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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

  • Anonymous

    Running powersave profile (SetCPU) on rooted stock GNex, mix of 3GLTE now getting around 14 solid hours.

    • http://twitter.com/rodney11ride Rodney Silva

       can we all acknwoledge the success story and follow what he did so you people can stop complaining… man it never stops

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know what wallpaper/layout is being used to get those green icons?

    • Anonymous

      Nm, found out it’s Pixel Rain. Still trying to figure out though what launcher is being used that creates the green icons. 

      • Anonymous

        Nova launcher

  • Jim Sheeran

    Just upgraded from the OG Droid to the Nexus. I think this is a stupid question, but I can’t seem to figure it out. I put my Google account info in, and all my contacts synced, but none of my apps did. What am I not doing?

    • Anonymous

      was your OG stock or did you have a custom ROM? I’ve noticed that with each new activation I had of a custom ROM Google never automatically sync’d my apps.

      Happened to me also with my GNex.

      • Jim Sheeran

        Ah thanks devito, that must be it. My OG was running a gingerbread ROM, so I guess that’s the issue. At least I now know I wasn’t being completely dumb. Thanks again.

        • Anonymous

          I’m guessing that’s what it is because I remember the first time I loaded a custom ROM all my apps downloaded and installed automatically (coming from 2.2 stock). Unless they changed their policy I think that’s the only logical guess.

    • Mimeo Ink

      My apps started syncing down once I’d opened the market for the first time and agreed to terms and conditions.

  • galnex

    Is anybody else experiencing an overheating issue.  I’m coming to this from and original droid and not sure if the phone running hot (~46 C at worst) is normal because of the LTE and processor or not.  

  • Phobos

    The biggest annoyance for me is the home soft key is directly under the space bar.  This leads to accidental home presses.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Deodexed Deodexed

    I love my GNEX!

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Deodexed Deodexed

    I disagree on the battery life. With the extended battery, I get all I need and more for the day. But then again, I am running a custom AOSP ROM. =)

  • UFORGOTsomeSTUFF

    what this review fails to mention is the lag that is very noticeable when a livewallpaper is put on. the lag that present with a heavy flash page, and the fact that the screen looks plain UGLY when the brightness is not at least at 75%. These are things that the SGS2 never experiences.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t see any lag with a the new LPs (old ones prob not optimized).

  • Leer

    I bought my Droid X when it first game out in July with a new every 2 plan and unlimited data., and after constant freezes and crashing and receiving the same text 5 times I really want to upgrade but on My Verizon app it says I’m eligible for a upgrade as of 3/16/12 but I really don’t want to wait and wish to upgrade to a Galaxy Nexus am I out of luck or can I upgrade?

    • Anonymous

      i would call 611 till someone gives you the answer you want.

  • Joeoberster

    Soooo…where can I get those green icons on your home screen?

  • Anonymous

    What wallpaper is being used on the first picture of the Galaxy phone….?

    • Anonymous

      I was about to post and ask that same question. Hopefully someone can provide us with an answer cause I’m really digging that wallpaper. 

      • http://twitter.com/rodney11ride Rodney Silva

         its pixel rain and a nova launcher

  • J Christ007

    Honestly, my first Galaxy Nexus went bad on Christmas Eve while my flight was delayed at the airport and I couldn’t even call any of my family to let them know of the delay while everyone around me was doing just fine on their iPhones smh. The phone would not get past the boot up animation and kept restarting itself. Needless to say, I had to wait until the day after Christmas to take in my defective device and get a brand new one. I understand that it’s new technology so I’m giving Google and Samsung a pass on that one but if it happens again, I’ll have to move on to another device.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000017250612 Alex Drum

    sort of off subject but does anyone else wonder what android 5.0 will be/look like? or will it just be another Gingerbread…

  • Guest

    basjb

  • Tom

    I can not understand everyone’s problem with the camera in this phone. 5 MP is BETTER then 8 MP. The size of the sensors in these phones are tiny. Which means the more MP you try to drop on them, the smaller the actual size of the pixels have to be. Which increases the amount of noise that is produced. Which lowers the image quality. And since 97% of all pictures taken with camera phones end up only being displayed on the phone, facebook, flicker, etc. anything over 4 MP is actually just being thrown away. I have put my GN up against my girlfriends 4s several times now and the GN repeatedly takes better pictures (even with all of iphones fancy new optics). Please, take it from a professional photographer; unless you are shooting professional level photographs that are going to be displayed in some sort of large, probably printed formate, you don’t need anything over 4MP. You have been duped. High mega pixel counts are a sales gimmick. Not a true asset to the phone. You want better pictures, ask for a camera that has a larger sensor, not more pixels.   

