on January 19, 2012
I hated Android. I've had the original Droid for 2 years in 3 iterations, and there were consistently weird bugs in the hardware - headphone jack barely worked, phone wouldn't charge when dead - and the software. Apps freezing, being unable to hang up phone calls, etc. For these reasons, I was very ambivalent about holding out for this phone over the iPhone 4S.
Fortunately, this phone doesn't get in the way of my lifestyle. It doesn't freeze, hang, or do anything 'quirky'. The last phone I had with this trait was the Razr.
- When I want to hear a song, I play it from Google Music, with access to my computer's entire library. It then takes less than a second to stream over 4G or Wifi.
- Opening the camera - done from the lock screen - takes 2 seconds. There is no 'freeze' upon taking a picture.
- Browsing is much faster. 4G helps, but the real star is the processor and memory improvement. This phone will eat up any web page or video you give it.
- The voice recognition continues to be fantastic. You never have to type in directions again. I believe it to be more accurate and faster than Siri from what I've seen.
- Battery life is great as well while its on standby. I've gotten over 27 hours once.
- The 4G signal is extremely weak in my apartment: -105 dBm. Does this make it slow? Hell no.
It also looks and feels great. It's very light for its size, and the back looks slick. The screen is fantastic. The curved nature of the device makes its orientation easily distinguishable in a pocket, enabling you to find the volume up / down buttons.
I don't want to claim this phone is perfect, though. Its flaws are just comparatively minor.
- There's a split second lag for some motions, like swiping between screens. (By the way, Swype is fantastic on this device as well, but the keyboard's text prediction is so advanced it's not really needed.) Compare this to the iPhone 4S - on the Nexus you can swipe, lift your finger, and the device's lag will cause it to react when you're not touching the screen. Fortunately, this isn't as bad an issue as it sounds - once you're using the phone, you won't care.
- I've encountered a weird 'Cannot connect to camera' bug. I randomly get this and have to restart the phone before I can use my camera. My phone might be defective (I got it about 10 days ago). This is actually a really significant issue now that I think about it. Get on it, Samsung.
- Many apps have evolved based on Android's old design interfaces. Visually, the clash will make you cringe. The new Android design style is much better than the old green monster, and some apps will remind you of this.
Overall, this is the best smartphone I've owned, and a worthy extension of my brain to have. I would recommend it to anyone in the smartphone market. Go for this over the iPhone if you think you'd like a larger screen and / or you're covered by 4G.
on January 10, 2012
Read the other reviews for the typical stuff, here are some choice notable points:
1) Not all AC/USB converters are alike. When I used a converter other than what Samsung gave me, it didn't even increase the charge above 68% while heavy-duty tethering 4G overnight. Keep that in mind if you find yours doesn't charge quickly.
2) There are 4 batteries available for the phone. NFC and non-NFC as well as standard/extended. After swapping the NFC for the non-NFC and fixing the situation from point #1, my battery gets phenomenal life. When it doesn't then I can see what is eating battery by the ICS battery monitor built into the Settings. All that being said, the standard battery should easily last you the day unless you're tethering much and/or are streaming video for more than a couple hours.
3) Sometimes the screen is too big. I have big hands and am 6'1". Even I have to sometimes adjust the phone in my hand to reach my thumb across the screen when in portrait mode. A pain, but acceptable considering the larger real estate and 1280x720 gloriousness.
4) I look forward to the dock accessories for the phone. Supposedly one of them has a full HDMI port. Another will charge a second battery simultaneously.
5) Fear not that it doesn't have an HDMI port. MHL is the new spec where you can feed power AND HDMI via a breakout cable. The HTC Rezound has one on their website that you can see and refer to. I would imagine Samsung/Verizon will have one out soon that works. Some allow only HDMI out but will drain the battery. I'd suggest waiting for one that powers the phone and outputs HDMI at the same time.
6) The phone is super slim. You cannot see this phone when it is in the pocket. Similar to the Samsung Galaxy SII's thinness.
