Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GSM)

Verge Review

To say I've been eagerly awaiting a chance to review the Galaxy Nexus would be an understatement. As I mentioned last week, I've been thinking pretty seriously that this device would be the next phone I lay out cold cash for. And really, is that so crazy? The Galaxy Nexus is a beast of a device. The phone — which was built by Samsung in conjunction with Google — is the same thickness as the iPhone 4S, but sports a massive, 4.65-inch, 720p display, and a speedy dual-core CPU. In the US,...

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Basic Specs

Thickness 0.35 inches
Weight 0.3 pounds
Form factor Slab
Screen size (diagonal) 4.65 inches
Operating system Android
Launch OS version 4.0.1

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Tech Specs

Hardware

Height 5.33 inches
Width 2.67 inches
Thickness 0.35 inches
Weight 0.3 pounds
Form factor Slab
Color Black
Loudspeaker Yes
Noise cancellation Hardware (multi-mic)

Display

Screen size (diagonal) 4.65 inches
Technology Super AMOLED HD
Pixel arrangement RGBG (PenTile)
Resolution (Y) 1280 px
Resolution (X) 720 px
PPI 316
Touchscreen type Capacitive

Connectivity

GSM Yes
GSM frequencies supported 1900, 1800, 900, 850
UMTS / HSPA Yes
UMTS frequencies supported 900, 2100, 1700, 1900, 850
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b
802.11n frequencies 5GHz, 2.4GHz
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 3.0
NFC support Yes
Tethering / mobile hotspot Yes

Processor

Manufacturer TI
Brand / family OMAP 4
Model OMAP4460
Clock speed 1.2 GHz
Number of cores 2

GPU

Manufacturer Imagination Technologies
Model PowerVR SGX540

Memory

RAM size 1 GB

Storage

Internal size 16 GB, 32 GB
External No

Front Camera

Resolution 1.3 megapixels

Rear Camera

Resolution 5 megapixels
Flash LED
Focus type Autofocus
Video resolution 1080p
Video framerate 30

Software

Operating system Android
Launch OS version 4.0.1

Interface

Headphone jack 3.5mm
Other ports Micro USB

Sensors

Sensors Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Barometer

Battery

Capacity 1750 mAh
Removable Yes

Benchmarks

Quadrant 2002
Vellamo 1065
GLBenchmark 720p 28 FPS
GLBenchmark 1080p 14 FPS
AnTuTu 6079

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  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Matt Lyons (Currently owns)

    It's a very solid if not outstanding phone. The real standout here is Ice Cream Sandwich with the actual hardware of the phone leaving something to be desired. The most notable failure here is the poor camera, which struggles to take good photos even in decent light. While the construction of the phone itself seems solid, the materials feel cheap for what should be a aspiration product. Despite it's shortcomings, I would still recommend this over the no doubt many Android phones coming with ICS, as this is a pure Google device, avoiding the ugly skinning that OEMs place on their phones and it will be first in line for updates to the OS.

    The Breakdown

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    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 7
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 5
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by Hellenes (Currently owns)

    This phone is simply just great. Yes, it doesnt take fantastic pictures, and yes it lacks an SD slot and so forth. But who cares? The camera is more than fine for social media and in the age of cloud storing its just ridiculous to complain over 32 GBs of storage.

    The build quality is top notch. Not as good as the iPhone, but still, really good. As far as the design goes, this thing is a killer. I'm in love with this form factor. It feels so much nicer in hand than the monolithic GSII.

    But the real story here, is as you probobly figured, ICS. I've been an iPhone user for 2 and a half year and to be honest, Gingerbread didn't tempt me one tiny bit. It was so ugly and inconsistent. But when ICS came along I suddenly became excited. Turns out this was a major iteration and oh boy, Mathias Duarte had done his job well. The overall interface looks so much better than its predecessor and has become much much more intuetive. The user expirience is just fantastic and feels just as smooth and fluid as iOS. That combined with the open sourced ecosystem of android, makes this phone just unmatched.

    This is the benchmark. 10/10.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by thugjedi (Currently owns)

    I bought this phone as soon as it was available in the U.K for import and it has been a pleasure to use. the screen is really good but some will notice the overall graininess. I really love the build of this phone after reading reviews on how it feels cheap, in my opinion it feels wonderful in the hand and the plastic on it is really tough. Ice cream sandwich is just amazing to use and the battery is the best I've gotten on any android device period at least a day and a half.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 9
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by jagger27 (Currently owns)

    The cameras and display, though better than every smartphone I've ever had (iPhone 3GS and HTC Desire), aren't entirely satisfying. The cameras need a ton of light to do anything useful, but I've been very happy with video in most cases. The display is very bright, rich in terms of colour, has excellent viewing angles, and works very well in sunlight. My only complaints are how solid colours appear grainy when the backlight is low and the jaggedness of text. This is due to the "Pentile" display. At arms length the font issue disappears. The system performs very snappily. All Google apps are very responsive. Battery life is perfectly acceptable. I typically get more than 16 hours between charges. This is with WiFi tethering on for about 4 hours every day, with somewhat poor carrier reception, and about 40% backlight brightness.

