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Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE Review

samsung galaxy nexus verizon

As the Galaxy Nexus approached launch on Verizon here in the U.S., you couldn’t pull up an Android site without seeing some sort of rumor, tip or leak that had to do with it. This phone was hypebeasted as if it was the second coming of some religious tech figure. Over the last couple of months, things have been unbelievably wild (both positively and negatively) around these parts, and the majority of the thanks can be attributed to it. As a “Nexus” on Verizon, the release of this phone marked an industry first on a number of levels including the combination of Ice Cream Sandwich, 4G LTE, NFC, an unlockable bootloader, and the support of the entire developer community. It has been dubbed as one of the first truly finished Android products to date. With so much to live up to, we will do our best to let you know whether or not it has.

The Good:

  • Hardware:  The insides of the Galaxy Nexus are what you would expect from a top tier phone in 2011. It has a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, both front and back cameras that can shoot HD video, an HD display, 4G LTE and an NFC chip. You will find ultra-enthusiasts out there claiming that Google should have done more to push the envelope, but truthfully, they didn’t need to. They optimized top notch hardware with the latest version of Android making this phone run like butter. Oh, and we should also point out that this is the only device on the planet running the OMAP4460 processor if you really need to justify it.
  • Feel:  In hand, I’m not sure there is a phone that feels better. Its curves and weight make the Galaxy Nexus a joy to hold. We were slightly worried about how it would feel when Samsung announced that it would sport a massive 4.65″ display, but those worries were washed away the minute we got it in hand. You will hear critics claim that the device feels cheap “like all Samsung devices” – I would beg to differ. I’ve had the Galaxy S2, Fascinate, and some of their tablets, so I know what cheap feels like.  This phone, feels completely different and of a higher quality than past Samsung releases.
  • Design/Build:  This could have gone in the “feel” department, but that just wouldn’t be fair because the design of this phone is a work of art. With its slightly curved HD Super AMOLED display, bottom-placed headphone jack, textured back, volume and lock switch placements, and on-screen buttons, the G-Nex is easy on the eye and easy to use. If there was a design standard that manufacturers should take going forward, this and the DROID RAZR are the two phones to look at.

  • Performance:  We have been off the benchmark train for quite some time now, so when we talk performance, you aren’t going to see them anywhere. When we mention “performance,” we tend to go with a little thing called the feel test. And with this phone, the feel test is passed with flying colors. What we mean by that, is that the feeling you get while buzzing through home screens, switching apps, using the camera, watching video, playing games, etc. just feels great. There are no stutters, the phone never seems to get bogged down by too many processes, and no matter what you throw at it, the Nexus can complete it. Also, thanks to Ice Cream Sandwich, you can limit the number of tasks that your phone keeps in the background, making this phone as fast as you want it to be.
  • NFC:  NFC will some day be the future of mobile payment technology and the sharing of info between two devices. With the G-Nex, you get an NFC chip, so going forward, you are set. Now, the real struggle comes on the back end of things where we see if Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile will allow you to have options to make those mobile payments and share information. So far they have chosen to lock it down to their yet-to-be-released NFC payment option. Thankfully this is a Nexus, and you already have other choices.
  • Screen:  The HD Super AMOLED display on the G-Nex is simply put, beautiful. At 316ppi, it falls short of the HTC Rezound’s 342ppi, but most human eyes won’t be seeing pixels either way. If there was one downside, it’s that the colors are a little more vibrant or cartoon-like than some may want, especially after you see the natural tones on the Rezound. No matter what though, this is as high of quality of screen as you’ll find on any phone and will not disappoint. Plus, with the phone’s ability to hide the on-screen buttons to give you a full 4.65 inches of viewing goodness, you will be searching for excuses to continue to use it.

  • It’s a “Nexus”:  As someone that’s life is now dedicated to Android, I look forward to seeing what Google has dubbed the next “Nexus.” It’s always the ultimate developer phone that launches with the newest version of Android before any other phone. This is what it is all about if you can’t get enough green robot. And with this being the first Nexus on Verizon, I’m not sure you will find a happier tech geek. The developer community has already flocked to this phone to give you more hacks, tweaks and ROMs than you will know what to do with. If tinkering with your phone is a must, then this is the phone to look for.
  • 4G LTE:  4G LTE may kill batteries at a record pace, but we still love it. Having faster internet speeds on your phone than your home computer is something I still struggle to wrap my brain around. Couple LTE with a Nexus and you have a match made in heaven.
  • Camera (speed and software):  I’ll touch on the quality of the camera down below as it is most definitely not in the “good” category. As far as speed goes, no other camera phone can match the instant shutter of the Nexus. You tap on the camera button and it takes photo before you can even blink. And better yet, it’s ready to go that quickly so you can snap a whole series of photos and not even realize you have. The software is also improved with panoramic features, a whole bunch of on-device editing tools, and fancy “hipster” filters.

