5 days with Nexus 4

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices & Gadgets' started by DLeRium, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. DLeRium

    DLeRium Lifer

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    I'm a hoarder of devices. I have sold a few things like the iPad 2 and iPod Touch 1G as iDevices get outdated and that's it. Old devices become tweaking tools. If you noticed the Nexus S gets some weird-ass theme going there.

    Well given that the 4S does 60fps no problem, I don't see the 5 as any faster. It may be faster in launching apps, or can handle heavier websites in scrolling, but in terms of basic scrolling performance in the homescreen I don't think we've seen improvement since the 4.

    As for webpage scrolling, yeah I've seen it get better over time and I'd say Android needs to step that up still. Just tried Verge now in full desktop and the N4 is fast, but the iPhone is slightly better.
     
    #51 DLeRium, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  2. ibex333

    ibex333 Diamond Member

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    DLeRium, I don't understand how you can say that the Nexus 4 is good, when you clearly say that it's screen doesn't look very good compared to some other phones. Never mind the size, it's the sharpness/contrast and color accuracy that matter more.

    Also, you are somewhat contradicting yourself. first you say that this new phone is just about as fast as the iPhone, but then you say your friend's Nexus is sluggish. Talking about how the reason may be installed apps or whatever else, is a poor excuse. Nothing slows down the iPhone in my experience. It's always very fast and precise. It's performance DOES NOT decrease with time.

    I was actually really looking forward to buying the Nexus 4, but after your review, maybe not so much anymore...

    I would like to see you review the Nexus 4's camera compared to the iPhone. For me, it's one of the most important features a phone can have, because I use it constantly and very extensively. I really feel that my 4s camera is a good replacement for a point and shoot. It's just that good. I read some very positive things about the Nex4 in that regard, but I would like to see it confirmed. Panorama is awesome though, and I don't have that on my 4s by default, but I do have it through a hack. (by far not as nice as Android off course)

    Really, after this review, I don't see a convincing reason to switch from a 4s to the Nexus. I wasn't always an Apple fanboy, but I became one, after the horrible experience I had with Verizon + Droid 2 Global and a breath of fresh air I got when I switched to AT&T and iPhone.

    All that being said, I loved a friend's Samsung Galaxy SIII when I tried it out and would switch to it from the iPhone in a heartbeat. Too bad it's not affordable at all outside of contract.
     
    #52 ibex333, Dec 7, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  3. compman25

    compman25 Diamond Member

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    Nexus is not Nexus 4. He said his friend had a Verizon Nexus, there is no Verizon Nexus 4.
     
  4. TuxDave

    TuxDave Lifer

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    I would say that moving from my 3GS to 4S, it was just as smooth but it did things faster. It's like having an object scroll across the screen at 30fps in 2 sec vs scroll across the screen at 30fps in 1 sec. Both are "smooth" but one just finishes faster. I didn't read many articles but I keep "faster" and "smoother" separate.

    The way I see it, the iPhone isn't infinitely fast. They put a ton in the iOS to to minimize or even HIDE lag. There was a study in my company where they kept overall performance the same but did some of the same tricks and from the consumer standpoint, those UI tricks make the device feel faster. If the goal is a better UX, those tricks are a must.
     
  5. DLeRium

    DLeRium Lifer

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    The bigger screen is nice without a doubt. This is pure visuals and not taking into account ergonomics. Sharpness is there with the 720p, but perhaps some of that feel is missing due to poor color calibration. However from what I've read it's really a calibration issue. Walking around the AT&T store, the LG Optimus G looks nice. It's better calibrated. There's color controls with the Nexus 4 kernel, and some custom kernels already have a color tuning app associated. The GNex wasn't well calibrated and so were all the Nexus phones before. However, I do have a calibrated Nexus S and it looks gorgeous. Better than my SAMOLED+ SGS2. While I still believe Google needs to provide out of the box functionality with proper calibration, all hope isn't lost because we can hopefully get that ability soon.

    I'd also like to see objective display reviews. How good is the display itself? I know SAMOLED lovers always go "oh damn LCD is washed out it's DOOOOOMED." Remember that Apple got around crappy calibration by having a bright screen. The 4 and 4S looked good supposedly even with 65% of gamut only. I'm going to hope that I can adjust the colors on my screen soon so it looks half decent.

    But to be honest I think I'm losing my pickiness with colors. I work long hours now and it's at a pathetic TN panel or laptop screen. I'm probably going colorblind. I spend little time in front of my Dell 27" at home now, but everytime I do I'm reminded of how nice LCD displays can look.

    Gnex looks laggy. I'm not sure why. But remember Android runs background apps, and while you and I and other tech geeks might not install every app in the world, standard users don't care. They have so many things running in the background, syncing, it doesn't feel well.

    Sorry :( but I think the phone still is the best on the Android platform and having both the iPhone and Nexus, I can say you can't go wrong with either.

    I'm a photographer and so I demand quality photo reviews. That's why I've never really dived into them before. I just offer a few subjective conclusions based on my observations. The camera is difficult to use and while the whole touch circle menu is "cool" it's less useful than one might think. It's too easy to select the wrong thing. Gimmick feature if you may.

