Over the last few months, I’ve struggled with an internal battle that seems to haunt me every time I have a second of free time. What is the best phone on the market right now? Of course this is very subjective, what works well for one doesn’t always work for everyone.
I’ve tried my hand at a few phones. But the one that has caught my eye and keeps catching it is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. You see, as a purveyor of gadgets my job is to keep abreast of the latest and greatest in technology. I also admit that I am a phone addict. There, I said it. Despite having background in finance, I am almost immediately compelled to buy the newest phones that hit the market much like many women buy then newest fashion trends. Except these phones aren’t cheap. They usually range from 500- 700 USD because I refuse to pay a subsidy and be locked into a contract.
So let’s talk about this Galaxy Nexus. While it’s currently only available in the US on subsidy through Verizon for 299.99, (Sprint’s has one coming soon too.) I got my hands on an unlocked version that works for T-Mobile as well AT&T. The phone itself feels pretty cheap. Samsung always finds a way to minimize costs and the Galaxy Nexus is no exception. Cased in plastic, the phone is really light, but also very big. The mammoth 4.6 “ screen almost crosses the line between an acceptable phone and a tablet. Keyword here is ALMOST… there is another mammoth phone/tablet combination known as the Samsung Galaxy Note that is 5.3 inches, but we’ll delve into that at a later time.
For the past few months, my roommate has had the arduous task of listening to me go back and forth regarding the benefits and disadvantages of this particular device. The 4.6’ screen is great, with vivid colors and, of course, the large display. But how big is too big? This question ran through my head as I continuously switched between my iPhone 4 and this new toy. I’ve always wanted to have the latest and the greatest, but also found myself using two hands to operate the device. I cannot stand using two hands! I think it defeats the purpose of a phone. I want to have the ability to use my small hands and not have to feel like I am stretching to reach the farthest corner of the device.
One great thing to consider about purchasing the Galaxy Nexus is that it comes with Ice Cream Sandwich aka Android 4.0. It’s Android’s closest attempt to making their operating system more user friendly. There are some great features in Android in general, but ICS was supposed to take Android to the next level. Sadly, I am afraid, that this isn’t the case. Many of the Applications such as HBOGO aren’t formatted to work on the new operating system … and so begins the waiting game. I don’t have a lot of patience, so waiting for the most popular apps like Instagram, and HBOGO was a “no go” for me, at least.
I decided recently to sell my Galaxy Nexus (thank God for Craigslist) and stick to what I know, Apple’s iOS. My reason for doing this is really simple. Usability.
The iPhone just works. Its synchs correctly, the apps look stunning and they just work. While I am all for openness, I can appreciate the fact that when I turn on the iPhone, that I will be able to do the things I want to do. Surf the web, watch YouTube, videos, tweet, watch VEVO, as well as send and receive email rather easily…. And with one hand!
At first I was all about Android, the open source licensing and the ability to customize what I wanted made the Android Operating System the way to go. But the more and more I think about it, I just want a phone that works and that will be updated to fix the glitches. The whole concept behind the Nexus series of phones is that they would receive timely updates of Google’s operating system, first. Unfortunately that has not happened. The Galaxy Nexus that I owned was plagued with random reboots and still on Android 4.02, (although 4.05 is rumored to be released this month, and some tablets are already on 4.03.) Another reason I decided to give up on this phone was lack of support. If I have an issue with an iPhone, I can go to the Apple Store and they will fix or replace. If I have any issues with the Galaxy Nexus, I can’t go to a store. Instead, I am stuck on the phone with Samsung Tech support that can’t support my version because it’s unlocked.
Because of these reasons, someone on Craigslist is very happy. I am now back to using the iPhone 4 and that is where I will stay until the next version of the iPhone comes out. (Keeping my fingers crossed for summer, but most likely fall will be when Apple debuts the new version.)
Don’t get me wrong, I so wanted to keep the Galaxy Nexus, but realized that when it comes down to it. The iPhone just works… and the Galaxy Nexus, while it is a great step forward, still can’t match Apple’s most popular operating system
Maybe sometime soon with the release of Jellybean (Google’s next version of Android), android will be a true competitor to the iPhone…here’s to holding my breath….