  

  • Camera (video):  As you will see in the 1080p sample that is attached down below, the video quality that the Nexus shoots is surprisingly good. The zooming while recording is much better than expected and time lapse recording is an added bonus. While this may never replace my HD camcorder, it will do just fine as a replacement in a pinch.
  • Ice Cream Sandwich:  As you all know, the Galaxy Nexus runs the newest version of Android (4.0) that has been named Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s the most advanced, polished and user-friendly version to date. If there was a time to get started with an Android device, this would be the one as ICS is the future of Android. And with ICS and the Nexus, you get some extra features like Android’s Beam sharing feature that utilizes the NFC chip. You also get the on-screen buttons that rotate with the phone instead of the built-in soft keys that most phones have. Some would argue that the real draw to the Nexus is the fact that it is the first to run Android 4.0 and they may be right. Then again, the phone coupled with ICS and the attention to detail by Google is what really makes it. If you want complete overviews and tips and tricks on Android 4.0, you will want to see our G-Nex guide to the world.
  • Updates:  You won’t find a phone attached to a carrier that will see updates as quickly as the Galaxy Nexus. Since it’s a “Nexus” and receives new OS updates directly from Google, you will always be on top of the Android game. Rather than seeing an OS update roll out and then asking yourself when you will see it on your skinned phone, you will be the one with the new OS watching everyone else ask that question.

The Not-so-Good:

  • Camera (picture quality):  If there was one thing that I think we can all agree on, it’s the fact that Google and Samsung skimped on the camera in this phone. It is just not as good as the competition at taking still shots. Forget the fact that it’s only 5MP and not the industry standard of 8MP for high end phones, the camera in this phone should be better than it is. Low or bright lit areas, the shooter here is simply not good enough when you compare it to the HTC Rezound or even the RAZR for that matter. It may not be as bad as the Bionic’s camera, but man is it pushing it. You definitely can’t expect this phone to “wow” any of your friends in the recently-snapped-photo department. Samples below:

(Click images for larger versions)

  

  

  • Battery life:  It’s an LTE phone, so it sucks. On either the standard or extended batteries and with LTE turned on and WiFi off, you aren’t going to get a whole day of life out of this phone. Hell, you may not even get half of a day. I hit anywhere between 6-11 hours, but the average is probably closer to the lower end of that range. If you want your phone to last for 20+ hours though, simply turn off LTE and you will never worry about battery life again. On an average day using WiFi and 3G-only, I consistently see well over 20 hours of life on the extended or standard batteries.

  • Rear speaker:  The rear speaker has been a pain for some, including myself at times. It has an incredibly low volume even when turned all of the way up. There are apps out there that can adjust the stock volume settings to make your external speaker louder though, just be careful that you don’t overdo it. Depending on your need for a high-pitched ringtone, this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker on this phone.
  • Connection issues (for some):  I haven’t run into the signal and connection issues that many of you have, but it still needs to be addressed. There are all sorts of antennae-gate signal strength issues going on with this phone, some of which have been debunked time and time again. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t Nexus owners experiencing real issues though. Some have reported that when sitting side-by-side in low coverage areas with their other 4G phones, that the Nexus can’t even lock onto LTE while the others can at least grab a couple of bars. It’s tough to tell if this can be fixed with software or if it’s even widespread. One thing is certain, if you spend the majority of your days in a low signal LTE or even 3G area, just make sure you keep track of the time you have to return it in case your Nexus struggles.

  • Price:  We are almost a year into the $299 on-contract phone pricing scheme and I’m still not a fan of it. I get that Verizon tested us all with the DROID Charge and a few people actually forked out that kind of change leading Big Red to push forward with this being the standard for high end LTE phones, but that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about it. And I totally get that we should expect to pay a premium for a device we use on a daily basis, yet it still seems a little much. Then again, I had no problem actually dropping Benjamins for it…so maybe this argument is completely unnecessary. Damn you ever-changing tech industry!

Gallery:

Hands-on and Overview:

YouTube Preview Image

Video Sample (1080p):

YouTube Preview Image

The Verdict:

The combination of beautiful hardware, innovative design, and software has made the Galaxy Nexus one of the first Android devices to feel “complete.” There have been few times over the last two years that I reviewed a phone and felt 100% confident in recommending it – this is one of those times. Is it the best Android phone available? Easily. While the Galaxy Nexus may have a camera that doesn’t measure up to some of the other players in the game like the HTC Rezound or DROID RAZR, there are too many other positives to make this the phone that you should check out if you have an upgrade available. Actually, if you are a tech geek that always wants to be on the leading edge of the Android world, you may also want to look to go off-contract and upgrade. After having had both the GSM and LTE versions of this phone for the last month, it has easily become my favorite Android device.

