Samsung Galaxy Nexus Review
Call quality on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is fine. The handset is equipped with a decent earpiece, which manages to emit some natural tones. On the other end of the line, things to sound a bit more robotic, especially when the Nexus user is at a loud location, when the noise-cancellation would kick in. But the mic is also quite strong, so you'll surely be heard on the other side. Unfortunately, the loudspeaker of the device is on the quieter side.
Talk-time with the Galaxy Nexus's 1750mAh battery is rated at up to 8 hours and 20 mins on 3G, while it should stay operational for up to 11 days if it's just kept at stand-by.
Make no mistake, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is an industry-leading smartphone. It easily trumps most of its competition by combining a pleasant appearance, killer performance, and a brand new phone operating system in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. With such a list of assets, it's very hard for the Galaxy Nexus to fail. And that's what's making it such a good offering for smartphone users – it's a very balanced product, with no truly weak points (if you're not a camera maniac) and at least several very strong ones.
As we said, the Galaxy Nexus is one of the fastest phones we've seen. It just feels like it does everything with ease, without hesitating one bit. That's the kind of performance that we expect from a device of this caliber, and the Nexus manages to deliver it.
And then, we have Ice Cream Sandwich, which can be seen as a true game-changer in the world of phones. Of course, it's still Android, but it's not Gingerbread (or the ones before it) with its bleak visuals and confusing design. It's not even Honeycomb – the good, but not-quite-there tablet OS. The Ice Cream Sandwich experience on a phone feels much more polished than anything out of Android's camp until now, and it looks so much better. It's still futuristic, but not as uninviting as Honeycomb. This time, Google has nailed it with an OS which is both impressive, appealing, and approachable at the same time.
On the subject of its weak sides, we can mention the 5MP camera, which is quite good for outdoor photography, but mediocre (at best) at anything else. If we have to be perfectionists (which we have to be), we should also say that the Nexus needs some personality in the appearance department. Don't get us wrong – it's one good-looking handset, but it's just not eye-catching.
All of this makes for one of the best phones we've seen to date. Samsung has done a terrific job by producing this handset, which is surely going to become a reference phone for most other manufacturers. Of course, they would never have achieved this if it wasn't for Google's incredible software, which, dare we say, redefines the experience of using a cell phone.
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.
Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 4.0.1, Build ITL41D