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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.
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on June 15, 2012
I was very excited about this phone and bought it on its release day. I am a huge android fan but this experience 6 months later is really forcing me to consider switching to an iphone or razr maxx.

Let me start off with the good. This phone has a great screen (720p), great processor that rarely lags, and has an unlocked bootloader allowing you to update your phone earlier than verizon's notoriously slow process. 4G, when working, is incredibly fast. ICS is also a huge step up from gingerbread and in many ways superior to iOS.

Now the bad. The phone comes with an 1850 mAh which has atrocious battery life, as has been documented all over the internet. That equated to about 2-3 hours of web surfing before my phone completely died which I didn't think was possible. The 720p screen eats battery like nothing else and the chipset seems to heat up and drain battery life quicker than I have ever seen. I upgraded to the 2100mAh battery which improved my results somewhat. Now with light usage, customized battery saving roms, 4g, bluetooth, and gps all off, I can squeeze out about 12.5 hours of life out of the extended battery. My light usage consists of 30 mins or less of talking on the phone, 30 mins of web browsing, a couple of texts, and occasionally checking widgets. My friend has the same phone and has managed to get his up 15 hours by putting his phone in airplane mode for parts of the day. While the phone has a lot of great features, the battery life makes them borderline unusable and I find myself needing to carry around an extra battery with me to make sure my phone doesn't die before I can get to a charger.

The build quality of the phone is also very low. Samsung's choice of materials for the phone leaves a lot to be desired and I'm sure that some minor drops would be sufficient to break the phone. Im basically trying to get rid of this phone now so that I can get the razr maxx with its inferior gingerbread or i0S with its lack of features because unfortunately having a phone that can last half a day is too important to look over.
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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.

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on February 12, 2012
I wanted to post a few things in this review that I was looking for the answer on before I bought this phone myself.

Battery is of more importance to me than 4g speeds. The 4g eats battery like nobody's business but toggle it off and go back to 3g which is still plenty fast for me and suddenly battery life is quite good (for a smartphone). I've been getting plus or minus 24 hours (really 24 hours not just saying a work day) out of a charge with average usage (3-4 hours of screen on web browsing/fiddling mostly on wi-fi, light camera usage, checking email throughout day, maps, 30min call time, etc.) Got the 2100mah extended battery coming too which should add a few more hours at least I hope.

The camera is average. Definitely the weakest link and I'm not just saying that because it is a 5mp vs 8mp. I had an open mind about that and was hoping that was all people were focused on was the number but the camera just really isn't that great. I'm coming off the original droid incredible who's camera was...well...Incredible (for a phone).

ICS/Android 4.0 is awesome. User friendly. Quick. Highly functional and easy to use.

The processor is zippy. Definitely the fastest I have used. Will not let you down.

The screen is awesome. Seems a little dim in the auto-mode when I'm in lower light but that is a fair compromise for extended battery life.

It does feel a little big in my pocket particularly when I'm sitting but not at all too big in my hands. The small bezel and thin profile helps fit that large screen in a manageable total package.

Waiting for the 4.0.4. upgrade to roll out (still on 4.0.2) but I haven't really noticed any connection problems/battery drain that I read about in forums. Looking forward to getting the quick updates associated with a nexus device.

Other than the camera I am very happy with my purchase.
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on February 3, 2012
I don't ever sit down to write reviews, but I'm so blown away by this phone I had to do this. I've owned and used a lot of cell phones in my life but the Galaxy Nexus is beyond anything I could have dreamed of. The look, feel, and function all blend together to give you the ultimate user experience.

Curved screen allows the massive screen to fit comfortably in your hand and makes it feel more snug against your face.
Everything looks amazing on the the Super AMOLED screen. Although the screen may not be as bright as some, I actually prefer that because it still looks amazing in all lighting conditions, yet doesn't burn your retinas out when reading it in a dark room.
Simply said 4G is blazing. Seeing how you're signing a 2 year contract on this phone, I think 4G is a MUST as 4G as is the new standard of mobile communications. You have to keep in mind LTE = Long Term Evolution, as in it's going to take some time until it's fully rolled out. 4G on this phone for means it's is ready for the future.
I used to think Motorola phones always had the best call quality, not any more! Calls are crystal clear on both ends.
The notification LED light is easy to see, pleasant to look at, has different colors for each notification (I use LightFlow to control the colors) just like my old BlackBerrys!
Battery life. Because the battery is swappable, I recommend buying an extra battery (the extended-life one) and an external battery charger so you can just swap and go.

