I had been an owner of an iPhone since the first one came out. This past March, my iPhone died and I needed something new and inexpensive. I picked up the Motorola Atrix 2 for less than $100.00. After the I got a new phone feeling wore off, I almost immediately regretted the purchase. I didn’t like the bloatware that AT&T had added to the phone. It also quickly became clear that it was not going to be updated and I would be stuck on Gingerbread until I brought a new phone. I thought about waiting for the new iPhone in September, but that would force me to sign up a new 2 year contract with AT&T and the phone would still cost me over $400.00. The answer clearly was an unlocked phone. I wanted something with the latest build and without the carrier bloatware. That is when I started looking at the Galaxy Nexus HSPA, which had been dropped to a price of $349.00 ($381 with taxes and shipping) for the unlocked version through the Google Play Store. Then I discovered it would work with my AT&T sim card and was scheduled to be upgraded to Jelly Bean from Ice Cream Sandwich. I ordered one this past Tuesday and it was in my hand Saturday morning.
The first thing I did was transfer the Sim card from the Motorola Atrix 2 to the Galaxy Nexus HSPA and it worked fine. Once I powered up the phone it had me sign into my Google Account and synced the information to the phone. When I checked for a system update, Jellybean was available for download and install. Once I finished charging the phone, the download and installation of Jellybean went fine. I installed some of the apps I had purchased from the Google Play store previously. I then started to play with the phone. It is slightly taller than the Motorola Atrix 2, but much thinner and lighter. I think the screen is gorgeous. I especially notice it when looking at text. The text is so clear and crisp. Some people say the image is grainy at full brightness, but to be honest I haven’t noticed it. Everything moves smoothly, there is no herky-jerky motion when you open an app or move from page to page. Google Now came with the installation of Jellybean. I still learning how to use it and I realize that there are privacy concerns involved with it for some, but I love it potential.
The Galaxy Nexus HSPA is has its downside. First the back cover is very flimsy and hard to put back on. I didn’t get a full day out of the battery today, so I have downloaded a battery widget to see what is draining it. The camera is not the best, but it is pretty good. Despite these small and solvable problems I love the Galaxy Nexus HSPA so far. I love having no bloatware and in 15 months I will finish with my contact with AT&T, assuming I don’t pay to get out earlier. If you are looking for an Android phone with no contract, then the Galaxy Nexus HSPA is worth a look.