Samsung Galaxy Nexus Review
Here it is, guys, the next big thing in the world of Android smartphones. Let us introduce you to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus – the third Google phone, which comes to succeed the Nexus S by Samsung and Nexus One by HTC. Тhe Nexus line-up represents probably the hottest and most desired selection of Android handsets, at least by die-hard geeks around the world. Always cutting-edge as far as technology goes, always having that invisible appeal built-in, making consumers lust after these phones. Have Samsung and Google done well with this latest addition?
In a landscape that competitive, it's really hard for manufacturers to produce a long-lasting handset which has enough potential to stand out from the crowd and kind of rule them all. We've witnessed this only on very few occasions within the Android ecosystem, but knowing what a milestone this is for Google's mobile OS, we just can't help it but set our expectations high. Because of this, in order to be a success, the Galaxy Nexus has to treat us to the best, and nothing but the best. Anything less would be considered a failure. And isn't that the general concept behind the Nexus phones – to obtain the status of being reference devices for all other manufacturers? Besides this, however, the Galaxy Nexus is the first handset to come with the Ice Cream Sandwich version of the OS – a version which could as well be considered as a brand new platform, having in mind its complete redesign.
We know what you're thinking – let's not waste any more time and see if the Samsung Galaxy Nexus lives up to the expectations!
Please note that we're testing the global model of the Galaxy Nexus, which is equipped with an HSPA+ radio, but the handset is also expected with Verizon, where it'll sport LTE, but will also be slightly thicker.
The Nexus One was one of the most refined Android devices from design standpoint, while the Nexus S came with that attractive curved glass on top of its display. Now, with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, we again witness this curved design, as well as some other little treats. For example, the back cover uses the so-called Hyper Skin finish, which provides a better grip, and an overall nice feel to the touch. However, the phone's body is still entirely made of plastic, which translates to a relatively light weight, but also to a somewhat standard feel, which fails to captivate or wow the user. There's nothing premium with the build quality and construction of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and this is our biggest disappointment with its design. Really, it feels somewhat underwhelming when you take such a well-specced, premium phone, snap the back cover off, and realize that it's one of the thinnest pieces of plastic ever used for the outer shell of a consumer electronics device. Thankfully, the handset doesn't feel cheap in the hand, but it doesn't feel classy as well.
You can compare the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Yes, there's still this curved glass on the front, but we don't consider it as being something beneficial in any way. The curve is actually very slight, so we really see no difference between this and a completely flat glass. Otherwise, the display beneath it is quite impressive. The Galaxy Nexus sports an enormous 4.65” screen with an HD resolution of 720x1280 pixels. And even with a screen this big, we're happy to report that the pixel density is 316 ppi, which means that all kinds of fine details and small text that appear on this display remain clearly visible. The Galaxy Nexus sports an HD Super AMOLED screen, which uses an RGBG PenTile matrix for pixel arrangement. This actually shouldn't trouble anyone, as we don't find the overall image quality to be inferior compared to what you see on standard RGB matrix-based displays. Well, if you look really closely at certain elements, like white text on black background, for example, you can actually notice the individual pixels, but this can't be seen when using the phone normally. Naturally, having an AMOLED screen, the Galaxy Nexus offers those characteristic high contrast levels, wide viewing angles, and very saturated colors, that kind of bring images to life. The screen is usable outdoors (and in sunny conditions), though legibility isn't perfect. Samsung definitely has some room for improvement in this respect.
Around the device we find a standard microUSB charging port, 3.5mm headset jack, volume rocker and a power key. Interestingly, there is also a three-dot connector on the handset's right side, which will be used for docking the device with some kind of a docking station. On the back side is what many would consider the Galaxy Nexus's downfall – a 5MP camera, instead of something more contemporary like an 8MP one. While we would have really liked it more if it had an 8MP shooter, we'd still be satisfied with this one, if the Galaxy Nexus manages to produce some good-looking results. But more on this later.
Drag the picture or use the keyboard arrows to rotate the phone. Double click or press keyboard Space to zoom in/out
1. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3394; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Wow the best phone this year, KILLS the Apple iPhone 4S. Great job Google, this is an amazing phone!
61. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
Don't kid yourself. the GN is a nice phone, for a Samsung phone, but it pales in comparison to the 4S.
66. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Leave the cat alone. There's no point arguing specs and features and bugs with a dedicated iPhone user.
The truth is that BOTH the iPhone 4S and Nexus are great devices. Which one is the better phone is up to the customer. The Nexus doesn't "kill" the iPhone, nor does it "pale" next to it. They're different devices for different users.
79. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)
Thankyou for the rational and logical comment. I was thinking something similar.
70. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
Lol, you mean like the signal issues people were reporting with the Epic Touch 4G among other things? Get off your high horse, Android phones have more problems in the end than iOS phones do.
76. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
the epic4g touch is a singular SGS2 variant. what happened with that was not indicative of all SGS2s. What happens with one i4s is happening with all of them. And that was still one issue. And do you really wanna compare connection issues between devices? lol. Antennagate anyone? :)
no phone is perfect miz as they are just electronic devices built as fast as possible on an assembly line. but dont try to call out kettle, when you are definitely the pot.
96. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
Oh bringing that one up again are we? It's always nice to grasp at the straws when your argument has been crushed. Apple knew there was a problem and rather than sit on their asses like some OEMs do with Android phones, they took steps to correct and fix it. How long has it taken Samsung to fix the problems with the Nexus S phone lol?
And don't even get me started on HTC phones, to whom I think lacks a quality control department.
Oh and btw, keep thumbing my comments down and getting them a low rating. Prove my point. It doesn't hurt me in the least bit lol as you're not hurting my feelings.
114. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
what exactly did apple fix on the i4's antenna problems? you mean telling customers they are holding it wrong and issuing free gel skins for all of 3 months?? they let that phone ride forever with that issue, even after being launched on VZW 6 months later.. heck it STILL has the problems even today. If you buy an i4 right now, it will STILL have that issue. They didnt fix a darn thing with the i4.
Android phones get recalled and fixed.. apple phones are never bad, its always the customer's fault.
Kinda seems like everything opposite of what people learn in customer service.. lol
BTW, i havent thumbed down any of your comments today. would you prefer i did? :)
129. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
Oh you m ean like HTC sitting on their asses with all of the problems their Thunderbolt had? Or what about Samsung and the notorious signal issues? And how could we ever forget the phones that never got GB or even Froyo that people are still stuck with lol? Apple supports their products.
130. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
Lol 28 thumbs down, a new record. Keep it coming lol
134. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
just for you, i thumbed you down so you would break 30 reds. lolol
131. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
Miz! congrats! you broke the record for the number of thumb downs right below SuperAndroidEvo broke the record for thumbs up!
64. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
Very true, the best Androids are the Nexus phones, nothing can beat the stock experience at all, not TouchWiz, HTC Sense or anything else. Even if you'd offer me a Quad-Core Android, I would still go for a Nexus any day!
118. ThisIsaPOS (banned) (Posts: 10; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)
The Nexus Galaxy:
OLD A$$ GPU
ugly pentile display just as the reviewer said its cool and all but until you at certain "stuff" in a certian "way" than... well... dum dum dum
these are FACTS
only idiot gawk at POS devices just because it's new and someone ELSE says it's great
I bet PA just gave this phone a 9.5 to shut everybody up
hope you all feel better now
124. RageQuit (Posts: 41; Member since: 05 Sep 2011)
You dont need the best specs to be the to make an awwesome phone, its all about how they come togather.
To make an epic phone all you need to do is make the some parts of the phone so good the bad parts become negletable. look at the origonal iPhone, no mms or 3G even though they were in many of the compeditors devices, the Stunning UI allowd for these short comings.
80. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
She immediately compares it to the iPhone. Well now we know who you think is the best.
83. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I really wish people would drop this comparison. iPhone is iPhone, Android is Android. It's not 2009 anymore, can we please stop questing for an "iPhone-killer" and enjoy our Androids in peace?
104. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
The funniest thing is that android fans started this "iphone killer" battle so they shouldn't be suprised that iphone lovers bashing their newest and greatest beloved android phones which supposedly are "new iphone killer".