Related:  Complete Galaxy Nexus “How To” Guide | Ice Cream Sandwich Features Part 1 and Part 2.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE Specs | Other Galaxy Nexus Coverage

  • Dannythefish1989

    U mad bro

  • Kevin

    Waiting for a “real” cardock to be available, then I’ll pick one up.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Mcclain/1463591684 Jim Mcclain

      i may go with the one verizon offers, can get it cheaper on the web, was thinking,do I really want to put that much money in a car dock,knowing that in 18 months or so i’ll be upgrading, one guy on here said he had one with the pins for another samsung phone and it never really worked that good

  • Anonymous

    Here’s my observations after 11 days of ownership.  I have both the Nexus and Rezound. 

    1. I’ve experienced better than average battery life when jumping to ROM’s that undervolt the cpu. I feel that the Nexus with the extended battery beats out the Rezound with it’s larger extended battery hands down. And the Nexus never got hot on me.  I had the Rezound close to 140 degrees Fahrenheit when trying out the onlive service.  

    2. Out the box the Nexus speaker is low.  Installing volume+ took care of that issue. Reminds me when the Droid X was first released and everyone complained about how low the speaker volume was. 

    3. At work the Rezound was able to get a 4G connection but it was not reliable, would always switch back and forth. But on the Nexus it has a much more reliable 3G connection and the hotspot has been excellent.  Sometimes you have to reboot the Rezound in order for it to work again.   At home I have 2 to 3 bars of 4G and I just hit 24.15mbps like 5 seconds ago on the Nexus. 

    4. Yes the camera on the Rezound is better but I only use the camera when I have to.  I’m not one of those camera geeks that use the camera on a daily basis.  I would rather have speed vs quality anyway.  I just need to take very basic pics.  

    5.  And last would be the display.  A proper 720p video on the Rezound looks excellent but the size of the video on the Nexus is more fun to watch because it’s big when the buttons disappear.  

    Out the box the Nexus is the better all around phone especially if your a hacker and not afraid to ROM it up.  Nexus true potential is the development community and the support it will receive even 2 years from now.  But if the Rezound had a unlocked bootloader and stock ICS build I would lean towards the Rezound more just for the display, SD card slot and traditional buttons.  I was going to keep the Rezound for myself but because Verizon knocked off $100 for me on release night I pulled the trigger.  $49 for the Rezound and $200 for the Nexus made both me and the wife happy.  Can’t wait to see the phones a year from now. 

    I’ve never considered the Razr because I’m tired of Motorola’s incremental phone upgrades.  And I’m not buying any Motorola device until they unlock their bootloaders.   If Samsung can do it then Motorola and HTC should be allowed as well. 

  • Tim242

    Since the Nexus is so hackable, and fully open….why is there no easier way to unlock and root? It should be quite easy to create easier ways than ADB.

    • http://www.facebook.com/treswaters Tres Nugget Waters

      It couldn’t get any easier to unlock the bootloader and root. It’s literally copying a file to it and typing 2-3 commands if you want to use adb and fastboot minimally. You should try hacking a locked bootloader.

      • Tim242

        If signed bootloaders can get something like revolutionary…why can’t the Nexus???

        • http://www.facebook.com/treswaters Tres Nugget Waters

          I’d imagine it’s very possible

          • Tim242

            Why isn”t it out already??? If the Nexus is so hacker-friendly…it should be done already!

          • http://twitter.com/Alman_Smash Me like smash!

            Well…seeing it’s so easy to unlock anyways maybe devs aren’t in a rush for a 1 button app and are instead focusing on developing roms and such…or the people that make those apps don’t have the phone yet?

          • Tim242

            Maybe that’s it. I expected a one click on day one…or at least week one. I don’t mind typing commands…but ir was the computer settings changes that confused me. One click should be super easy on an unlocked bootloader phone. Maybe it will come.

          • KevinC

            if typing 2-3 adb commands is too advanced for you, you should reconsider whether or not you possess the technical ability to deal with rooting and loading custom ROMs on your phone

          • Tim242

            I did it just fine on the EVO, Incredible, and Thunderbolt.

          • Anonymous

            +1

          • http://twitter.com/expertontech Tylar Overturf

             One can clicks can cause problems if something goes wrong. Its always better to do it manually.

          • Develope36644789

            Because a lot of developers don’t really like the GNex.

    • GNEX=SEX

      Try looking up the “superboot” method for unlocking the bootloader for the gnex. That’s the route I took to unlock and it was cinch. 