    • http://twitter.com/rodney11ride Rodney Silva

       Finally, im not an expert but only heard this from many…. People are forgetting (hypnotized) that when the iphone 4 came out with the 5mp people were pissed. then a few experts were explaining the exact same thing to everybody… seems the people have forgotten

  • Joejoe509

    I used to have major battery issues. I turned off 4G and i try to keep the brightness on auto as much as I can. Now I easily get a day out of it. Its usually still at 30% by the time I put it on the charger for the night. I rented a Rezound for two weeks and it was about the same or worse becuase i left the 4G on. Besides a few nagging details i’ve been very happy with this phone. Its unfortunate that there was so much hype because no gadget can live up to those expectations. Hopefully future updates and help from the dev community will help with some of the more glaring issues like connectivity.

  • Raptor2679

    @kellex in your battery use photos, are those from the standard or extended battery? And did you condition your battery before you got those stats? If so how many times did you condition?

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

    am so glad I kept my unlimited data plan when I got this phone

    • JC

      Interestingly, when I tried to upgrade online, the site told me my unlimited data plan was “incompatible” with the GNex…had to call VZ and purchase over the phone. Were they trying to force me out? Gotta wonder…

      • Ryan C

        That’s what is said to me but it allowed me to choose my current unlimited plan anyway..?

  • Anonymous

    Mr. McGuire:
    I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

    Benjamin:
    Yes, sir.

    Mr. McGuire:
    Are you listening?

    Benjamin:
    Yes, I am.

    Mr. McGuire:
    Plastics

  • babadush

    I recommend using juice defender. I had 15hrs on the regular battery and still had 17% battery left. Also you guys did’t mention the time lapse feature. That’s the best part of the camera

    • JC

      are you using the free version vs Plus/Ultimate? Do you know if it’s worth paying for the upgraded versions?

      • babadush

        I’m using ultimate. I think it’s well worth the money. I use custom settings on it. Turn off the save battery option when your phone goes past 15%. If you leave it on it won’t turn data or wifi on every if it’s below 15%. I also only use 3g unless I’m uploading a big file. It takes a couple charging cycles to get the battery trained. Wait till it dies. Charge it to 100% with out interuption. Then discharge fully with out plugging it in. Do that a couple times and it’ll be a lot better.

        • JC

          Great – Thanks for the suggestion – Anything to avoid the charger :)

          “Yeah I am the nexus one I want more life. F*r I ain’t done yet”  – White Zombie

          • babadush

            No problem

  • Christopher

    Reading the comments, I am not the least bit surprised..

    Android = an operating system that is always incomplete or buggy out of the box and heavily relies on the developer community and or third party apps to fix issues.

    Android development = fixing the issues with the OS

    Android lovers who love “customization” = people who basically tweak their device because stock doesn’t work properly.. and incorrectly interpret that as Android “allowing” them to customize. LOL

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

      spoken like a true idiot

    • Anonymous

      poppycock

    • Anonymous

      There is some truth to this. But there are many Android devices that work great out of box. Like the Incredible 2, the Bionic, Razr, Rezound, Incredible 1, Droid 1, and more I’m sure. That’s the problem with Android, one has to do tons of research to make sure they are getting the devices that is right for them.

      …and personally I like modding and have a device that I can customize and change. I would hate being locked into the same ol, same ol on iOS

    • Anonymous

      Huge miss here, Chris.  Although there may be a few minor bugs you can’t say that everything the community, development, etc works on are fixes.  We all work to make this phone the best phone for what we want to do individually.  The bugs you mention are absolutely due to the various vendors being able to create their own phones and their own features.  This is something Apple will never be able to do.  If we had one manufacturer making the Android phone we would have very few bugs because it would all be the same boring vanilla phone ala Apple.  As it is, we have phones for everyone.

