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, it...

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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

Recent News

No recent news about Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GSM).

Recent Discussions

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  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by ock (Currently owns)

    The Galaxy Nexus feels great in the hand, despite being made mostly out of plastic. There are discussions on the bendy back cover and how it feels “cheap”. However, when it is secured in place, the whole phone feels very solid to me when gripped.

    The Galaxy Nexus has one of the first 720p screens on a mobile phone. At 4.65 inches diagonally and featuring SuperAMOLED HD technology with its unmatched contrast ratio, it is a real joy to watch videos on this device. The thin bevel enhances this experience. The pentile display has attracted a fair amount of debate. To my eyes, the visibility of subpixels isn’t a major concern. However, the screen does seem to have some issues with colour consistency, which is more apparent at low brightness levels.

    Ringer volume is relatively weak in my opinion. Downloading Volume+ off the Market fixed this problem to a certain extent. Strangely, YouTube videos do play quite loudly (with clarity). Voice quality is good but volume could be louder.

    The LED notification light makes a welcome return. There are no built-in options to control it, apart from turning it on and off. Apps like Light Flow come in handy.

    GPS lock time is reasonable, based on a test inside my house and near a window, taking 28 seconds for a full GPS lock with a data connection enabled. The location is slightly off, with my actual location outside the location radius.

    Storage space as seen from Windows is 13.0 GB. No Micro-SD slot here, so there's no physical storage expansion option.

    Camera performance is adequate but not outstanding. Zero shutter lag enables one to take many photos quickly once the auto-focus is locked. Auto-focus is quick, both when taking videos and photos. Panorama shots can be taken with an intuitive sweeping motion. The video recording mode has a couple of tricks, one of which is the time lapse feature. The silly faces feature is great for a few laughs and works well.

    Swipe gestures are now utilized in many of the updated core apps. This is a welcome move, since reaching for tabs on the top part of the screen would be an issue on large screens.

    The new web browser brings bookmarks syncing capabilities, plus plenty of options, including quick controls. Scrolling in general is smooth; graphics-heavy sites such as the main page of The Verge scrolls less smoothly. Text reflow works only on a double tap - there’s no dynamic reflow after pinch-zooming.

    The keyboard now detects words with a missing space between them, and spell-checking is now available across the OS.

    Battery-wise, I was able to get through a day with moderate use, including 4 hrs of screen-on time.

    Performance seems snappy on the Galaxy Nexus even after loading up my usual collection of apps. Using some of the live wallpapers such as Microbes does cause jerkiness when swiping between homescreens.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by callum.saunders1 (Currently owns)

    Amazing phone. Battery life is shockingly bad though, currently managing about 8 hrs on battery which is not good enough. Also would be great if i could use the NFC feature... Camera isn't great, video quality is nice but stills are meh, it seems that for the shutter to be so fast the camera is constantly refocusing and it tends to mean that half my shots are out of focus.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by ajcarpenter (Currently owns)

    The mind blowing specs are still betrayed by a fundamentally sluggish operating system. App compatibility in ICS is incredibly poor and the cameras are not befitting of a flagship device. Given time, I hope that app developers and Google can provide the software to really make this device shine. It has nearly all the pieces to be best in class. I am just left feeling that they've skimped on the ice cream that will hold this sandwich together.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 7
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 5
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 8
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 6
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by calmlittlecentre (Currently owns)

    Google and I have been let down by Samsung here. Google delivered a wonderful OS, I spent a decent amount of money here and Samsung delivered uninspiring hardware. The display is excellent but the rest of the phone features too much plastic. Samsung should at least have released alternative back covers. The 32gb version should be standard across all versions of the phone, as should the extended battery.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 5
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by Gregounech (Currently owns)

    From an Android Geek point of view, my Galaxy Nexus is absolutely fantastic except in two areas, camera quality and video format compatibility.

    The build quality is very good for such a thin device, the grippy back even if it is in plastic is really nice. It would be a 10 if it had a metal construction though.

    ICS is performing extremely well with this TI 4460 @ 1.2GHz and the addition of ICS are very appreciated especially the new launcher. In addition, all the core apps now have very nice widgets and have been redesigned to fit the ICS theme making ICS a very uniform experience as well as a very fluid one.

    Battery life is on par with my previous Nexus S : use it the day then recharge it during the night.

    In my opinion, this is the best phone available at the moment.