      • Tim242

        Thank you so much! I just got this phone again. I returned it before. I was hoping for something like this : )

    • Anonymous

      3 commands are too much for you?

  • http://twitter.com/RobbThundr Robb Manlapaz

    what do you have going on your screen i want 

    • http://twitter.com/Alman_Smash Me like smash!

      It’s called Pixel Rain…free on the market

  • http://twitter.com/mrenf Michael

    whos running the best deals these days on a gnex upgrade? letstalk.com?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Henry-Maddocks/100000852553678 Henry Maddocks

    anyone’s pandora running slow? my gf’s iphone 4 has no lag between songs but mine can take up to a minute buffering on the gnex.

    • Anonymous

      Make sure you’ve got a decent signal.  I only get buggering issues on wifi when I’m in my bedroom (weakest signal ever up there).  My wife’s iPhone 4 is just the same.  Everything is fine when I switch over to 4g (or 3g).

  • Shopbuy11

    Seriously, another GN thread and review?

    • GNEX=SEX

      Why the long face? It’s the best phone on the planet…don’t hate. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/treswaters Tres Nugget Waters

    If you look hard enough, does anyone notice a band of extra brightness when the display brightness is low and you’re on a white or light colored screen? I notice it everytime the brightness is low at all and I’m scrolling through white background webpages. Just wondering if it’s just mine.

  • zach taylor

    I use cdma only all the time but still not that great of battery but its probably from the heavy use of gta3 and drag racing

  • Anonymous

    So confused about the hate for this phone. 

    Maybe I was lucky, but I get great battery life (for an LTE device)… I demo my phone all day, video chat, heavy surfing, and I was at 63% after about 14 hours. Granted, I have the extended battery, but if you keep the thing on a low brightness and have updates every 15min vs. every 5 min the thing should definitely get you through the day. The screen is second to none, the build quality is solid, the camera is good, not great… but at the end of the day this phone drops jaws whenever I show its true potential. The fact it hasn’t been advertised AT ALL and is selling just as good, if not better than the RAZR says a lot for this phone. Sure it has some flaws, but this is the best Android phone to date. Period.

    • Anonymous

      What updates are you talking about, and where do you set the time?

    • Anonymous

      Where do u get that the GNexus is selling as many or more units as the Razr?

  • Anonymous

    Cool feature I just found out about video is that you can tap on the screen while taking video to take a picture without interrupting the video.

    • Anonymous

      Kick butt.  This actually makes me wonder if the instant shutter feature is just taking stills of buffered live feed video.  Not that it’s a bad thing–pretty novel idea if that’s the case.

  • Ishbu

    Whats a Nexus? I pre order my Motorola Droid, i cant wait to get my hands on the phone

    • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

      And I just ordered a Palm Pre

  • Cam

    My only real issue is the signal. Weak signal at home, and occasionally getting full signal and not being able to use data at all without a reboot in other places. Hopefully this will be resolved before it’s time my return time is up; otherwise, these are just deal-breakers.

    • Anonymous

      If you get weak 4g, just turn it off and go without for now.  When I’m at work, where reception is hell, turning off 4g seems to sole all my signal problems.  At home, where 4g reception is solid, I have no problems what so ever.  My uneducated and poorly thought-out theory is that this phone is just trying too hard to flip to the higher generation network when an older network has a better signal.  This causes everything to flip flop a ton and cause all kinds of problems.

      • Cam

        I wish that was the issue. I am only on 3G, and have phone set to CDMA only mode.

  • Crackmonkeys4hire

    I installed SetCPU on my GNex and my battery life has been greatly extended. I setup a profile to slow down the CPU when the screen is of and I have nearly doubled by battery life. Of course I also use WIFI alot but it seems to help.

    • CyberPete

      What kernel are you using? I would like to try this.

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t turned to the custom kernels just yet, but I decided to drop Juice Defender on my GNex and the battery has been running great.  It’s got built in CPU scaling, which does seem to help, in addition to everything else JD does.

  • http://www.kevinkuramura.com KevK

    “Depending on your need for a high-pitched ringtone…”
    Pitch and volume are two different things, unless you are referring to the fact that a higher pitched ringtone will probably be easier to hear at a given volume.

    • Anonymous

      I took it to mean the latter of your point… mostly because I had to use a higher pitched ringtone for the sound to cut through the background noise.

  • http://twitter.com/tarund TarunD

    I had the Galaxy Nexus for about a week and used it extensively with an extended battery. I loved most things about the phone but the most important was the battery life which was just crap. I’m not going to turn off LTE when I’m paying for the service, that is just unacceptable to me. Second important thing to me was the pictures the camera took – they were just horrible compared to my Thunderbolt’s camera. They were washed out and looked like a 3MP camera had taken pictures compared to Thunderbolt’s 8MP.

