iPhone 4S vs Galaxy Nexus: Which Will I Pick?

Those who have been following me on Gear Diary know that I was an early Android lover.  I had the very first Android phone, the G1.  While it was not without its foibles, I loved the phone even with it’s Jay Leno chin and chunkiness.  About 18 months ago, I replaced my beloved G1 with a Droid 2 and switched from T-Mobile to Verizon.  Early on, I was extremely satisfied with my Droid 2.  It was easily faster than my G1 ever was.  I was able to run applications my G1 would choke on and I never had an issue running out of application storage.  

However, as time has passed, my enthusiasm for my Droid 2 has waned.  Some of this is that it’s not new and shiny, but most of this is the issues I continue to have.  Random rebooting, occasional unexplained sluggishness and Google Play issues are rampant on my Droid 2.  Also, since Motorola has brought out a Droid 3, Droid 4 and umpteen other Droid branded phones since I purchased my Droid 2, well let’s just say I am less than impressed with Motorola’s dedication and support to any device they make. So, the only thing I can say is: my next phone will not be a Motorola device.

So where does that leave me??  Basically,  other Android devices or the iPhone.  Windows Phone 7 is a non-starter on Verizon as the only phone they have is the HTC Trophy which is almost one year old.  I will investigate the choices I am considering below just like I did when I bought my EeePad last year.  The only exception here is the phone has to be on Verizon as I am not switching carriers.

iPhone 4S

My wife has an iPhone 4.  She loves it.  Every time I use it I cringe a little.  However, the one thing that is starting to change my tune is that it’s always been very stable.  It’s RARE when my wife has an issue with her phone.  Also, I am impressed that Apple seems to have the power to keep iOS relatively crap app free when it comes to pre-loaded apps.  Also the selection of accessories available to the iPhone are second to none.

With that said, I do have my pet peeves about iOS.  I share many of the hates that Josh Smith at Gottabemobile has about the iPhone.  Why does it take 4 taps to enable/disable Bluetooth??  I always wondered why my wife doesn’t use the hands free Bluetooth calling built into our new car and now I know why.  If I had to do 4 taps just to toggle Bluetooth on, I’d never do it or I’d just leave it on all the time and let my battery life suffer.  Also, I dislike the positioning of the back button in most apps.  The upper left hand corner is just out of my thumb’s reach even on the smaller screen the iPhone has versus other Android devices.  I am sure I could get used to it, but it just doesn’t feel right to me.  I also use and abuse Gmail and most of its features.  Priority mail and tags are fixtures in my Gmail box.  Plus I have at least 3 e-mail accounts on my Droid 2 and it’s easy to keep them separate.  It’s not as easy on the iOS, unless you iPhone people have a way to do this that I don’t know about (PLEASE share your ideas below…I’d be interested in hearing them.)

Galaxy Nexus

Ahh the Nexus.  I really wanted the Nexus One when it came out.  Initially it looked like the Nexus One was going to be on all the carriers, but then by the time I was ready, it was announced that it was not coming to Verizon.  I was disappointed, but I figured that something better would come along and it did in the Droid 2.   The only thing I really hated about the Droid 2 at the time was Moto Blur.  As time went on, this continued to still be my one of beefs with the phone.  So that is why I was really excited when the Galaxy Nexus was announced on Verizon.  Straight Android 4.0 with no custom interface.  What’s not to like?  Well, I’ve had some friends report issues with reception.  One had reception so bad, he returned the device.  Also, the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus has some issues with its developer phone status.  The Verge did report that ROMs will continue to come from Google so while this makes me feel better than I initially did about looking into the Galaxy Nexus, there are still some things that don’t work on the Verizon version without some hackery.  Google Wallet being the biggest example.

And that’s it…

Really.  That’s all.  Since I will not buy another Motorola device and the other phones they have are all mid to low-end phones with the possible exception of the Rezound, those are really the only two I am even interested in.  So it really comes down to: iOS or Android.

Talk to me.

Do you like the Galaxy Nexus or the iPhone?  Can you give me apps that will help me transition to iOS if I choose that route?  Can you help me fix the issues I have with Android??   Is there something else I am completely missing?  Let me know.

