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Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Samsung GALAXY Nexus CDMA 9.5

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Camera:

The new camera interface looks pretty simple and is relatively easy to get used to. In the meantime though, it does offer an array of basic options like white balance, exposure and scene modes. Video recording, on the other hand, comes with a set of fun face-detection-based effects like Big Eyes, Big Mouth, Big Nose and so on. We doubt that anyone would be using the much, but we're sure they will be particularly funny and entertaining for little kids (great way to get some alone time). The new Camera app also comes with a built-in Panorama mode, which works surprisingly well. Google promised to strip shutter lag off the Camera app, and indeed we found the Samsung Galaxy Nexus to be extremely speedy in this aspect. As a whole, the Galaxy Nexus's camera is very fast. However, we still find it rather pointless to present us with the “sharing screen” when trying to preview a taken photo – rather, we would simply prefer being taken to the gallery instead.

The new camera interface - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new camera interface - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new camera interface - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new camera interface - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new camera interface - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new camera interface - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new camera interface - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new camera interface - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

The new camera interface


One would’ve probably hoped to find something larger than a 5-megapixel camera on board with this hi-end smartphone, but as we know, it’s not the size that counts. Honestly, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus excels in capturing macro shots, or pretty much anything outdoors in sunny conditions. In fact, detail level is on par with what we get from other premium smartphones, while color reproduction is on the neutral side. Unfortunately, it struggles with dynamic range because high contrast scenes tend to look overexposed in certain areas. As far as indoor and low-lit scenarios are concerned, its quality is so-so. When there's a strong light source, pics do look tolerable, but when there isn't, things get ugly. Naturally, fine details are dulled down, which results in an overall grainy appearance, but it’s the pronounced digital noise in poorly lit shots that diminishes its quality considerably. With the flash, it seems potent up to 3 feet away, but anything more than that, colors simply look inaccurate.

Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Samples shot with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus


Panorama mode - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Panorama mode - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Panorama mode


Strong - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Medium - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Low light - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

3ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
5ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
7ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

3ft

5ft

7ft

Darkness with flash
Indoor samples


Come on! When almost every top shelf smartphone shoots 1080p videos at 30 frames per second, we’d only expect the Galaxy Nexus to obtain that mark. Sadly, it doesn’t, and instead, we’re presented with a choppy performance due to  its capture rate of 24 frames per second. And you know what? You can almost kiss the handset goodbye when trying to shoot video in low lighting conditions seeing that it’s marred by some scary artifacting and poor details. So yeah, you can probably tell that we’re a bit underwhelmed by it.

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Daytime Sample Video:



Verizon Galaxy Nexus Indoor Sample Video:



Verizon Galaxy Nexus Nighttime Sample Video:




Multimedia:

The new Gallery comes with image-editing options built-in. Google has chosen a nice selection of tools that would definitely come in handy when you want to quickly tweak a photo that you've taken (or any other image). You can do various kinds of stuff like adjusting exposure or saturation, fixing the red-eyes, as well as applying different effects to your pictures.

The new Gallery comes with image-editing options built-in - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new Gallery comes with image-editing options built-in - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new Gallery comes with image-editing options built-in - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The new Gallery comes with image-editing options built-in - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

The new Gallery comes with image-editing options built-in


The Music app is nothing to write home about, but this doesn't mean it isn't good. Actually, in line with the rest of the interface, it's rather simplistic in its nature, but naturally, it doesn't save you important content like album art covers. Essentially, it looks similar to the Honeycomb music player, but it lacks that cool looking 3D carousel when browsing through albums. Digging deeper into its options, we actually find a full-fledged equalizer that can be freely adjusted by the user. Of course, it has a number of presets as well.

The Music app of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The Music app of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The Music app of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The Music app of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

The Music app of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus


Adorned with a lovable and sizable HD Super AMOLED display, there’s no kidding that it’s going to offer a pleasurable video watching experience that’s enjoyable on so many levels. Using our test video that’s encoded in MPEG-4 1920 x 1080 resolution, we’re enamored by the flawless performance thanks to its smooth playback, sharp details, and dreamy looking colors. Even better, the Android on-screen navigational buttons disappear to expand the video so that we’re given a full fidelity experience.

Watching videos - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
Watching videos - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Watching videos


Much like the stable of Android powered smartphones from Samsung’s camp, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus offers us video-out functionality with the aid of an MHL adapter. Interestingly, we’re given a landscape only orientation when we connect it to an HD television. Still, it’s nice to see everything we’re doing on the smartphone directly on the big screen – thus, making it very easy to share multimedia content!

Out of the 32GB of memory tucked away inside of the smartphone, only 28.13GB of it is available out of the box. Needless to say, that’s ample enough to handle most people, but seeing that it lacks expandability, you might want to be careful in what you throw into the device.


Software:


Taking to account the pure Google experience we’re given, the handset isn’t filled with the normal set of bloatware that’s found with other devices – though, VZ’s presence is well established. Specifically, it’s preloaded with Verizon branded apps like VZ Backup Assistant and My Verizon Mobile. Thankfully, that’s the extent of non-Google software installed on the phone.  With the exception of the YouTube app, all the other Google apps on the handset are identical to the ones found with other Android smartphones. Although its functionality is the same, there’s a slight difference with the interface of the YouTube app for ICS – though, the biggest noticeable item is the white theme that it’s sporting.

The YouTube app for ICS - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review
The YouTube app for ICS - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

The YouTube app for ICS



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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