    My TB has an extended battery and it lasts me a day and a half with LTE service enabled. And the developer support is also great so I can’t complain about having options for great ROM’s. Running ETERNITY rom with so many tweaks and great features, I can’t see myself getting a new phone that I’m not completely satisfied with. It’s definitely heavier then the Galaxy Nexus (which I miss a lot) but considering CES 2012 is just around the corner, I’m sure my new phone will be announced in a couple of weeks.

    • GNEX=SEX

      Really? You went back to your TB from the gnex? Wow. I cannot imagine going back to my TB after owning this masterpiece of a phone. You are out of your damn mind lol the battery life is short as to be expected right out of the box with LTE radio on but after rooting and running bugless beast 4.0.3 the battery life is much improved. There are way too many positives about the gnex to ever think of going back to any phone let alone the TB tank. 

      • http://twitter.com/tarund TarunD

        I can understand why you wouldn’t go back to TB but here’s the reason why I went back – my TB, it lasted me 24+ hours with 39% battery left this morning. So, to put it nicely – I’m not out of my damn mind. I stick to the numbers and that’s what matters.

  • Ender

    As much as i love my Galaxy Nexus, I’m returning it this week. I hardly get any reception in The Valley here in Los Angeles. Even the Verizon rep was baffled by my weak signal strength considering i live just over a mile away from the nearest tower. I put my brother’s iPhone 4, my sister’s Droid Incredible and my Galaxy Nexus next to each other, and the iPhone had three bars and the Incredible had two, while the Nexus failed to get a signal…not even 3G. I wish they could fix it sooner, but I can’t have a phone that is unable to make phone calls for that long. And i must return it before Verizon’s return policy expires. I’m switching to the Razr. The Nexus and I had a nice fling…just didn’t work out.

  • MaciQuatl

    over hyped! 
    hardware (cpu and gpu) is almost identical to droid razr and it has a plastic feel. I expected better hardware quality, at least 1.5ghz cpu, a much better gpu and camera. This is a Nexus, right? the technology is at least 6 months old. This is my observation of why there are people who are debating over razr and galaxy nexus–they are too close in comparison. GN should blow the comp by at least 3-6 months.   

  • Rick

    The quality plastic is a joke! $250 for a recycled milk carton? No thanks, I’ll wait for ICS to come to a better phone. For now, Samsung should stick to making quality tv’s, lcd’s and amoled screens.

    • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

      u stupid? it feels fine nub

      • Rick

        anything but.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001805990120 Mike Røuche

      dip it in cement and carry it around, that oughta be good build quality

  • Stephen

    Maybe it’s because I’m just outside of DC, but I have no issues getting 4G signal, and I really don’t have battery trouble.  I’m not a heavy user by any means, but I certainly don’t worry about my battery during the day either.

    I like this phone a lot, and I think that it’s only going to get better.

    • CyberPete

      Maybe it is location dependent. I’m outside DC as well, and so far, have no complaints on signal. I travel a lot, so we’ll see.

  • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

    People if you see your signal go from 4g to 3g constantly then your in a bad network area and need to putt the phone in 3g or your battery will drain in 3hrs because of the constant searching it will do….this will easily get you better battery life

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad my Verizon FiOS has LTE beat in speed or I’d be sad…

    45 mbps symmetrical beats out 12/11 i’m getting on LTE  ;)

    • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

      how much u pay for the fios.

  • Anonymous

    I just got back from returning mine :(  I just couldn’t put up with the bad battery life and 3G signal issues.

    The phone consistently showed 20-30 dBm lower than the OG Droid in my house for 3G, which effectively gave it no signal. (-120)  I took the phone off the charger this morning at 7AM and 4 1/2 hours later it while out and about it was at 23% battery with 1 hour and 11 minutes of screen on time while in 3G-only mode.  That’s just not usable for me unfortunately…  I also killed the phone in less than 2 hours last week while on LTE visiting San Francisco. LTE is super nice, but I can’t help but feel they should have waited to launch it until they have battery tech and radios that actually allow you to use it for an extended period of time.

    I’m gonna monitor what happens with the GN updates and stuff and if somehow the issues get worked out, I’ll go buy it again – I really do like the phone itself and ICS is great.  I just needed to be able to use it more than it was letting me – back to the OG Droid for now…

    • Anonymous

      Wow, I am a power user and I average 6 hours often running 4g easily! I wonder if you had an app that was killing your battery. Those numbers seem excessive.

      • Anonymous

        6 hours of screen on time or 6 hours total?  My top battery users this morning were screen and Android OS, same as its always been.  Not running any weird background apps, same stuff I ran on the OG Droid too and never had an issue.

