Nov 17 AT 4:03 PM Dustin Earley 55 Comments

Samsung Galaxy Nexus hands-on and review roundup


We’ve probably said it a million times by now, but we simply can’t wait to get our hands on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. That day certainly isn’t today, but at least we can live vicariously through all the other sites offering up quick hands-on posts and full blown reviews.

Josh Topolsky, The Verge

“The Galaxy Nexus is the best Android phone ever made. It’s one of the best smartphones ever made, and with a couple of minor tweaks (particularly to the camera), it could be the best smartphone ever produced.

Still, there’s really not much to knock here. The hardware is elegant and smartly designed. The software is beautiful and useful. Google has cleaned up a lot of the bad, and replaced it with a serious amount of good. It’s faster, smarter and a lot more friendly than any of its predecessors. Ice Cream Sandwich easily gives iOS and Windows Phone a run for their money, and in many ways, it’s a superior operating system than either of them.”

Jason Kincaid, TechCrunch

“The phone is huge. It is thin and very light, and it doesn’t feel bulky, per se. But I find myself doing finger gymnastics as I use it: sliding my pinkie beneath the device when I need to tap the ‘Back’ button at the bottom of the phone, then sliding it back up the side when I need to tap on the search box, which is at the top of the screen. II can’t navigate the UI without moving my hand around. … Thankfully, the device’s giant screen has an upside: it’s a beauty to look at. Text looks fantastic. And the relatively vast screen real estate means that applications can fit in more buttons and content without feeling cramped. Oh, and remember the three software nav buttons I discussed earlier? When you’re watching a movie, those vanish entirely, which means nearly the entire front of the phone becomes a video display. It’s really nice.”

Myriam Joire, Engadget

“We’re happy to confirm that the Galaxy Nexus is indeed the first Android device with a pentaband HSPA+ radio — we’ve successfully tested both T-Mobile USA and AT&T SIMs with our handset. Hurray! Initial setup was quick and painless. We logged in with our Google ID and password, and to our surprise, the Nexus started downloading and installing all of our purchased apps (in addition to syncing our email, calendar and contacts). It also asked if we wanted to use Google+ on that account.”

Daniel Bader, Mobile Syrup

“Stop worrying about PenTile.

The Galaxy Nexus has one of the most stunning screens we’ve ever seen. The pixels are so small as to be microscopic, and unless you utilize one you’re not going to see a PenTile grid. What you will see is sharp text, incredible viewing angles, perfect blacks and outstanding clarity. If this is the future of mobile displays we can only say, “It’s about time.”

Let’s start with colours. Reds, greens and blues are accurate; this isn’t your mother’s oversaturated Super AMOLED display. Either Google has done something with the colour temperature or Samsung has finely calibrated its parts but for the first time we can say that colour accuracy is equal to a Super LCD display.”

Kent German and Jessica Dolcourt, Cnet

“Every once in a while, a cell phone comes along that changes the mobile industry forever. Whether it’s by design, features, or a combination of both, those rare handsets can stand out far from the pack and give the world something new and something very different. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is not one of those phones. Sure, it’s groundbreaking and will even incite the occasional gasp of awe, but like a gymnast having a bad day, it just misses the high bar.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is unmistakably an Android phone. It’s powerful, you can tinker with it down to its core, and it offers some features the iPhone can’t touch. Without a doubt, Android fans will see the Galaxy Nexus that way and they’re likely to savor every morsel of Ice Cream Sandwich. Without ICS, the phone is more or less just a phone, but with it you’re looking at a sleek and powerful smartphone.”

Mike Isaac, Wired

“The virtual buttons are akin to a three-pronged version of Apple’s home button, only with more versatility: “Recent apps” takes you to a scrolling view of what you’ve used lately, while the “Back” and “Home” keys…. Well, you get the idea.

More importantly, the ICS home screen just looks right. The newly revamped interface is replete with cool blues, metallic grays and lots of swishy animated effects. Much of the enchanting vibe would be lost on an inferior display, but the Galaxy Nexus’ 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED screen delivers all the crisp, clear image quality that makes hardcore mobile enthusiasts flock to Samsung display technology.”


