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Galaxy Nexus Review


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#1 OFFLINE   p3droid

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:46 PM

Samsung Galaxy Nexus


The Samsung Galaxy Nexus may be the most anticipated phone to hit the U.S. shores since the original Droid. If it is not the most anticipated then it if close to the leader. So after a week of playing with the device I am ready to put together my preliminary review of this device.

  • Screen: The screen is vibrant and bright, it may be pentile but you are never going to have a problem looking at this screen. It is easily viewable in both daylight and low light settings. Pictures and movies look extremely vivid and sharp. If you have used other Samsung phones you will be familiar with this beautiful display, if you are coming from another device you may end up blown away by the screen.

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  • Battery life: The battery life on this device is average at best. I have yet to use a LTE enabled device that gets stellar battery. So far I would say power users are going to be plugging in by midday and your casual user may need an early afternoon. With my usage (I'm a heavy user), on LTE I will go from 100% at 6AM to 20% by 11AM, on 3G I went from 100% at 6AM to 70% at 11AM and 20% at 4PM. Again you mileage will vary according to your usage. My Device has a 1750 mAH battery and the battery may have been upped to 1850mAH.

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  • Weight: A major complaint I've had against the Samsung line of phones (all Galaxy S and Droid Charge) is the weight of the devices. With this phone you will get a tad bit heavier device, it is slightly lighter than the bionic, and quite a bit heavier feeling than the Droid Razr.
  • Build: Hmm, well I was hoping for something more in line with the way Motorola builds devices, but I will take this from Samsung. Whereas previous Samsung devices I have used have been a mix of plastic and glass screen, this is a better build. I'm am not overly impressed with this build quality but its a step in the right direction. There is one build issue I truly don't like and that is the battery cover, it feels very cheap and plastically.
  • Speaker: The speaker is not very loud, I don't think its going to suffice in any noisy environment. The clarity of the speaker is very good though.
  • Software: This is going to get its own review below. The device is running stock Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
  • Network LTE/3G (Radio): This has been a bright spot for me. Anyone who has used a 4G device has had to deal with poor radio performance. Constant dropping of data and multiple switching from 3G to 4G. So far the phones radio performance has been stellar, it is holding a 4G signal in areas that my Bionic (yeah I know) and Charge drop down to 3G. I have not had any issues with data drop out or loss of LTE signal. My home is in a fringe area and the Nexus actually stays 4G/LTE in my home.
  • GPS: In the past Samsungs have had issues with the gps and locking in satellites. I'm glad to tell you that I have not had an issue. My bionic is locking me down to 5ft in about 15 seconds, and the Nexus is locking down to 5ft in about 25 seconds. As you can see not an issue at all.
  • Call Quality: I have used mostly Motorola over my 20 years owning a cell phone, mostly due to their call quality and radio quality. The Nexus performs well, but it is not as clear as my Motorola device. It is not bad either. If you had a charge it is on par with it. Ear piece volume is good, it is loud enough but at it loudest it is not ear drum bursting loud.

It's About the Firmware


  • Operating System: Android 4.0 (Android 4.0.1 - AKA Ice Cream Sandwich): The hardware known as the Galaxy Nexus is merely the vessel to carry the awesome firmware to the masses. It is actually very difficult to express fully the redesign of Android. As others have said, this is not a refresh or an update, this feels and acts like a whole new operating system. In fact this is the first time I've felt that Google (Android) has reach the fit and finish of the Iphone.

  • Launcher: The new launcher has introduced folders natively to the android environment. You can easily create folders on the desktop by dragging and dropping app icons, or you can create folders on the launcher quick launch bar at the bottom. Many complaints surrounding the other native centered around smoothness and usability, this has been resolved with Ice Cream Sandwich. The launcher is silky smooth when scrolling through them, and there are no hiccups when pages are fully loaded with widgets.
    [INDENT]-Once inside the launcher you will notice it has new animations, and you are able to seamlessly scroll across until you have come to the widgets.
    -You can long press an icon and either uninstall the application or disable the application. Disabling an application disables an application that cannot be uninstalled. Be careful I disabled my contacts playing around. Don't worry you can re-enable any apps you have disable easily in the setting menu.[/INDENT]

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  • Notifications: The notification system has been redone. First thing I noticed is the permanent settings button in the drop down. Next you will find the ability to discard a notification by tossing it to the side (left or right). The other basic functions have unchanged from previous versions.

