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Someone really likes the Galaxy Nexus


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#1 of 5 Hanson

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Posted November 17 2011 - 07:32 AM

The Verge Galaxy Nexus review by Josh Topolosky


First off, Josh debunks some of the hysteria and FUD over the pentile matrix screen and "subtle lagginess":



Quote:
The 1280 x 720, 4.65-inch display is quite a handsome affair, utilizing Super AMOLED technology, which produces rich colors while keeping battery consumption to a minimum. While the screen is a pentile display, the crispness of text and images was far superior to most lower resolution pentile displays I've seen.


Quote:
I want to note that moving around all of these screens is buttery smooth. There's no lag, no stutter. Animations are fluid, and everything feels cohesive and solid.  


Josh gives high marks for ICS, and notes that the keyboard, gmail, and calendar apps are top notch.  The new gestures and design interfaces also get high marks (the software subscore was given a 10 rating).  He especially liked the browser:



Quote:
Let me just say this — the browser in Ice Cream Sandwich does some serious ass-kicking. I don't often use profanity in my gadget reviews, but I felt it was worth emphasizing  just how much better the browser on the Galaxy Nexus is compared with much of its competition.

The only area where the Galaxy Nexus isn't top of the line is the camera, which is good but not on the level of the iPhone 4S:


Quote:

The Galaxy Nexus is the best Android phone ever made. It's one of the best smartphones ever made, and with a couple of minor tweaks (particularly to the camera), it could be the best smartphone ever produced.

I can't wait to see what's coming in for Sprint when they move to LTE.






#2 of 5 DaveF

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Posted November 17 2011 - 08:54 AM



Quote:

While the screen is a pentile display, the crispness of text and images was far superior to most lower resolution pentile displays I've seen.

Well, duh. More pixels better than fewer pixels. It says nothing about how it compares to non-Pentile displays. Worse, it implies that there may be lower res Pentile screens that are better than this uber-display.



Quote:
 I noticed some color aberrations and odd striations which were visible when there was a large swath of solid, lighter colors visible (a plain gray background, for instance). 
That is, PenTile screen has PenTile weaknesses....



I think the advent of 1280x720 four-inch screens is a big deal. Current Android phones that merely have bigger pixels (bigger screen, lower res than iPhone) don't interest me. But getting to the next obvious level ~300 ppi screens at 4.x" is potentially very cool. I've not seen a recent-vintage OLED screen in person, and certainly not this one, so can't really say anything besides snarking at hastily written review silliness :) It will be interesting to see how it's reviewed in the coming weeks the usual suspects.



#3 of 5 Hanson

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Posted November 17 2011 - 12:57 PM

I believe Josh's equivocation about "most lower resolution pentile displays" refers to judgement that it's far superior.  Far superior to most, merely superior or better to a select few.  As the Galaxy Nexus is the only 720p pentile display, there is nothing to compare it to directly.  LG will be releasing a 720p RGB stripe LCD display in it's newest Android phone -- we'll see how the displays stack up.  Incidentally, that's 4.3" 720p LCD display with a ppi of 342 on the LG phone.  That's higher than the Retina display (although not by much).

As for the streaking in solid gray backgrounds, I see that on my display, but only when I'm using remote desktop.  The Epic Touch has a 480p SAMOLED Plus display that's RGB stripe, so that may be a SAMOLED thing rather than a pentile thing.


#4 of 5 DaveF

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Posted November 17 2011 - 01:32 PM



Originally Posted by Hanson 

LG will be releasing a 720p RGB stripe LCD display in it's newest Android phone -- we'll see how the displays stack up.  Incidentally, that's 4.3" 720p LCD display with a ppi of 342 on the LG phone.  That's higher than the Retina display (although not by much).

As for the streaking in solid gray backgrounds, I see that on my display, but only when I'm using remote desktop.  The Epic Touch has a 480p SAMOLED Plus display that's RGB stripe, so that may be a SAMOLED thing rather than a pentile thing.


Yes. Getting to 1280x720 on a 4.x" screen gets the screen in the same regime as the iPhone (perhaps more or less depending on that .x :) ) Doing that with a full res LCD screen is a terrific idea.


The streaking as described I understood as the pentile effect on straight lines, but perhaps not, as you describe.





I find that the new system makes it even easier to get around in the OS, and compared to its nearest competition (iOS), it is actually far simpler in some instances. Take, for example, clearing your cache in the browser. In iOS, you actually have to exit the app, open settings, find Safari settings, and then do your cache clearing. In ICS you simply tap on the overflow box, click settings, and clear away — without ever leaving your app.

If the best example of improved usability is clearing the browser cache...in 18 months of iPhone usage I don't think I've ever cleared the browser cache. I've never had my wife or friend ask me, "How do I clear the browser cache?" That's not on my list of UX concerns I hope to see addressed on the iPhone -- or any other smartphone system.



I generally like Topolsky's work, so I don't know if that's a sign of a rushed review, a too geek-focused article, or indicates the gulf between Android fans and normal people.



It sounds like this phone basically has it all together. The hardware is fast enough to power the new OS, and it all works smoothly. Camera might be an unfortunate cost-saving measure in an otherwise flagship device. We can quibble over AMOLED vs LCD details, but they're finally past touting ever larger pixels and into an exciting new class of screen.



#5 of 5 Hanson

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Posted November 18 2011 - 12:54 AM

One of the reasons the manufacturers are moving to OLED screens is the Thinness War that's being waged in the market.  Because of the need for an LCD panel and backlighting, you cannot achieve 7mm thickness like the Razr without going to OLED.  Their choice (or limited choice) of the pentile qHD screen is one of the poorest reviewed features of that unit, although that's relative, since there are a lot of owners who think it looks great.





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