Don't take just my word for it, I challenge anyone reading this to post why they think they have a contender. Just keep reading and you will learn just why I feel so strongly that the Galaxy Nexus still holds the title even after the release of the iPhone 5 and some other very impressive smart phones over the last year. Post your comments below.
#1) PRICE. In today's economy price is key. There is no other phone you can buy with the features the Galaxy Nexus provides for less money. PERIOD. Today you can get this phone totally contract free for $349 directly from Google. For comparison, the best rated Android phone the Galaxy SIII will set you back nearly $600, or the 32GB iPhone 5 that you can't even buy unlocked in the US yet is expected to set you back $749! Sure most of you will upgrade when your contract is up so expect to pay from Free to no more than $99 for a Galaxy Nexus. You will pay double for an iPhone 5 with 1/2 the storage capacity or 3 times for the comparable 32GB model.
#2) FEATURES. The Galaxy Nexus simply has more features than the iPhone 5, and all the features of the top smartphones on the market today at a fraction of the price. The Nexus spec's are dated but it still has a bigger display, faster processor, and more sensors. The iPhone 5 lacks NFC & a Barometer, but I will give the iPhones credit for a better main camera and iPhone 5 has the new Bluetooth 4.0, a feature the Nexus lacks. I don't own any 4.0 bluetooth devices, but I will concede the camera in the Nexus is it's only real drawback. Compare the specs yourself here.
#3) FUNCTIONALITY. This is the main thing you should consider when buying a phone. No matter the design, the features, or the price if the phone doesn't do what you need it to do then what is the point! The Galaxy Nexus has done it all, and continues to impress me with the things it can do for me. Siri sure sounds great, no I have not used it, but my Galaxy Nexus with Google Now trumps what Siri can do by adding predictive results. It tells me the weather before I ask and shows me the traffic jam on my route before I leave the office. For example when I search on my computer for a destination I need to find, the map is waiting in my phone for me to access without having to re-enter the address. Google syncs search across all of your devices so you have all your information anywhere you need it. Let me dive in more deeply to what I am talking about.
- Music is stored on the cloud and is accessible on any computer anywhere on the internet. Google Music allows me to download content from iTunes, Amazon, OR even iTunes and store it on Google Music to play on my phone, tablet, or on my computer. The best part is I can upload my music library I have collected for years and don't need to worry about iTunes "Matching" it to insure it is legit.
- Maps and navigation have been a core function of my phone since I had a blackberry. Google Maps have gotten better and better, and my original Droid over 3 years ago had turn by turn navigation. Apple just abandoned Google maps and just now introduced Navigation. MAJOR FAIL. Reliable navigation is a core use case for a smart phone. GPS and instant real time location data including traffic data found in Google Maps is unmatched on any platform. I can even download maps for use when I don't have a connection. Apple maps cannot be downloaded for use without a data connection so your lost when you lose your signal, and without public transit data or detailed traffic information good luck getting around even in urban areas.
- Cloud Services. From Google Drive, to Gmail, Google is king of the Cloud. Every photo i take is on my phone, and backed up in the cloud, so are videos, I will never loose a precious memory. Apple will keep your photos online for 30 days but if your device gets wiped and you didn't back them up your out of luck. Gmail gives you so much storage for free I don't know anyone who has ever run out. I have years of email archived and I am a major hoarder.
- NFC (Near Field Communication) is a feature few phones have yet, and it may be a passing phase but I think it is great. I have Google Wallet on my phone so I can make purchases with my phone instead of my debit or credit card anywhere PayPass is accepted. It keeps track of my purchases, and is more secure than my card because you need both my phone and my PIN to use it. If I loose my card or forget my wallet I have my phone as a backup payment method in a pinch. NFC also allows me to do some other nerdy things but the mobile payments are really the best use case. Apple has a new Passbook that promises to do similar things but needs to get some traction in the market. Time will tell, but for today I can buy a 2x4 at Home Depot with my phone. Try that with your blackberry!
- Widgets & Notifications keep me from staring at my phone all day so I can actually get things done. See people staring and tapping at there iPhones constantly? That is because they have to tap and tinker to get any information. With home screen widgets my Facebook feed, weather, recent emails, and currency conversion rates are in view with a glance. Detailed notifications with one swipe can be found and cleared without even opening the mail or messaging apps. Junk mail can be previewed and cleared quickly. iPhone improved notifications by cloning Android features but even the iPhone 5 lacks the home screen information super highway widgets deliver in the latest version of Android on my Galaxy Nexus.
- Lastly I have to mention compatibly. Your phone cannot be functional if it is not compatible. I don't need iTunes or a special plug to keep my phone up to date or add photos and video to my phone. The cable to plug it into your computer is the same as any micro USB wire you can buy for any phone anywhere. I own several, I can charge in my car, my office, my bedroom, and my living room. I paid $3 on Amazon for one that tricks my phone into fast charging in my car. A new apple iPhone 5 needs a special cable and a $30 adapter to use your old accessories with it. To transfer photos and video I use a free app and I don't even need wires, I can copy files from any computer with a web browser to my phone over WiFi using AirDroid or similar apps. PC, Mac, Chromebook, Linux, doesn't matter. Sorry Apple Fans, honestly the only phone that "Just Works" is my Galaxy Nexus.
#4) REMOVABLE BATTERY. The battery life on my Galaxy Nexus has been one reason I could not recommend this phone... until now. The recent software update has improved my battery life I now have to boast that this phone can go all day without a charge. The iPhone claims the same, as do other phones, while the Droid Razer Max has the best battery life in the market. Where the Galaxy Nexus wins is the removable battery. A spare battery fits in my wallet but I rarely use it. Just having a standard micro USB charging connector and a spare battery gives me peace of mind. What good is the best phone in the world if the battery is always dead?
#5) SPEED. This phone is FAST... it has been fast since I got the phone but while older phones seem to get slower as they get older, my phone just got faster. ? Yes, it just got a huge boost in both battery life and speed, my phone just got the upgrade to the latest version of Android. 4.1 Jelly Bean. This version is faster and smother than ever, and I can swipe through my photos like lighting and switch between apps with two taps. I can hop in my car, dock my phone, play some music, navigate to my next destination, and then call home using voice commands all before I get out of the parking space. The best part is this speed boost came at no extra charge. My phone is 1 year old and this week I feel like I just got a free upgrade. Thanks Google!
Yes I am a unabashed Google Fanboy, Guilty as charged. At the beginning of this post, I challenge you to tell me what your phone can do better, and I don't want to hear it can take a drop from your pocket better. I'm not boasting the Nexus is the toughest phone, my claim is it's the BEST phone. I will admit I would love it if my Nexus was built with a uni-body aluminum chassis yet only worked as well as the iPhone I would not have been as happy as I am nearly one year after purchasing my Galaxy Nexus. If taking pictures is all you can boast then I just feel bad you didn't take your $300 and buy a good camera.
That is my Viewpoint. What's yours?