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February 11th, 2012, 23:37
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I can't tell if you're being serious with that bit about "THE Google Phone" meaning it's top of the line. I'll assume there's some sarcasm there.
Sadly no … Android is the new 'Windows Mobile' - carriers and handset makers load on UI-screwing, performance-sapping crapware and CPU-zapping 'skins' like Samsung's Take-a-Whiz, HTC's (non)Sense, and MotoBlech.

ALL of that degrades the experience and performance. The only way to get 'real' Android is Nexus - everything else is loaded with crapware.

Also - there have been reports showing that ~10% of all Android phones get OS updates even 1 year after release … the ONLY ones current after 2 years (i.e. the carrier lock-in)? Nexus.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Samsung is about to release a firmware update to ugrade the OS to 4.0, so that's a non-issue.
Well, WHEN it happens that will be true, but it hasn't yet. The reality is this - the SECOND a phone came out with the 'next gen' OS, all other phones became 'last gen'.

To people who can decipher the tech specs it isn't a big deal, but it contributes to the user confusion which has led to a near total lack of carrier and brand loyalty with Android … which is a very dangerous commercial position.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
First of all, AT&T is the #1 carrier now, not Verizon. Even if Verizon does have 50% of the Android market, that's still means a phone that's exclusive to them is only an option for 1/2 the market.
Sure, but because of fragmentation, brand confusion and so on the real SGS2 is only available on one carrier as well. Others get slow processors, small screens, and so on. It is a clusterf*ck.

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February 12th, 2012, 01:09
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Sadly no … Android is the new 'Windows Mobile' - carriers and handset makers load on UI-screwing, performance-sapping crapware and CPU-zapping 'skins' like Samsung's Take-a-Whiz, HTC's (non)Sense, and MotoBlech.

ALL of that degrades the experience and performance. The only way to get 'real' Android is Nexus - everything else is loaded with crapware.
I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say here. Are you claiming that not having those extra apps already installed automatically makes the Nexus a superior phone?

I'm not sure what a new retail Nexus has installed, but when it comes to extra apps, it's ultimately a subjective preference by the user that determines what they're going to prefer.


Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Well, WHEN it happens that will be true, but it hasn't yet. The reality is this - the SECOND a phone came out with the 'next gen' OS, all other phones became 'last gen'.
By that logic, the Droid Razr is also "last gen" already.
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February 12th, 2012, 01:30
Personally, I do want the pure and open Android experience as Google intended - that is the main selling point of the Nexus and puts it above the other options I'm considering. The hardware specs will be surpassed soon I'm sure (probably already have), but I'll always know there is a strong dev community making new stuff for it because it is a Nexus.

I still need to get to a store and take a look in person, but reports of the Droid 4's poor screen quality have made me lean toward the Nexus more. I'm kind of a graphics geek so a good or poor screen is very noticeable to me.
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February 12th, 2012, 02:01
Originally Posted by Myrkrel View Post
I still need to get to a store and take a look in person, but reports of the Droid 4's poor screen quality have made me lean toward the Nexus more. I'm kind of a graphics geek so a good or poor screen is very noticeable to me.
Imo, it's really hard to beat phones that use the Super AMOLED tech when it comes to screen quality. Afaik, the Droid Charge is the only Droid phone that uses it, and that one is actually made by Samsung.

The Nexus is one of only two phones so far that uses the new HD Super AMOLED screen, the other being the Samsung Galaxy Note.
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February 12th, 2012, 03:15
From what I understand, the Droid Razr / Razr Maxx has a "Super AMOLED Advanced" screen, so its another contender in the screen quality area. But the Nexus beats it with the higher resolution.

I've seen the screen on my girlfriend's Razr and it is pretty nice. Its puzzling that they didn't use the same kind of screen for the Droid 4. It would be much higher on my list of choices if so.
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February 12th, 2012, 19:05
I just went from the Thunderbolt to the Bionic, and love it. Super fast, batt life is good and the bloatware isn't that bad beyond the Verizon apps. (And a fair amount CAN be uninstalled without rooting). Granted screen clarity isn't as sharp as the other newer phones (same screen as the droid 3) but if you are not anal about it, it isn't all that bad (as least to me). The molding feels solid, not plastic like the original droid line.

But if you are looking for top of the line, vanilla droid then yes prob the nexus best phone for you.

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February 12th, 2012, 22:29
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
By that logic, the Droid Razr is also "last gen" already.
Yep - as is the Droid 4 I bought on Friday …

As for the screen tech, Apple and Samsung are clearly leading the field - the Pentile tech Moto uses is not as good. But having played with enough of these things, all of these things have really good screens. And the reviews are pretty mixed on the screen - but since a virtual keyboard is inferior to a physical one, it is a matter of prioritization. I use the keyboard all the time, whereas the advantages of AMOLED are much less important to me.

But given that Android is farther behind iOS in gaming than Macs are behind PCs, and that I have an iPad anyway, I'm not too worried about the screen. Oh - and since I have a Droid Pro with a mediocre 3.1" screen, I am obviously moving up significantly

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February 12th, 2012, 23:00
I'm surprise so many care so much about the screen quality. It's not like were comparing a 73" hd 3dtv with a 19" standard def set with a coat hanger for an antenna.

They all look pretty similar to me. They are just phones after all.
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February 13th, 2012, 09:22
It's just been announced that the Galaxy S II will be upgraded to Android 4.0 on March 1st.

http://www.redmondpie.com/samsung-ga…ch-1st-report/
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February 13th, 2012, 12:34
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It's just been announced that the Galaxy S II will be upgraded to Android 4.0 on March 1st.

http://www.redmondpie.com/samsung-ga…ch-1st-report/
Awesome!