  • Lakerzz

    Is anybody else having problems with the gallery showing the wrong preview of a pic, and when you select the pic to view, is something entirely different? Love the phone, but this is really annoying…

    • Anonymous

      Nope, but I don’t have many pics yet only a dozen or so.

  • Anonymous

    The phones looks nice but the camera I think is a big deal. Stills are not good and in my opinion the Bionics are allot better, if fact, I happen to think the Bionic takes great pictures I really don’t know what everyone hates so much on the Bionic. Personally I like it better than the RAZR. The limited space on the phone without the option of an SD expansion is a (Not so Good) isn’t it?? You must have forgot to mention that. No HDMI out may be a not so good too right? I mean I go home and connect to my TV and watch sit-coms and movies from my phone. If fact, the new 901 upgrade coming very soon is in users opinion extremely good. Personally I think the Bionic and RAZR are better phones than the G-Nexus. ICS will come to Bionic and RAZR and when it does we will see them even better.

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      the bionic does not take good pictures

      • Dude

        Yeah I love my Bionic but the picture quality could definitely be better.

      • Anonymous

        You’re on drugs dude, It takes great pictures!!!

    • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

      it has a microusb mhl adapter for hdmi out

      • CyberPete

        It’s easy to talk smack about a phone you know nothing about… I owned the Bionic before the Nexus. Never had a picture that I kept. They were all bad.  The video was pretty decent.  I did like HDMI without the adapter, though.

        • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

          I was talking about the GNex’s HDMI abilities but I agree the Bionic’s camera was poor.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah an adapter, who the heck wants an adapter…..

    • http://twitter.com/QSMinSD Q

      The Bionic camera is dismal.  It’s easiest the worst of any smartphone Ive ever seen

  • Anonymous

    My contract is up Jan 21st – my only question about the GNex is this:

    Can it run Crysis?

  • Anonymous

    So, we’re not acknowledging the obvious issue (bug) in ICS where the OS uses just as much as an HD screen? Do you realize how much of a step back ICS would be if this was supposed to be normal? Just look at the battery use screenshots. Android OS on my Droid2 would register almost no battery use whatsoever, and now all of the sudden it’s the #1 or #2 culprit?

    • Jam120992

      Yea my phone stays awake when the screen is turned off. I feel like this will be worked out with future updates. Its a brand new os.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed….not sure why, but I also think this is killing battery life a bit quicker!

  • http://twitter.com/jakechance Jake Chance

    I thought Gnex updates on Verizon were from the carrier but GSM were from Google.

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      Nope all nexus updates come feom google

      • http://www.facebook.com/treswaters Tres Nugget Waters

        Not all. The GSM variants that aren’t “yakju” i.e. (yakjuxw, etc.) are actually branded and updated by Samsung and not Google themselves. According to what I’ve read, this isn’t a big deal and most likely means nothing more than maybe a very slight amount of added time to the update. Not trying to be overly-technical but I figure it’s worth mentioning. Here is a link with a complete breakdown of every nexus version: 
        http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1384458

  • http://www.facebook.com/billyNOTnice Billy Gladfelter

    Unfortunately I returned my Galaxy Nexus with much sadness. I have nothing to say about it other than It just wasn’t the device for me. The camera on my cell phone has been my primary since they became 8mp. I tried talking myself into keeping it, but i just couldn’t force myself to eat $300 to go back in time. I’m sort of kicking myself for not buying the Rezound now… Music, and photo’s are great on that phone… But I am hoping that Kellex posts something new on the “VERIZON” very soon that will thrill me?

  • CyberPete

    Very good review, K. I’ve never taken an SD card out of a phone. I’ve put one in when the phone came with none. But, 32G will be hard to fill, especially with Google music storing most of what was on my SD. Love, love, love the camera! I don’t care if it doesn’t take as good a photo as my “camera”. This is my phone.  The super super speed has allowed me to get so many great shots.
    Should probably mention the well known “Google music freezes the phone and causes a full volume scream like someone just opened the gates of hell until the battery is pulled”, though.  I have to hope that Google is taking this very seriously, and is working the fix.
    I’ve been getting almost a day on LTE-always. Easily a day on 3G with the same amount of use. I leave 4G on, unless I know that I will not see a charger of some sort all day.
    This is by far the nicest phone I’ve ever owned, and the best phone that I’ve played with as well.

  • Ems170

    I am reading alot of reports about wifi boot loops when the device looses wifi signal. I am consistantly experiencing this. Once i loose wifi signal the phone stays in a boot loop until i return to a known network area. Due to the number of reports i am reading i hope its a software issue that can be updated. Aparently verizon doesnt want to acknowledge a problem.