      • Christopher

        But but but.. the GNex is Google’s flagship device ain’t it? and yet it has issues up to the wazoo!

        Google being completely disinterested in showing any semblance of control or enthusiasm over the launch of this device in the US was enough to convince me that this search Engine Giant is not qualified to be developing software.

        • Anonymous

          “this search Engine Giant is not qualified to be developing software”

          You just contradicted yourself.  :p

          • Christopher

            not really.. search engine subroutines are no where close to the sophistication of a self sufficient ecosystem.

          • Anonymous

            I’ve had a wonderful discussion – but this wasn’t it.

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

            you do realize that search engines are software don’t you?

      • Anonymous

        Not all manufactures create bugs. HTC Sense use to be one of the best overlays around, and blur-less has turned into something great (blur use to make me want to jump of a cliff)

        • Anonymous

          I say that Sense and Blur have added functionality and features, but to call them bug free is a bit of an overstatement.

          • Anonymous

            I didn’t see any bugs in Sense 2.1 when I had it on my Incredible 2. I dont see any bugs with Blur-less on my Bionic.

          • Anonymous

            Sense 3+ is slow, web browsing is a chore and I see lag. Blurp needed 60 iterations and tons of stuff stripped out before it was useable.

            I am a fan of a custom skin, but from ROM devs not OEMs – they always seem to be 100x better.

          • Anonymous

            Yes Sense 3+ does suck. I can attest to that. The new Blur though is nothing like the old blur. The old blur was complete garbage. The new blur is already stripped down and not intrusive. It’s very usable now.

          • http://twitter.com/rodney11ride Rodney Silva

            me = android.  3 friends of mine = iphone4/4s. two of them have had to run to att to get them to unfreeze there phones. nuff said

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

      you ride the short bus don’t you 

    • http://twitter.com/rodney11ride Rodney Silva

       if your even on this forum and not using an android just means your an idiot wasting somebodys time…

  • Android-Guru

    The Samsung Galaxy S2 is EASILY the best android phone in the market currently.. PERIOD!.

    Just because this plastic piece of hastily put together crappy device has a new Operating system (which by the way.. is seriously unintuitive and buggy).. doesn’t mean it gets to be on top of the pile.

    sorry.. but that is the truth.

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

      then keep it

      • Christopher

        Boy, you sound like you are very personally and emotionally vested in the GNex.. are you?? Coz you sound butt hurt!

        • Tim242

          iOS is a bug-infested mess. New software slways has bugs.

          • http://twitter.com/rodney11ride Rodney Silva

             ha. iphone4 owners were about a year into gloating about battery life until apple s new ios actually caught up to android then look what we have here… battery issues. sorry apple another step behind

    • Anonymous

      I sort of agree. Why does the GNex not include features that the SGS2 has. They couldn’t add metal reinforcement to the GNex like the SGS2 has?

      • Anonymous

        If you mean a metal chassis, I believe the GNex has one also.

        And please, for tha love of pete – stop comparing the GNex to other Samsung phones. Just because it’s made by Samsung doesn’t make this a “Samsung” phone – it’s a Nexus.

        • Anonymous

          Looking at pictures now. Sorry about that, looks to be there. You guys just keep proving me wrong.

          • Anonymous

            Trust me, the GNex isn’t perfect, but there really shouldn’t be a knock on its build quality – it is indeed very solid.

            The external speaker on the other hand, well…..

          • Anonymous

            Yea, the speakers on a lot of these newer phones are quiet. Nothing beats the speaker volume I had on my d1. I think manufactures must have gotten a lot of returns for blown speakers or something.

          • Anonymous

            +1 to that. My OG was loud and proud.

          • Anonymous

            The Razr that i picked up for my wife is very loud, from the little i used tthe Rezound, its volume seemed OK. The Epic Touch that i have left over from a sprint trial has a decent speaker as well.

            Pointing out that all newer phones don’t have weak speakers.

            On the gs2 vs the nexus, just look at the gs2 with its brightness on low, look at the GNexus with its brightness on less than half, not even at its lowest, the colors are so much better with the galaxy III, its not even close. I like the resolution on the GNexus but on such a small screen i will take the better colors and contrast over resolution.

