Fabulous Nexus Galaxy and Ice Cream Sandwich

I've been privileged to walk around with a pre-production Nexus Galaxy in my pocket for a few months now... to the envy of those in the know. I am on the trusted tester program for ICS and I love ice cream sandwich! It's fantastic, and the device is super, super sweet.

I was sworn to secrecy, even to the point where I could not show my colleagues,  but as I had to use it as my only phone. What a pleasure! Inevitably some who know the look of the Nexus S or Nexus One or follow the industry, would sometimes pause and ask... at which point I just had to put it back in my pocket. But the cat is out of the bag... the Nexus Galaxy is available to buy in shops in the UK... so I am allowed to speak (at least a bit) about it.

I still need to be careful, as my phone and software build probably don't reflect 100% what you'll find in a shop, so don't base your purchasing decision on anything I say, as I might be wrong (as my wife frequently reminds me too!). And this is definitely *not* to be seen as Google's official view or comments...

That said, let me share with you my experience with the phone: It's an incredible phone and software stack. Just incredible!
There are so many great things, that I'm bound to forget some. But let me list a few that I can think of right now:

  • The screen is fantastic. It reminds me of my first laser printout experience. Ultra crisp, and just beautiful on the eye. All other displays look merely OK after it.
  • The screen size and phone size (again, of my prototype device) is just right. It's definitely small, light and thin enough to fit in any pocket, yet it is huge amount of screen real estate! 
  • I love the tuned Honeycomb UI bits... just the refinement of how copy and paste work, how I can switch apps and more, how the keyboard and error correction work... it feels polished in al respects.
  • The camera is fantastic,  and so is the supporting software improvements to do some funky things with the cameras.  Photos are lovely in most conditions, and high resolution - also for videos.
  • Google+ and some of the yet-to-be-announced Google apps make a step change in how I share photos and consume stuff :)
  • I can't wait to have a few friends with this, as it would making sharing things just sooooooo much easier. One day soon, I hope!
  • Google Music has completely converted me from all my previous music sources... Windows Home Server and Media Center, Spotify etc. I just love it.

I really love the phone. I would really be upset if I lost it now. Most (not yet all) of the public apps that use, works nicely on ICS too, and the processing power of my prototype phone is incredible... I sometimes think it might have more grunt perhaps even than my laptop! E.g. redering HD video after editing in on the phone, takes seconds, where I'd easily expect it to take minutes on a high-end desktop.

Any gripes? No. In fact, the problems that I have had, have so rapidly been fixed by out Android team, that even the problems resulted in a great experience. For example: Hours after flagging a bug a few days ago, a new build was pushed to our phone with the issues fixed! I think the speed and agility of our incredibly smart developers explains the awesome success and growth of Android.

Top marks to Samsung and the Android Dev team!


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