    • Gilberto Del Rio

      I’ve never got this problem with my Verizon Galaxy Nexus. In Mexico right now and the only I get to use the phone is through my brother’s WiFi. As soon as I loose the WiFi signal, my phone continues to work just fine, no boot loop.

    • http://www.facebook.com/treswaters Tres Nugget Waters

      I’m constantly going in and out of different hotspots throughout the day and haven’t experienced this. It sounds like a software issue but could possibly be isolated?

  • Abbie Rosario

    I love my Galaxy Nexus. The only complaint that I have is that whenever I have it on vibrate, the phone rattles as if the plastic was loose on it.  Does anyone else have this issue?

  • James Friedman

    Could some of the issues with the camera be fixed with an OTA update? I have noticed that the auto-focus is honestly hit or miss. It doesn’t seem to lock on very well in low-light situations. At first I have to admit I was very disappointed mainly because of the camera. But camera phone tech just isn’t where it needs to be so I am going to invest in a DSLR and be done with it….

  • Anonymous

    I’d have to disagree with your placing build quality in the good category, the phone feels cheap, much like a toy.

    • Lakerzz

      Its weird. The phone doesn’t FEEL cheap to me, but I’ve dropped this thing twice since I purchased it. Both times ended up with a nick in it. I had the Bionic before this and dropped it a couple of times as well without a scratch on it. Still love this phone though. I have a “barly there” case on the way. :)

  • Anonymous

    Did anyone else notice that you can’t turn off notification sounds while listening to music? It’s pretty ridiculous.

  • Spoken Word™

    Maybe my GNex is a mutant with super abilities because I’m not seeing these crappy photos that everyone keeps complaining about. Nor have the videos I’ve shot been any worse than videos I’ve shot on other phones.

    • http://plus.ly/wallendiaz WallenDiaz

      man good pics, 
      I see no difference between 5 megapixels of Gnex, and the 8 megapixels of sensation htc, I had a htc sensation but I have a gnex now and do not regret, for me the best phone so far.

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  The only bad pics I got came from a theatrical play that involved some very dark scenes with screwy lighting.  The only good photos I saw come out of that event were from DSLRs used by the pro photographers.

    • http://www.facebook.com/treswaters Tres Nugget Waters

      I think it’s a problem with movement and/or focus issues. I have shaky hands and the pics can come out blurry, even with a mild tremor. However, if I manage to keep them still they come out great.

    • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

      I have a feeling it’s an ISO issue. With good lighting, I have no problems, but in low light, the shots are noisy (not blurry — there is a difference, and most people mean noisy when talking about the Nexus). This usually means that the camera ramps up the ISO really high in order to get a good exposure, but that sensitivity means that the picture will be very noisy (with a little software correction, that noise simply comes out as looking a little blurry).

      Also, it really depends on the quality you are used to. But I agree with you, mine has a great camera. It depends a lot on how you use it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001805990120 Mike Røuche

      i agree, mine has taken really good photos , its weird

  • Chi_Nexus

    I am on my second Nexus due to antennae gate issues. In places where my wife’s iPhone 4S has full bars, i struggle to get one or two on 3G even though i live in a 4G area. Customer service told me that i had a defective phone so i got another one and its the same. My signal fluctuates from 2 bars on 4G to no data without moving an inch. It is pretty frustrating.

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      This isnt an issue with the phone its more of an issue with the netqork im in a sporry 4g area and ot will alaways shoot down to 3g and this kills my battery…so if your not in a solid 4g arrea turn it on 3g only….and signal bars mean nothing

  • John

    Battery had improved tremendously over the past couple days…has taken a week but finally not too bad once the has worn off

  • Anonymous

    If you have a bunch of folders on your dock (4) is it me or does it make it lag?

  • Anonymous

    Just another disappointing device designed to separate you from your money. As the latest device in my tech world, the only thing that lived up to the  hype was the zero lag camera. But, what good is zero lag when the picture quality sucks. I still like it better than my Blunderbolt, but it just galvanizes the fact that manufactures care nothing about quality and only throw mud at the consumer wall in hopes some will stick and they’ll get paid. Pure BS in this day and age of high tech capabilities. EVERY phone camera should be incredible. ALL speakers should wow. Radios should ALL have a great and consistent signal all other things being equal. etc. etc. As I write about my hatred for the industry, I can’t help but look at my sexy Gnex and smile. It’s smile mixed with tears because this year should have been the pinnacle of tech. Next stop, iPhone 5 because I’m just tired of screwing around with a plethora of mediocre devices aimed developed by a mediocre industry. 

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      Then the device will be fat, tall, and probably 600 on contract…therw is a reason why companies dont throw everything in a phone….space and money are a big part off that

    • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

      just no… you think iphones are perfect? hardware is nice but iOS is awful

    • Anonymous

      Go get your iPhone already :)  You’ve talked about maybe getting an iPhone for months, lol.