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  • Contacts: the new contacts is a thing of beauty. The first page is the groups page, this is a needed tool. I like grouping my contacts and this makes it very easy to find my groups and then find who I'm looking for. The star of the show for the revamped contacts is the new favorites. It has large pictures and a robust

    Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image



  • Google Talk: swiping left and right to get to each conversation is easily done and the name at the top makes it easy to find who you are looking for. The application now re-orders the conversation on the home screen according to the most recently received message. (I am disappointed that you cannot yet send/receive files through GTalk, but I hear that is being worked on right now).

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  • GMail: the new Gmail has preview text on the screen. This is a welcome addition. But my favorite new items are native *.apk download and install plus viewing of images inline.

    Posted Imagehttp://www.mydroidwo...xy/gmailapk.jpg



  • EMail: the new Gmail has preview text on the screen. This is a welcome addition. But my favorite new items are native *.apk download and install plus viewing of images inline.

    http://www.mydroidwo...laxy/email1.jpg





  • Music/Equalizer: If you have been part of the Music Beta you have some experience with the awesomeness that is GoogleMusicBeta. What Google has done that makes this feel oh so brand new is offer new and improved settings including the FX (Sound Effects) application. See picture. This has been a long overdue feature and makes my music listening far more enjoyable.

    http://www.mydroidwo.../galaxy/efx.jpg



  • Movie Editor: If you have a honeycomb tablet then you have seen this app in action. I think it is a fun app that lets me modify clips on my device. It is not meant for full blown movie making but suffices for quick video editing.

Edited by p3droid, 13 November 2011 - 09:27 AM.

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#2 OFFLINE   p3droid

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 08:01 AM

Picture Gallery



  • LockScreens:

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  • LockScreen Music Conrol:

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  • Phone:

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  • Settings:

Posted Imagehttp://www.mydroidwo...y/settings2.jpg



  • Network Settings:

http://www.mydroidwo...ingsnfcbeam.jpg



  • Settings Sound:

http://www.mydroidwo...ttingssound.jpg



  • Security:

http://www.mydroidwo...xy/security.jpg



  • Data Usage:

http://www.mydroidwo...y/datausage.jpg


Edited by p3droid, 13 November 2011 - 08:35 AM.

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#3 OFFLINE   p3droid

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:02 AM

What Could Be Better


  • Lockscreen: A feature that every android user has come to know is conspicuously missing. You will find that there is no option to set the screen to silent from the lockscreen. The omission of the feature is a massive over site on the part of Google. I'm hoping that in future updates they will find a way to bring this back. Having to unlock the phone and then turn the volume down involves too many steps.


  • Battery life: The battery life on this device is not going to be a selling point. I can manage about 6 hours of use if I mix some heavy use with some guarded usage. When I abuse my phone as I've done most of this past week, I will get the 14 percent warning in 4 to 4 1/2 hours. As with most LTE devices you are going to need a charger in all you favorite locations.


  • Launcher: As a stock device and as an Android enthusiast I am disappointed that the search bar on the top of all home screens is not user removable. I prefer to be able to set my device up to my liking. Some may see this as nitpicking but I think in future updates making this user removable would keep in the spirit of giving the end user maximum control over their own experience.


  • Battery Cover: The battery cover is a thin piece of flexible plastic that snaps in to place. It feels cheap and follows a trend of lighter and flexible battery covers that Samsung has used on other devices.

Edited by p3droid, 14 November 2011 - 05:18 AM.

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#4 OFFLINE   p3droid

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:03 AM

Final Thoughts


The Galaxy Nexus hardware is impressive, but not ground breaking. It has the usual bells and whistles that one expects from any high end device and if not for the new and improved firmware (Ice Cream Sandwich) the device may not be garnering as much attention as it is. The new firmware is everything and more of what I expected. It is user friendly, provides for multiple layers of customization, fast, and polished.

Past iterations of Android always felt as if they were good but had a somewhat beta release feel to them. With this release Android finally announces that it has reached the level of polish that denotes a final product. You will want to experience this for yourself and if you skip over the Galaxy Nexus you may end up regretting that decision later.

Edited by p3droid, 14 November 2011 - 05:38 AM.

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#5 OFFLINE   polar135

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:31 AM

Nice Review.

