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on June 6, 2012
I got my Galaxy Nexus back in December during the initial launch. So after about 6 months with the phone, I feel I have a good understanding of its strengths and weaknesses.

It has ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) right out of the box. No need to wait for an update to get it. It's also a pure Google experience. While some manufacturer skins have a few nice aspects to them, in the end, a vanilla ICS experience is the best you can have. ICS has been optimized for the Galaxy Nexus so that should tell you right off the bat it's going to have solid performance. You also do not have to deal with the deluge of bloatware that comes already installed on a Motorola handset for example. I counted a total of 2 on my Verizon Nexus and they were both related to my Verizon account.
ICS itself is a great strength. Easily the best iteration of the Android OS. The most polished and best functionality the OS has ever seen. From the ease of switching between apps, to the enhanced voice controls, ICS is as good as any competing OS. Another benefit for example, is being able to size widgets to your liking on the home screen.
The screen is top notch. There is much debate over which display technology people prefer, Pentile vs. IPS, but the screen on the Galaxy Nexus, which is the former, looks great and has amazing viewing angles. Colors look nice and things really pop off the screen. The screen size is also a benefit too. While the handset itself is a bit on the bigger size, it's worth it to have a nice screen to watch videos, or play a game.
The specs are another strength to the device. Dual core processor, 1 GB of RAM make the device sure to be able to handle the next version of Android, 5.0. Google has a habit of making sure the previous Nexus device is capable of handling the next version of the OS. Other handsets may not be compatible for future releases, but the Galaxy Nexus should be (I think it's a given) able to handle Android 5.0 when it's released in the Fall of 2012.
The Phone is also very thin which is nice. It also gives you the option to remove the battery. Should you need to replace it, add in the extended version, or swap out for an extra charged one on the road, it all can be done.

The camera is not the best when compared to other handsets. It's only 5 MPs, and does not have the best sensor. The sensor matters more than MPs, but sadly the Galaxy Nexus comes up short in both areas. That's not to say the camera is awful, it certainly is not and it certainly is capable of taking some good shots, it's just not as good as the iPhone 4/4S, the Samsung Galaxy S2, or the HTC One X. The camera does have a very fast shutter, so taking multiple shots is very easy and you do not have to wait for the camera to be able to shoot again. The software is also top notch, a product of the vanilla ICS experience. Panorama mode is also a cool option for shots. The flash does work very well too. Personally, if I want to take great photos, I will use my digital camera.
The phone can run a little hot at times. Many other handsets experience this. Sometimes I will notice it starting to heat up at random times. Nothing too big to worry about, things are just overheating. I usually taper off my use for a little while to let it settle down.
Call quality can be dicey at times. Very phones can provide consistently solid quality and the Galaxy Nexus is no different.
To some, especially those with small hands, the size of the phone might be a turnoff. It's no Droid Incredible, but it's also no Galaxy Note either.

Overall this is a great handset. The vanilla/pure Google experience cannot be overstated enough. It is a great experience compared to the intrusive skins other manufacturers put onto their handsets. The strengths far out weigh the weaknesses. Between that, the top notch screen and the 32GB of internal storage, this device is tough to beat.
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on December 20, 2011
I wanted to give this phone 4.75 stars but, I couldn't find a way to mark that so I just said it instead.
First off the phone is great. (Best I've used) ICS is beautiful and fulfilling. This is by far the best Android software to date. It is extremely fast and responsive with multitasking to be a breeze. The internet browser is easy to use and very fast. When 4G LTE is available I usually see around 10 Mb/s download speeds and 8 Mb/s upload speeds. That makes for a very quick transfer of data and seamless surfing. No more buffering just pure HD bliss (when 4G LTE is available).
The screen on the phone is very nice and feels very nice when sliding my thumb around. The huge display makes typing a breeze in landscape. In call quality is some of the best i've heard on a cell phone. People say they cannot tell i'm on a cell phone even when i'm walking outside. I enjoy playing with some of the video recording features.
Now the bad--- For a phone that has so much and does exactly what it is supposed to do I need to highlight the neg. of this phone.
1) I am very unimpressed with the camera. I think the colors of what I see and what the camera sees are not exactly true. But then I remember this is a Phone made for social media and cruising the net so I am not upset by this but rather enjoy that a camera is not the focus of my device.
2) The only way I can get my phone to last all day is to keep turning the data connection on and off when needed. If left on all day the battery will only last until about 7 or 8 at night. The 4G drains battery very quickly. This has forced me to buy the extended battery and the extra battery with the charging dock so I can always keep 2 batteries with me in case I need to make a change.

