Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Verizon)

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Reviewed by Droosh (Currently owns)

Post Treo and Blackberry, my most recent smartphones have been the iPhone 3GS, Droid Incredible, Droid X & X2. The Galaxy Nexus (LTE) is by far the best smartphone I've ever owned.

• No manufacturer skinning
• Faster updates from Google (hopefully)
• The display (when brightness is high)
• The UX is elegant, smooth (for the most part), and much more functional
• Customizable UI and Open Ecosystem
• Easy to unlock and root and tether for free

• DISPLAY: Color temperature looks way too cool and overall very poor to my eyes when the brightness is below 50%. This is unfortunately a bigger issue since the automatic brightness sensor default is way too low. I'm dealing with this manually by using the "Brightness Level" widget by CurveFish. Despite this issue, the high 720P resolution effectively eliminates any "screen door" effects if this is something that has bothered you with PenTile in the past.

• RADIO PERFORMANCE: See Anandtech’s has a response: They focus on comparing LTE radio performance. I can't argue with their take, as I haven't had LTE. The point they make about not comparing apples to oranges where signal strength bars and dBms are concerned needed to be said. I am experiencing weaker WiFi and CMDA voice connections than on the DX2. This is true for both 2.4 and 5 GHz connections. Supposedly, a software fix is in the works…

• SPEAKER VOLUME & AUDIO: The onboard speaker volume is too low to be functional in all but the quietest of environments. The manufacturer may be worried about speaker clipping and damage, however, they either installed a poor speaker or AMP, or are way too conservative with their settings. I think that we should be able to raise the volume level to the point of distortion but just short of any serious clipping. I’m confident a developer will release a mod that allows you to boost the volume. Worth noting is that the audio sometimes stops at indeterminate times especially when the screen is off. This is especially apparent with Google's own Listen app.

• BATTERY LIFE: I wish that performance was better for all devices even when LTE is off. I knocked the battery score as this is a better performing and feeling device with the 2,100 mAh extended batter installed. This should have been the standard battery. They still could have milked accessory sales by selling a super large extended battery to people like Chris Ziegler. ;)

• GOOGLE WALLET (Not preinstalled): This is often misreported. You can easily install the stock Google Wallet App without even rooting and it works perfectly. In fact Google gives you $10 in free credit to do so.

The Breakdown

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  • 10
  • Design 9
  • Display 9
  • Camera(s) 8
  • Reception / call quality 7
  • Performance 9
  • Software 10
  • Battery life 8
  • Ecosystem 10
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