7) Bluetooth pairing works great and the 4G LTE tethering is super fast and reliable.
on December 15, 2011
Samsung always tries to give a little of everything in their phones. Nexus is a perfect example pf how they market their phones, "a little bit of everything but nothing great". A 1.5 Dual CPU, or a Super Amoled Plus screen would've made this phone a runaway must have, but they held back, and stayed with the pack of their competitors. Nonetheless, still a very solid phone for now,or at least the next 6 months.
Phone has shortcomings, 4.0 appears very very raw (looks and feels like Android 1.0 before the upgrades; and 2.0 were released). The dialer needs to be fine tuned a bit, screens and buttons needs to be a little more user friendly (I keep going in circles trying to find simple functions like apps being used, or apps shut down). I understand that this is a more "pure" Android OS, but I still hope they fine tune it up a bit in future upgrades.
I have my MP3 on 24/7; the speaker is fine IMHO. It's better than my Fascinate and Charge; but then everyone has a different "ear" for the best sound.
Even though this is HD Super Amoled, The quality of the video IMHO is not superior to Super Amoled, or Super Amoled Plus. In fact, I thought video appeared superior on the Fascinate, Charge, and Stratosphere (since returned). I did a comparison with all 4 phones running the same video simultaneously. Nexus has slightly better image definition due the increased pixels quality, but the colors looked worse when compared to the others. Charge and Stratosphere had the best colors and video experience....again JMHO.
Even with the shortcomings, I'd still go with the Nexus because it gives you a little of everything, but nothing superior which would make it a must have. It seems that none of the big 3 phone makers really want to out do each other; and instead prefer a tight race to keep us spending our money on their phones. If HTC had invested in, and put Amoled into their phones, the Rezound with it's 1.5 dual core, and near top or top specs, would have been top dog this holiday season and the phone to have.
LOL...I predict the next Samsung phone will probably have a 1.5 dual, a HD Super Amoled Plus screen, a 4.7 inch screen, Android 4.2, and its price will be 349.99 with a 2 year contract!!!!!!
The Nexus is a overall quality phone with nothing really great about it; except for the smoother and new OS, and the improved hardware; the next Samsung phone will be a much better phone. Just remember how Android 1.0 was before 2.0 was released. With this said, I'm going to keep this phone.
BATTERY PROBLEM SUGGESTION: Folks, remember 5-7 years back, when cell carriers always told us to overcharge our phone batteries within the first day or few days in order to extend and break in a new battery? Well it sill works. When I first starting using the Nexus, it was sucking down my battery within minutes after unplugging the charger. Even when I was listening to my MP3 or watching video while the Nexus was plugged in, the drain was greater than the charging. I've overcharged my battery for 5 days now, and the life of the battery is extending now. Watching video and playing MP3s while plugged, is not draining my battery as fast as when it was brand new. I also get about 1 hour more in life when the phone is unplugged. I also did this with my Fascinate, and my Fascinate's battery lasted longer for me, until it started to get old. I ran my Fascinate into the ground -- literally! Anyway, what's old advice still works, so give it a try. This worked for me twice, and not everyone might get the same results as I did. It all comes down to personal expectations.
Anyway, Good Luck trying and Happy Holidays to All! Enjoy your new cell phones; whichever you finally decide to stick with!!!
on May 5, 2012
I've been an Android user since I switchhed from my iPhone 3G in early 2009. I've been an enthusiastic user of the various custom ROMs and modifications available for these devices. I started with a Nexus One, then moved over to a Droid on Verizon, HTC Incredible, and now the Galaxy Nexus.
Having seen each version of Android from 2.0 to 4.0, I'm extremely impressed with what they've done. This phone really wakes up with a custom kernel (I'm on Franco.kernel nightly) and ROM (AOKP nightly r33, soon to be milestone 5). I also flashed the official 4.0.4 radio, and connectivity and 4G changeover are much better. I get excellent reception everywhere, and 4G is blazing fast and reliable everywhere I use it (greater Los Angeles area, Las Vegas, etc.).
The phone itself has an amazing screen, it's huge and easy to read, and with my huge hands, easy to type on. I love the resolution and color definition.
