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Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Samsung GALAXY Nexus CDMA 9.5

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Being the very first handset to run Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus represents a true milestone for the Android operating system. Ice Cream Sandwich is one of the most-anticipated Android iterations ever, since it finally bridges the phone and tablet experience. What this means is that both Android phones and tablets will run Ice Cream Sandwich (and the versions after it), and not two separate platforms, like it has been until now with Android Gingerbread and Android Honeycomb. The case with ICS is that it's built on top of Honeycomb and not Gingerbread. Because of this, ICS brings a brand new experience to Android phone users, equal to a complete redesign of the platform.

First of all, if you have used a Honeycomb tablet, you'll feel right at home with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Most of the UI elements are preserved, and pretty much the whole interface follows the same logic. If you haven't had the chance to work with Honeycomb yet, there'll be a slight learning curve, but very slight indeed – we promise! After all, this is still Android.

As always, your homescreen is divided into multiple pages, on which you can place widgets, app shortcuts and so on. A new element in ICS is that you can create application folders by simply dragging an app shortcut and placing it over another one, just like in iOS. The styling of the new folders is also quite appealing. Overall, we love the entire clean and uncluttered appearance of the platform, making it very beautiful and practical – though, Gingerbread users will initially think of it to be somewhat foreign. For a more detailed look of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, you can read about it in our in-depth review.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus



System Performance:

Beyond looking at the flashy new platform, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is outfitted naturally with a contemporary processor to keep itself in good light with the competition. In fact, it sports a 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor and coupled with 1GB of RAM, which is ample enough to handle most basic tasks flawlessly. However, the evidence of choppiness while navigating across its homescreen with a live wallpaper dulls its prestigious aura. Yes, we expect better movement with this, especially when it’s a device showcasing the most up-to-date Android experience. Nevertheless, we’re greeted with that ubiquitous fluidity when using a static wallpaper instead. Although it’s not the fastest thing to come around the block, it’s admirable enough to accept wholeheartedly – still, we would’ve liked it to exhibit a consistent fluidity with its operation.


Contacts:

The highlights of the new UI start with the brand new People app. This replaces the Contacts app and is a much cleaner, visual solution to showing your contacts. “Visual” because the person’s image occupies a much larger space, and “cleaner” because it gets rid of all boxes and many delimiters, leaving some nice blank spaces between fields, so you don’t feel in a clutter. Contact images borrow a magazine-style UI in Google’s words, but the Windows Phone community cried foul that ICS is borrowing Metro UI elements. The Phone app has also been redesigned allowing you to call contacts with a single tap.

Dialer - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new People app - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Dialer

The new People app

  


Organizer:

The Calendar has been swipe-enabled, so you can now use gestures in the Calendar. Here, though, by swiping you switch between days, weeks and months. You can also pinch-to-zoom for a more detailed view of your agenda, which can be really helpful when you have set lots of appointments.

The Calendar has been swipe-enabled - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The Calendar has been swipe-enabled - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The Calendar has been swipe-enabled - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The Calendar has been swipe-enabled - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

The Calendar has been swipe-enabled



Messaging:

With plenty of screen real estate available to us thanks to its ginormous 4.65” display, the messaging experience is undoubtedly very easy on the fingers. Visually, the stock ICS keyboard is nearly an exact facsimile to the Gingerbread one, which isn’t bad seeing that the layout is very spacious. Add to that its peppy responsiveness, we’re able to easily type up long messages with little effort, but more importantly, we’re making very few mistakes along the way. To make things even better, the landscape QWERTY is one of the very best that we've ever used!

Virtual keyboard - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Virtual keyboard - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Virtual keyboard - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Virtual keyboard - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Virtual keyboard


Setting up and operating with email (and Gmail) is a trouble-free process. While straightforward in their nature, the Email and Gmail apps are still equipped with lots of options to let you customize and refine your mail usage. Strangely, you can pinch-to-zoom in the Email app for a better view of the content of an email, but you can't do that in Gmail, which can make viewing of certain messages (some picture-rich newsletters, for example) a bit cumbersome.

Email app - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Gmail - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Email app

 

Gmail

 


Internet:

Now there’s a good reason why Big Red’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a tad bit thicker than its GSM sibling – well, that’s because it’s packing along a 4G LTE radio. Even though we’re quite familiar nowadays with 4G LTE connectivity, we’re nonetheless always excited to know that we’re going to be blessed with lightning fast data speeds. Rightfully so, the handset is able to load complex web sites like ours in under 20 seconds.