Now with that said. I feel this is the best device on the market and if you are on Verizon you should look hard at this device before deciding to buy something else. It is thin sexy and beautiful. It does exactly what it was designed for and makes me happy I waited the 5 months for it to come out.
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on May 14, 2012
I received my first Nexus at the beginning of January. Verizon's coverage maps showed my house was in the "Verizon 4G LTE Extended" (light red) area and my office was in the "Verizon 4G LTE" (dark red) area. Yet I could never reliably receive a 4G signal. I found some spots where the signal was slighly better and occasionally (mostly at night or at other low traffic times) I could get 2 bars of 4G. But the moment I went to use the connection (either with the phone or with Mobile Hotspot), the connection would switch from 4G to 3G and with no bars. My connection speed would be about 100kbps.

I figured I would give it a few weeks and let Google or Samsung release a software update. After all, this was their flagship phone.

February went by, then March, then April. Now it is May and I am still using the same 4.0.2 software and having the same problems. I called Verizon and they agreed to send me a warranty replacement. The certified like-new one that they sent had a mid-April build date on the label behind the battery. Yet the reception problem was identical.

There is a 4.0.4 rom floating around on the web, so I decided to give it a try. Unlocking, rooting and flashing was very easy. The phoned switched between 3G and 4G much quicker. But there was no difference in reception. And my average connection speed at home was still around 100 kbps.

So I called Verizon again and made them give me a different phone, this time an HTC Rezound. Now I actually get 4G at home and at the office. My connection speed at home is around 3 mbps and at the office is around 10 mbps. Night and day difference. I should have stayed with HTC.

Buyer beware.
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on June 23, 2012
I read all the reviews on Amazon, CNET, and other sites. I thought this was a great price for a great phone. I prefer Android to IOS and was excited about the features this phone offered. The operating system works as expected - with a few minor annoyances. Google music will turn-on at random times without my prompting. It hangs up your phone call when it does. The screen lock turns on when using navigation or in the middle of a phone call. These issues are minor when compared to all the great features of the android operating system.

However, the phone itself is terrible. I've been using it now for 1.5 weeks while travelling extensively across the Southeast. I rarely have a signal - even in a major city with good 4G coverage according to Verizon's website. I can't even count the number of dropped calls. Sometimes, I show a strong signal, but as soon as I dial, the signal strength drops and I get a "no service" message. When I do connect, there is typically a strong echo. Volume is exceedingly low even when turned up all the way.

Finally, battery life. I am averaging about 4.5 hours of battery - about 4 of which are on standby with the screen off. So, that means I get about 30 minutes of use before the battery is dead. I basically only use the phone if it is plugged into a charger. Again, this performance is after only 1.5 weeks of use. I fully charged the battery right out of the box.

Perhaps this really is a great phone, and I received a lemon. I don't know, but I do know this one is going back to Amazon. I would not recommend this phone unless I can see one that actually works as advertised.
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on March 18, 2012
I purchased the phone about 3 months ago.

I had many doubts before getting this phone due to the widely noted battery woes. However, much to my pleasant surprise, the battery has not been an issue for me. I am not a power user. I use an app or two, check email, txt, and use gps. So as a light user, I feel I should be able to have a phone that can at least last the day. With so many people complaining about the battery, I was afraid that this phone will not even last that long. However, it has. And I didn't even get the bigger battery as many people have.

Verizon LTE has been impressive. Now you can actually use the web on your phone.

Ice Cream Sandwich is slick enough, but it is buggy. Some apps don't work, some apps crash, sometimes phone crashes and reboots, but its okay. The Nexus series is the phone to have if you want to get the latest version of Android from Google, as other manufacturers often just don't bother making their older phones compatible with new Android versions.

GPS requires more time to acquire a signal lock than my Nexus One. Bluetooth handshake seems to be more reliable than my Nexus One so I'm happy about that.

AmazonWireless is awesome. Amazon's $99 is great compared to Verizon's $299 for this phone! Simple UI and great customer service by phone.
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on December 18, 2011
I waited and wanted this phone to be the end-all android device. It's not.

(1)Large beautiful screen at higher brightnesses BUT not without issues, see Bad (1).
(2)Thin and curvy design makes makes huge phone not feel so unwieldy.
(3)Android 4.0 and get-it-first priority for future updates means you'll get the newest updates first over the next few years. All without carrier or manufacturer bloatware.
(4)Camera is VERY fast BUT not without issues, see Bad (2).

