Sunday, January 27, 2013

6 1/2 weeks with the Nexus 4

where to begin.. ok.. as far as I can tell, the 16GB Nexus 4 available through TMo is exactly the same as the Nexus 4 through Google Play Store whatever. straight up Android JellyBean 4.2.1, no pre-loaded branded carrier blah blah blah.
      my kick-ass slab of awesome was born on November 29, 2012.

I was responsible in the way I purchased a Skinomi kit and blue TPU case- they arrived before I even ordered the N4 with TMo as my upgrade. I got too excited- the Skinomi is still in the box. if anything, I only need to apply the back sheet of TPU- Gorilla2 on the front and the N4 is gawd damn sexy and easier to handle whilst nekked. I am still getting used to the overall size, weight and width and I have an easier time without the case.. but I'm scared. I have insurance, with a $150 deductible, but there's never any in stock as a replacement. so unless I'm at my desk, the damn case is on.
      love the feel and look.. sleek, slick, thin, chrome in all the right places, *flat* front and back.. the matrixy pattern on the back is awesome. you can see and feel the slight rounds and curves in the front glass. the matte smooth, etched sides give a great grip. the only buttons are a volume rocker on the left and power on the upper right, both chromed, and without a case, appropriately responsive.
      it's so well balanced that you could twirl it between fingers like a baton. you almost *want* to, and very well might try if given the chance. in the hand, it feels good, it feels right, I've wondered where it's been all my life.
      fits in my purse front pocket, fits in my back jeans pocket, probably would fit in my front (but I don't wear skinny jeans *yik*).. in my jacket, hoodie.. it fits. I have an 06 Cherokee and got the car holder that secures in the CD slot- another thing I've wondered how I've done without.

all signals are better than with the G2, which has been sold to a co-worker for $50. he's in good hands and appreciated, and that's all I could want for a device that still kick-ass and functional and CM'd (in the hands of a newbie). but now I lack a decent back-up.. anyways..
      - GPS- locks on fast! Google Nav is much more pleasurable on the N4, and I'm loving the new female voice(s)..
      - Bluetooth- never really messed with Bluetooth before, but I'm liking it, enable as needed. have a little BT speaker- phone stays in my room or downstairs, bring the speaker in the bathroom while dying my hair or taking a shower. like it so much I'm snagging a BT-to-Aux for the car and BT dongle for my computer. sick of all the wires. oh! I have a BT mini-keyboard somewhere..
      - WiFi- another quick connection. stays strong, even outside of the townhouse and halfway to the bus stop.
      - call/data- better signal than the G2. I only have G in my area- the nearest H signal is about 8 miles south, and thankfully at work and most other places I'd go. calls are great, even with speaker. other than wishing they would bump up the strength in the area in which I live, I have no signal complaints at all.
      - NFC- I'm paranoid and keep this turned off. I'm sure I will use it, but will enable as needed.

no complaints on the battery, and it charges fast.. I can't have my phone at work really, so it's barely touched during the weekdays- other than texts, emails and facebook app on breaks. when I get home, I'm all over facebook, using Chrome and pinterest, texting, fb messaging, amazon app- my computer is upstairs now, so unless I wanna drag out the netbook or suffer through the mac, the N4 is my random obsession checker on-er.

the screen makes it easier for me to sit on the couch or on the floor in front of the heater and surf.. it is quite gorgeous, sizeable, and unless there is actual gunk on the glass, you can't see all the fingerprint smudges when the screen is on (shut up, you know you're gonna have 'em- it's *glass*- don't be an asshole). my eyes are sensitive, so I keep the backlight pretty low, which helps with battery, I'm sure.
      the touch is responsive and accurate. not much more to say about that.

camera- still learning.. there's this option for HDR- and all I know, is it makes pics look better without needing the flash. on the front and rear cameras both- spectacular. I mean the front camera you can't expect all that much out of- it's only like a 1.3MP or whatever.. it adjusts the lighting and everything and pics come out more decent. from the rear camera, this HDR.. I sat on my couch and shot the camera into the dark diningroom:

      you have to hold the camera still: it seems to be gathering several shots; if you move away too soon, the final image (and it is delayed) is blurred.
      the flash is frikin intense. use HDR if possible, especially with closer shots.