Web browsing with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Web browsing with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Web browsing with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Web browsing with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Web browsing with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

By default, you won't find the Flash Player plug-in installed on the Galaxy Nexus, but thankfully, Adobe recently announced that it has ported Flash for ICS, so you can now grab it from Android Market and enjoy all the Flash content on the web.


Connectivity:

As you can imagine, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus comes with a complete set of connectivity options, including aGPS, 802.11 Wi-Fi b/g/n/a, mobile hotspot functionality, and Bluetooth 3.0, as well as some exotics like NFC and MHL. Despite the fact that the Galaxy Nexus sports NFC, keep in mind that the handset is not support by Google Wallet yet. Considering that this one is specifically tuned to work with Verizon’s 4G LTE network, we’re happy with the data speeds it’s giving us – though, upload speeds tend to be a teeny bit slower than other devices.

56 Comments
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posted on 19 Dec 2011, 08:04 8

1. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


I want the GSM version more. :) Though I like this because I like John V.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 10:45 1

16. mannyfs (Posts: 67; Member since: 11 Feb 2011)


there you have it fandroids, one more dissapoinment from your beloved android software.. im just waiting to see if they would ever come out with something good and stable

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 13:21 4

23. readingthissh1t (Posts: 303; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


and let the first hater speaketh!!!!
nexus = UPDATES

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 15:13 4

28. pdub73 (Posts: 33; Member since: 25 Nov 2008)


why are u even reading if you "hate android" so much...??? LTE connectivity isn't an "android" problem...9.5 is a pretty good review for an phone thats not "good and stable" gtfoh...

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 18:27 2

44. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)


Cuase he's a closet fan. LOL!

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 23:00 2

33. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Lol how about something that can actually make calls without them dropping?

posted on 20 Dec 2011, 10:38 5

39. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


i think you're mixing this up with the iPhone.... this just shows the wrong signal... data and calling work fine even at 0 bars

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 12:24

42. c.hack (Posts: 613; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


Its hilarious how bad the reception is on this thing. My wife complains that the Nexus keeps dropping calls in the house - its only has 1 or 2 bars so of course. My iPhone 4s gets 4 or 5 bars and has yet to drop a call. I've heard poor reception is typical for Samsung phones.

Sure looks pretty, too bad its a lousy phone.

And why is it that Android phones keep scrambling the bottom buttons? Every time you get used to them they change placement or in this case just make them all useless.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 08:09

2. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


Well there aint much point to lte if it dont work. And the thicker profile doesnt help, but at least its pure ICS and a Nexus :D

posted on 21 Dec 2011, 12:25 1

43. c.hack (Posts: 613; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


Not pure if it has Verizon crapware and google wallet is blocked.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 08:11 2

3. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3109; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Thank you John V for confirming my worries of signal and battery life. The RAZR easily gets 4-5 bars wherever i go. But with the Galaxy Nezus it goes to 1-2 and sometimes its at zero. Yet my data connection doesnt stop and runs at a decent speed. Hopefully this can be resolved with a future update. At least i can give it a extended battery too.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 09:15 1

10. John.V (Posts: 99; Member since: 27 May 2011)


Honestly, I'm not bummed by the battery life, since it's typical of any 4G LTE smartphone I've used. However, it's the dropped 4G LTE connection that's sticking out in my mind. I've encountered it on pretty much all the other 4G LTE devices, but with this, it's simply happening way too often. Still, it'll depend on the person. For me, I don't mind just sticking with 3G connection, but for others, they may find it absolutely unheard of. Still, it's a great smartphone in many ways.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 09:50

14. Synack (Posts: 677; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


I want to clarify on this battery life. Currently I'm sitting in a 3 bars area with forced 3G on. I have lost only 2% in the past hour with just checking email. This battery life is VERY much tied into the service. Once they get us some good radios (modems, basebands) then we will be fine. We just have to suffer for now.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 09:59

15. cfprelude (Posts: 137; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


couldnt agree more.... i suffer from bad signal but still consistenyly have 12+hrs of battery with pretty heavy/moderate usage (just no streaming videos but 150+ texts, 60mins of talking, 2 emails and facebook syncing all day).... i cant complain about THAT but would expect it to get even better after the signal issue is worked out. thats gotta be taxing on the battery.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 14:50

27. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


I'm not getting anywhere close to that battery life. Is this with 4g turned on? Thanks in advance.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 11:16 1

17. John.V (Posts: 99; Member since: 27 May 2011)


Yes, I agree that service management is key to getting good battery life with the device. But when you simply don't want to be bothered by it, the battery life is typical of any 4G LTE smartphone I've encountered. It's not abysmal, like the LG Revolution, but it's clearly far from being great.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 13:51

25. doubler86 (Posts: 320; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)


I know Verizon has already confirmed the signal problem but I have to say I guess I'm just lucky. I do live in LA so I'm not sure if it differs in different LTE coverage areas, but I get 4G almost everywhere. It does drop every once in a while but I am coming from the Samsung Charge and I now have 4G in more areas. Still if Verizon updates me to get even better signal then I'm not going to complain.