(1)Grainy screen at low brightnesses. After research online, it seems to be a SuperAMOLED weakness that varies in severity between manufactured panels. My Samsung Fascinate Galaxy S with SuperAMOLED screen showed NONE of this issue. The auto-brightness setting keeps it at a grainy brightness often and annoyingly.
(2)This 5MP camera on the back just isn't very good. I've taken many photos in the past 4 days of owning this phone, and none of them are stunning.
(3)Sending audio through bluetooth to my car stereo resulted in a noisy, garbled experience that I won't do again for respect to the music. [EDIT: this may not be a bluetooth issue, as much as a signal issue. Streaming Rhapsody either through wifi or 3G at standard bitrate sounds terrible, even forcing "HD" stream helped, but not much, and the songs continually pause every 15 - 20 seconds. Even streaming music through Google Music is slow to load each track, if it even will load without a "must have connection to listen" error.]
(4))Loudspeaker is very quiet. I had to install Volume+ just to make it loud enough to hear notifications in a crowded noisy room. Unfortunately, now that it's loud enough to hear, it's so distorted and tinny, I don't want to listen to music over it, even in a quiet room. Both my Moto Droid 1 and my Samsung Fascinate had much better speakers.

All this being said, I'm looking to exchange it for something else. Most professional reviews I've seen online ooh and ahh over Android 4.0 and make small mentions of the hardware shortcomings. In 6 months time, the up-to-the-minute superphones, the Moto RAZR and HTC Rezound, will have Official 4.0, or ROMs of 4.0, and the Galaxy Nexus' shining attribute will be dissolved. At that point it'll be painfully obvious that beyond that 720P screen, this phone doesn't shine brighter than its competition.

Based on hardware alone, the Galaxy Nexus is just an average phone with as many faults as successes.
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on April 10, 2012
Today is August 12, 2012 and need to downgrade this phone.
I am on my 4th factory refurbished phone and still is buggy.
Phone audio is terrible. Voicemail breaks with access not allowed or not setup.
I'm going back to Apple as soon as the iPhone 5 is released next month.
Since this phone is now illegal to sale in retail stores now is a good time to unload it.
Any takers on a good used phone?

Although VZ does not support Google Wallet, downloading a boot leg copy showcases NFC technology at PayPass.
Ignore the "Update Wallet" prompt because it will later break Google Wallet.
NFC chip cannot read through a thick protective case.
Fast 4g LTE speeds 8 to 20 MBPS.

ICF OS buggy at times impacting the camera and other apps.
"Unfortunately, xyz app has stopped." is a typical error response.
Spotty 4g LTE coverage.
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on December 27, 2011
I waited for a long time with iphone 3gs and finally made a decision to upgrade to this phone. Very disappointed overall with this phone, I am already working on the returning it.

The good -
1) large screen
2) Responsive controls, and smooth graphics
3) Very comfortable to hold, I played games on this for 4-5 hours straight, did not feel any discomfort. I can't do this on my iphone, its slippery and not comfortable to hold in that position for long.
4) Email apps are easy to use
5) Very good download speeds over wifi
6) Liked pandora - sounded great with the headphones that came with the phone

The bad -
1) The phone gets really hot (reminds me of my dell laptop), and it so hot that at times I cannot put this close to my ear when making a call. Its not when I am playing games, or have charger attached, just when making a call - wifi is always on at home.
2) Bad signal - not sure if the phone is to blame but expected better from verizon.
3) Battery is really bad frankly speaking(others would say its hard to rate !! .. really ???) - its quick to discharge and verrrry slow to charge back up. You will spend the same time it takes to discharge (approx 6 hours) to charge it as well (I'm using the wall charger not trying to charge with a USB connection).
4) The screen is large, but the real estate is not used well. Just open craigslist on iphone and this phone - you'll know what I'm talking about. The display is grainy, I have to zoom in zoom out scroll etc to get the details I need, iphone is much better.
5) The camera is really bad ... and I'm not talking about the 5 MP vs 8 MP, I know 5 MP is more than enough. The picture quality is really bad, its noisy, white balance is off even with good lighting, pictures look like they are out of an album from the 70s. I did not even want to try the panaromic function.
6) If you have a samsung smart tv like me and want to buy this for the AllSHare capability, you'll be disappointed. This is a google phone apparently (not sure why its called a galaxy), so you don't have Allshare app and cannot stream audio/video to your smart tv.
7) Face recognition is a joke - really .. did not work for me in low light, bright light, when I hold the phone at different angles. I found myself trying 2-3 times before getting it to work, waste of time.

If you are like me thinking about making the big jump ... look for something else. This is a disappointing phone to say the least, trust me ... two years with this phone is going to be a bad marriage.

Other thoughts - Amazon wireless shopping experience has been great. Verizon customer support is excellent as well.
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on February 21, 2012
Had my Samsung Galaxy Nexus a little a week now. My first Smart phone, so I had no prior versions to compare to. Had an LG EnV2 prior to this for over 3 years (great phone - built like a tank) - but felt it was time to upgrade. When shopping for this researched all curent 4G models, coming down to this and the HTC Rezound.