As you can see, nearly everyone who has had a chance to get their hands on a Galaxy Nexus has walked away impressed. And as expected, Ice Cream Sandwich along with that gorgeous HD display are the stars of the show. Once the Verizon Galaxy Nexus starts making the review rounds, we’ll have to revisit some of these sites to see if anything has changed. As soon as we can, we’ll have our own hands-on and review impressions to share with you, so be sure to stay tuned for that.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • james bricknell

    i know you will all hate me but i get mine tomorrow and i’m so looking forward to it.

    • james bricknell

      in fact BigMerf even went so far as to say he hates my face :(

      • Dustin Earley

        lol. Not hate, just envy.

        • @BiGMER F

          N o really… I HATE HIS FACE !

    • CJ84

      where are you getting yours from? can you post a link? i wanna get one. i don’t care where from, I’m just so desperate to get this phone!!!!

      • james bricknell

        mines from phones 4 u in the UK

    • Mary-Anne

      I think this phone is perfect for homosexuals! Im not getting this cause im healthy instead.

      • me24

        Oh, then you must be a complete dumbass, and in that case, the iPhone is perfect for you.

      • NexusDroid

        1st, what’s wrong with homosexuals, and 2nd, how is a phone that sacrifices durability for feeling nice and sacrificing feel in the hand for a “modern” look more masculine then a more durable, more usable phone? That’s like calling an office worker gay, and a fashion editor straight. A bit off, don’t you think?
        And your comment proves 1 thing to me, you (apple fans) have NOTHING left to complain about.

  • Mitch Rapp


  • mshramek

    I wish it would just get released on all carriers…….

  • Richard Yarrell

    No question just simply AMAZING this Galaxy Nexus really is. Coming from Mr. Josh Topolsky formerly of Engadget and currently of the Verge that’s truly big. There is no way I would ever miss the first day of this launch the GALAXY NEXUS is the best android device on the market for the next 6months plus easily….

    • james bricknell

      depends when the htc edge comes out i think? excited by quad core HTC goodness richard? you should be… I am!

      • Richard Yarrell

        Yes i am excited for quadcore no question but first I need to be able to be able to be able to get excited about dualcore. None of use with dualcore devices have been able to truly enjoy the power behind dualcore why because we had gingerbread on our devices and that was not optimized for dualcore processors. Ice cream is optimized for dualcore processors and being able to enjoy a device using both cores will be an expereince that none of us have had a chance to see yet. Maybe this time next year quadcore will show it’s self meaning we all will be able to compare the difference between a dualcore device and quadcore device and the overall difference in there performance. Today and for months to come the Galaxy Nexus will be the best android device period.

        • Adam Curtis

          I agree with you completely. Dual core up until 3.0 wasn’t really a big deal, because like an ancient desktop OS, it didn’t take advantage of it. However, now that ICS is out for phones, it should be pretty simple for quad cores to take advantage of the additional CPUs. This also being said, the new quad core phone from HTC will undoubtedly come with Sense, which everyone has seen to be a resource hog.

          On another note, I don’t think you guys should be downvoting his comments just because he has infamously had troll-y comments in the past. For example, this post of his I am replying to actually had merit to it.

          Richard, thank you for being a good commenter nowadays, I really appreciate it.

    • Azeem

      …but Mr. Yarrell, it’s not an Evo…. ;)

  • Nathan

    I envy the UK right now, what the heck Google i want my T-mobile galaxy Nexus now!

  • themanwithsauce

    I really hope these phones are made available on all carriers soon. As Google’s first dual core development phone, we should see a lot better utilization of these processors in our apps and OS. Many of us here on websites like this one either are or know developers. Using pure, vanilla OS and Google’s own hardware has got to be the ideal tested for them. I predict a nice spike up in app quality after we see widespread launches. Cmon Google! Get those carriers in gear! We have apps to make!

  • Kaie Kristiansen Esq


  • AppleFUD

    Now we just need to know WHEN IS IT COMING OUT ON US CARRIERS!

