screen is a 4.65 inch Super AMOLED 720p screen- which I have no idea what that means. But it means it has the HD. Samsung dropped these screens on their latest Galaxy (also the Note) devices, meaning a super sharp, super clear display – the icons look phenomenal (as seen on the photos), and video playback is crisp and the size of the phone means that watching shows on a piddly little screen is part of the past.
I was a tad worried with having a phone which was effectively a huge screen, but Samsung screens are all made with Gorilla Glass (not made from real Gorillas, so calm yo tits PETA) meaning you can ‘apparently’ fling is around, and it’s scratch, break resistant, and remains cool to touch, which is top banana* since I can be a bit of a clumsy Colin.
*no pun intended
2. Social Sharing
I like to share things. I like to overshare often. The Nexus allowed me to do that, and do it well. Since it is a Android phone – it reallllllly wants you to use Google +. Which is good, because I would like to use Google+ more, but I forget. Too many social networks to remember. But I do have a lot of subscribers on G+ (because my surname is Bangladesh and lots of brown guys get super excited) and that translates to *bing bing* TRAFFIC. Apart of G+, it synced really easily with all my other social accounts, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube… you name it, it did it.
Another thing which was pretty handy is that it synced with my Picasa and the albums I’ve shared using Picasa online automatically. It doesn’t download them onto your phone, but is linked through your Google Account. Pretty handy.
I however didn’t set up WordPress with it, because for some reason, WordPress apps really don’t like self hosted WordPress accounts, and after trying to set up my account for a while, I gave up. I don’t think this is an Android app specific problem because it’s happened to me with Blackberry.
3. Slim Jim
For such a powerful phone, I was hella surprised at how thin the phone was. But the phone is HUGE. It has a 4.65 inch screen and it’s not too easy to just slot into your pocket. But I am known for having big pockets. But slipping it into your jeans pocket may be a thing of the past.
4. 1080p Video Recording
I scoff at most technical specs that manufacturers lay on thick because most of them are bare-faced exaggerations. But have a look at these videos… (in some of them you can hear my honking laughter or terrible Cockney commentary. I do apologise). The phone microphone cannot deal with very loud music, or sound, but in all fairness, I’ve yet to find a standard consumer device that does.
I suggest very strongly you mute this video, the sound is awful.
These videos were both taken at the Bjorn Borg Lights Off Pre LFW launch party at Battersea Power Station, where Robyn and Coco Sumner performed hence the very loud music, ergo terrible terrible sound.
Louise Gray AW12 LFW finale. The sound is a little better, as the music was still quite loud.
Cosplay dancers at Hyper Japan 2012.
Here’s a bonus video of me blowing out the candles on my 25 Birthday Cakes on my actual 25th birthday. Sorry if you ate the cakes after, since I coughed all over them, and I know a lot of people did. *cough*
5. Android Market (now Google Play)
As I write, Google Play was just announced a few hours ago. From what I can see, it’s just a fancy term for The Cloud (but the new Google Cloud). Alas I didn’t get much time to try it out, although I think I’d have seen more benefits if I had an Android tablet as well.
6. The OS
The phone only froze on me once, and that’s because of the free version of Fruit Ninja which kept trying to get me to post my score on the global leaderboard (No that’s just sad). It handles an inordinate amount of apps running at the same time. Granted they do deplete your battery as they’re running in the background but you don’t realise it because the phone is running rather smoothly.
7. The keyboard
I have stupidly big hands for a girl, so I never want to use a touchscreen keyboard that isn’t the size of my head, but the autocorrect on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is actually rather good. There were only a few times were it made errors, and never as serious an error as an iPhone. It did however correct “HIHIHIHIHI” (sp) to “GINGIVITIS” (?) and although I added it to my dictionary, ‘ducking’ came up more than once. A phone that tried to improve my propensity for filthy language is a good thing.
8. Automatic Screengrabs
No need to download any extraneous apps for this, but hold down the volume buttons and power button and a screengrab is taken and saved to your pictures folder. This took me a while to figure out, and I only took one screengrab… which I then deleted by accident.
9. Face Unlock
You’ve seen the adverts with the kid doing a dictator moustache to unlock his daddy’s phone, so I gave it a whirl. It recognised me fine without my glasses, but as soon as I put my hair up, it was game over. A nifty feature, but not always accurate. I however thought it was hugely entertaining and kept locking the phone just to unlock it.
The oh no no’s
1. The problem with the screen
It kills the battery way down. Way way down. A way to counteract this is to turn on automatic brightness and turn it down low. It goes a long way in saving the battery life as well as turning off the flashing LCD notification that you have a message or notification. However the screen at any one time will use 40% of the battery at a time. Food for thought, if you’re considering this phone. You do have to charge it every day – after changing the display settings, I did manage to eke out a day and a half.
2. IT DOESN’T PLAY ANY OTHER VIDEO FORMAT BUT MP4.
Finding that out after waiting for my .avi files to transfer was intensely frustrating. What gives? I don’t own a Mac, not everything is automatically encoded in Quicktime format. Grrrr.
3. The horrible plastic back
The back of the phone is not particularly attractive. In fact it looks like Samsung spent all their time on the front and there was a “No more twist!” situation but there was no mice to save them. It’s a thin piece of plastic, which is very annoying as the tabs don’t always line up and clip in properly. It also makes the phone look a bit cheap.
Images via CNET
The real story is – Do you get this phone? A resounding yes, and it is more than worthy to the Apple crown. I did keep discovering new things about the phone as I used it. The size is important to consider, as it seems that Samsung’s keep getting bigger (see Galaxy Note) as well as battery life. The plastic back is a bit off-putting, but it’s not a deal breaker. The ease of the OS and the super easy social sharing makes this an ideal and (almost) perfect phone for us digital girls in a digital world.*
*Not just for girls
Samsung Galaxy Nexus courtesy of Vodafone UK. All opinions my own. There is no pay for play unless specifically listed as advertorial or sponsored. See FAQs for more details.