            One more item on the gs2, the volume is fine, camera super nice, battery life great, display looks great at any brightness. Other than the Sprint network being so slow, i had no issues with the the ET4G, i so wish either sprint was better or vzw offered the gs2.

          • Anonymous

            nothing beats the speaker volume i had on my nextel.  It sounded liek a fire alarm whenever i got a phone call.

    • http://profiles.google.com/statsprofessor Jakub Palka

      Galaxy S2 is the same crappy cheap plastic device.

      Nothing special about it.

      Maybe we’ll have something in 6 months.

      • Charlie Rodiger

        On the sixth month.. Galaxy s3?…

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

      i should listen to you because youre an android guru. Everyone lets hate on @ANDROID-GURU

  • Dshudson

    If this phone loses it’s connection one more time, i’m going to lose it.. Why don’t they fix this obvious problem? 

    • Anonymous

      How do we know if it is a problem with the phone or just a low signal area?

      • Dshudson

        As we all know, it just takes to long to switch from 3g to 4g… and loses connection temporarily..It’s annoying.. I updated the radio’s too, so they better get to work with a new fix..  

        • Anonymous

          I am not trying the be a dick, but thats a typical Samsung radio…I wouldn’t trust their hardware.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure it must exist for some people.  My friends, family, and I have all upgraded to the Nexus and have had no issues in Colorado with connection issues.  Zero drops, zero network issues and no strange 3G to 4G radio problems.  I have actually had better reception with the Nexus than I have with my Droid X and it has locked onto the 4G network much better than my daughter’s Bionic.

  • JC

    I have a question for the community: I just bought a GNex to replace my OG Droid, after reading a lot of comments/articles on this site and doing some research. I’m neither a fanboy nor a developer, but I really liked my Droid and the Android OS, and this phone seemed to make sense as the next upgrade. So far, I’m really liking the phone – I think the build quality it good (I wonder if people confuse a light device for something with cheap materials??) and I generally agree with Kellex’s review; however, there are 2 issues that are causing me to think about returning it, and I’d like to hear some feedback about whether I should wait it out or get a more ‘commerical’ phone like the RAZR:
    1. Speaker Volume – I know this has already been addressed in this thread, but I use the speaker a LOT, and it is pathetic. I’ve read it supposedly can be fixed by installing Volume+, but that this sometimes causes the phone to reboot? Any thoughts on whether this might be addressed in 4.0.3?
    2. Keyboard slowness – I type out of lot of emails, and really got used to my OG Droid’s keyboard. However, when I use the landscape keyboard, I find that quickly the input slows down and starts to lag, sometimes 5-10 characters behind what I’m typing. I’ve also had my phone reboot after experiencing this slowness. While this does not occur when using the portrait keyboard, this is a bit bothersome; again, I wonder if 4.0.3 might address it.

    I know these might sound like small issues, but since my phone is my business (I’m a consultant) I need to have a solid device. If I’m not going to be a serious developer, or care about modding my phone, did I choose the wrong device? 

    Thanks! 

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

      you are like all of us, just hoping the updates fix the problems, was also thinking about switching to the razor, seeing how the camera is now better and it will get ics very soon

    • Anonymous

      1. Speaker volume appears to be a muffled speaker – I have Volume+ and it appears to be a good enough band-aid for the issue. Not sure if that’s a deal breaker for you, but I don’t think it’s a software issue.

      2. I am confident the landscape keyboard lag will be fixed shortly.

      I think the GNex is a great device all in itself, but you can’t go wrong with a razr or rezound either. Both are great alternatives. It all depends how badly you want version 4.0 and how much you like or dislike custom skinned UIs that are on the razr and rezound.

      • SKAV3NG3R

        take off spell check in the keyboard options it will make the keyboard a bit faster. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/japultra Jason Nguyen

      You can use an alternate keyboard like SwiftKey X. If you’re particularly vested in the ICS keyboard, there’s a post on this site that offers a fix, but you’ll have to do a search for it. 

    • LionStone

      You can also try Smart Keyboard Pro…been using it on my Incredible and TB and its fast and has some nice options.