  • Kwills 88

    Is it okay for me to crawl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep because I got the SGSII instead, only a couple of days ago….maybe I’ll feel better once I get ICS…sigh, it’s so beautiful

    • Kwills 88

      P.S I am surprised someone from the verge actually loved this more than the iPhone 4S.

      • pekosROB

        I’m surprised anyone that’s not a straight up Android site likes the GNex more than the iPhone 4S.

        I find it amusing that sites like BGR, Engadget, and Gizmodo don’t seem to argue against their commenters that they are not Apple biased. I mean every time I read the comments section on a post about how great Apple is there are a lot of folks blasting them for being biased. And rarely, if ever, do I see someone from them actually address it. Instead Gizmodo likes to just ban you for a week (or forever) and move your thread to #trollpatrol or something stupid.

        That is why I now frequent AndroidandMe and DroidLife because at least they don’t lie about who they are biased towards… the better platform for innovation and growth.

        • DroidSamurai

          To be fair, I think Engadget is quite neutral (remember they had once gave the Galaxy S2 the same score as the iPhone 4.) But Gizmodo … except for some rare posts, they are not only Apple biased — they are simply Google-hater. If they can’t find any fault with Google’s products or services, they would invent one (today’s Google Music post is a classic.) I can actually take their Google-hated posts, but what boils my blood are their posts that come up with new “angles” to praise Apple’s products that I bet even Apple itself never thought about when they designed the product. I recalled they once had a post arguing why Apple would never made a bigger smartphone (that’s post-4S, before that they were like everyone else, wanted a bigger iPhone) because the size of the iPhone is “perfect”. Yea, wait until Apple comes up with a bigger phone and they will give “perfect” a new meaning.

          • AppleFUD

            Sites like engadget can’t be neutral about apple products–apple doesn’t allow that. They MUST give positive reviews or apple will blacklist them and they won’t be invited to press shows and will NOT get preview gadgets.

            This is well know. Engadget suffered through nearly 2 years of being banned by apple because they were honest about the iphone–lack of standard ports, sd, etc. . and ripped on the ipad before it came out–they got nothing for a while and every single apple item from then on got glowing reviews–even the OG ipad. Let’s face it, that thing was lacking in many areas but they didn’t mention them but OH when an Android tablet came out lacking some of the same features boy did they go off.

            apple knows how to strong arm tech sites.

          • pekosROB

            Spot on.

            If the screen size increases they will be singing praises.

      • Transient

        What are you talking about? Josh Topolsky has been using a Nexus S as his main phone for months. He speaks the truth. The iPhone had a better overall day to day experience because of base OS usability and apps but Android always had one strong upper hand with Google services. If you religiously used stuff like Gmail and Voice, Android was the better communication device. ICS is the first Android release where it put it’s self on par with iOS in terms of usability, all it needs now is the same level of quality in apps which the new ICS framework and huge userbase might solve.

        • AsakuraZero

          ICS not only starts to compete with Ios in terms of usability, its a overall improvement over many aspects of mobile operating systems, its really functional, and now more human, its just matter of time that ICS or hell even jelly bean (name pending haha), would be the number one worry of apple, because thanks to ics and some other efforts of google.

          android started to run its Defragmentation utility

  • pekosROB

    Topolsky is now with a website called The Verge? I thought he was on This is My Next… damn do they move on quick!

    Do we honestly need THAT many gadget blogs/sites? I mean I suppose more is better, unless everyone is reporting what they hear from everyone else.

    • Kaie Kristiansen Esq

      Which what most of the android ones do.

      Even use the same image.

    • Kwills 88

      It’s the same site, just changed of the URL.

      • pekosROB

        ohh so This is my next became The Verge?

        I dislike both names. I mean this is my next makes sense, and the verge KINDA does, but both of them are kinda sucky. This is my next sounds too long (even though it’s not much text) and The Verge just sounds like a crappy band that plays covers of The Verve.

    • pekosROB

      Crap there I go again, making a post that doesn’t relate to topic.

