Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Tearing it up overseas and making its mark in the Android universe, it has surely been a roller coaster ride for US consumers, but Verizon’s version of the highly esteemed Samsung Galaxy Nexus is finally making its rounds in the US – with that oh so lovable 4G LTE connectivity in tow. Timing couldn’t have been any more favorable for the handset, as it’s seemingly chiming in at the literal tail end of the year, but despite that, it’s heading into serious competition against some other top caliber smartphones on Big Red’s lineup. And as we all know by now, you really need to bring you’re A+ game in order to be regarded as a profound competitor.

Yes, Verizon’s lineup is undoubtedly crowded and rich with handsets sporting their own specialty refinements – like the Motorola DROID RAZR’s impeccable design and the HTC Rezound’s  Beats Audio support. Indeed, there were probably many people bummed by the fact that Verizon didn’t get the Samsung Galaxy S II – though, this one is easily regarded as one great substitution. Still, there’s no arguing that Verizon customers have plenty of options, but even before its official arrival, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was being heralded as a landmark device.

Knowing all of that, will it eventually reign supreme and be considered the one Android powered smartphone to rule all others? Naturally, we’re dying to find out, so let’s not waste any more time and simply dive right in!

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Stereo Headphones
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Safety & Warranty Information


By now, you’re probably familiar that Verizon’s variant is similar in design to the GSM model – and rightfully so, that’s the initial perception upon holding it our hands for the first time. Almost everything about it is identical, like its appearance and choice of materials, with the exception that it’s minutely thicker at 0.37” (as opposed to 0.35”). Honestly, it’s not bad at all and is actually considered to be very streamlined by today’s standards. Moreover, it’s very comfortable to hold thanks to the Hyper Skin finish in the rear, its balanced weight (5.29 oz), and skinny bezel around its display. Unsurprisingly, it’s your typical Samsung construction as it utilizes an all-plastic body and decent build quality.

You can compare the Verizon Galaxy Nexus with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

When it’s turned off, it sports a clean looking facade because it doesn’t boast any of the typical capacitive or physical Android buttons, but beyond that, there isn’t anything particularly resounding about its overall design. Yes, we did drop the handset by accident, and seeing that it’s plastic, it endures some of the damages. As a whole, it doesn’t particularly wow us like the Motorola DROID RAZR, and honestly, it’s rather underwhelming as a whole, which is glaring considering that this is a flagship device.

Already, US consumers are all too familiar with 720p displays – like the ones found on the HTC Rezound and LG Nitro HD. Nevertheless, the 4.65” HD Super AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus still enthralls us thanks to its sharp details, high-contrast, wide viewing angles, and iridescent color production.

In fact, since it boasts a resolution of 720 x 1280, it translate to an excellent  pixel density of 316 ppi – thus, making even the tiniest of fine text remarkably visible. Sure it uses an RBGB PenTile matrix pixel arrangement, which can cause individual pixels to be discernible upon closer inspection, but from a normal distance away, it’s hardly noticeable. Furthermore, it sports a curved display, just like the Nexus S from last year, but it doesn’t offer anything that’s advantageous – rather, it’s merely there as a complementary aesthetic look.

As we mentioned already, it flaunts a clean look with its display because Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich doesn’t rely on separate capacitive or physical buttons – rather, they’re integrated with the platform. Above the display though, there’s a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera that can shoot 720p videos, but more importantly, it’s used in tandem with the platform’s new face unlock feature. Finally, although it’s barely visible, there is an LED light smacked below the display that lights up for things like incoming phone calls.

Following in line to other Samsung’s Android powered smartphones, we dig the placement and springy feel of the handset’s volume rocker and dedicated power button. Around its sides, it features a 3.5mm headset jack, microphone, dock connection pins, and a microUSB port. With the latter, it doubles as an MHL port to provide us with the useful functionality of video-out – albeit, it’s an optional accessory of course.

Lastly, a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash protrudes very slightly from the surrounding area in the rear of the handset. Meanwhile, two notches are found squarely in the middle towards the bottom edge and tucks away its internal speaker. Prying off the flimsy rear plastic cover, it grants us access to its beefy 1,850 mAh battery and microSIM card slot.

Verizon Galaxy Nexus 360-degrees View:



1. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

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

16. mannyfs

Posts: 69; Member since: Feb 11, 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

23. readingthissh1t

Posts: 303; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

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

28. pdub73

Posts: 33; Member since: Nov 25, 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...

44. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

Cuase he's a closet fan. LOL!

33. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

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

39. wassup

Posts: 565; Member since: Jun 23, 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

42. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 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.

2. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 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

43. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

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


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 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.

10. John.V

Posts: 99; Member since: May 27, 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.

14. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 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.

15. cfprelude

Posts: 140; Member since: Oct 27, 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.

27. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

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

17. John.V

Posts: 99; Member since: May 27, 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.

25. doubler86

Posts: 320; Member since: Jan 26, 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.

34. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 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.

37. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 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.

40. TGreg104

Posts: 38; Member since: Jun 14, 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.

48. richardyarrell2011

Posts: 510; Member since: Mar 16, 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...

4. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 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..


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 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.

26. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

actually it's 4.0.3 now.

6. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

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

9. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

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

7. cfprelude

Posts: 140; Member since: Oct 27, 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!!!

29. readingthissh1t

Posts: 303; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

its software bro, and dont worry, verizon and el goog are already working on a fix and a new update.

31. cfprelude

Posts: 140; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

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

30. sgogeta4

Posts: 394; Member since: Feb 02, 2011

Where do you live? Verizon 4G is great in NY.
  • 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 1850 mAh(12.00h talk time)

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