  • Anonymous

    I live in a 3g/no 4g area. I visited a 4g area yesterday. The signal strength and speed were tremendous. In my area, the signal strength on the gnex is downright weak. The strength of signal in the area of use makes the difference with this phone. I don’t know why and will never claim to know why. But my experience has shown that the db levels of the gnex are not the same when compared to other phones out there. The bottom line is this: people who live in a strong signal area most likely love the phone…people who live in a weak signal strength area most likely are wishing for better performance. While I have not owned every phone out there, I don’t think that this is typical of most devices. Signal strength is always signal strength, but for whatever reason, this phone appears to be affected more by signal strength than most other phones on the market.

    • Anonymous

      I went to a Verizon store yesterday to compare my Galaxy Nexus signal strength to other LTE phones. When I compared it to the Rezound, Razor, Charge and Bionic, all at full bars, I found their db was constantly in the mid 40’s to mid 50’s while at full bars mine was at around 75. At full bars my G-Nex is running between 15Mb/s and 30Mb/s down, so it is plenty fast enough. So I don’t know if the high db is an actual issue. My only other issues with the phone is in low 3G signal area my phone sometimes will have zero connection while my wife’s iPhone 4S is receiving a great signal. And last but not least is the amount of time it takes to reconnect to 3G after leaving a 4g area. It can take a couple minutes sometimes. It can also take a couple minutes to reconnect to 3G or LTE when leaving a wi fi spot.

      • Anonymous

        I have the same exact experience with my wife and her 4s. In a low 3g area she will have signal enough to spare and I am -120 with almost no use. I am wondering if this is hardware or software. If it is software, I can wait it out. If it is hardware, I would rather take it back. Do you know?

        • Anonymous

          I don’t know enough about phone tech to know if it’s software or hardware, but I hope it’s software. In my house right now I am sitting at 2 bars on 3G and 93db so that may be about right. But my wife’s iPhone 4S is at full bars. Sitting in Chilies yesterday, which is a low signal area I had a hard time maintaining a signal while my wife’s phone had great reception. I hope they fix these issues soon or I may go with the Rezound for its increased ppi and apparently better radio. I also loved my incredible so I don’t have a problem with HTC.

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

    other than camera issues, I love this phone,its a slick rascal to hold on to,but ya get used to it, have installed pudding camera,but now after i tweeked the the nexus camera its great, just dont zoom in on the pic when veiwing it

  • Anonymous

    I’ve had my LTE Nexus for a week, and yeah, I couldn’t go back to Motoblur. Just can’t do it. There are some bugs that need to be worked out (Android OS eating battery life, weird multitouch issues, weak speaker/vibration, lag on multiple keyboards in landscape) but the beautiful thing is, that since this phone is updated solely by Google, they will be fixed.  And if not by Google, the unlocked bootloader, easily obtained root and guaranteed dev popularity means that 3rd party devs will fix it.

    If you’re happy with your locked down, skinned, bloated device more power to you.  If you rooted and ROM’d to get rid of as much of that crap as you can, even better. But it just doesn’t compare to not having to worry about that crap in the first place.

  • Kat Selezneva

    Galaxy Nexus story: rumors and facts http://k-selezneva.blogspot.com/2011/12/galaxy-nexus-story-rumors-and-truth.html

  • http://profiles.google.com/sendemail2joe Joe Lemaire

    I would agree with this review.  I too feel that this phone is a great phone.  I don’t have LTE (yet) in my area, so I haven’t seen the battery drain issues that most have, but I’m sure I will once it comes.  The Camera I will totally agree with:  thankfully, it’s only their software that sucks, so I use Camera Zoom FX, and it takes great pics.  Highly recommended for anyone with this phone.

  • Guest

    I don’t want something the size of the Monolith from Space Odyssey – OG has the perfect size for my palm. I also don’t need all the power necessary to run super duper apps, I would be perfectly fine with a stock ICS running and that’s it. There is no replacement for the OG right now. I wish they would release OG 2.0 in the same body size as the original. Hell, I don’t even need LTE – just a faster and more agile version of the OG.

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t make it through more than a few seconds of the Hands on….your finger nails are freaking me out.

  • Anonymous

    How is the screen on this phone not listed in the “Not so Good” category? Yes it’s big. Yes it’s 720p. But when it’s not on full brightness it looks pixelated, banded, and whites look grey. I know that any screen that uses the same technology is going to have the same issues, but saying this screen is “simply put, beautiful” is a gross generalization. It can look beautiful, but certainly doesn’t all the time. Turn it up to full brightness and leave it on LTE and your battery life will be about 3hrs.