the panoramic is easy to use and pretty sweet:

so many camera options, I don't even remember what I was doing here:

      I read about an app, or something within device editing, that could turn panoramic pics into a globe and add cool shit.. still looking for it.. I know I saw it somewhere. there are editing options for anything you could do on a device- crop, color/tint, frames, askews, etc.. if I had a stylus, I'd see if I could draw..

holeee fuck this thing is fast. smooth, no lags, fluid even..
      16GB stoarge = 12.92GB user available. all my pics and most frequently listened to music, apps and the rest = 9.67GB available. me, personally, not going to have storage issues. and I have to say that there's got to be some fantastical compression going on.. I have like a zillion pics and 20 albums- consistently impressed with my space available.
      Quad-Core & 2GB RAM- no app killer needed. no freezes or "wait/force close" pop-ups. reboot every 3-4 days or so. 'nuff said.
      JellyBean 4.2.1- CM is unnecessary. once I learned my way around, coming from Gingerbread/CM7, this OS is everything I have ever wanted in Android. I am impressed and satisfied, and most importantly, un-annoyed and happy.
      - finding my way around took some time.. like 4-5 days or so to "get it." the Google bar brings you to useful information and of course the ability to search by typing or voice. there's a pre-made Google "folder" for apps- anything Google can go in this folder- easy access with minimal intrusion. I like clean homescreens and easy access. getting to frequently used and other settings is intuitive- a lot of apps/tweaks I had on the G2 are no longer mandatory.
      - apps and widgets are sorted appropriately.
      - apps that I loved on the G2 are even better on the N4 with the updates to the apps themselves for JellyBean. did that make sense? like facebook is different in Gingerbread, and better in JellyBean. same with Drive (so much easier to edit) and most other apps. OS enhancements is what I'm getting at- love JellyBean.
      - I'm a Google fan. I love Chrome. easy. no hassle. everywhere. I feel it's safe, enough, and act accordingly.
      - I like playing with the Bubbles live wallpaper. makes me giggle.

there's nothing I hate or can't stand or am desperate to tweak or change or get rid of.
      my N4 is still factory, untampered with.. not sure if I should feel satisfied or embarrassed. I did install Light Flow and SwiftKey (paid), and I am annoyed by little things.. #firstworldproblems
- when charging, there's an option for some special Dream screen or something that shows a clock or whatever and you just touch the screen to wake it up, unlocked. sometimes when I touch the screen, it doesn't wake up- the screen shuts off and then I have to pick it up and press the power button to wake and unlock the screen. doesn't seem to be on any specific area of the screen, or how long of a press I give- it is, in fact, random.
- when charging, facebook app scrolling sucks.
- when charging (yes, there is a theme), Light Flow doesn't work properly, especially when that Dream clock thing is on. seems to work half-ass when the screen is off all the way.
- buttons:  if I could ask for anything else, it would be a button on the lower right for camera or user-defined.
- the flash is frikin intense- seriously too much most times. searching now and again for a way to adjust it. if someone else doesn't come up with it soon, I will. would have to root and hopefully it's in build.prop.
- not only did I learn that BT is awesomely useful, but the cord I have for the Jeep Aux is a little too large at the connection against the TPU case *ahem*, so switching to BT for driving removes a dangling wire and could potentially improve sound quality. aaahhh.. justified purchase.

I'm still getting used to the size and on-screen keyboard. one-handed typing is not ideal on this large of a screen, even with SwiftKey (if you use it, you know how kick-ass it is), and the awkwardness of going landscape is dissipating- the more I remember to use it, the better off I am.
      the issue is within the case. without, I feel no handling issues. it does add a little extra bulk and grip, which was nice at first, but proves more difficult in getting to those ever imperative buttons, causing too much pressure and a potential flip out of the hand, and adds bulk that is more cumbersome than useful. -but- the case has saved from impending disaster, maybe.. a few falls to carpeted floor, unscathed. it's so light and the weight is evenly distributed.. and I'm not rough on my precious devices- I think the case is coming off for good sometime soon.

overall.. I fucking love the Nexus 4. if I have to root to fix my only major complaint (camera flash) then I'll g.d. do it. I want that charging orb too, if it ever actually gets released.

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