The performance of the phone is blazing fast. Once you move to the custom ROMs and kernels, you'll see a world's worth of difference in the already impressive performance. I have no complaints about the phone. I got the 2100 mAh extended battery, and it lasts all day with JuiceDefender (free or $2 premium) enabled. My battery stats when it's nearly drained show 1.5+ hours of talk time and 2.5+ hours of the screen being on, with 4G in use some of the time. This is impressive to me, compared to all the other phones I've had.
This may not be the pinnacle of technology or speed, but I highly recommend it for the Android enthusiast.
on April 5, 2013
Everything works well... except the phone. Crackles, pops, squawks, echos, dropouts, disconnects. Even after several software updates the telephone part of this device just plain sucks. Samsung? Verizon? God only knows. No wonder it was free.
on May 19, 2012
This is my third month with this phone and I am experiencing a lot of dropped calls (or calls with static). On the average, I have been making 6 to 7 short calls, with this phone, a day. More than half of the calls got dropped in the middle of the conversation. I live in San Jose, California and according to the sales person at the Verizon store, I should not have any problem with the connection.
The issue with excessive dropped calls alone would have earned only one star from me. And to make the matter worst, the phone has one of the worst batteries. I use this phone on an average of one hour per day and I have to charge it twice a day. I have both of my WI-FI and Bluetooth turned off.
I had the battery replaced and the new battery, after fully charged overnight, can last me up to about two days. I've also deleted my e-mail account so the phone won't download any e-mail in the backgroud and turned off the'Data Enabled' hence saving the battery (I was told). However, the problem with drop calls has not improved. If I need to access the internet or checking my e-mail, I just turn on the 'Data Enabled'.
Learned another trick. I found this, on the internet, and decided to give it a try. I set my 'Preferred Network mode' to CDMA instead of LTE/CDMA. After I did this, I have been experiencing fewer drop calls.
Now I am revising the rating and I am giving it a three instead of one star.
on January 22, 2012
Updated 2/3/12: The phone is okay, but not great. So far, call reception has been mediocre, but call quality is usually very clear. Data reception is very poor, for 3G and 4G. It is very pretty and the apps seem to work great. However, as a phone it has some things broken or missing. I use a blue-tooth ear piece to use my phone hands-free, and have been doing so for at least 10 years or so. This phone is the worst at matching of contacts to voice dialing that I have ever seen, so much so it is comical. This is the function of the voice dialer program, not the Google voice command program, which works great. The problem with voice dialer is that it seems to think it knows what I want and will immediately dial it without asking me if it got it right first. This has ended up in the random dialing of just about everyone in my contacts list. Many times I can't just hit the blue-tooth to disconnect because it has already dialed the wrong number. This program needs to be fixed. I called customer service and they said to try another voice dialer program or hope an update comes out soon that fixes it.
The other issue is that I couldn't find the notification that I had voice mails waiting. My wife's Motorola phone has a recorder icon that shows how many voice mails are waiting, and my old LG Dare phone showed them in the messages area and it would buzz me until I would acknowledge it. This phone has a very tiny pull down screen from tiny tiny icons on top of phone. There is also a white LED on the bottom of the phone, but I didn't even notice it for a long time and I'm not sure what will set it off (I think some app updates may set it off). I downloaded a Visual Voice Mail program that helps alot.
Also, the user manual is a joke, but this is probably true for all Android phones. It doesn't explain much of anything at all how to use the phone's features, other than getting the battery put in and charged to get it running. However, I did find out later that they have a few useful videos on their web site, and a user forum (seemed fairly useless to me), but it still leaves so much unexplained about the phone.
As an Android web device it is pretty good. It is very fast and functional for running apps. The 4G service is three times faster than my home DSL line, when I can get the service, which has got me thinking about upgrading our home internet service. There are all kinds of apps that are freely downloaded to make your life easier, and makes the phone fun to play with. I can actually read magazines and books quite well with the Kindle reader app. It is great at keeping you up to date on news and weather and the games are fun. Just wish it did a little better a being a phone.
- 4G, when you can get it, is blazingly fast.
- Breathtakingly beautiful screen, which makes looking at my photos on Picasa a real pleasure. Much better than Droid Bionic.
- Has Ice Cream Sandwich.
- 32 Gig storage. For me this is more than enough.
- Fast and responsive.
- Run apps great.
- Looks nice.
- It was easy to activate the phone myself.
