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Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review

Samsung GALAXY Nexus CDMA

Posted: , posted by John V.

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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


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


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

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.

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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
PhoneArena rating:
9.5Excellent
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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