#6 OFFLINE   Currentweb

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:37 AM

Verizon, release this phone NOW!!! I can't take it any longer, I'm going to end up stealing my friends Nexus S and loading the SDK port if this doesn't come out soon!!!
Phones are my drug lol :)

#7 OFFLINE   kgbrown247

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:42 AM

Nice review.thx

#8 OFFLINE   N2Droid

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:43 AM

Thanks for the review .This review will help me with a tough decision but It will take alot to pry the Bionic from my hands.

Edited by N2Droid, 13 November 2011 - 09:45 AM.


#9 OFFLINE   jasonwomack

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:46 AM

Lots of assumptions here but this review has me wondering. It's starting to sound like Moto's first built for ICS phone will be the best of all worlds (build quality, battery life - if it builds on the Razr but comes with a user-replaceable battery, call quality, etc), other than the presumably locked boot loader and whatever iteration if Blur they throw on top. If this is what Moto were to release and they were doing so within a month of the G-Nex, which one would you pick?

#10 OFFLINE   Blinky

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:57 AM

Not having expandable memory is my concern. Hopefully the 32GB will not be expensive. I may survive on 16GB but I would need to monitor things carefully. Or put most things in cloud which I have yet to do. Decisions, decisions.

#11 OFFLINE   diverbelow

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:20 AM

Thank P3Droid for the great review!!

On the Email section, it has the same wording as the Gmail section. But overall, thanks for the review. I can't wait to own the Galaxy Nexus on VZW.

#12 OFFLINE   ghoticov

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:38 AM

Nice! I would like to see a RAZR vs Gnex review also. :-)

#13 OFFLINE   Bxrider117

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:42 AM

It has always been a toss up for me between the Gnexus and the Razr. I played wuth the Razr yesterday and it felt solid. I have the Tbolt now and I missed the DX once I started using the Tbolt. My only worry with the Razr is the non removable battery. I feel that when the Razr gets ICS it will be great.

For me I have never owned a Samsung phone so I look forward to trying this out. Thanks for the review P3.

#14 OFFLINE   kruizin

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 11:51 AM

thanks for the review, it's greatly appreciated!

#15 OFFLINE   JkdJedi

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:21 PM

I went into a T-Mobile store and picked up their version of the Galaxy S2, a Samsung phone, I was not impressed. The screen was awesome, but for the money the build was lacking and felt "CHEAP". If the Nexus is a Samsung it makes you wonder about that. A Razor on ICS is tempting indeed but so is the SCREEN of a NExus and ICS. For me personally the NExus has the edge, by the weight of a needle, as it will be STOCK google and will always be the first in line as far as upgrades are concerned. If your a diehard Android fan It's a no brainer, but the Razor looks pretty dam good........(albeit w/ a locked bootloader :-p)

Edited by JkdJedi, 13 November 2011 - 01:35 PM.


#16 OFFLINE   F150Fan

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 01:17 PM

Thanks for the awesome review P3. For me it will be nice to finally have a dual core device with an amazing screen, but more so for the OS. Android is now pretty much fully optimized for multi-core devices. The new UI in ICS looks freaking amazing. Thanks again for all the info. Really appreciate all you've done for the community. Can't wait to get me some Nexus and ICS!

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

#17 OFFLINE   blunden

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 02:48 PM

p3droid said:

  • Launcher: The new launcher has introduced folders natively to the android environment. You can easily create folders on the desktop by dragging and dropping app icons, or you can create folders on the launcher quick launch bar at the bottom.
Why do people continue to spread this misinformation? Folders has been native to the Android platform since at least Android 1.5, probably longer. Long-press on the homescreen and select Folder. Now you can fill it with apps and contacts by dragging them onto it. Granted, it might be a little easier to manage them now and they might look better but they very much existed before ICS. Anyone can check this on their current phone.

Other than that, it is always interesting to hear the opinions of people who have managed to get their hands on the Galaxy Nexus. Thanks for making it. :)

#18 OFFLINE   TeeX

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 02:49 PM

awesome review - thank you!

I noticed on one of the lockscreen pics: "This device belongs to P3Droid"

Is there an ability to change the pulldown text native to ICS????
GNex!

#19 OFFLINE   Garemlin

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 02:59 PM

Nice review. I do have a question that may or may not already be answered by the screenshot in network settings.

If I am seeing this correctly you can natively bluetooth tether to say a tablet that accepts bluetooth tethering like the Xoom and the Transformer. Just like you can with most Moto devices. Any chance you have tested this???

#20 OFFLINE   Garemlin

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 03:21 PM

........................................

Edited by Garemlin, 13 November 2011 - 03:35 PM.
duplicate post






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