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handset

Though I usually upgrade more often than every two years (thank you, family plan), when my line was up for an upgrade in July I held off. See, I heard that Android 4.0, code named Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), would be seeing the light of day in late 2011. So I waited. And it got pushed back. And I waited some more. And finally, at 8 a.m. on December 15th, I got the Galaxy Nexus: the first ICS phone.

I’ve had it for a few days now, using it almost non-stop. Here’s what I think.

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Samsung have always had a strong track record when it has come to mobile phones. They have always been cutting-edge and have seemed to bend the norm when it comes to mobile phone standards. Their phones have always been admired for their design, interface and practicality – and this admiration has been reflected in their sales figures; according to Mobile Burn, Samsung shipped 280 million units in 2010 (by contrast, Apple shipped a mere 47.4 million units).

In June 2010, Samsung released one of their most famous phones, the Galaxy S, which was seen as unbeatable at the time due to its claims of being the fastest smartphone on the market. Now there’s a new beast on the prowl: the Samsung Galaxy S II. It’s been around in Europe for a couple of months now (the phone was first released in the UK and South Korea in May 2011) and the U.S. launch is due very soon.

The Samsung Galaxy S II is, without a shadow of doubt, the best Android smartphone out there yet and is a strong contender for the best smartphone in the world period. Its sheer range of features, unbeatable specifications and damn good looks leave other smartphones quivering in the shadows of its almightiness. You’re itching to find out why, aren’t you? Well, read on for my full, in-depth review.

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There was once a time where the best of the best was limited to the most expensive handsets. To an extent, that is still true of the iPhone and high-end Android & BlackBerry devices. However, the open-source background of Android allows manufactures to install Android on any device they want, without stringent specification requirements.

Certainly, you should opt for the best phone possible to maximize speed and efficiency during your experience with Android, but what if you’re on a budget? Again, due to Android, phone-makers can pass off low-powered handsets as “smartphones” . That’s not true of the entry-level HTC Wildfire, which sports a relativity slick set of internals and a premium HTC Sense experience for under £200 (PAYG). (more…)

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