Samsung Galaxy Nexus Review – Verizon Wireless

  • The Galaxy Nexus is Google’s new flagship device, currently available at Verizon Wireless.  It is the first smartphone to be running the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

    Hardware

    To get the specs out of the way, the Galaxy Nexus features a curved 4.65″ HD (1280 x 720 resolution) Super AMOLED display, a 1.2 GHZ dual core processor, 1GB ram, and 32GB onboard storage.  It measures in at 9.47mm thick, which is slightly thinner than the Droid Razr at 9.5mm thick.

    The overall design of the phone is a big plus.  To me, size matters when choosing a phone.  I prefer phones with large screens, while still featuring a thin profile.  The Galaxy Nexus fits that bill.  The display is gorgeous. The screen features a curved glass, but honestly, I never really noticed it to be curved.  Throw in the 1.2ghz dual core processor, and you have a potential winner for Joe.

    Even with the large screen and thin design, the whole phone design itself works very well.  I was hesitant when I noticed the micro usb port, as well as the headphone jack were on the bottom of the device; however, after using the phone for the past week and a half, I actually prefer it there.  That’s the perfect spot.  Furthermore, with the power button located on the right side of the device, I was able to use it with one hand, even with my small hands.  Everything just fits.

    For some, the only downfall to the phones hardware, is its lack of a sd card.  To me, that wasn’t a big deal.  The 32GB of internal storage on the Nexus was plenty.  Since I own a tablet, most of my gaming and media consumption is done on my tablet, so I no longer require massive amounts of storage on my phone.  The only minor thing about the Nexus that bothered me was the slight hump on the bottom of the device.  You may be able to tell this from the side view picture shown above.  Since my personal phone (Droid X) has the hump at the top of the phone, I frequently picked up the Nexus upside down, thinking the hump on the Nexus is also at the top.

    Software

    The Galaxy Nexus has great hardware and specs, but how’s the software?  Having great specs is useless if the software in unusable.  As I mentioned in the introduction, the Galaxy Nexus runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.  Because this is Google’s flagship device, it is running pure stock Android 4.0.  This of course reaches a special place in my heart.  If I can get a pure experience, of course I’ll take it.  The new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has so many new features, too many to really mention.  I’ll go over some of my favorites:

    Apps – The Google apps got a redesign for Ice Cream Sandwich.  I can’t pinpoint why I like the new look/layout, I just do. :)

    Screenshots – One cool thing about Android 4.0, is the built in ability to take screencasts.  No longer do you need to use third party apps, or connect your phone to your computer.  Most important, NO ROOT REQUIRED. :)

    Shortcut bubbles – I’m not sure what Google is calling these, so I’ll call them bubbles.  As you see in the screenshot above, I have apps shortcuts bundled together, by category, in “bubbles”.  I found this to be very handy.  It allowed me to have everything I need on one homescreen.

    Software buttons – The last thing is only a personal preference thing.  I don’t know if it’s because I am handicap or what, but pressing software buttons is a whole lot easier than pressing hardware button (i.e. like on my Droid X).  The built in software buttons in Android 4.0 made it a much more fluid experience for me.  But that’s just me.  I know some people prefer hardware buttons.

    Performance

    The Nexus holds its own in the performance category as well.  Everything runs butter smooth.  Multitasking works great.  For the Quadrant gurus, I got a score of 2031.  Of course Verizon’s 4G LTE was it’s usual freakishly fast self.  I averaged 25-30mb/s down with a high of 35.43mb/s.  It’s crazy awesome fast! The battery held up fairly well, despite it being a 4G device. I was usually able to get 10 hours of battery life, with moderate use.

    The only had one issue.  I experienced 2 random reboots, which apparently, is a known bug.  I’m sure it can, and will be fixed soon.

    Camera

    The camera on the Nexus is very good.  The best of any phone I have tested so far.  Photos are clear and they have good color.  Indoor shots can be a little washed out, but outdoors usually produced great shots.  Below are some sample photos taken with the Nexus:

    Conclusion

    The Galaxy Nexus is everything I could want in a phone and more.  If I was eligible for an upgrade, I’d be heading over to my Verizon store right after clicking publish on this post.  I’ll be crying myself to the post office to mail this review unit back to Verizon.  If you are in the market for a new phone, this is definitely the one to get.  You can’t go wrong.

    Grade: 9/10

    The Galaxy Nexus gets a 9/10, only because of the random reboots I experienced.

    Thank you Verizon for sending me this device to review.

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    February 14th, 2012 | Joe Steiger | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Joe Steiger

The owner and chief editor of JoeSteiger.com. Ubuntu user, android fanatic, tech enthusiast, Baltimore Ravens fan,...