Shawn Blanc Reviews the Galaxy Nexus

Shawn Blanc, who has used an iPhone for 4 years, used a Galaxy Nexus as his primary phone for the past week. Some of his findings didn’t really surprise me.

Regarding the screen that is so large you could serve a lunch on it:

This gives the Galaxy Nexus an aura that makes me wonder if it’s supposed to be a tablet that makes phone calls or a phone that you need two hands to use. I realize that’s a goofy and exaggerated statement, but I exaggerate it to make a point I am serious about: the phone is simply too big.

If this were my full-time phone, I’d be sad.

And 4G LTE’s effect on battery life:

Earlier this week I spent some time driving around Kansas City in order to field test the turn-by-turn navigation, the LTE network, and the battery life. At 11:30 AM I started out and the battery of the Nexus was at 43-percent. After 25 minutes the battery had drained down to 33-percent even though it was plugged into a car charger.

Think about that. If you’re on a road trip and want to use the 4G LTE network to provide you with driving directions, your drive had better be shorter than 4 hours because even when plugged into a car charger, the battery will not last.

Shawn poses a great question, which nerds should pick up on: Who is fighting for the users?

…the Galaxy Nexus seems more like a phone that its makers can brag about making rather than a device that its users would brag about owning. It has all sorts of features that seem great on posters and billboards and board meeting reports, but none of those features enhance the actual user experience.

And regarding the difference between Android and iOS:

Android has options for just about everything. But, in spite of all its options and ability to customize, I didn’t find Android to be more powerful than iOS. Of all the options and choices that I was given by Android, there was nothing in Android that I could not also accomplish on iOS. In fact, the options and choices usually got in my way.

Moreover, of the millions of users on Android, how many exercise this freedom of choice that is a part of the Android OS?

This has always seemed to be the crux of the whole Android/iOS debate to me. Android seems great for nerds who love to tinker, or who have a hard time ceding any control over anything. iOS is far more simplistic in that Apple tends to make the decision that will make most people happy, not just the vocal minority.

I’d even go so far as to say even iOS offers far more things than the average user will ever discover. But the absence of discovering these little features will not interfere with the normal usage of the device.

Android should be reserved for those who know what they are getting into. If someone I know needs a recommendation for what smart phone to get, I would not recommend Android to them.

To those who want to use Android, I say go for it. I don’t think that choice is wrong — there are many fine things about the Android OS and many things it does differently and better than iOS.


Moreover, there was nothing on Android that made me feel more empowered compared to using my iPhone.

Sure, there are bits of the Android OS that I like and appreciate, but never once was I wowed or delighted. Which is unfortunate, because those are important elements when you are using a device day in and day out every day of the year.

iOS and the devices it runs on often get teased for being described as “magical”. Guess what? Magic wows and delights. People enjoy magic. After years of using iOS, it still holds me in childlike wonderment.