    The Breakdown

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

    Got this on Bell in Canada and it's a great upgrade from my Nexus One. Camera could've been much better and the battery life seems alright. I'm in love with the display and the OS could use a few tweaks but I'm sure they'll be fixed soon.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by phueper (Currently owns)

    I own a Galaxy Nexus using o2 in Germany. Previously used a Nexus One and DesireHD (running CyanogenMod)
    Restriction to my review: i rooted the Phone before really starting to use it, since i backup all my Apps including settings using TitaniumBackup. This is a major point for me, i do not want to setup all my apps again for a new phone / after factory resetting it.

    I generally like the phone, it feels much snapier than my DesireHD with the same apps on it and running.

    I think that a lot of apps must be updated for ICS and will be in the next future, things like QuickSettings are just pretty much useless (will not jump to the correct setting screen and not change the settings)

    I really dislike the inconsistency of the menu button... its jumping from top to bottom from app to app, sometimes even within screens in the apps it think. That will surely be fixed by the app developers, but it still is very confusing to me.

    Battery Life is ok to me, lasts about a day, although with lots of apps running i basically hook it up to my laptop anyway during the day.

    Camera app is impressively fast, pictures are ok, but still wont replace my point-and-shoot.

    Display is nice, i like the added screen real estate... reading news and websites is a very good experience to me.

    Two major complaints:

    - Internal / SD Storage
    I have no idea why they couldnt put a MicroSD slot in the phone. I managed to restore my apps/music/data rsyncing to a server, but an SD would have been so much easier, and i am already running at only 3GB free storage (having several video podcasts on the phone for offline viewing).
    For a developer phone, and the developer settings do seem to suggest, that is a usecase, this is a disappointment to me

    - USB Storage mode
    I have no idea, wether there is a way to get this running, but the Media Transfer Mode is useless for me as a linux user... if we dont get a MicroSD, at least a way to put my backup on the phone using USB Storage (with several warnings or even in recovery mode) would have been so much easier

    Thanks to the verge team for allowing User Reviews!

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 6
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 9
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 5
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by kris.narowski (Currently owns)

    When I received my Galaxy Nexus I was both impressed and disappointed at the same time. Coming from the iPhone 4S I instantly noticed an inferior quality display. The light grays and whites seemed grainy and almost patterned. The size, responsiveness, and utilization of the display is great however. Having also owned the Nexus S prior to buying this I can say the dual core processor and Ice Cream Sandwich operating system make the phone a pleasure to use and Google has improved their OS by leaps and bounds.

    My two biggest gripes with the Galaxy Nexus are the camera and battery life. I'm sorry but 6 hours of battery just isn't going to cut it. My 4S lasts me a whole day while I find myself always bringing a charger if I'm using the Nexus. The camera is terrible, flat out simply terrible. My 3GS took better pictures. The flash makes things yellow and the autofocus never works. The only way to get a good picture is outside on a bright day standing very still.

    Overall the Galaxy Nexus is still the absolute best Android phone I have ever used and is one of the best smart phones ever made (although most of the credit goes to ICS). I would be using this phone as my main device if I wasn't so attached to a certain bunch of iPhone apps I use daily.

    Oh and NFC and Android Beam are f***ing awesome.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by adamanthil (Currently owns)

    This is a fantastic smartphone. I imported mine early from Europe and have been extremely pleased with that decision.

    The software is powerful, flexible, and beautiful. Integration with Google services is phenomenal, especially gmail, calendar, and voice. The new browser is really snappy and the tabs feature is extremely useful and intuitive. The new copy/paste functionality is perfect and simple as well. I don't know how we lived without it for so long. And the software keyboard is vastly improved. There is just polish throughout the ICS experience, and it is a pleasure to use.

    The hardware is quite nice as well. Build quality and design are solid and the device feels great in the hand. I think the textured back and subtle teardrop shape really help with that. Battery life is good, especially for such a capable smartphone. The display is gorgeous, although there is some subtle grain in solid white at very low brightness levels. The pentile layout is not noticeable, however, and it looks fantastic in everyday use. Reception is much better than past phones I've used as well.

    What more is there? This is easily the best phone I've ever used.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 9
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Donald Karvis (Currently owns)

    The new Galaxy Nexus is a masterpiece device.
    Android 4.0 is a major selling point for the Nexus. The hardware plays really well the with the new software. The phone is thin and light with a unique design.
    There are a couple of things that are not that great about the Nexus, but are not deal-breakers.
    The camera doesn't feel like an upgrade at all if you come from 1-2 year old smartphones. The battery life management still requires more work.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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