I’m normally not one for rumor-mongering. Well, do as I say not as I do; my last tech post was exactly that: a rumor about the potential release of a 15-inch MacBook Air in Q1 2012. Will it happen? Likely, but it’s a rumor. Verizon’s upcoming flagship Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (formerly “Prime” now known simply as Snuffleupagus), takes the cake for 2011 most hyped, most mysterious product launch. Hundreds of thousands of us Android upgraders coming off contract are teething for ever scant morsels of information related to Nexus. The phone itself is less a mystery–there are numerous reviews, hands-on videos, and it’s been available in the UK for several weeks now–than the actual availability on Verizon.
The magician and the Three Stooges
Unlike Apple who carefully crafts buzz with a combination of mystery (“And one more thing…”) and excitement (“Siri!”), Google/Samsung/Verizon make for a bit of rag-tag team when it comes to the art of the launch. Call them the Three Stooges.
The money would say that an unclear launch date would fuel the Twitter fire; create an endless stream of articles pontificating a launch date; and make the Android army drool to no end. Nexus US launch has achieved all of those questionable objectives.
In the meantime the tech press have circled its prey–us, poor, starved OG Moto Droids–with one headline stunt after another, all in an effort for pageviews. Case in point: Computerworld, who “confirmed” that pre-orders would begin today. Mystery solved! Their “credible” source for the information? micdawg. He got first-hand information directly from a Verizon customer service rep that Nexus pre-orders would begin today (Nov 29) with shipments beginning next week on Dec 8. Confirmed. Oops. Just like an apocalyptic prediction CW changed its story (and headline) when all of it turned out to be hearsay. What?! But micdawg said so. (to be fair, even the Washington Post was jumping on the Nov 29th pre-order bandwagon)
Regardless, the review parade marches on
Laptopmag (via MSNBC) calls Nexus “the one to beat”. Interestingly they call the screen “big and beautiful,” a sentiment that some reviews contradict. Ice Cream Sandwich a big step forward, and though they prefer the design “slimmer and sturdier” Motorola Droid RAZR, conclude the Nexus offers the best combination of hardware and software. Regarding the black and white elephant in the room: “The Galaxy Nexus beats the iPhone 4S when it comes to multitasking.”
GigaOM posted a controversial review of the Nexus from an iPhone owner’s perspective: “I still believe the iPhone 4S is the superior device.” The comments are predictably stocked with fanboy hubris and, of course, are therefore good, cheap entertainment- though a witticism or two shy of achieving the greatness of negative Yelp reviews.
and the Android upgrade dilemma continues…
I need a great smartphone that can last at least 18 months, in terms of performance. Moto Droid has aged well, but is slow as slow–yet I’m still amazed when Google Maps Nav is guiding us up to Napa, while music is streaming flawlessly via Google Music, and we can still check Yelp or Gmail.
Narrowing the field was easy, it would be HTC Rezound, or Motorola Droid RAZR, or Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Each flagship model, released just in time for the upgrade cycle of us firstgen pioneers, held and advantage; Beats Audio, thinness, and ICS, respectively.
Wait for NEXUS II coming February 30
Although, like a lot of you, I anointed Nexus as the lead horse, and began the great wait, lately I’ve become bored with the whole deal. My guess: An uber-uber 2012 handset is just around the corner. In January, maybe February. It will make all of this discussion, and endless dissection of specs (and comparison charts) seem droll. How very droll. Waiting is not exactly in vogue. Buying the latest, greatest is the Great American way. But, this time, I say wait for the NEXUS II, coming February 30. Quad core processor. NFC 2.0. 5-inch 4K screen. Confirmed… well, wait a sec, let’s wait to see what micdawg has to say about that.