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Nexus 4

 
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scott a
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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Nexus 4 Reply with quote

Made the switch because I feel like I could put iOS down for a few years and come back to it without issue. I do like it, and think that it's good at what it does, but Android has been doing some pretty exciting stuff recently. I bought an Android tablet a year ago and was pretty impressed with Android (Honeycomb) and love the 7" form factor. So, with iOS and Android both being known quantities, and with iOS seeming to have a lower ceiling at this point (what else could they add/tweak?), I saw the Nexus 4 and jumped on it. I've had it for a week and I'm really liking it. Still peeling back the layers and discovering new things. Still adding a new app or two a day. Still tweaking notifications. I figure this will last a full month or so, but I'm OK with it because it's provided a nice escape from a busy holiday season at work.

+Photosphere is AWESOME. It's really not that hard to shoot, and it's so much more immersive than a flat, distorted panorama. I really hope that Facebook and other file sharing sites add compatibility because from what I understand it's really just a JPEG + XML sidecar file. The people at Google must smile every time they see that cutesy iPhone commercial advertising their panorama feature.
+I'm really impressed at the quality of the photo editing available on the stock 'Gallery' app. Non-destructive editing, too. Probably won't bother installing any image editors like Photoshop. And yes, thankfully, photosphere images can be edited and retain their photosphere qualities.
+The form factor had me a tiny bit concerned, but everyone was right- it is easy to get used to the larger screen. And yes, going back to my 3GS felt really weird.
+I love the lock button being on the right side of the handset and not the top.
+Haven't had a chance to try NFC, but I have a feeling that I'll end up programming a few tags based on the desired audio/ringer settings (work, home, car, etc).
+'Soft touch' plastic on the sides w/ chamfered rear edges feels great, and helps the phone stay propped up at an angle if needed.
+RGB LED notification on the front of the phone is great.
+Glass on the front of the phone has a rounded edge on the sides. Nice for swiping in from the edge
+Two finger swype seems to have some potential. I feel like I would end up being faster with it, but I haven't used it long enough to know for sure. Seems to have pretty accurate predictability, but I've never used the swype-style keyboards until now.
+Google Maps has offline caching. I have a square plot of land from Reno to Kirkwood saved locally to my phone.

-Wish it had a rocker switch for audible/silent mode. Being able to set the phone on audible/silent w/o having to put my hand in my pocket was nice.
-Kinda bummed about the speaker being on the back of the phone. The ringer is pretty muffled if the phone is sitting flat on its back- so much so that I've been putting the phone on a small piece of rope when I go to bed so that I can hear the alarm clock in the morning.
-I prefer how Apple implemented Copy/Paste. Maybe that's because it's just more familiar. Time will tell.
-Doesn't work with the most widely available inductive chargers (made by Nokia for the Lumia handsets) even though they are both Qi-compliant. Crying or Very sad

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GnarShredd
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PostPosted: Dec 17, 2012 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to hear! I'm really interested in getting one of these. Still have an iPhone 4 and it's getting the job done for me, but after having my Nexus 7 tablet since September I like the Android environment a lot more than iOS. Have you tried using Google Wallet yet? I think that seems like a handy feature and most big gas stations seem to be compatible. I'm nerdy like that though...
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scott a
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PostPosted: Dec 17, 2012 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't tried using Google Wallet on my phone. Probably going to wait a bit longer on that. I already have a debit and credit card.

You do use Google Wallet when purchasing stuff through the Play store. You probably noticed this if you got your N7 through the Play store.

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GnarShredd
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PostPosted: Dec 17, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scott a, Yeah, I should have clarified, I meant the tap & pay feature. A lot of gas stations seem to be compatible and it just seems cool to me just to be able to enter your pin on your phone, tap it to the machine at the register, and you're done.
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Bowen
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PostPosted: Dec 22, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the write-up. I'm currently debating between the HTC ONE X (My wife has it and I think it's better than the GS3), the galaxy note 2 (it's just awesome) and the Nexus 4 (if I can get my hands on one).

I love seeing people switching from iOS to Android. I have an iPad and my current Android phone and I really prefer the user experience of the Android.

Side note - I heard Guy Kawasaki speak a few months back, at the end someone asked him what his favorite iPhone/iPad App was. He responded by saying that he didn't like iOS, and "if people were really thinking differently, they'd be thinking Android."
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wakeboarderdave1
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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2012 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: Nexus 4 Reply with quote

scott a wrote:
+Haven't had a chance to try NFC, but I have a feeling that I'll end up programming a few tags based on the desired audio/ringer settings (work, home, car, etc).


If you download the app NFC Task Launcher. You can purchase tags through it if you have a credit/debit card tied to your play account.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jwsoft.nfcactionlauncher

I nearly bought a N4 as well, but couldn't swing the price and I got tired of waiting for it to become available. I went with a GS3 and I'm plenty happy with it.

Bowen, you're talking about the HTC One X+ right?

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scott a
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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2012 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll probably give NFC a go once the holidays wind down a bit.

The cost was a tough pill to swallow at first, but when I realized that there was a ton of interest in the phone I just figured that if I didn't love it I could always just sell it and get an iPhone.

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scott a
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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NFC!

A coworker recently got a Note 2 and passed along one of his Samsung TecTiles. It works, but takes about 5 seconds to trigger so that's not going to save me much time. I did pick up NFC Task Launcher and got some tags through their site, and they trigger almost instantly. Sweet. So for now I have a tag on my work badge, and I'll put one in my car.

I really hope that Apple adds NFC to their mobile devices so that these tags will become more widely used. Samsung recently placed 4,500 NFC tags around a bunch of the Las Vegas casinos to provide event showtimes, locate stores within shopping centers, help reserve tables, etc. Pretty smart idea, as long as you can ensure that the posted tags are 'authentic' and someone hasn't replaced a tag w/ one that directs you to malware.

