Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nexus One, 2 years on. [REVIEW]

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I’ve moved onto a new phone, but lets have a quick look at my much loved Nexus One.

First DROID.

Nexus Devices, say "Google", others say "With Google".

No, I didn’t mean this is the first Android phone. What I mean is this is my first Android powered device and PROPER smartphone. I never really caught on with Apple products, I knew they were good and in terms of hardware and software synergy, they are hard to beat. BUT! That doesn’t mean I’d automatically go with them. In fact, I was watching Android very closely for a while before I made the plunge.

Initially, I was pretty interested in the HTC Hero. However, It just didn’t click too well with me. I remember I really wanted an LED flash on my phone and this didn’t have one. So back to phone stalking I go… The Motorola DROID was appealing also, but then I wasn’t a fan of Motorola…

Specs to impress

Not long after, I got news of the Nexus one. It looked real nice and a quick glance over the spec sheet, it was THE phone. Sure it wasn’t the first to have the 1Ghz chip, but as a whole package, this was a real good phone. Seeing that this was the phone from Google themselves, I was pretty sure, we’d see some nice support.

After two years?

The good

_IGP6254As mentioned, the phone as a package was great. It was physically well built, utilising the HTC unibody and nice soft touch materials. You even had the option to engrave a message on the back of the metal band. It didn’t cost extra, but I didn’t know what to write, so I left it blank.

The screen was beautiful. Compared to the Iphone 3gs BACK THEN, this had a higher resolution AND arguably better technology. If you are not aware, I’m a HUGE fan of the AMOLED screen. It definitely wasn’t the first to use this, but it was one of the few phones to have it. The AMOLED panel provided very vibrant colours and very deep blacks.

 

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The camera was decent, not too slow and much more capable  than my previous phones. I’d still say that Sharp I had in high school took very nice images really quickly. But I suspect this might have to do with its low MP count.

 

The DEV base for this phone was and still pretty large. Not only did Google feed us the Froyo and Gingerbread updates, the hacking community got Honeycomb and even ICS on this phone (though not running awfully well). I can’t even count the amount of different ROMs I’ve been on with this phone. You can choose fast and simple, pretty and polished or all these qualities at once with all the available ROMs.

The bad

_IGP6255Ironically, the screen is also one of its weak points. While I personally don’t have an issue with reading it in the sunlight like some have mentioned, the screen had a few issues I felt actually effect functionality. First was its tendency to have ghosting lines after horizontal text. The only fix I found was using a render effect on a custom ROM. There was no official screen fix.

pentileThe screen was also using the Pentile matrix. Under normal usage, it wasn’t a real problem. However, if you wanted to watch youtube in HD, in portrait, there was no way you can make out the finer details.

 

 

_IGP6256While it was fast ENOUGH, it wasn’t really smooth and fluid like IOS. Stock android was TBH, quite ugly, even up to Gingerbread. Other phones might not looked as bad ‘cause they had overlays like Sense, Touchwiz or some other UI. But, Nexus phones are stock, meaning there are bare bones, no frills. Functional but not really pretty. Custom ROMs fixed this though.

The touch sensor and capacitive buttons were… Glitchy. It took time to really know how to use the buttons well and the touch sensor was prone to freaking out. Sometimes it would press the spacebar when I press S, other times it would press places I never touched. A screen on and off would fix it, but that’s far from being useful. This meant heavy, intense gaming was not really possible either. Most of my friends have a hard time pressing the capacitive buttons.

It had low internal memory, meaning that I couldn’t have THAT many apps on my phone. Apps2SD helped to some extent, but since not everything was moveable and that even moved apps used internal space, I eventually didn’t have enough space for everything.

Still a good phone

Even with all its flaws, I still loved my phone, but two years in tech is a life time. And since Google no longer officially supports this phone, I need to move on. It held up well for 2 years though. Very few phones had all the pros of this phone. There just seemed to be compromises made: HTC desire, lacked a large LED notification light, Galaxy S lacked LED flash…  Read my review of the Galaxy Nexus which is coming up next!

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