    The Android market continues to disappoint when compared to iOS. Few apps have been updated to work with Ice Cream Sandwich. I'm certain as more phones get ICS, more apps will follow. Ice Cream Sandwich alone is by far the best Android experience I have had. The uniformity of the UI is refreshing, and all interactions are silky smooth. A few things, like adding widgets and apps to the homescreen, have moved, but those are simple quirks.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by thisismynextname (Currently owns)

    I've tried to be fair in my review, although I love the phone so that was hard. The design is gorgeous when you look at the front of the device, the buttonless design is amazing and the way the screen blends in. However the rest of the design is pretty uninspiring so I lowered my mark to a 7. The display is amazing, the only problem I have with it is the papery look of it when on a low brightness, a common trait of AMOLED screens but not something that particularly bothers me. I find the main camera to be a little lackluster but quite good; the front camera can record in HD which is nice. Reception/Call quality is something I haven't really had any problems with. Performance is near perfect but there is slight lag sometimes in the launcher. I'm confident this will be remedied with the 4.0.3 update, as has been reported on the XDA forums. Software I have given a 10 because I absolutely love ICS, I had many gripes with Gingerbread but Android really is fantastic now and enjoyable to use. In terms of battery life I find it to be quite good when not using too intensely, and again this is something which will probably be improved upon in future updates. In terms of the ecosystem the Android Market is getting better every day, but I gave a 9 rather than a 10 as the Apple App Store has some really great apps which aren't yet available on Android, things like Instagram come to mind.

    Overall I love the phone and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an Android phone, or indeed any smartphone. I'm sure it will only continue to improve with future updates, and I'm very happy to have a Nexus device and know that I will be getting updates directly from Google, before other phones.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 7
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 9
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by MTown2013 (Currently owns)

    Hands down, this is the best phone I've ever used. There are a few minor downsides though: first, the camera is subpar. The software is great, and I love the instant capture, but I wish there were an option to turn it off. Because of this feature, most of my shots turn out worse. Second the screen is phenominal, I just wish it had true black. It's close, but not quite on the mark. Still, to be 720p and super amoled, I''m still giving that a 10. With that in mind, battery is a 6, because that large screen sucks up sooooo much battery in heavy use. Software is a 9, because while Google indeed improved everything, there's still room for more improvement. The first step would be actually updating everything (including the clock and Weather app), and second would be timing for both autorotation and multitasking. I mention multitasking because after running a few apps, the phone itself won't slow down, but that button will. The time between pressing the butons and the phone vibrating in response becomes noticeable. Finally, the only thing I think that they should change design wise is the amount of space on the bottom bezel. It's not doing anything other than housing the led notification, yet it's as big as a bezel with capacitive buttons. All of this being said, I'm nitpicking. The phone is phenomenal. There's little I could think of that google/samsung could do to make it better.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 5
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by gbkumbuns (Currently owns)

    I got this on contract with Three UK.

    Design: This is a truly beautiful phone. When the screen is off, it is just a shiny black slab like a canvas awaiting for you to personalize it. The tapered and curved edges make it look classy and unique. Only problem is poor build quality with the use of plastic and the battery cover does not snap tightly enough..

    Display: I don't know why so few people rate the screen as 10. Sure, the colour reproduction isn't the most accurate but it is very vibrant and beautiful to look at. It's more accurate than the Galaxy S. It also makes up for the huge screen estate and insane resolution that can match most laptops.

    Camera: Image quality is a letdown, especially with a high resolution screen, the flaws in the camera are more obvious. It makes up with the zero shutter lag but under medium to low light all you get is blur.

    Reception/Call quality: With Three UK, the signal does not penetrate buildings well but outdoors its fast and currently has the fastest HSPA+ speed in the UK.

    Performance: The Galaxy S2 with Gingerbread is already faster than the iPhone 4. With ICS optimized for the hardware in the Galaxy Nexus, it is easily the fastest smartphone in the market.

    Software: ICS is still a bit inconsistent throughout the OS. For example the menu icon can appear at the top or bottom of the screen depending on the app. It is still far more refined than any other Android version so kudos to Google for slowly improving the usability.

    Battery life: It is surprisingly good, no doubt to the optimization Google and Samsung did on the phone. It can easily last a whole day as long as you're not dumb enough to have GPS and Bluetooth turned on 24/7.

    Ecosystem: Android Market is still behind the Apple App store but I have used Android since 1.5 Cupcake with the black themed Market and today's selection of apps is world class. It is far ahead of any other OS apart from iOS so a score of 8 is quite deserving.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 8
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by Definitive (Currently owns)

    Best phone I have ever used.

    Pros:
    1- Battery life is insanely good, with normal usage I get an average of 1 day 3 hours usage.
    2- Buttery Smooth.
    3- Best screen on the market picture quality and durability.
    4- Best design on the market, very unique.
    5- ICS on this phone is something else, don't expect ICS to be the same on any other phone.
    6- Best browsing experience I've ever had using 1 hand.

    Cons:
    1- Camera is a hit and miss, usually a hit outdoors during day time.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by Loernz (Currently owns)

    Great job by Samsung and especially Google. Tremendous performance and a beautiful screen. The size is not for everybody, you should have tried it out before buying it, but as a person with big hands, like i am, there should be no problem using it with one hand. The battery life is mediocre but gets you through the day which is the most important thing.
    Definetly the best Android device currently out there.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Sonny Wortzik (Currently owns)

    Excellent phone. Impressive battery life for a high-end smartphone. Best smartphone on the market right now. Since ICS there is no need for custom UI skinning, since the vanilla UI has been drastically improved. While it will make sense for other manufacturers to differentiate their products, this has a huge mainstream appeal.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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