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Two weeks ago, I bought the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. And I love it.

It has a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 16GB storage, 1GB RAM, a 5 MP camera (capable of taking panoramic pictures), a 1.3MP  secondary front-facing camera (for video chat), and it records 1080p video.It measures 135.5 x 67.9 x 8.9 mm and weighs 135g.

All of that means the phone is fast, it has a significant amount of storage space, it takes decent pictures, and it’s thin and light. I have issues with the battery life, but a smartphone expert friend of mine says there’s an update coming to fix that.

And as a long-time lover of phones with large displays, I thoroughly appreciate the Nexus’ 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen.

However, Google’s Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) platform is what makes the phone a hit for me. And as a new Android user (and a previous BlackBerry and iPhone user), three things about Android stand out:

Seamless Syncing

While all smartphones can sync email, contacts, calendars and social media platforms, Android makes it easy.

What I found impressive was Android’s ability to merge duplicate contacts without overwriting or deleting the original contact source. I can combine John Doe’s email address that I have in Hotmail, with his phone number from my phone, with his postal address from my Gmail.

The original Hotmail information remains unchanged, my phone gets the most complete information possible for each contact, and Gmail backs up the comprehensive contact information.

In other phones, it seems you have to go through a long process of deleting multiple contacts and/or updating fields, unless you’re using an Exchange server  or Enterprise service (but even then, setting the phone up to avoid duplicate contacts isn’t always easy).

It would be nice to have the option to update the original Hotmail information as well, but if that does exist I haven’t figured it out yet. I guess I could always erase my Hotmail contacts and import the comprehensive Gmail contact list.

 

Android ScreenshotAbundance of Apps

Is there such a thing as too many apps?

There have been over 500,000 apps published to the Android Market. And that number is quickly growing.

As an open source platform, Android encourages outside development. What you get is a large community of developers whose collective efforts increase security, stability, apps and more. What you also get is a greater proportion of low-cost tools.

Is there a such a thing as too many free apps?

I’ve installed so many free apps that I feel like I’ve stuffed myself at Thanksgiving dinner. But if you have restraint, the Android Market is a feast to be enjoyed.

 

Wonderful Widgets

Apps are great, but widgets make them better.

Android allows me to customize my phone to a degree that was never possible with other phones. Widgets give me a quick look from my home screen at the information I want without me having to select the associated app.

I can also choose the size of the widget display.

Whether I want a glimpse at news, weather, social media feeds, motivational quotes, stock quotes, maps, my calendar, or my to do list, widgets make it possible without me ever having to push  button (or touch the screen).

 

Android phones are helpful tools, but they’re not for everybody. If you’re predominantly a MAC or iPad user, the integration you get with an iPhone might make the iPhone the better choice for you. But if you’re a PC user, or tend to use even a few Google products such as Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Picasa, Google+(does anybody really use this yet??), the integration you get with an Android phone can’t be beat.

I highly recommend Android. I love it. Try it and you will too.