    In day, it's great. Indoors it's not as great. This is partly software and hardware. I think the iPhone limits the shutter speed and then bumps you to a higher ISO at a certain point. I had so many blurry photos on my Nexus it was't funny. I was TRYING to hold it still too. On the iPhone I didn't care and casually held it with 1 hand and snapped away with pretty sharp photos.

    The part that bugs me is I feel like my SGS2 might give better photos. The Nexus line has been disappointing in photos, and no matter what the apologists say about how this is a development phone not a fun phone, stop it. First there's excuses for why the GNex didn't go quad and it went dual and it's not meant to be a powerhouse. Now the Nexus 4 changes that by having the fastest damn CPU in a phone. Let's not forget the Nexus S had a damn good camera for its time because the SGS phones of that generation led with only the iPhone 4 being better.

    I don't see how an SGS3 is better than a Nexus 4. Maybe if you really love the SAMOLED display, but while my eyes like it more, I think the Nexus' display isn't bad. The fact that you can run stock AOSP Android straight out of the box is 100x more important. I'd NEVER run Touchwiz or Sense or any of that junk. That's half the reason why those phones feel like lagfests. Sense might have worked well for the ARM11 phones like the Droid Eris making it feel faster than the Motorola Droid in terms of scrolling smoothness. However they're all so bloated now that they contribute to a huge slowdown.

    When my GF picked up my SGS2 she woudl always comment on how fast it is. This is with the broken hwcomposer on CM10. It's not even butter yet. I recall her SGS3 being great when she first got it but when I paid close attention to it last weekend it lagged like no other. Scrolling through a list on Foursquare was a horrible. It may be that I'm spoiled carrying two fast as hell phones, but I wanted to say even my SGS2 wouldn't do that?
     
    #55 DLeRium, Dec 7, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  6. aeroxmax4

    aeroxmax4 Member

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    very good review! thanks!
     
  7. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    no youre not crazy. most people just dont notice it. they notice its faster then their old phone, so it must be working ok. and oooo look at all the pretty transitions.

    my htc sensation felt about the same as a droid x on the latest stock rom. root it, s off it, and asop jellybean it. entirely different machine now. its a very fast phone
     
  8. DLeRium

    DLeRium Lifer

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    Camera test:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. AkumaX

    AkumaX Lifer

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    I use this as my basis too. Plenty of android devices I've used, where I do that test, and then I put it back down. "One more year", I say in my head... makes me cringe when I see the lag/stutter..

    SGS3 one of the 1st devices I've used that has 'beaten' that lag. N7 was a disappointment in that aspect, considering it was a mid-2012 device. I say to myself, "finally! 60fps smooth scrolling! they finally nailed the iphone 4.." :p

    <- not a fanboi in any sense, but a UX person mos def.
     
  10. bearxor

    bearxor Diamond Member

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    Every time I try to use an android device I'm reminded about how terrible the scrolling is. It's just jerky. I used a RAZR HD with 4.1 all this weekend and just web browsing was cringe-worthy. Scrolling isn't smooth, zooming isn't smooth, tap to zoom is just... Off. There's just something about the way it LOOKS that doesn't sit right with me. The problem is that it CAN be smooth. Sometimes I'll start using it and it will be fine, and then 30s later it's not. "Lag" really isn't the word I would use. It's just jerky. Like its spending system time somewhere else other than what I'm doing and then when I got to scroll in a web page it's like "Oh, hey? You want to do that now? Ok, just give me a few... Nano... Seconds... THERE!"

    Of course, it's perfectly functional, it's just not elegant.
     
  11. IHAVEAQUESTION

    IHAVEAQUESTION Golden Member

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    I am still experiencing a few bugs with 4.2.1. One of the apps had access to GPS, but the GPS wouldn't turn off thereafter. I quit all background apps to no avail. Rebooting was the only answer.

    The option button on the right is cumbersome for people who use the device with their left hand. There should be an option to switch that around.

    The camera app should allow tap to capture. Now it's just tap to focus...unless I am missing something.

    The battery life is forgettable. I am also not finding the option to turn off sound and vibration for notification. The LED pulsing is enough while I am asleep.
     
  12. vshah

    vshah Lifer

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    how would the camera distinguish between a tap to focus and a tap to take picture?

    also, sounds like you should install CM. there's a quiet hours feature that limits notification sounds system-wide between hours you define.

    otherwise, notification settings generally live inside each app. so for messaging, go to menu>settings> and you can enable/disable notifications/vibration there. similarly for google talk or gmail.

    look into tasker, it can do what you want as well (defining quiet hours)
     
  13. dagamer34

    dagamer34 Platinum Member

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    I wish Android phones had hardware camera keys. Probably one of the things I like best about my Lumia 920.
     
  14. dguy6789

    dguy6789 Diamond Member

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    Some Android phones let you use the volume key to take a photo with the stock software(Droid Razr HD does this). For other Android phones there are camera apps in the Play Store that do it.
     