Each time we saw new a android powerful phone it was announced as a iphone killer. Do I smell some complex?
I don't like IOS. I don't like Android.
But let them be as they are.
Seriously guys. Can't you just enjoy your phones without comparing and bashing each other and try to convince which is the best?
This crazy race should be over.
And Nexus...looks like a great phone but I still prefr RAZR. When it gets ICS it will be even better. And rooted:))))))
126. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)
You have some really good comments on this website.
100. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Yes, PA clearly favors the Nexus over other new Android phones. Moving on...
115. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
you smell favortism from the guy that was just yesterday called an itroll and all sorts of names for his i4s vs nexus browser comparisons?
lol, poor ray can never catch a break.
111. greathero1 (Posts: 403; Member since: 13 Jun 2008)
This phone definitely looks great but why the need to talk about the iPhone? That Android inferiority complex held by fanboys is mindboggling. You guys hate all the news, comparisons, and mentions that the iPhone receives but love to comment in iPhone news posts. Stop feeding the beast lol.
143. gunnerlixa (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
LLOOOLLLL You´re funny, "kills the iPhone 4S...", that´s not what PA says... Read the final conclusion:
"A decent, but not as good alternative is the Motorola DROID RAZR, which is constructed much better, using higher-quality materials, but is also wider and not as comfortable in the hand, and runs Gingerbread (though it will receive an update to ICS later). The HTC Rezound is another suitable alternative on Verizon. And, if you feel like trying something non-Android, feel free to check out the iPhone 4S – it will present you with similar performance and rich ecosystem, but a significantly smaller, 3.5” screen as well."
2. LewsTherin006 (Posts: 140; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)
good review guys, it lines up with all the other reviews out there. Now if we can only get the best phone of the year released......
3. Mr.Mr.Upgrade (Posts: 373; Member since: 30 Aug 2011)
Flawless victory, now get over here, nexus prime,
4. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Very fair review. Good job :)
complimented for the good things, and knocked for the actual bad things (not some of the more odd things that we've seen on other final reviews). More final reviews like this please. :)
This just makes me want to see what the SGS2 looks like with full ICS on it, as its even stronger and has the better camera. (ps, i cant believe you didnt mention the SGS2 as an alternative.. it is the highest selling android phone and phone of the year as well :) )
7. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
Agreed...would love to see a "vs" video/article with SGS2 vs Galaxy Nexus.
9. andro. (Posts: 1890; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
Agreed most people i see my store are weighing up their options between the sgs2 and the galaxy nexus so the sgs2 is the biggest alternative.
Just looking at what a top phone the galaxy nexus is we can only imagine how advanced the sgs3 will be!
12. Mr.Mr.Upgrade (Posts: 373; Member since: 30 Aug 2011)
The at2 is not on Verizon ,turtle boy
18. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
whats an AT2, who is a turtle boy?
BTW, the Nexus will be available on more carriers than just VZW in america. They just get an exclusivity period. So for everyone else in the world (and those that are in the mood to switch carriers), the SGS2 is the top alternative to to the nexus prime.
101. robinrisk (unregistered)
turtle boy is andro
at2 is sg2 mispelled.
He meant to say that customers could not be deciding between SGS2 and the Galaxy Nexus because it is not on Verizon.
Andro, however, probably is on Europe.
5 minutes figuring that out.
116. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
what 5 hours for a response though!! :) lol j/k :)
31. Ivan6479 (Posts: 241; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I had those exact same thoughts about the SGS2!! I couldn't believe they didn't even mention it as an alternative. Once the SGS2 gets its ICS makeover I truly believe it is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
5. kpfirefighter (Posts: 157; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
WHY? why give this review if the phone isn't released or even has a release date. Sure the phone sounds awesome! I want it. But hurry up and wait is getting old. We hear all the great features but no launch date! Just give it a rest until we can play with the phone our selves. I'm saying here in the U.S!
Release the phone I'll pay $300 today just like millions of others! So what's the hold up verizon!
11. andro. (Posts: 1890; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
Depends on your location for release date,Ive personally sold galaxy nexus phones to customers for about two weeks now
13. ph00ny (Posts: 531; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Um world just doesn't revolve around the good ol US.