- Using the Verizon Backup Assistant it was very easy to move all my contacts from my old LG Dare to the new phone.
- Only 5 home screens. My wife's Droid X has 7, and I think most do. I understand you can group ICONs on this phone, so that may reduce the need, but I like to use widgets and they take screen space.
- Poor data reception. My wife's Droid X will have 4 bars and I won't have any reception at all sitting in the same place. It can be also be slow to find service and occasionally the person I am talking to will say they can barely hear me while I can hear them perfectly.
- Horrible battery life. I haven't had it last overnight yet (and I've had it a month and use JuiceDefender). My wife's Droid X last 2-3 days. Some times I only get 3-4 hours of moderate use, and that is just normal stuff, no videos yet.
- It can over heat pretty easily. It can get uncomfortably hot near camera at times, a few times while it was just sitting in stand-by.
- No real accessories. I would like a charging dock and a functional car dock at least. The battery needs charging all the time.
- Almost NO preinstalled apps. Some will think this is a PRO, but for me it is a CON. I had rather have standard apps installed and ready to go rather than go looking for them. Plus, I would expect them to be tested and work perfectly. You can always uninstall if you need the space, but 32 gigs is a lot of space and apps take almost no space.
- VOICE DIALER is broken and you can't set features on it (such as confirming commands before acting on it) or train it for your voice. This is basic functionality for me. Customer service said to find a third party replacement. Please don't confuse this with Google Voice Command, which works great, but doesn't work with Blue Tooth ear pieces.
- Notification for voice mail could be a lot better, but there is some.
- Only 5 megapixal camera. ??? not sure why when they have a good 8 mp camera.
- No SD card slot. Not much of a deal for me, but when I upgrade to the next phone it would be nice to just eject my music and pop it in the new phone.
** If I had it to do over, I would probably get the Motorola Razor Max or iPhone. This phone is not ready for prime time. Some have said a fix is coming out in March. I hope so because I will be stuck with a marginal phone for two years otherwise.
P.S. I noticed that the battery life can change dramatically, and other reviewers have indicated various levels of battery drain. I assume this may be due to apps running in the background that haven't been properly terminated or continue updating. Once I noticed when I pulled my phone out of the holster it was a bit warm, even though it was just sitting on standby for an hour or more, and the battery was very low. Some days it lasts long (50% left at end of 12 hrs), some days not so long (dies after 3-4 hours). I ended up installing a battery saver program (JuiceDefender) and it seems to have made a substantial difference in a stable battery life. The app measures how much batter it saves you, and my short experience has ranged from x1.03 (mostly asleep on charger) to x2. My perception is that it is a fairly accurate assessment, even though some have said that ICS doesn't need battery management outside of ICS.
Update 1/24/12: Someone suggested I try out Google Voice account, which apparently can even translate to text and avoid the need to call Voice Mail at all. Sounds like a great idea to me.
I still am struggling with the Voice Dialer accuracy. It still seems to dial randomly out of my contacts list. I have been trying to work with Samsung customer support, but so far no luck (except they pointed out the activity bar at the top of the screen for voice mail with tiny tiny icons). The nice thing about a Droid phone is that there are so many apps that there is a good chance I might find one that can fix my problem by replacing Voice Dialer, but Samsung should have tested theirs out better before releasing it in the first place. Eventually customer support suggested I find a third-party replacement or wait and hope an update comes out to fix it (they had same problem).
on December 23, 2011
I am not going to make claims about this phone being the best Android phone or any-phone killer. There are far too many great phones available today IMO to make such claims. Today's LTE phones all offer great performance and distinct features that I believe can be customized to suit almost any user's needs. Brief backgroud on me - I came from the Droid Eris running CM7 (gingerbread 2.3.5) and have used many blackberry devices provided by my work over the years. I have also spend a good amount of time on friend's og DROID (1) and DROID X. There are some things about HTC Sense that I loved (dial pad) and some things about CM that I loved (customization). I have never really taken to motoblur.
