A few thoughts about an ideal Android phone: Razr Glaxy Nexus anyone?

Posted by & filed under Technology.

So, today is the day for Android announcements. Motorola has Razr completely and officially unveiled. Samsung and Google showed Galaxy Nexus and new Ice Cream Sandwich OS. And as I’ve already got accused of being a hater for my initial impressions of the presentation, I decided to think about the ideal combination. What would make me say “Wow!” right on the spot? I think a combination of Razr and Nexus would be just the thing.

1. Form factor can be either of these — I don’t care much about thinness of the phone, both are thin enough. Samsung prefers to bulge at the bottom (easier for holding, as bottom self-orients the phone and stabilizes it a bit), while Moto likes it on top (iconic for their phones, but wobbles a bit more in single hand mode when filming stuff with camera). Samsung it is.

2. Camera — probably from Samsung, not sure yet (demo in low light are impressive, even if it was on a tripod). 5MP or 8MP is a wash, everything will be decided by low light performance. Both can shoot video in full HD.

3. I’d want a couple physical buttons, but could live with “on-screen” buttons instead, as long as the location is really consistent.

4. Dual core CPU (probably more of a marketing gimmick at this point, but snappiness of graphical subsystem is a must), gig of ram, 16Gb of storage built-in plus storage card pretty much standard now.

5. NFC chip at the tip of the phone, not in the middle. Because tilting handset forward and touching the end to the receiver (the bump in case of Moto :)) is a way more intuitive gesture than putting handset flat against angled terminal (everywhere I saw contact-less payment systems they had those little pads tilted back about 45 degrees). This would also allow “beam up” to work by “aligning” handsets similarly to infrared times, or be side-by-side (presuming 5cm active radius and the fact that width of the phone is less than 10cm)

6. Ice Cream Sandwich, but not bare. While I appreciate new improvements in Camera app and interactions, I still think it needs a lot of polish and/or UI prettifying. Could be something like Touchwiz UI overlay (Sense would be a bit too much) with uninstall option for purists. It needs consistent set of icons (3d/non-3d/with backgrounds), filled-out window backgrounds, color coordination etc. This UI should make iPhone owners jealous or at least purse their lips in “well ours is still better” reaction.

7. Moto Smart Actions — intelligent management of settings everywhere. I do want to slow down CPU while I’m on the phone and nothing important is running. I want to be able to kill/start apps depending on where I am. Turn off Waze and GPS automatically when I reach the office. Shut off WiFi when I’m driving. Adjust screen brightness, so on and so forth. Even if this gives less than claimed 30% improvement even 20% would be welcome (and thick and juicy battery option). While at it, throw in business/personal data separation too.

8. Improved voice commands are nice, but I also hope the text-to-speech engine will be upgraded a bit (I haven’t seen that in the presentation). Perhaps better out-of-the-box integration with Ford Sync (even though it’s from Microsoft) and OnStar.

9. I like new gestures for dismissing the notifications. Could this be used for smart call rejection? What presentation showed was a bit too involved for, say, driving. Perhaps allow switching between “desk” mode (where you need to select precisely option) and “driving” mode where a broad up/down/left/right swipes could send pre-determined SMS (i.e. dismiss to the right means send “I’m on my way”, up “I can’t talk right now” etc). Combined with voice announce this would be quite convenient.

That’s probably it. Things like hang-out (via Google Plus), video effects etc were already available in Gingerbread so I don’t count them as ground-breaking though moving into core OS is nice.

Now, who’s going to build a phone like that? 🙂

One Response to “A few thoughts about an ideal Android phone: Razr Glaxy Nexus anyone?”

Leave a Reply