  15. IHAVEAQUESTION

    IHAVEAQUESTION Golden Member

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    It doesn't need to distinguish either. Focus then take picture. What's the point of focusing if it's not taking pic?

    There should be a universal setting for notification. It shouldn't be an added feature which I have to get on a custom rom. This is just common sense.
     
  16. vshah

    vshah Lifer

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    I think you can tap the volume down button until it silences everything. there are many many widgets which can also accomplish this with a single tap from the home screen - here's one: https://play.google.com/store/apps/...EsImNvbS5haXRlYW0uc2lsZW50dG9nZ2xld2lkZ2V0Il0.
     
    #66 vshah, Dec 10, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  17. DLeRium

    DLeRium Lifer

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    First, I like tap to focus. There's a reason on real cameras you have a half shutter press, meaning you focus only. The full press takes the picture. There's a purpose in first achieving AF because cameras that use contrast AF are slow as hell. The shutter lag after prefocus is very minimal and allows you to capture the moment. This is useful for jumping photos.

    In DSLRs, you have a dedicated AF button. Why? Because professionals want to go further and decouple AF from AE from shutter. You want the 3 separate essentially. Autofocus, autoexposure, and shutter. Having it all in 1 setting allows for no control.

    Now on these cameras I realize there's an issue using 1 finger to tap to focus and then tapping again on the shutter. You could shake the camera quite a bit in the process and in close-up shots, the AF distance can change. Luckily, I think this is mitigated by the fact that the sensor is so small and that there's quite a bit of depth of field.

    To make a long story short there are times when I want to test the AF first to make sure the image looks good before I actually take it. I don't want a bunch of trial and error photos that all get uploaded to my Google+ due to instant upload. And remember, we're limited in space on this phone. I'd rather not clog up my storage. Furthermore, if I take 5 images, when I sort through my photos later it's always hard to remember which one I actually wanted. Maybe the 3rd one was finally in focus, but the 4th and 5th were extra shots I wanted to take and the first two were just junk with poor settings.

    As to your second question, I believe CyanogenMod solves all this. It's a disappointment to see how CyanogenMod is really the Android that should've been released. It addresses features and functionality that Google overlooked. It's quite funny because while Google is trying to add in controls that should've been there like quick settings toggles, it's also borking things and removing control with things such as vibration and sound control. Stock 4.2.x and its notifications regarding sound and vibrate is as dumb as Windows Phone 7 right now.
     
  18. zsdersw

    zsdersw Lifer

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    I'm just going to throw this out there... have you ever considered that it is the UI overlay that Motorola (or other manufacturers) impose?

    Have you used straight-up Android on any Android device you've tried?

    If not, it seems like you're criticizing the manufacturer's UI more than Android.
     
  19. DLeRium

    DLeRium Lifer

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    So maybe there should be a bigger push for AOSP? Maybe Google should put more effort in making the Nexus phones accessible like the iPhone?

    And quite honestly Android wasn't flying til the Galaxy Nexus got 4.1, and even then I see my friend's Nexus lagging like hell compared to my Nexus 4. I wouldn't say any iPhone 4 or 4S that I see is lagging as hell. Sure the apps my launch faster, but the basic UI isn't compromised.
     
  20. bearxor

    bearxor Diamond Member

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    I used a GNex day to day (as in, totally ditched the iPhone and didn't use it all) for a couple of months this year, it was on 4.1. The Moto UI for ICS/JB isn't significantly different from stock. I don't get the choice as a work phone, but I would never personally buy a Moto/Samsung/HTC/LG device. Nexus only as far as I'm concerned.

    Don't get me wrong though. Both devices are totally usable. But there's just something about Android that doesn't "click" with my brain. It's hard to explain. I'm sure if I used it I would get along just fine but after using the GNex for two months and then getting the iPhone 5 delivered it was like "Why can't I have a phone that looks and performs like this with the flexibility of Android?"

    Something I've thought about that makes me smile when I think about it, is what if Google was able to just buy Apple. What changes would they make to iOS so that it's still iOS but better? That's the question I think Apple needs to ask for iOS 7.
     
  21. ponyo

    ponyo Lifer

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    Bullshit. If you think Nexus is "lagging like hell", then so is iPhone 4 or 4S.
     
  22. zsdersw

    zsdersw Lifer

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    All I'm doing is pointing out how his/her criticism is more of manufacturer UI overlays than of Android. Feel free to criticize Google as much or more than you already do.
     
  23. zsdersw

    zsdersw Lifer

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    We have something like 300 iPad2s at work, and whether they're running iOS 5 or 6, there's always a lag when you swipe to the left from the home screen to bring up the search box.

    I suppose I could say that makes the iPad 2 laggy as hell, but then I'd be as idiotic as several others.
     
  24. openwheel

    openwheel Platinum Member

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    Really? A Galaxy Nexus with project butter is "lagging like hell"? :confused: I am going to call this just a tiny tiny tiny bit exaggerated. LOL
     
    #74 openwheel, Dec 10, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  25. NikolaeVarius

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    You're not seeing enough. My friends iPhone 4 chugged like crazy on the newest updates. He is happier with his Droid Razr Maxx.
     
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