For me the Galaxy Nexus (GN) is wonderful. I appreciate the clean and updated ice cream sandwich (ICS) platform. I have loaded maybe 45-50 apps, with 10-15 used daily. The phone is very snappy and apps load very quickly and run very smoothly. This includes several graphic intensive games. Internet speeds are fantastic, especially coming from a slow phone with 3G speeds. Whether one phone has a slight speed advantage is meaningless to me - after all these are LTE phones we are talking about and download speeds are as fast if not faster than my home network. More important are the user features and the interface of the ICS browser is great. I love the swip to delete notification - very handy - and the overall interface is very intuitive. Definitely a step-up from gingerbread. I know the RAZR and other phones will get ICS, but given the industry's slowness in upgrading software I did not want to wait. Other points about the GN - I love the camera, the screen is sharp and the colors really pop. I even feel that the contrast in day light is reasonable as well. As far as battery life, I have been getting about a day's use. I charge the phone at night and the battery has been getting to a 15-25% battery level by the end of the day (18 hours) without any need to charge mid-day. I would call my use light moderate (~2 hrs on phone, no more than 20 minutes/day on games, 10-20 minutes internet/searching, 20 minutes on google maps, 20-30 minutes on various emails/facebook/calendars, occasional pictures. This also includes downloading of apps, which I have been doing more lately because the phone is new.
I have had limited experience with the Droid RAZR and Rezound (about 40 and 20 minutes on each, respectively, at Verizon store). I found the RAZR to be a great and snappy phone as well - but the camera just always seems to give blurry images. I also did not like the fact that you could not switch out the battery (again personal preference). For me, not having a microSD slot does not matter. I agree with the direction google is taking with the GN - all internal memory. I never liked having to manage internal/external memory - the simplicity of the new design is an improvement for me. The Rezound looks good on paper, but it is definitely bulkier than the RAZR of GN. It took great pictures, but I felt the Sense UI added a bit of choppiness to the interface. I have had issues with the Eris with the dialer (it takes sometimes 30-60 seconds to disconnect from one call and get on to another), and the Rezound felt a bit slower in dialing than the RAZR and GN.
on April 16, 2012
I got this phone after having an iPhone 3GS on AT&T. I was looking forward to Verizon 4G speed and reliable signal availability. The Nexus had problems right away. If 4G was on, the battery would drain in just a few hours, even if I wasn't actually using the phone for anything. And when I was using it, 4G would drop in and out, and while it was out there was no connection at all. The phone couldn't even be used as an alarm clock if 4G was left on; it would die before morning. Some have said you can't leave 4G on. I reject that position for two reasons. One, I'm paying for 4G. Two, my wife's HTC phone works fine on Verizon 4G. Her battery makes it through the day and she nevers turns 4G off. So a 4G phone should be capable of using 4G all day long.
Amazon Wireless customer support was excellent and sent me a replacement. I used this for a week and through better power management, I was able to make the battery last overnight, but I had to leave 4G off and make sure to shut off wifi and GPS. And, just as before, when I tried to use 4G, it was unreliable.
So while Ice Cream Sandwich is quite nice to use, this phone it not acceptable to me as a useful smartphone.
Amazon Wireless was kind enough to send me a replacement Motorola Razr Maxx, which I'm hopeful will consistently offer me 4G service.
on July 7, 2012
Despite newer hardware available from Samsung & other manufacturers, this is still the best device available on VZW. It's the only device that ships without a bunch of un-removable bloat/crapware. It's the only one without a resource-hogging skin/UI & the only one with the software buttons intended to work with ICS (and soon to be Jellybean). Furthermore, this device has more community & developer support than any other device currently available, especially on Verizon.
The battery life is not stellar, but an extra battery with external charger is <$30 & well worth it to NEVER have to plug in your phone.
Clean OS, no bloat, 4G, NFC, unencrypted bootloader & unbeliievable community & developer support make this phone unique, if not legendary. 7 months after launch, it's still the best device on Verizon, and now one of the cheapest. Apple seems to agree as they've sued to block sales in the US of this phone. Yesterday it was not available even on Amazon. Today it's back. Get one now before they're gone or pulled from shelves again. There probably won't be another Nexus on VZW anytime soon, which is bad for everyone but Verizon.
If you like Verizon's coverage but hate the company, this is the phone they don't want you to have. How sweet it is!