Out of the box
First impressions of the Samsung Google Nexus are good, it’s a sleek no-nonsense ultra modern phone with minimal design, size wise it’s like baby bears chair in Goldilocks, not too big, not too small. It’s fast, responsive and will switch from one App to another seamlessly.
This is the first phone I’ve had a chance to test running Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), the latest Google operating system, and I love it. It’s a slight step back in terms of ‘friendliness’, but if you’re an experienced Android user, you’ll notice all the benefits and hit the ground running.
There is no SD card in the Nexus, which is something I had got used to in Smartphones. There is however 32gig of RAM, which is only just less than my 7yr old Macbook, and I haven’t filled that up yet. In other words, plenty of space for photos, movies, apps and very useful for synching with cloud services like Dropbox or Evernote.
All the Google Apps are bundled together, and it’s easy to get this phone just how you want it, in terms of layout, widgets and preferences. The new Gmail interface is slick, more refined and business-like. Attachments in emails are shown at the top and generally the HD screen is good enough and big enough to motive you to get productive things done on it.
I love the way when you switch it off the screen closes down like an old fashioned TV, just one sign that Google are beginning to flex their artistic muscles.
Google has updated the Marketplace recently and similarly to how Apple have opened up iTunes to incorporate Apps and Software, Google has gone the other way and is increasingly pushing it’s other offerings, movies, music, etc rebranding it the Play Shop. In reality very little seems to have change behind the scenes but the experience is smoother, and again the ‘user experience’ has improved (if not totally bug free, see below).
Am not sure who was to blame, (probably T-mobile), but I was able to pay for a movie but not watch it and the phone would display a network error message. After 4 tries and 3 help replies from Google with no joy, I gave up (and I think they did too).
When they do sort that out, £4.49 for a movie isn’t the cheapest around, but there is an excellent choice and you have plenty of time to watch them. There is also a good 99p bargain bin section.
The connection between the online and offline world is getting closer and closer, so if you get one of these phones it might be a good idea to buy an unlimited data plan, especially if you are Facebooking / Twittering / downloading or watching movies on the bus/train to work. Because of it’s high processing rqirements, battery usage is fairly high, but on an average day you should make it home before the light goes out.
The 5MP camera is also a reasonable step up from many of the usual smartphone mega pixel disasters. Although still not quite on a par with a decent stand alone model, it performed reasonably well in low light and has plenty of useful photoshop-y options to make your image look better (or worse) once your photo has been taken. HD Video recording is good too, and you can plug it direct into your TV for instant playback.
Near field communication / Face unlock
Another new feature, this allows you to swap files from one mobile to another as easy as touching them together. I think this is a great idea and perfect for sharing tel numbers, or if you took a picture at a party and wanted to give everyone a copy instantly.
I can see this being as common as Bluetooth on all phones very soon. Am sure it works brilliantly, but rather like the man who invented the telephone itself, I had no one to test it with.
Same with Facelock, a great security measure allowing only you to unlock and use the phone by simply pointing your face at it. It does warn you that it’s less secure than using a pin, but it’s a lot more fun!
Apart from the movie download problem, it’s hard to find any real negatives and until the Galaxy SIII sees the light of day at least, this could be the best non-iPhone mobile out there. It should also stop Apple getting to complacent about their future releases.
The Gap is closing.
* size: 67.94 X 135.5 X 9.47
* 4.65″ HD(1280 x 720) Super AMOLED
* Contour Display (curved glass)
* Storage: 32GB
* Memory: 1GB RAM
* OS: Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)
* CPU: 1.2 GHZ dual core processor
* 5MP continuous auto focus
* 1.3MP Front
* LED Flash
* Video recording in 1080p
Does the washing up
For more info visit www.google.co.uk/nexus