Galaxy Nexus Review!
The Galaxy Nexus is the first device ever to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and also the third nexus device ever. This series of devices is popular with developers because it gets the android updates the quickest and offers stock android. Furthermore the developer community is also massive for this device is already. In fact the device has already developed a massive following on XDA. When the Nexus was sent to me I could immediately see this was a big phone, it had a huge box! However does this device live up to the Fandroids hype?
While the Samsung is not immediately comfortable, after a day or two of using it you find the ideal position to hold it with and it becomes extremely comfortable. In fact this is much more comfortable than the iPhone because of its rounded body and comfortable soft, and non-slip Geoflex back.
The device packs a 1.2Ghz TI OMAP 4460 processor, with 1GB of RAM, this equates to a snappy experience and good enough specs to power through any app imaginable. While many are saying that Google should have used the Exynos processor instead. I can see the point in this processor; in pure processing terms its just as good and while the GPU is not quite as good it is the same base as the Nexus S GPU, meaning easy development for both devices. Also it makes games work better in some cases, for example a lot of games are coded for the iPhone which uses this GPU as well, playing to its strengths are weaknesses.
This device also has a notification LED, something which is often missed on the newer phones, and frankly I couldn’t live without it, the fact is being able to see whether you have any notification and of what type without unlocking your phone is super useful. You can even set the colour of the LED to match, Facebook, twitter emails etc.
The screen is simply amazing; in fact I have no hesitation in saying that this is the best phone screen I have ever seen. Easily surpassing the iPhone and Galaxy S2 screen. While it uses a pentile matrix, it is not noticeable, and its contrast, pixel density and awesome size make for an amazing display. Be sure to turn the brightness up though because the auto brightness is very aggressive, however it definitely shows your battery life.
The screen is a massive 4.65inchs with a 1280*720 resolution, equating to the first 720p display on a device. Movies look better than ever, and you can fit even more on your screen in the browser, and in emails, equating to a better user experience.
While the screen real estate seems daunting at first it soon becomes a vital asset, and when you have a go on a smaller phone again, you realize how great a screen like that really is.
The device should perform well but our usual benchmark quadrant, has not been perfected for Ice Cream Sandwich yet. But browser benchmarks such as a SunSpider are impressive with scores besting the iPhone and the GSII. Generally the performance of this device is excellent there is no phone which is better in all areas than this phone at the moment.
The camera is not the best but it’s not the worst by a long way. While it’s not as good as the N8 or the iPhone 4S it’s still a good camera, especially considering the lack of shutter lag. The video recording is also great, with Full HD, 1080p videos that have good balance and look amazing on that screen. Although the megapixel count is not great, this is still a good camera.
The OS is frankly awesome; Ice Cream Sandwich is such a step up from Gingerbread it unreal. Becoming one of the prettiest and easy to use OS in the blink of an eye. This is now the OS to beat.
Multitasking is much improved with the multitasking button, with shows you thumbnails of all your running apps; you can close them by sliding them away. Furthermore, the styling throughout the OS has been unified, with Honeycomb elements remaining, which have also been softened up, to make it less harsh. Most noticeable the notifications have been improved with quick access to the settings and even better; swipe away notifications, which is great, another UI consistency, further showing how Ice Cream Sandwich is a step up.
Folders have also been improved to act much like the iOS style folders(drag and drop), with previews of the apps stacked on top of each other. The calendar apps and Gmail apps have been improved with better controls more features and even more UI improvements. Furthermore the Music and Video apps have also been improved, mostly UI changes etc. But a big improvement in my terms is the fact that you can now take screenshots without using the SDK or rooting the device, a big improvement from a reviewer’s point of view. A new people app has been added which sync your contacts with your Google + and Twitter contacts which really improve the experience from the Gingerbread app.
This is clearly the biggest update to android ever, and is probably the most important, with a complete UI overhaul, and now that we can see that Android is a good looker too, this is possibly the best mobile OS at the moment, customizability and looks seem to actually pass iOS all through the OS.
The battery life of the Galaxy nexus is good on standby, in fact hours of standby do not affect the battery life at all, but it’s obvious that the screen is a battery hog. When using the nexus however the screen drains the battery quite a pace. But unless you have loads of background processes with GPS turned on you will struggle to use the full battery in moderate use before you get home.
To conclude on the battery, it’s not perfect but it’s just as good as the iPhone 4S’s battery and offers reasonable battery life with little extra bulk.
The Galaxy Nexus is the best android phone ever, without doubt, not only does it have killer specs it also has the best form of android ever; pure unaltered Ice Cream Sandwich. In fact ICS is probably the largest and greatest thing about this device. It offers a seamless smooth intuitive experience without sacrificing the raw power that is android. Having it in its pure form also shows, as everything runs quicker and there are no UI inconsistencies. In fact this device is not only special because of now and the present, it will get future OS updates guaranteed from Google, first before any other device. Something special about the Nexus; it’s always getting better.
This may well be the best phone ever, whether its your phone of choice depends solely on what your prefer, simplicity or power. iOS is simple and easy, this has the Android power from its flexibility and customizability.
- ICS Android 4.0 installed
- Extremely Fast
- Amazing screen
- Really nice hardware
- Not the best camera
- Quite expensive