Blame google/carrier for your delays
67. AndroidNext (Posts: 4; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
Verizon has stake in the moto razr and wants to milk that as long as possible. The Galaxy Nexus makes more money for Google / less money for Verizon, so Verizon is holding it back.
The bigger question is, why release with exclusivity? Release the phone on all carriers and Verizon would have it out right away, or stand losing customers.
Google / Samsung / Verizon are all taking us for a ride on this one.
6. elite monkey (Posts: 21; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
Well done, really good review, worth the wait. Can't wait to try out this phone for myself!
8. theoak (Posts: 311; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)
Its big ... I am not sure if I would want a phone that big.
I absolutely love the clarity on my iPhone 4.
With the pixel density on the Nexus on that big screen ... it must be beautiful.
10. ph00ny (Posts: 531; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Unlike the posts above, nexus galaxy is somewhat of a letdown for me in terms of hardware selection and camera performance. We will see in a few months whether google made the right choice when ICS gets rolled out onto other handsets.
ps- i understand that nexus devices have never been the highest performing devices but this time around, i expected a bit more.
15. bucky (Posts: 1100; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
Fully agree with you. Apart from the screen its a downgrade from the sgs2 in everything. Im honestly not trolling either. I was really thinking of upgrading with bell for this phone but there is no point.
22. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
the nexus is a showcase phone. except for the first nexus which showcased the new 1ghz snapdragon chip, it was never really the strongest (the nexusS was the strongest single core chip with the hummingbird, but was quickly outclassed by dual core chips that came out like a month later).
The point of the nexus is that you get a huge development community and first access to all updates and trials from google. They are generally among the best behaving handsets out there. And as a bullet point taco would bring up, their resell value stays high.
26. bucky (Posts: 1100; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
yea resale value always stays pretty high on nexus devices. But seeing as how most people already went out and bought a sgs2, its going to make it really hard to find a reason to upgrade. The Sgs2 dev community is absolutely massive as well.
29. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
yup. but remember, though the SGS2 is a massive seller, its still just a drop in the bucket compared to potential customers. plenty of room for more great devices to sell like wildfire. I completely expect the nexus to be a top selling device of the year once its finally released in store to multiple US carriers... top of the line or not.
42. bucky (Posts: 1100; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
good point. I think the screen alone will bring in sales for this device as the majority of people dont even know what rooting or custom roms are.
BTW, im not the one giving you the thumbs down.
48. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Nah, even Taco and Gallito drop a trollsome line.
50. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
you would be surprised. Normally by the end of the day I will constantly have 3 or 4 thumb downs no matter what I say. I bet you can name 3 or 4 itrolls that just hate on anyone that doesnt agree with them 100% of the time that would do that.
51. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
But I imagine there are lurking trolls too. You're just the troll magnet. :)
14. Alantef (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Sep 2011)
couldn't give it a 10 huh?....just 9.5?...boooo put it over the top
21. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Can't very well give an imperfect phone a perfect score! With a better camera (not that the camera is bad, it's just not the best) and more innovative design or materials, it would be a 10. Maybe the SGS3...
23. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
its not perfect. then again, what phone is. 9.5 is an excellent score especially considering its not the strongest smartphone on the market. That score was mostly on the back of ICS, so that's really saying something about the new OS.. I cant wait for the roll out to other phones.
30. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
Interesting point remixfa (that the 9.5 is mostly for ICS).....makes me wonder what score the SGSII would get with ICS. The first perfect 10 score?
The other point is that as objective as PhoneArena tries to be, phones always have a hint of subjectivity. For example, not all people want a large phone (for portability reasons, working out, etc.) So a "perfect 10" is really a mythical beast.
33. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I'm not even sure ICS on the SGS2 would be a slam-dunk. Depends what they do with TouchWiz. You'd have to combine the following:
- Premium materials of the RAZR
- Camera of the N8
- LTE, of course
and somehow charge less than $400.
36. remixfa (Posts: 13885; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
the only TW improvements i hope they bring to the ICS SGS2 is a few widgets and the camera improvements that it brings... and leave everything else stock ICS.