The Galaxy Nexus, my forever phone

The longest I ever kept a phone was four years, an old Motorola W755 flip-phone. A truly basic phone, it was built like a tank. Eventually I opted to upgrade the device…thereby beginning the era of “shit that doesn’t work quite right.” One phone constantly took pictures of my pocket. Another wouldn’t work with the bluetooth in my car. I kept going back to the old W755, until the battery began to quit. So I kept using the pocket-picture phone, until work decided to change their cell phone policy. Now I wouldn’t need to carry a work issued Blackberry *and* a personal phone: I could simply configure my personal device to receive work email and be reimbursed. I wound up finagling it such that I ported my number to Google Voice, and obtained a SIM card on the work plan — so now I have no cellular bill at all.

The phone I opted for, after flirting around with getting a really cheap phone, was the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. After installing a 3850mAh battery, I can’t find anything that I dislike about this device. It’s fast, running the latest Android OS, works with my car stereo, and doesn’t take pictures when it shouldn’t. It’s SIM unlocked, giving me my choice of carriers should I need to switch later. It has NFC — I don’t expect to use this for a while, but if the technology catches on I’ll be ready. It has also turned me into a phone junkie and I’m always lurking on Android forums and Engadget. But then I started to think…could I make *this* phone last four years? Hell, how long can a smartphone be kept up-to-date and usable with the latest software?

So I am going to see just how long I can keep my Nexus. It’s a good candidate for longevity, given that it’s a “Google” phone running pure Android, and it’s popular with Android developers. The hardware itself isn’t that old, but it is lacking in LTE. Until Nexus ‘next’ comes out, it’s pretty much a given that my phone will receive Android updates quickly. I need to establish some ground rules for when my phone is to be retired, so here goes.

The phone is considered DEAD when:

* Any hardware fails outside of warranty which cannot be fixed for $150 or less.
* The following apps cannot be kept at their latest version: Google+, Maps, Navigator, Drive, Facebook, primary banking, security token, work email.
* The phone cannot be upgraded to the latest major Android release within two months, either stock or custom (I’ll note when stock OTA upgrades are no longer available).
* Data becomes unusable on my carrier’s network (e.g., 3G is retired. But really, 2G is still hanging around…).
* I can’t maintain a full day’s moderate usage without charging on a new 3700+mAh battery — including “I can’t find a new battery.”

I bought the phone August 8. So now…we wait a while.

September 23, 2012 В· agw В· No Comments
Tags: , ,  В· Posted in: Galaxy Nexus

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