I hate to say it, but I'm disappointed with the Galaxy Nexus

Since the Galaxy S2 launched earlier this year no other phone has come near to its capabilities – and that includes, I think, the iPhone 4S. As far as I’m concerned the S2 still reigns supreme.

So, I’ve been excited by the launch of the Galaxy Nexus – the newest release from Samsung, sporting Android 4 as its main highlight.

Other than Android 4, it’s other big thing is the screen – 4.3″ inches at 720×1280. Although the screen physically is bigger the whole device is apparently on a par with the S2 as the screen is taller rather than wider and this extra width takes the place of the buttons at the bottom.

However, ignoring the OS and screen resolution for a moment, when you start comparing the rest of the phone specifications it suddenly starts to look a little more disappointing…

  • The Nexus has a Super Amoled screen. The S2 has a Super Amoled Plus screen. There is a difference, and it’s important.
  • They both sport a 1.2Ghz Dual Core processor.
  • The S2 weighs 116 g, whereas the Nexus is 135 g.
  • There is no removable storage option on the Nexus, compared to the Micro SD on the S2.
  • The Nexus lacks USB On-the-Go and Wi-Fi Direct.
  • The rear camera on the Nexus is 5MP and the front 1.3MP. On the S2 you get an 8MP rear and 2MP front camera. However, the Nexus does give you a twin LED flash rather than the single on the S2.
  • The headphone socket is on the bottom. Really? Because when I have a set of headphones plugged in and my phone in my pocket, I really want to have it upside down. No news yet as to where they’ve sited the USB socket.
  • It’s a personal preference but the Nexus has more rounded corners, looking like one of its cheaper cousins, and I don’t like it.

One thing I’m not sure about, comparison wise, are the GPUs in the 2 phones which are very different. However, forum discussions would suggest that the S2 might edge it.

One thing that I can find on the Nexus which is better than the S2 is the battery, which is 1750 mAh, compared to 1650 mAh. Extras, the Nexus has a built in barometer. Really.

So, a higher resolution screen, a bigger capacity battery and ability to know if it’s about to rain in the next few hours. But you get a poorer set of cameras, more weight and a load of features missing. Or have I missed something?


The GadgetShow and un-smart smartphone test

Tonights The GadgetShow included a “showdown” between 4 of the “latest” i smartphones – the iPhone 4, Nexus S, HTC HD7 and the Blackberry Torch (each representing a different OS – iOS, Android, Windows 7 and Blackberry, respectively).

Now, on Twitter I’ve denounced The Gadget Show a few times and said I’d never watch it again. But I do. Normally though it’s their lack of actual testing of tech ii and reliance on padding with competition and “challenges”. I’ve gotten around that now by recording it and using the PVR to whiz through the results – sometimes I’ve had an episode down to 10 minutes. What does also annoy me though is their obvious fanboy-like obsession with Apple products (particularly from Jason).

So, before their Smartphone test I guessed the iPhone 4 would win. And, it did. But it was how it won that provokes questions.

The first test (and a phone was eliminated after each test – not sure why, as it may be excellent in the other tests) was ease of use. Which is a fair enough test. Except it was a in a speeding car and tested the time to turn it on, look something up on the internet and email something. The tester – Pollyanna  – obviously didn’t like the keyboard of the Blackberry generally and seemed to almost purposefully not try. But what kind of speed test is the switch on time? Most people wouldn’t leave it turned off, so this would never be an issue. The iPhone was the slowest to turn on but somehow came the 2nd fastest overall (it must have been REALLY quick to make up the time, but that somehow didn’t get mentioned).

Next, now with the Blackberry out of the testing, was a photo and video test. That to me, was good. The Nexus has best photos and the iPhone the best video (note how Jon Bentley goes on about the high quality of the video when he’s remained pretty quiet up to that point). So, the HD7 is now out of the running, leaving the Android powered Nexus S and the Android 4.

The last test was to test it’s apps. Hmm. This was done by leading the 2 testers around via a series of clues that they solved by using apps. They obviously knew which apps to use beforehand and were 100% clued up on how to achieve their goals. Their first task was translating a Spanish message to know they had to get dressed up. They then used an app to find somewhere for an outfitter and then had to print an invite – this invite told them where to go next. Jon reached this place first not because of the phone but (her words) Pollyanna took longer to choose an outfit and had to run in high heals. Once there he got first choice of a vehicle to get them to their final destination – he got a motorbike and Pollyanna got a horse-drawn carriage. Hardly a fair fight and nothing to do with the phones. At this point I realised that I was going to be correct and the iPhone would win. All they had to do was use a SatNav product to guide them to where they were going.

In a case of “Tortoise and the Hare”, however, the iPhone app failed Jon and he ended up going the wrong way. Would the iPhone not triumph after all? Of course it would. With Pollyanna nearly there and Jon still lost, the Nexus S mysteriously “went dead”. No explanation was given as to why (if it was battery life it couldn’t have properly charged beforehand) and the iPhone was declared the winner.

This is the iPhone that takes an age to switch on, has 2nd best speed of use, 2nd best photo capability, best video, an equal footing in apps but with a 2nd place free SatNav application, and somehow it was crowned the best Smartphone. Because the Nexus S “went dead”.

Fair, or badly biased? I know what I think. And Apple are laughing again.

  1. their words[]
  2. and when they do it’s often stuff that we, the average consumer, would be able to buy[]

The iPhone 4 – We may or may not recommend it

The iPhone 4, evolutionary rather than revolutionary, has had users reporting signal strength problems since its launch. It continues to sell well, despite what appears a big flaw and Apple refusing to be helpful.

Let’s have a quick run down of what’s happened since the iPhone 4 launch on the 24th June.


Apple – style over getting a signal

I’ve not hidden in the past my dislike of certain aspects of Apple products that I don’t like.

And today’s news that there are reported problems with the iPhone 4’s data connection didn’t surprise me. It appears that they’ve embedded the antenna in the bottom corner of the phone and, held in hand, it rapidly looses signal (especially, it would appear, it you’re left handed). That’s not too good.


The iPhone 4

I wasn’t going to blog about the iPhone announcement as, well, it didn’t really interest me. About the only feature that I think is ahead of other manufacturers is the high resolution screen – not much higher than the latest HTCs, though, and not AMOLED, but none-the-less impressive.