Has anyone tried either an official update or any of the 'early bake' ROMs of ICS on their phone? I have heard some mixed stuff - people familiar enough to root seem happy with stuff, but apparently performance isn't as snappy and the UI is still inconsistent and touch-screen infrastructure still laggy.

Oh well, it has to be better than on tablets, which although better than Honeycomb is still pretty crappy based on a couple of hours I have played around with it …

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February 13th, 2012, 20:10
I'll probably have to wait for whatever new phone I get to experience ICS - I don't think my Droid 1 could handle it.

Crunch time with work has kept me from visiting the Verizon store - hopefully I'll get around to it soon. I'm tempted to just order the Nexus online but that would be foolish to not try it out first.
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February 16th, 2012, 20:39
Well, I got my Galaxy Nexus last night and so far I'm very pleased. I also looked at the Droid 4 and Razr Maxx in the store. The Nexus won me over with the beautiful crisp HD screen and ICS. The tweaks and improvements with ICS / Android 4 are very nice - it just feels like a more polished and smooth experience overall.

The build quality on the Nexus is definitely less "metal" than the Droids but it feels sturdy enough and not overly fragile or cheap.

Still haven't dug into rooting / custom ROMs yet - but I'll probably put the 4.0.4 update on there at some point as I hear it improves the radios. Signal strength seems a bit lower than my droid - just looking at the bars. But I haven't done a lot of calling yet to truly test it out.
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February 16th, 2012, 21:09
I grabbed the Droid 4 and am very happy in general. Great screen, awesome keyboard, solid performance. Of course, Moto just announed really crappy ICS update schedule, and this is more laden with Moto Blur than ever … but still … i would take it over the nexus 10 times out of 10. And yes i am typing this from my phone …

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February 16th, 2012, 22:40
Glad to hear you are liking the Droid 4 - it definitely looks like a great device and the screen didn't seem as bad as some of the reviews say. I think the reviewers tend to over analyse these things a bit. I just didn't feel that I would need the keyboard enough to justify going with that option.
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February 17th, 2012, 00:23
Originally Posted by Myrkrel View Post
Glad to hear you are liking the Droid 4 - it definitely looks like a great device and the screen didn't seem as bad as some of the reviews say. I think the reviewers tend to over analyse these things a bit. I just didn't feel that I would need the keyboard enough to justify going with that option.
Yeah, I spent some time with all 3 - Razr, Nexus and Droid 4. Came down to either Nexus or Droid 4, but ultimately the keyboard was my choice-maker. Everyone has a different requirement set.

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March 21st, 2012, 20:27
How safe are these downloads for my phone? Symphony of Eternity looks really interesting. I always like playing turn based JRPGs when I'm on the road.

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March 22nd, 2012, 03:25
Originally Posted by bloodlover View Post
How safe are these downloads for my phone? Symphony of Eternity looks really interesting. I always like playing turn based JRPGs when I'm on the road.
Well … they will be ad-free, which is actually the source of more privacy compromise, crashing and battery drain than malware …

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March 22nd, 2012, 11:15
So what are the top-of-the-line Android phones these days? I hear the Galaxy S III is coming out with 1.5Ghz quad-core CPU and a big 1080p screen? I'm kind of wary because some of the stuff txa1265 wrote; is Android a mixed bag? I've seen sluggish Android phones, but that was ages ago.

I've had iPhones for the last 3-4 years, but my iPhone 4 is starting to break down and freeze up…
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March 22nd, 2012, 11:30
SGS III is just a rumour, though there is some "leaked" info floating around.

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March 22nd, 2012, 11:40
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
So what are the top-of-the-line Android phones these days? I hear the Galaxy S III is coming out with 1.5Ghz quad-core CPU and a big 1080p screen? I'm kind of wary because some of the stuff txa1265 wrote; is Android a mixed bag? I've seen sluggish Android phones, but that was ages ago.

I've had iPhones for the last 3-4 years, but my iPhone 4 is starting to break down and freeze upů
Don't mistake my criticisms for a blanket dismissal - I just locked in for another 2 years with a Droid 4 on Verizon and absolutely love it.

Android is the least efficient OS because of the inherent flexibility - it is pretty common knowledge that when you abstract all hardware, your software is slower. That isn't a 'OS war' thing … just reality.

The reason I mention that is you NEED a more powerful Android phone to get similar performance as an iPhone or Windows Phone. That is how a single core 1.4GHz Windows Phone was at CES 'smoking' Android phones with dual core 1.5GHz processors …

And seriously - don't count out Windows Phone. With the 'mango' 7.5 update it is an excellent system - the HTC Titan II is amazing, as are the Nokia phones.

As for new Androids, Samsung is clearly the 'maker to buy' … but I have to say I prefer HTC builds. I had a pair of LG's recently … they were horrific.

But don't count out the Samsung phones … their low-end stuff is total crap, but the Galaxy S2 and Nexus are excellent. My discussion was specific to the US Cellular version, I have gotten some time with the AT&T version yesterday afternoon from a friend at work and it is much better. The Nexus is cool, but I think the S2 is clicker (but not on VZW).

Also, it depends on your carrier. On AT&T there are some great Windows Phone and Android options as well as the iPhone - whereas VZW has iPhone and solid Android offerings but no WIndows Phone of note.

Best advice is to simply play around with the phones at a retailer. Also think about pocket-ability. I find the Galaxy S2 too big even though it is lighter than my Droid 4 (which is at the upper limit of what I find acceptable).

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