My observations:
> Screen size and control buttons. Many comments made on the fact some of the screen space is used for the 3 control buttons at the bottom. True . . . BUT. Found that when I downloaded and viewed a movie in landscape view it used the FULL screen - including where those bottons normally were. Worked fantasically to watch a movie on my plane flight yesterday. Screen looks just great. (To get back to the command buttons you just touch the power button briefly). So you do not lose that screen space - depending on the app.

> Battery life. All comments very valid, but some users have figured out that after a few full battery cycles (and I mean full: complete FULL re-charge to almost total discharge) the battery is lasting mouch longer now. Maybe because I have also learned how to setup apps and data better too. Not that you can get much more than a full day out of it, but do look at your settings. And in reading reviews on ALL other 4G phones almost every reviewer - of every other brand and model - complained about poor battery life on ALL of them - regardless of brand. I do not think this Samsung is any worse than any of them in this regard - and probably better than many. And there is a heavy duty battery available for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - which is not true of many other models.

> Data usage. My Verizon plan offers 4Gb/mth. As a newbie to smartphones I may not have had settings correct - but on my 2nd day of ownership I used almost 1Gb while setting up my 3 email accounts. Still not sure why, but I think it was downloading all attachments and photos to memory in the background upon install. Just watch your settings - like how many days of messages do you really need to see.

> 4G Lte. Be careful of the hype. Using this phone in Irvine, CA - which is a fairly high-tech area - I rarely saw 4G connectivity. Now I am working in Northern NJ - still do not see much 4G connectivity. I have also had a Verizon 4G Mobile Hotspot for almost a year - I rarely see it connect at 4G either. In my experience - just because you have a 4G device do not expect that you will actually connect at that speed very often. Speed is great when you can get it.... but does not appear that it is being realistically supported as more and more people try and use their new 4G devices. 4g network cannot keep up.

> Case - yes phone is large due to the screen size and very thin, so a good case actually helps give you more to hold on to. (I was also told this about the optional extended life battery - it's thicker shape helps you hold the phone better). Doing some research I found the Diztronic Matte Back Black Flexible *Revision 3* TPU Case for this phone. Adds just enough thickness and rubbery feel to help hold the phone beter while offering some good protection. I also got the Halo screen protectors which fit the front perfectly (but be sure to follow install instructions exactly so as not to get any dust under it). With case phone is marginally thicker, but still thinner than others I have seen, and it fits perfectly in my pants pocket.

> Best feature - the use of voice==>text. In writing texts this works great - even without any voice training. Just speak clearly and it writes it all out for you. Amazing.

> Worst feature - Google Messaging program. Maybe I am not used to it yet, but it works nothing like the Verizon LG messaging I was used. No Inbox, no Sent Box, no way to easily copy or forward propr texts. Will send out a text before you are ready if you hit the wrong key. Not a phone issue (other than this it the programn it comes with) but find Google messaging very confusing and hard to work with.

Would say that most of the reviews here on this phone I would agree with. What is hard for me to know is how this phone really compares to all the competition. The only way to ever really know that is to have each for a couple of weeks to give a thorough test drive.

But so far I like what I see. Am interested is finding some good apps to use on it.
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on April 12, 2012
I really wanted to like Google's flagship phone; I tried. I've had an iPhone, and am no fanboy of either Google or Apple. But, after nearly 4 months, I just am tired of this thing. It's awesome as a device, but is horrible as a phone. I had a $20 Wal-Mart flip phone for a year (after ditching my iPhone), and the phone quality was much better on that cheap little thing, than this $800 phone. Yes, the nexus can play great video, but it seems Google forgot that at the basis, this is a phone, not a tablet. I signed a two-year contract to get the discount, or else I'd be back with my flip phone, instead of trying to make out the garbled audio, if i'm lucky enough to 1) get reception, and 2) the battery hasn't died yet (ok, i do have a car charger, but seriously, this battery is horrible).

-fast processor
-great screen/great video
-fast 4G LTE connection
-shutter speed is nice

-battery life is horrible
-audible quality is terrible (both ways)
-updates NEVER happen...maybe that's Verizon's fault, but I have more respect for Apple now, than I do Google
-signal strength is lacking
-camera is so-so
-$3/month for visual voicemail (am I cheap to rant on that, or is Verizon/Google cheap to charge for this)

I tried Apple....actually, I have more respect for Apple after my experience with the Nexus.
I tried Google...lost a customer (and, I seriously considered moving all of my business over to Google Apps, but it seems they have too much focus on the "next" thing, and not what is at hand).
I am honestly now going to go for WP8 when they move to Verizon on the 4G LTE.
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