I get about the same 12 hour to 14 hour battery life like everyone else. But I did order that extended battery when it was half off and waiting for it to come in.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 23:02 2

34. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Unacceptable. Samsung had the same problem with 3G and 4G in the Nexus S and they still have the same problems in the GN. Now you see for yourself why the GN is a subpar phone just because it can not even hold its signal without dropping.

posted on 20 Dec 2011, 07:34

37. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


We're not talking antenna gate here. Calls are not being dropped. Relax iphoneboy. The good news is that things will improve with updates; we won't simply be told we're holding it wrong.

posted on 20 Dec 2011, 11:53 1

40. TGreg104 (Posts: 38; Member since: 14 Jun 2011)


Look, I'm usually a level headed guy, I do like android more then iOS but I see the advantages of both. This is honestly the most fun I've had on a phone ever, period. I love everything about it. And on the battery problem.. It is related to the LTE Radios. One day I was home for 8-10 hrs and I had it on wifi only and my battery that day lasted me 16 hrs. I also have a screen shot of it for proof. So its more of a LTE problem then an OS/Android problem.

posted on 25 Dec 2011, 01:55

48. richardyarrell2011 (banned) (Posts: 510; Member since: 16 Mar 2011)


One thing is for sure REGARDLESS of signal issues WHICH WILL BE FIXED VERY SOON AS OF THIS ENTRY the Galaxy Nexus CLEARLY PIMP SLAPS all other android devices. Plain and simple...

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 08:15

4. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


it's under VZW.. so its not gonna be as pure as how it should be.. VZW and all other US carriers will always mess into Google's updates and release them late with their useless crap add ons..

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 08:19 3

5. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3109; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


One it only has my verizon and back up assistant and two its at 4.0.2 which is the latest version. So please do some research before trolling.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 14:24 1

26. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


actually it's 4.0.3 now.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 08:24

6. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


so how much are you paying for the mobile hotspot feature thats supposed to be free to use on any nexus phones?

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 09:09 1

9. Synack (Posts: 677; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


Sadly not free on Verizon's Nexus. Though once rooted you can use Google Wireless Tether and you're good.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 08:28 1

7. cfprelude (Posts: 137; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


thanks for confirming what i've experienced.... was on the phone with vzw for over an hour last night while they looked at signal data and other factors trying to dtermine why i dont get very good reception with my GN. it sucks because i REALLY like the phone, havent had much of an issue with the battery life but have CONSISTENTLY worse 3g and 4g reception than i did with my OGdroid, Thunderbolt, and the best reception yet was my RAZR)... the nexus is the only vzw phone that ive experienced dropped calls wiht (only 3 in 4 days but still) in the past 8 years and i still go to all the same places. for comparison purposes: @ Home Razr: 1bar 4g inside, 11mps down, and 6mps up.... GN: no 4g (even outside -ouch!). @ work Razr: 4bars 4g inside, 11.5mps down and 5.8mps up...GN: constantly flipping between no service, 4g 1 bar and 3g 3 bars.... download speeds from 500kbps to 9mps download (hasnt had 4g connection long enough to complete the upload portion of the speedtest). I REALLY hope this is a software thing and not hardware because i love the ICS, the form factor (just a hair thinner and easier to use than the razr), and of course the screen!!!

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 15:38 1

29. readingthissh1t (Posts: 303; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


its software bro, and dont worry, verizon and el goog are already working on a fix and a new update.http://www.phonearena.com/news/Verizon-confirms-Galaxy-Nexus-signal-problems-fix-in-the-works_id24916

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 22:56 1

31. cfprelude (Posts: 137; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


glad to see that released. I've got my fingers crossed.

posted on 19 Dec 2011, 17:08 1

30. sgogeta4 (Posts: 394; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)


Where do you live? Verizon 4G is great in NY.

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Samsung GALAXY Nexus CDMA

Samsung GALAXY Nexus CDMA

OS: Android 4.2.2 4.1 4.0.4 4.0.1 4.0
view full specs
Display4.7 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (316 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
TI OMAP4460, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1 GB RAM
Size5.33 x 2.67 x 0.37 inches
(135.5 x 67.94 x 9.47 mm)
5.29 oz  (150 g)
Battery1850 mAh, 12 hours talk time

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