Let me preface this post by saying that I am a big fan of your reviews and have come to value your opinion more than any of the other tech sites I frequent.
That being said, I am an Android user on Verizon and have an upgrade in a little under a month. For the past couple of months I have often hoped that something particularly exciting will be released before my upgrade. I was quite enamored with the Xperia S, and then to a lesser degree the One X, but as I realized how unlikely it was that anything of the sort would be visiting my carrier anytime soon I became decreasingly excited. It has become clear to me if I want to move on, I will have to settle on one of the current options available to me.
I am coming from a Thunderbolt, and a Fascinate prior to that. In general I was quite happy with the Fascinate, but decided to buy a used Thunderbolt just for a change. At this point the reason I am so anxious to upgrade is that the 4G on my Thunderbolt is terrible, even though it is fairly strong in my area. The screen is also quite lackluster compared to the Fascinate, and the battery life a awful if I don't have the extended battery in, which makes my already unattractive phone even more unsightly.
So, currently the phones I am considering are the HTC Rezound and the Galaxy Nexus. There are features on each that appeal to me: I like the form factor of the Nexus better and its larger screen, though the Rezound is said to have a better screen, which is something that I really miss from my Fascinate. One of the obvious appeals to the Nexus is that, being a Google phone, it will get early updates and presumably has a better developer following. I do enjoy occasionally playing with new roms, so having a good selection would be nice. On the other hand, I listen to a lot of music, so the Rezound coming with a really nice set of headphones and having Beats integration is nice. My last preference that ultimately might tip the scales towards the Nexus permanently unless I become aware of a big advantage somewhere else is that I am left-handed and Samsung phones are particularly well set up for lefties; the USB slot isn't on the left side like HTC, making the Thunderbolt nearly unusable to me while plugged in, and the volume rocker is on the left which is much more accessible for me.
Given those preferences, do you have any thoughts on which direction I should go? Or even toward another phone entirely? I appreciate anything you might have to say about this.
Funny, I'm a leftie too, and hadn't noticed one phone being better than another for us southpaws.
Though the US carrier-version of the Galaxy Nexus doesn't seem to get updates as fast as the GSM unlocked version, it's still a selling point because it is ahead of other brands for updates. Heck, most other brands don't even has ICS yet! If you liked the Samsung Fascinate's display, you might like the Super AMOLED Galaxy Nexus' display better as well. The HTC Thunderbolt was Verizon's first LTE phone and is long in the tooth, and the HTC Rezound is leaps and bounds ahead. It has a more color neutral and accurate display, but it lacks that Super AMOLED wow factor for vibrant colors and deep blacks (a matter of taste as to which you prefer).
You can always pick up a nice set of headphones, but if you want the latest OS, prefer the control location of the Galaxy Nexus and like Super AMOLED displays, I say go for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview