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manaox2
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I'm really excited about the Amazon tablet. I figure it'll be spec'd similarly to the Nook (not 100% sure on either specs without looking them up), but if Amazon does bundle Prime with it... it's like a 170$ tablet, in essence. I think the Nook is a really good size, though. Should be interesting and interesting competition between those two.

**BRENT**

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I'm pretty sure Ice Cream Sandwich will be a good bit better than Honeycomb, Nate. I'm not too impressed with HC myself, and I'm a pretty big Android fan.

FWIW, I just had my 3rd replacement G2x. I love the phone, but it has issues. My 2nd replacement almost burned yesterday (was probably 130+ degrees before I tore it apart. Got a replacement overnight and it had Gingerbread on it (previous phone wouldn't do OTA 2.3, and LG dropped the 2.3 update from the site, and I never got around to rooting it). I'm hoping it breaks again and I talk my way into a Galaxy S II replacement.

@Larry, if the Nook reader is on Amazon's Android Market now, probably. If not, but you can get the APK, possibly.

@Jin, I'm not so sure it'll be better than ICS, but it'll probably be decent for the hardware. Is it based off Froyo or Gingerbread? Can't remember.

**BRENT**

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I'm pretty sure Ice Cream Sandwich will be a good bit better than Honeycomb, Nate. I'm not too impressed with HC myself, and I'm a pretty big Android fan.

I'm hopeful, Brent, but HC was a promise that never delivered and had a pretty big reason/motivation to do so. I also don't know how much I trust the two companies leading the android pack right now (moto and htc) since my experience with both is that some dude in his garage can do a better job with the OS than either of them.

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Actually Nate, I'm pretty sure Samsung is leading the Android pack right now, and I hate TouchWiz with a passion. With Google buying Motorola, even though it's supposed to be an "independent company", I'm hoping they will kill off Blur. HTC Sense was nice on Windows Mobile, but it bothers me with Android. It's way too heavy, though there are plenty of people who like it.

Which Moto and HTC phones have you had again, or was it a Xoom and HTC phone?

As I've said before, Matias Duarte (the guy who designed WebOS) has been at Google since about a month before HC was launched. He got a couple tweaks in, but I still think ICS is going to be a solid step forward from HC.

**BRENT**

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349$ for wifi Xoom. Not bad.

I really love HTC phones, but really can't stand Sense. Blur (Motorola) and TouchWiz (Samsung) really bother me too. I think Samsung skinning HoneyComb is even worse than the phones. I know a lot of people liked the Droid and Droid X, and they worked well for many, but there's just something offputting to me about the hardware. The Droid at least had stock Android on it.

Did you ever put a custom rom on the Incredible? Had solid hardware (Nexus One-esque), but Sense just bogs it down.

**BRENT**

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, Ice Cream Sandwich and the Galaxy Nexus have been launched. For me they're game changers. See this page from Engadget:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/20/behind-the-glass-a-detailed-tour-inside-the-samsung-galaxy-nexu/

Let me also paste in the appropriate section relative to audio:

Main input/output type supported: Headphone, Speaker, Microphone, Bluetooth, Voice, FM, S/PDIF over HDMI; USB Audio DAC (digital-to-audio converter with USB input and stereo outputs) should also be supported

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That is exactly what people said about the Nexus S, and it was clearly the best Android phone among its contemporaries.

I think that's mostly because it takes the other phones so long to get the new version of android officially that the Nexus phones always have a huge software advantage.

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I think that's mostly because it takes the other phones so long to get the new version of android officially that the Nexus phones always have a huge software advantage.

But even among those with Gingerbread, not having a manufacturer-installed UI is priceless. Sure, you can go down the path of third-party ROMs, but for the vast majority (including me) it is more trouble than it is worth.

I'll be curious to see how big this new crop of phones feel. My droid x still doesn't small and the Prime is quite a bit bigger.

It seems *just* manageable to me. Roughly the same width and thickness as the S which is the key factor for in-the-hand feeling, just a bit taller.

Have you seen the Galaxy Note yet? 5.3" screen! huh.png

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But even among those with Gingerbread, not having a manufacturer-installed UI is priceless. Sure, you can go down the path of third-party ROMs, but for the vast majority (including me) it is more trouble than it is worth.

No argument from me about that.

I find the 4.3 inch screen of the galaxy s2 to be pretty much ideal for my hand size. It is so thin that it doesn't feel too bulky in your pocket and the screen is big enough that I don't have to do excessive zooming for most websites. I could maybe do a 4.5 inch screen, but 5.3 is just too big for a phone I think.

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For me, the enticing thing about the Note is that amazing screen it has. It's got the same resolution as Samsung's new 7 inch tablet. If I were a 7 foot tall dude with huge hands, I'd get one for sure.

Don't forget that these dudes also have pretty large fingers. I'm 6''1' and at first it was pretty hard for me to type on the vertical orientation keyboard.

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The Galaxy Nexus is going to be something different. The hardware acceleration should make a difference with its slightly elderly GPU, the rest of the specs are great. This is the first phone that will have its software compiled straight by Google and distributed by them or Verizon. It may have bloatware, but ice cream sandwich will let you disable it. You should now have all the features of honeycomb and more on your phone (USB hosting is a major one). Basically, this is a very large step. No other phone will be getting close to it in features until near the end of first quarter 2012 it seems.

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In a couple of weeks I'll be traveling to the US to visit my sister with my parents. Since we are going by a car, I thought it'd be best if I could get a data plan to help us navigate. It turns out that rogers' Us travel data plan is pathetic, $25 for 15MB, so I'm currently looking for alternatives. I'm wondering if any company in the US offers pay as you go data plan that is not pathetic like rogers?

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T-mobile has a pay by the day plan. Here is a link to their site: http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-by-the-day-cell-phone-plans

Boost mobile offers something similar, check it out here: http://www.boostmobile.com/plans/daily-unlimited/

Other companies may have similar, try checking Verizon, ATT, and Sprint's websites.

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