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.

Due to the large screen, you can imagine that the handset can't be compact. Indeed, the Galaxy Nexus is quite large, but interestingly, it isn't uncomfortable to hold and use with one hand only.

For the first time in an Android handset, you won't find any buttons below the screen. That's because the Galaxy Nexus has been designed to run Ice Cream Sandwich, which now features on-screen keys for navigation in Android, just like in Honeycomb tablets. As a result, the front side of the device is completely clean and looks very cool.

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.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a very well-made device, which looks good, but lacks personality. The neutral color scheme and the non-premium materials in use don't help as well.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 360-degrees View:



1. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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: Apr 06, 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: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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: Dec 16, 2010

Thankyou for the rational and logical comment. I was thinking something similar.

70. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 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: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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: Apr 06, 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: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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: Apr 06, 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: Apr 06, 2011

Lol 28 thumbs down, a new record. Keep it coming lol

132. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

you've been lol'd

134. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

just for you, i thumbed you down so you would break 30 reds. lolol

131. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 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: Sep 20, 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

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

The Nexus Galaxy: laughable camera 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

119. readingthissh1t

Posts: 303; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

^haters gon' hate

124. RageQuit

Posts: 44; Member since: Sep 05, 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.

135. rahulcena5565

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 01, 2010

Jealous you iOS Ass licker

80. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

She immediately compares it to the iPhone. Well now we know who you think is the best.

83. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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: Oct 17, 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: Dec 16, 2010

You have some really good comments on this website.

97. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

wow 9.5, good review.

99. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

I smell favoritism in that review.

100. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Yes, PA clearly favors the Nexus over other new Android phones. Moving on...

115. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 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: Dec 01, 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: Nov 18, 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: 474; Member since: Aug 30, 2011

Flawless victory, now get over here, nexus prime,

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor TI OMAP4460, Dual-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1750 mAh(8.33h 3G talk time)

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