      I’m excited to try my first hands on too! There, relevance instantly added! :-D I’m really tempted to buy it off contract (especially if it really is around $500) but I did that with my Droid 3… I can’t go spending $1,000 in a six month period on phones! That is a bit ridiculous…

      My other question, why is everyone so impressed by the LED light? I have one on my D3 and it shows red, blue, green, yellow, and purple. So does my roommate’s DX2. Are multicolored LED lights a new thing for Samsung devices?

      • Kaie Kristiansen Esq

        It pulses cool?

        • pekosROB

          ahhh ok I’ll accept that as different!

      • NotRelevent

        It pulses…instead of just straight up blinking like the droids do.

  • charliethesuperturtle

    Kent German and Jessica Dolcourt are just jealous because there mom got them the ishit

  • Ironzey

    Did I just see pins for a dock on the right side? Please let there be a desktop dock.

  • BigCiX

    I hope this phone is coming to at&t

  • thedan55

    My next phone is the galaxy nexus and I’m just about to buy it. however i have just realized that a 32GB version is not available to the UK?? i want a 32GB version not a 16GB, will a 32GB model be released in the UK?? I have been waiting for this phone for 8 months and will be very disappointed if i can not get the one i want.

    does anybody know if there will be a 32gb model coming to the uk??

    • james bricknell

      europe is getting a 32gb device. according to google we dont need that much room….

      • thedan55

        we are getting 32 or not?

  • Mike C

    I really want this device but … I don’t like the plastic feeling of Samsung devices. I could probably get over it. Others have. But then there is the issue of the missing micro SD card slot. Really bad. And 16 GB memory in a smartphone? Come on.

    I have been looking at the HTC Resound. Hardware is much more to my taste. But I loose the native Android experience. I really hate Sense, Motoblur, and all the other customizations.

    Why is there no really great Android phone? Why all the compromises? Please HTC give me an HTC Resound Raw!

  • http://None Javier Bastardo

    Really liked The Verge review of the GN, and it even left some stuff out like Android Beam and that the Browser now can be perfectly synced to your Chrome bookmarks, which I think is something new. Overall I have to agree that, the smartphone itself is pretty great, but the real jewel and what’s really important here is ICS, no doubt about it.

  • YNWA

    Long live the stock Android interface. Once I go Nexus I will never leave it again.

  • drone3

    Being allergic to pentile matrix, i seriously hope that it’s not an issue, some close ups would be nice.

    • Dustin Earley

      Every review I have read says it’s not an issue.

  • Nathan

    This nice videos

  • ben dover

    What’s even more exiting is that in the ics keynote, Matias said that they were only taking the very first step towards the new goals they have for Android.

    If ICS is just a “first step” then I’m even more excited about what’s to come!


  • Rovex

    No doubt this is the best Android phone right now… Until the Galaxy S2 gets ICS that is. Being in the UK means mine should get ICS in early 2012.

    I can say that because i HAVE a Galaxy Nexus as well, and although nice its not a hardware match for the SGS2. The screen is no better, really. Slightly sharper, but worse colour accuracy. The camera isnt even close. GPU performance is nowhere near the Mali400 in the SGS2, even the CPU part isnt as fast.

    • masterpfa

      I had contemplated getting the SGSII even up to and including 17th November (release day here in the UK) and I too contemplated all the points you have made and had agreed that the SGII was a so well specced phone that waiting until this got ICS would make for an awesome phone.

      But for me these were just the reasons for deciding against the SGSII and opting for the Galaxy Nexus which, as I type I am still awaiting the courier delivery, the avalabilt of ICS NOW!!

      I, as my friends can vouch for, have done nothing but research and check on the latest rumours, I like the sound of future coming Quad Core Smart Phones, but want something now.

      P.S. Phone has just been delivered

  • KatSelezneva

    The phone is just amazing! I want to hold it in my hands sooooooo much! Can’t wait to have a look at Android 4.0! A dessert for developers: Some Ice Cream Sandwich, please!

  • festethejeste

    Finally, a solid review of this phone!!! Thanks for sharing

  • Murtadha

    Hi! Any idea what native language options will be available in Android 4.0? To be more precise, has Arabic language been built in as a language option?

  • pritams

    ha ha…