Samsung Galaxy Nexus…one impressive smartphone!
This beauty is no slouch in the specs department..it features a 4.65 inch Super AMOLED HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. 720p Videos are really impressive on this phone.It is powered by a dual core 1.2GHz processor and there is also 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of built in storage, There is no additional storage..that is no micro SD card.
The first things you notice about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the size of the handset, the 4.65 inch Super AMOLED display makes it one of the largest devices out there..it is a lot bigger than the iPhone and takes some getting used to. But the thickness..a shade more than its other Galaxy stablemates and the curved sides plus a nice heft at 135g makes it considerably more comfortable to hold in the hand..even my fairly small hands.
Like all recent Samsung phones the Galaxy Nexus is mostly plastic (polycarbonate) but again unlike its stablemates the Nexus has a solid well built feel about it. With one exception..the very flexible removeable plastic back which gives you access to the battery and sim card..I worry that if it is opened too often you might break some of the 14 tiny plastic tabs that hold it in place.
The big deal on this phone is Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich..a complete revamp of the Android operating system..but still retains enough to recognize it as Android..just better. As with all Nexus phones the Galaxy Nexus features a pure vanilla Android experience..If you’re familiar with Android Honeycomb on tablets, you’ll find a few familiar features in Ice Cream Sandwich. As in Honeycomb, widgets in Ice Cream Sandwich are now resizable on the home screen. You’ll also find a dedicated on-screen Recent Apps button for seeing all of your open apps; just as on Android tablets, it displays a scrollable list of running apps with thumbnail images. If you look at the bottom of the screen you will also see that the Android search button has been dropped in favour of the on-screen search box.
I found Ice Cream Sandwich to be intuitive and speedy..I didn’t notice any of that old Android lag when scrolling through home pages or lists. While it still has a few rough edges this version of Android is the best yet and as a result the Galaxy Nexus is a truly user friendly device. Oh and did I mention the Face recognition login..gimmicky but a really cool feature you will love to show of to your friends.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus comes with two cameras..a 1.3mp front facing camera that is fine for video calling and it can even record 720p video. There is a 5mp rear facing camera..Not Samsung’s best, still it takes good pictures under most lighting conditions..there is zero shutter lag when taking pictures without flash..by the way..the double flash is surprisingly good.
The camera is also capable of shooting 1080p video but that is pushing its capabilities..I found the default 720p video worked really well and you as will notice in this short video it handles motion across the frame without producing artifacts.
And if you want to share your latest video or picture the camera app offers instant sharing to a variety of apps and social networks.
If you want to edit your movie before sharing it the surprisingly versatile Movie Studio will let you do that.
Overall I think this is Samsung’s best phone right now..for a big phone it feels good in the hand performs really well, takes good enough pictures and videos that you can leave your point and shoot at home. My review unit was on the Telus HSPA+ 4G network where I found the performance good but nowhere near the 21mbps theoretical performance. In my experience I have seen the best download speeds on the Telus network..this surprises me when compared to Bell because both companies share the same HSPA+ network.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is available at all the major carriers starting at $159.99 with a three year contract. You can also get it at Future Shop and Best Buy for $99.99 with a three year contract on the carrier of your choice.