Dec 15 AT 11:40 AM Anthony Domanico 105 Comments

Verizon Galaxy Nexus first impressions

verizon-nexus-hands

I’ve now been able to spend the better part of 12 hours with the Verizon branded Galaxy Nexus, and I can honestly say without hesitation that this device is the best phone I have ever laid my hands on. The Galaxy Nexus is a powerhouse, the perfect combination of hardware and software, and it should be at the top of the list for anyone in the market for an Android phone today.

What follows are my initial impressions of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

Hardware

The Galaxy Nexus is packing a 1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor, which makes the device blazing fast. It was able to easily handle every task I threw at it, and the device makes the Ice Cream Sandwich experience smooth as silk.

When it comes to the camera, the picture quality is as you’d expect from top of the line smartphones. The camera itself takes pictures stupid fast, and the time between pictures is so minimal that you’re sure to not miss a beat.

Software

Ice Cream Sandwich is both extremely functional and visually impressive. The Roboto font was an excellent choice by the Android team and really makes viewing text on the device an enjoyable experience.

Android 4.0 has been rebuilt from the ground up, with Honeycomb-inspired Google apps and widgets that are really slick, much easier to use, and contribute to the enhanced user experience Google was attempting to create with Ice Cream Sandwich.

We’ll be much more detailed about the Ice Cream Sandwich experience in our full review, but if I had to summarize the Ice Cream Sandwich experience, I’d say that I’m seriously dreading the day I have to give this phone back to Verizon and go back to the Motorola Gingerbread UI overlay on my Photon 4G.

Verizon 4G LTE

A phone can have amazing hardware and software, but can be instantly rendered frustrating if the cellular network data speeds are sub-optimal. As you probably know by now, Verizon has the best 4G network in America. I’ve been regularly experiencing download speeds in excess of 20mbps and upload speeds in the 5-7mbps range, allowing me to do everything I could ever want to do with my device at blazing speeds.

Final Thoughts

The sheer speed of Verizon’s LTE network combined with Ice Cream Sandwich and the best Samsung hardware released to date propel this phone to the very top of any Best Android Device list in 2011 (and probably most of 2012 for that matter). If you’re on Verizon’s network, and you’re in the market for a new Android device, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you went with anything but Samsung and Google’s Galaxy Nexus super-phone.

You can check out our unboxing video and photos of the device in yesterday’s article. You can pick up the Verizon Galaxy Nexus today at Verizon for $299.99 on contract.

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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