Once a choice has been made, I will reveal it right here on Gear Diary and list first impressions.

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9 replies

  1. My wife and eldest daughter have the iPhone and I’ve been through numerous Android devices.  I currently own a Nexus and love it – that is with an extended 3800mah battery and case.  This makes it usable and abusable all day long.   My 2 cents.  Enjoy.

  2. As I think I may have mentioned to you elsewhere, iOS needs an app similar to Tasker or even Locale for Android, though I’ve heard MyProfiles is close, but IIRC you have to jailbreak to run it. Several coworkers have the Galaxy Nexus and they LOVE it, OS warts and all.

  3. Hi Joel, its really a tough call, but if you really like to tinker go Nexus, if you want something that just works go iPhone..  :)

  4. Based on how great the new HTC One phones look, are you sure it wouldn’t be smarter to wait a bit to see what the next Verizon Incredible will be? Plus, we are probably about halfway to a new iPhone – sure you can’t wait? 😉

    As for Moto support, it’s hard to argue all that much against it, except that today’s Moto is not the same as two year’s ago, or last year’s, Moto. With the rumors today that Google is looking to sell Moto’s phone business to Hwawei, though, maybe you are right. That said, the RazrMaxx and it’s huge battery looks darned tempting to an Android user.

    Google isn’t exactly setting records updating their Nexus phones to ICS, so I’m not sure Nexus is a huge advantage.

    I’m not an iPhone user, though I have an iPod Touch. The new Sparrow Mail app is a good solution for iOS, though no push mail (yet – though there is a workaround with the app Boxcar.) It lets you both archive and delete mail, as well as label messages easily, support the Priority mailbox, report SPAM, etc., and supports multiple accounts with unified inbox (though IMAP only, I believe.)

    There are two things that I do with my Android phone that iOS cannot do, beside push GMail – CallTrack puts all calls into one of my Google Calendars, and SMS Backup+ puts all sent and received SMMS/MMS messages into Gmail as archived conversations; both apps are automatic. (Actually, SMS Backup+ can do call tracking now, too.) While I’d live without these, it sure is nice to have them.

  5. The biggest fail of the Galaxy Nexus is its pathetic built-in storage, which is the same as a base model iPhone. My 64GB iPhone 4S and 64GB “New” iPad are crammed with media, and the thought of returning to ~13GB of free space on my phone is very unappealing.

    As for leaving bluetooth on to drain battery, I haven’t found that to be the case at all. My 4S running iOS 5.1 easily lasts a full day, jumping in and out of cars several times a day, with bluetooth connecting all the time. 

    The idea of having to mess around toggling wireless radios on and off just seems old-fashioned these days. Sure it would be handy if there was an add-on for Notification Centre to add some toggles, but personally found it to be a non-issue.

  6. I love the custom homes screens on android, but the only android phones I’ve used have been incredibly slow and buggy. For me, I love the iTunes. iTunes makes it so easy to sync music, movies, and podcasts. Syncing music ratings, active playlists and podcasts is very difficult on android.
    Make sure you get the 4s and not the 4. The hardware, camera and processor and lack of antennaegate make it the best iPhone I’ve had so far out of the 3G, 4, and 4s.

  7. I have the Vzw Gnex, and I love it.  I love the big screen, and also that it can be unlocked.   I installed the AOKP (android open kang project) Rom on it and it is AMAZING.  I also like to tinker.  With android I can bend it to my will and have everything exactly the way I want it.  Unfortunately in my area we don’t have 4g so I cant say anything about that.  Now for my wife we got her the 4s, but she doesn’t want to tinker.  She just likes things to work.  the integration with iTunes is key for her.  Also the small screen doesn’t bother her.  I vote you get the Nexus (also cheaper)  but I am bias because I love mine.

    oh what the heck, go gNex or go home :)

  8. I have been waiting for the iPhone to come to sprint for a long time. And when I discovered the Galaxy Nexus was coming to my carrier it made me stop and think. I am apart of the Apple ecosystem and the connections I would have throughout the iPhone and to my other devices would be amazing. But the only Phone that really could take me out of the “ecosystem” is the Galaxy Nexus. Just one mans thoughts.