  • Hmm

    I understand that you don’t do benchmarks, but you should try a quadrant just to see how choppy the planet and DNA animations are. Flame all you want, but the GPU/CPU is just not fast enough to fill all the pixels smoothly.

    The screen colors are ridiculously warm. And that’s coming from someone stuck with a crappy pentile qHD.

    The real advantage of the Galaxy Nexus is its unlockable bootloader. And as cheap as it feels, the best phone out there is the HTC Rezound. Damn you Motorola and your crippled bootloaders.

    If you want a cute feeling phone go to Apple.

    • Blah

      Quadrant has yet to be optimized for ICS. I will hold judgement on the GPU until then.

      • Anonymous

        Even when it does get benchmarked I wouldn’t expect great scores. It does have a sh1tty GPU (PowerVR SGX540)

  • Hmm

    I understand that you don’t do benchmarks, but you should try a quadrant just to see how choppy the planet and DNA animations are. Flame all you want, but the GPU/CPU is just not fast enough to fill all the pixels smoothly.

    The screen colors are ridiculously warm. And that’s coming from someone stuck with a crappy pentile qHD.

    The real advantage of the Galaxy Nexus is its unlockable bootloader. And as cheap as it feels, the best phone out there is the HTC Rezound. Damn you Motorola and your crippled bootloaders.

    If you want a cute feeling phone go to Apple.

    • Anonymous

      It is my understanding that the benchmark apps have not yet been updated for ICS

  • Anonymous

    Found a bug in ICS. When adding a calendar event on a corporate exchange account, you can create events from your phone but the details of the event never sync.

  • Anonymous

    spell function and incorrect word replacement is so bad and frustrating to use that it spoils everything about the rest of the phone.

  • GNEX=SEX

    I am the guy you speek of and I bought the gnex at off-contract price. I’ve never owned a better smartphone and couldn’t be happier with it. I’m a nexus only man going forward that is for sure. 

  • Nicketmaster

    Two questions of those who have a G-Nex:
    1: I am hard of hearing and rely on speakerphone for all of my phone-call usage (not in public, I try to stick to textingwhile among the public), is the speaker so bad that I will have difficulty with this? At this point, that is driving me away from choosing the nexus.
    2: Is the camera really that awful? My phone has been my sole camera for a while, so if it’s no good then I imagine I will be unhappy with my experience.

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

      the pics look fine, just dont zoom when looking at them

  • http://maldives2you.com/ maldives tourism

    I have been an Samsung’s model user for all my life and they never failed me. Loved the design, this is a great device!

  • Anonymous

    Bottom line the Galaxy Nexus is the best smartphone on the market hands down. Look around folks and all you have is gingerbread devices on the market those devices are played out today as well as tomorrow regardless of if these devices get updates to ice cream or not. I have been a major supporter of HTC since 2010 i made my entrance into android based on HTC and i appreciate that always will but today its pretty clear that stock android has grown in such a way that all android lovers should be proud of. I would imagine that this would make it pretty hard on manufacturers. I applaud Google for the love they have given to ice cream sandwich based on this it’s pretty clear that the future is very bright for stock android. Plain and simple if your not rolling with the future of android the Galaxy Nexus then you’re just living in the past and your allowing the future to pass you buy.

    • Anonymous

      Dick, is that you????

    • Whatics

      HTC sense has had most all the features ics has, and has had them for a while. Android got it’s ideas from manufacturers skins. It’s actually a bunch of skins mashed together…it looks like sh1t actually.

      • Anonymous

        poppycock

  • J Grekk

    I just picked this bad boy up today. It’s replacing the OG Droid. I love it.

  • http://twitter.com/white_shadow001 Zach White

    I honestly dont think the camera is bad at all if you take your time with it. They can fix it with an update.

    • GNEX=SEX

      I think the camera also takes great pictures even though it is a 5MP camera. Great phone all around. 