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wakeboarderdave1
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PostPosted: Feb 12, 2013 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scotta, how's the nexus 4 treating you? I'm happy with my GS3, but am wishing I had held out another few months and waited for the N4.
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scott a
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PostPosted: Feb 15, 2013 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumbs WAY up. Love this phone and I haven't even rooted it. I still feel like there's plenty of layers that I can peel back and make the experience even better. A lot of the things that I like are mixed between hardware, Jelly Bean, and just the difference between iOS and Android, but I'll try to keep it N4-centric.

The hardware itself is solid. I've read a few complaints about the screen discoloring when the phone heats up, but I haven't seen that. I've come to like the profile of the phone quite a bit. The sides are a soft-touch rubbery kind of plastic, and they're chamfered so it makes the phone quite easy to hang on to. I've never had an issue dropping or beating up my electronics so I just put a clear skin on the back for added texture/grip and that's working out well. I really dig the buttonless look on the front of the device, especially when the screen is off and the LED is pulsing. If only it didn't have the chrome bezel...

Everything in the UI is super smooth. I've seen it stutter only once when flipping through the apps/widgets quickly.

I'm still having to leave the phone on a lanyard on my night stand at night because if it's flush against a flat surface I probably wont hear the alarm clock. This is also an issue when the phone rings and the phone is flat on a table.

Oddly, the vibration in the phone is pretty weak, and I've missed a few texts when the phone was in my pocket. Someone is claiming that it's a different type of vibration than what the iPhones use (which is much more abrupt). The plus side is that my N4 can be left directly on a desk and not go BZZZZZZZ and notify half the room.

I have the RGB LED on the front of the phone color coded to certain notifications (and for specific contacts). I actually really like this vibrate + LED pulse notification when I'm at work because it's quiet and effective. I just have to remember to put the phone on audible when I leave work.

I still miss a physical rocker switch that toggles between audible and vibrate.

The curved glass on the front of the screen is great. Very subtle, but a real nice touch, especially when you swipe in from the sides of the screen.

NFC is also great. I have a tag in my work badge and one in my truck. I also have the NFC Task Launcher widget on my main home screen. I was going to try buying something from the soda machine because it has a NFC payment option, but it's always broken. Laughing

I've warmed up to Google Wallet...sort of. I can see how it would be useful for some people, but I rarely (if ever) have my phone and not my wallet. I was setting GW up on my phone just to see how it all works, and it looks like you can de-activate GW by logging into your Google account if you ever misplace/lose your phone.

Having software navigation buttons is quite nice. Slingbox, YouTube, etc played full screen is a thing of beauty. I really hope more developers update their apps soon to support this. Unsure if the GS3 is laid out like the GN2 w/ capacitive hardware buttons on the side of the home button?

Miracast is cool, and I hope that it's integrated into TVs sooner rather than later. I recently picked up a dongle that connects to my TV via HDMI (and USB for power) and it allows me to stream whatever is on my phone over to my TV. It's definitely not a necessity by any means, but it's cool that the tech is available (even if it's still young, and quite rough around the edges). The dongle is the same size as a 16-in-1 card reader, so it's super portable and easy to take to a friend's place or whatever. My fingers are crossed that this gains some traction in the industry. Miracast is built in to 4.2 Jelly Bean so this isn't specific to Nexus 4. The dongle is a Netgear PTV3000.

Still haven't tried inductive charging, and I'm going to pass on the Nexus 4 charging orb because it's $70 after shipping and tax. Might pick up the LG charger but I'm in no huge rush. I picked up a few brightly-colored micro-usb cables (hooray for cheap cables!) so I'm in no huge rush to spend any more money on chargers. Maybe it'll go on my Christmas list or something.

I'm still a huge fan of Photosphere. They're just so much better than the flat panoramas, even if the image quality isn't perfect. I think there's so much more of a feeling of 'being there,' which is pretty much the only purpose of panoramas to begin with. Google has also created a site where you can submit your own panoramas (as long as location data is turned on) and it'll plot them on a google map. This could prove to be useful for people that are traveling to some new place, new restaurant, etc.
https://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/contribute/index.html#all

And while I'm on the panoramic soap box, I wish Facebook would do something about how panos are displayed. It seems like such a waste that someone would do a nice 360 panorama while on vacation and then it's stuck in some small postage stamp sized due to width. But first I think they should make the site compatible with Photosphere.

And now, the bad...

The battery is awful (and non-removable). I can't get through a full day even with light usage. There seem to be a few ROMs that fix this, though, and there's plenty of speculation as to why it's happening. Apparently a fix is coming from Google, so I'm gonna wait it out a bit longer before rooting. Hasn't affected me too much because I can plug my phone in at work, home, etc. But, bottom line is a 2100mAh battery should easily go a full day under even moderate usage.

Camera quality is "good enough," but that's it. Not as good as my bro's iPhone 5. Very noisy in low light, and the focusing and flash usage takes a bit of practice. For most shots I just leave it in HDR because that brings back details in the shadows and highlights without looking like that crap you see people posting on Flickr or whatever. Kudos to Google for not going apeshit with this feature. Thankfully, the camera is more than good enough for Photosphere, which I am a fan of (have I mentioned this yet?). Since you've made it this far down, click here to see my photospheres.

I'm also not a fan of the audio setup in my truck, but I suspect this user error and can be remedied w/ better research. I used to have ONE plug on my iPhone that charged and transferred audio to my head unit, and now I have the micro-usb to charge, and an audio cable in the headphone jack for sound...and one is on the top, and the other is on the bottom. Kind of annoying to have to deal with those wires. Fixing this is a pretty low priority, though.

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