Google really hit one out of the park. So many good things I can't list them. Home screen, apps menus, widget and widget controls, address book, multi-tasking are all amazing to look at, while being extremely functional. The OS really lets the display shine, with full screen high resolution contact photos (when viewing a contact/caller ID), menu transitions, smart buttons, etc.
GMail is as good as the desktop version, Google Talk Video Chat works very well while on 4G, Turn-by-Turn navigation, Google Music, Google+ all bring THE Cloud experience to you in the palm of your hand and it all flows together seamlessly and is fun to use. For the first time Android has the same feel as the iPhone in terms of a cohesive feel throughout, only Android does WAY more then iOS ever will.
Not all third party software is ready for the OS, but all the ones I use have little to no issues.

Bottom line is this is THE phone to own. Samsung and Google are blazing trails that a few years ago would have been deemed impossible. If you want a phone that's fun to use, does more then you can imagine, won't become out of date during your two year term look no further, the Galaxy Nexus is it!
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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.
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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.
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on June 5, 2012
I'm a geek and a tweaker and always have been. This phone is perfect for me since it is so easy to root and download custom ROM's. The stock ROM did not impress me. I had similar issues with dropped calls. Once I started using custom ROM's most of my issues have disappeared. The two issues I still have are signal strength and battery life. I'm on the fringe of the 4G network. My signal will go from 4G to 3G and keep going back and forth. When I'm in a solid 4G area I have no signal issues. In fact, when in a solid 3G area I'm fine. The battery life of the original battery is brutal but I got the extended battery and use a product called "Juice Defender" that can get me through a full 12+ hour day without needing to charge. When I first bought the phone I was lucky to get 4 hours. If your not into tweaking your phone and just want to use it for basic phone calls and you are a casual email user, this may not be the right device for you. For me, it's the best phone I have had and I have had a lot of smart phones over the past 4 years.
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on June 15, 2012
Android 4.0's user interface uses blacks and grays. The settings screen should be dark gray which fades up into a deep black to blend in with the status bar. The prompts (like when you adjust the volume) should be almost black. Many devices display shades of blue or purple instead.

I've seen literally 12-13 Galaxy Nexus's in the past few months. All of them had this problem at varying degrees.

I had one which I purchased used about six months ago and it showed all accurate colors. I also saw one from a Verizon store manager who got his on launch day, and it also displayed accurate grays and blacks.

The background of the boot animation should be black, not purple. The settings screens should all have gray and black backgrounds, not purple. The prompts should be nearly black.

Samsung changed something in their manufacturing and it sucks... big time. This is the only vanilla Android 4.0 device available and it's ruined by Samsung's crappy Pentile AMOLED display technology.
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on September 9, 2012
I originally wanted to get he new Samsung Galaxy SIII phone but when the Nexus was available for 1 penny, I opted for the Nexus. I was very excited about this model as it seemed to have pretty good reviews. But, for the first couple weeks it was awful to deal with, mainly due the bad battery life it seemed to have. Well, long story short, I was able to figure out specifically what the primary problems where draining the battery. 1. 4G/LTE system seems to heavily consume the battery. 2. the brightness on high super drains the phone. I did purchase the larger extended battery as a back up too. As long as 4g/CDMA under network mode is switch to CDMA only AND the brightness mode is down to about a 1/4 then the phone works perfect. I noticed especially the brightness super drained the battery one time I needed the phone in full brightness mode. OUCH! SO, I love the phone and wish I could have read something telling me this before I bought it. For basically free, it has turned out great!!!! 4G/LTE is still not that great right now and 3G actually has MUCH better signal and is consistent. 4g is not.
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