    • Tim242

      iPhone 5? Haha the 4S was the 5th gen iPhone. Enjoy your grid of icons. You haven’t seen mediocre yet!

  • Gasaraki

    Nobody mentioned this but it seems like my Droid X would stop charging the battery when it was full but my GNex always has the charging symbol even at 100%. Once I saw it stop charging at 100%. Is it just a display issue and it’s really not charging anymore at 100%? I afraid the battery life will be impacted. My Droid X battery is still like new.

    • Jam120992

      My gnex is normally around 96% when i pull it off the charger. I figured it was cuz it stops charginging when it hits a 100

  • Craig

    I completely disagree with the verdict. I think there is too much emphasis on the eye candy “ice cream sandwich” and not enough emphasis on the hardware. Specifically, what good is the eye candy when you can’t connect to the network? I don’t own the Nexus but I do have a Samsung Galaxy S2 and it’s only weak feature is the radio. From what I hear it’s better than the Nexus but I can say beyond a doubt that all my Motorola phones blow it away. If I had to buy a new Verizon Smartphone I would buy the Razr. You get a better radio by far, a better camera, lighter weight, removable storage, better battery life, plus you will likely have 4.0 in a month or so. To me, considering that the S2 was released 6 months ago, the Nexus is by far way over hyped, and other than software it offers virtually no improvement over the S2.

    • Jam120992

      I compared my nexus to the rzr and my nexus got on average 2 to 4 dbms lower. Not a deal breaker

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, I am amazed by this phone. I went from an OG Droid to Droid X and I never thought I would leave Moto, but this device is incredible. I would have liked to see an hdmi over mhl and removable storage, but I guess sometimes you can’t have everything. I continue to find small hidden features that just make me believe they are finally starting to listen to feedback and incorporate into their design. Today’s hidden feature I found was that if I touch the screen while recording video, I get a nice screenshot… awesome. Overall I am very happy that I gave Sammy a try with this one.

  • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

    I know this will just sound picky, but it doesn’t have an instant shutter. It is much slower than an SLR, and I have already missed quite a few moving objects that I would normally have caught on an SLR. With that said, I totally agree that the camera is much faster than any other phone, and even most point and shoot cameras. It is incredibly fast, but I don’t agree for marketing it as instant.

  • Diaz

    Sounds like a meh phone.

    • John

      Only to meh people

      • weapon x

        It is a meh phone. A VERY meh phone. Diaz just speaks the truth. Don’t bash him cause your phone sucks

        • John

          Wasn’t bashing HIM…just his comment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/treswaters Tres Nugget Waters

      His closing words were that this was his favorite Android device of all time. How could you conclude what you read with that it’s a “meh phone” if someone as experienced as Kellex with Android devices says it’s his favorite?

  • NSBJJ

    When the RAZR gets ICS in a couple months will it be the best Android phone available?

    • Anonymous

      nope.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Bailey/100001516454772 Dave Bailey

      or will the Rezound be?

      • Anonymous

        derp.

        • http://twitter.com/mangopositive Eric Martin

          My extensive time with all 3 phones has shown the Rezound to be the best, even without permanent root or ICS.  But yeah, totally derp.

    • Bionicman

      They’ll be a new phone better than all of them with ICS lol

      • fartbubbler

        but will it have an unlockable bootloader??

    • Anonymous

      No, the RAZR HD will be out by then… that will be the new best phone ever.

      • Charlie Rodiger

        LIES

    • Magnious

      By a couple of months…if you mean 6 months, with Motoblur bogging it down…it will still be a no.

    • Anonymous

      No… the best phone will be the Droid 4 with ICS.  :-)

      • Charlie Rodiger

        What exactly are you smoking

  • http://twitter.com/QSMinSD Q

    Gnex pictures look good to me.  Does the RAZR use the same Camera as the Bionic?  If so, I dont see how the RAZR’s camera can be better even if it is 8MP.  My Bionic’s camera is absolutely dismal IMO.  I cant imagine the RAZR being much better.

  • MECEVANS

    You forgot the ” No SD card”  part.

  • Oviemad

    Just a comment on build quality i dropped my phone twice face first in the bathroom. And my dad all 270lbs of him sat on it in my car and he didnt realize it. This has taken more abuse than my Droid X. Also going home for Christmas, which is in the middle of nowhere i was still able to get 3g just like my droid x, which is really impressive considering where im from. I just hate the fact it doesnt have removable storage why samsung why? Please tell me how to move apps and angry bird progress.

    • Anonymous

      you couldn’t anyway. if you were rooted you could restore from titanium backup…