  • vaxick

    The screen was honestly one of the weakest parts of the Galaxy Nexus for me.  The screen had a almost grainy feeling on some colors, banding proved to be a issue at lower brightness levels, greys revealed the haptics vibration strips under the phone big time, and the whites were even below what you’d get out of a plasma screen.  I’ll note, my eyes are much more appealed to color correct calibrated screens and the weakest link in OLED screens is their color accuracy.  Colors are always oversatured giving you those popping colors, but cartoony look.  Nice phone, but I ended up returning it myself because the screen just was not agreeing with my eyes at all.

  • Greg

    In the review it is said ”
    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.” Where on the phone can this be set?

    • http://twitter.com/standardsdt Dave Tarantula

      Tap the shortcut menu option (third option on the menu icons) and swipe away what apps you don’t want running.

      • Tim242

        That is incorrect. It has been proven that doesn’t do anything more than clear it from the list. It does not close it.

        • http://twitter.com/standardsdt Dave Tarantula

          Oh interesting. Didn’t know that. My initial impression, was that’s what it did. Thanks, I appreciate the correction and information! :)

    • Anonymous

      Settings -> Developer Options -> Background process limit.

      You can set it to:
      -Standard (whatever that is)
      -No background processes
      -1 -4 processes

      Pretty powerful

  • C.J. Novotny

    Stupid question, but what did you use to change your launcher icons?

    • http://www.scaryuncledevin.com/ Devin Rodriguez

      I was wondering the same thing myself

      • Anonymous

        I asked Kellex – Nova launcher

  • Melias31

    “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.”How do you limit the number of tasks going on in the background on this phone.  

  • http://twitter.com/NotSoSiniSter NotSoSiniSter

    Its fun being on the edge of tech. :D Going from my enV touch is a HUUUGE leap. Yea use LTE when you need it and only turn it on when you have a reason. Leave the brightness setting on low and you will last a whole day. :) 

    • Anonymous

      Mine lasted 1 day and 4 hours yesterday with average use.

  • http://twitter.com/asmorales1 SantinoMorales

    on a side note…nice seats at the blazers game.

    • DLisTMZ

      That’s the type of money that tabloid style writing and hype beasting bring in.

  • Anonymous

    Can someone tell me if the viewable screen size is actually 4.65″? Can the buttons go away? To me it seemed like the true viewable screen size was 4.3″viewable. Thanks…

    • Theraskell

      Yes, when viewing a video the buttons go away

      • Anonymous

        Ok. But in the store I couldn’t get any video type to fill the screen.

        Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

        • Tim242

          As of righr now, YouTube, Netflix, and personal videos are all that fill the screen.

          • Anonymous

            Even on the hq player,  I still had a good 1/4″ black border around the screen.

            Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

  • Jay

    I love this phone! I had been using the original Droid since it came out so this was a huge upgrade for me. I read every rumor and waited anxiously for the phone to arrive. When it was finally released in the UK and the camera samples came in I was seriously disappointed. I already have to carry a Blackberry with me for work so adding a camera to the mix was a big PITA but something I did regularly. I contemplated not getting the G-Nex because of the camera but there were shortcomings with every phone out there. I really thought about it and the number one thing that I wanted was a phone that I could customize to my liking. Well this phone is it. I picked up the phone the day it was released on Verizon and I am extremely happy with it. The camera is so much better than I had seen in most reviews and definitely good enough to replace the point and shoot than I would carry on occasion. I have a couple DSLRs for serious shots but while out and about this camera does the job quite nicely. I have compared it to my wife’s iPhone and I am pleasantly surprised with the results. The iPhone may be better in some areas but more often than not the pictures are so similar that I have to look at the EXIF to figure out which phone the photos came from. My biggest disappointment in the beginning was with white colors in web pages looking somewhat gray. I still notice this at times but whites in photos and apps look great so maybe it’s just the browser but regardless it’s something I barely notice now. Oh yeah, and I keep hearing about the cheap feel of the phone. Really??? The back piece is thin which I notice when it’s off but how often is that, and so what if it is. It seems to hold up just fine. When it’s on the phone it feels great so who cares how it feels when I take it off. I’m trying to keep this phone as nice and clean as possible so it’s in a Case-Mate Tough case now and it still feels great. Anyway the bottom line for me is this phone blows away most of my expectations and lives up to the rest. I’m more than happy with my phone and I’m glad that it made it to Verizon.