Galaxy Nexus Review Part 1: Hardware Overview (Video)


  • roman129

    Nice overview.
    Glad to know it’s unlocked and Wind/Mobi compatible. 🙂

    • quaff

      just buy the phone at wireless wave, and you won’t have to worry about bells stupid policies. that’s what i did when the SGS first came out

    • Nimo

      Guys here’s a heads up, if you’re planning on buying this phone at futureshop or bestbuy you have to sign a contract with bell or virgin on dec.08. You can only pre-order the phone if you’re willing to get sucked into a contract. I was just at futureshop last night and they are only selling it after the new years. So Wireless Wave is where you should buy it @.

  • Preacher

    “And, yes, the phone is unlocked by default so carrier portability shouldn’t be an issue.”

    you have no idea how happy this one line has made me. i think im crying.

    • hd1

      Now I wonder if Bell or Future Shop will let you buy the thing outright without signing a contract…

    • Lee

      very happy for you bro/sister!!

    • A

      Got an internal document recently saying that we can’t sell the Galaxy Nexus coming to Bell outright at all until further notice. This is for Best Buy Mobile…

      You probably could pick it up from Mobilicity/Wind since you have to buy it outright from them anyway…plus its pentaband unlike the Nexus S

    • hd1

      @ A

      Yeah but Mobilicity/Wind won’t have the GN for months…

    • quaff

      just buy the phone at wireless wave, and you won’t have to worry about bells stupid policies. that’s what i did when the SGS first came out

    • Dante

      While my geek-lust most certainly put tri-band LTE and pentaband HSPA+ on my wish list for the GN, it really sank in after seeing the reviews of new LTE devices, Google and Samsung made the right choice.

      I think for the forseeable future, I’d say the next year (and perhaps longer), the Galaxy Nexus will be seen as the benchmark by which all other Android (and, hopefully, smartphones in general) are measured by. The battery is beefy, yet not ridiculous. The screen is incredible. The software is standardized (by definition, ICS is the bringer of harmony for the Android ecosystem), with no bloatware. Keeping with Nexus tradition, the phone is unlocked.

      I don’t think it’s a horrible stretch to say that the Galaxy Nexus (I really liked “Nexus Prime” :[) is the most ambitious, and most refined smartphone made to date. Along with being the most flexible. Yes, the iPhone has its share of refinements, but the series has always had awful hardware problems, most notably stemming from poor battery life, yet ranging to many others. Industrial design is one thing, but making a device that actually works as its intended is another.

  • Faruk

    Wow… It sounds like you’re really impressed with it, Daniel! Would you mind adding a line or two about signal quality (i.e. reception in weak areas, compared to say a Motorola or Blackberry)?

    I’m looking forward to reading your software review!

  • Josh

    I just bought the razr and i’m more pleased then expected. Maybe I might sell it for the nexus in a few months who knows

  • Alex

    Excited.thank you

  • KPH

    So when do the contests that I never win begin for this phone? 😀

  • Nicholas

    Thanks Daniel. I look forward to the Software part of the review. For now, my hardware fears are set to rest since it appears PenTile isn’t an issue and call quality is good (what an odd thing to be using a phone as a phone ; ) Sounds like it will be a welcome upgrade on my Droid2Global.

  • Al

    feels almost like you’re being paid to praise the product 😛

    which i know you’re not. But the way you sound. Makes me want it even more!

  • Sean

    Thank you personally I find that you guys do the best reviews I have seen on the internet. When talking about the CPU you don’t go run all benchmarking apps you test it in real world performance

  • Ross

    Now we just need to find out if Bell will stop retailers from selling the phone off-contract and without requiring their service on month-to-month.

    Knowing Bell they’ll already have instructed the retailers to do so.

    • GoatForSale

      It is illegal in Canada for a carrier to force you sign a contract to see the phone. They post non contact prices BY LAW and they will try to force you to sign a contact but you don’t have to. I have twice now ( once with telus and once with bell ) spoken to the store managers and had them sell me the phone off contact.

    • Ross

      What about just requiring a month-to-month plan? You aren’t being forced to sign a “contract”, in the typical sense of the word. That’s probably their loophole.

      They aren’t saying you need to sign a 1, 2, 3 year contract with them. They ARE saying that you need to be a Bell customer to buy this phone, which sucks.

      I have money, I don’t mind giving it to them, just let me buy it, jeez.

    • Manbo

      @goatforsale Show me this law that says a company HAS to sell a product without a contract?

      I would like the option, but this is the company protecting its investment, so if you are so sure please show me the law so I can show it to Bell and get the GN, tyvm.


  • Jay

    …and in a month there will be something better. Welcome to the world of technology.

  • sam

    great overview. Very well done. Also great news about it being unlocked 😀

  • Jake

    Glad to know that it’s going to be sold unlocked. Thanks for the great work! Looking forward to the next review.

  • Felix

    The Razr has not the same SoC as the Galaxy Nexus!

    Razr: TI OMAP 4430
    GN: TI OMAP 4460 <- successor of the 4430

    Moreover it isn't a last-gen CPU. The Galaxy Nexus is the first Device that gets it.

    • Tom

      The 4460 is simply a higher clocked version of the 4430.

    • monsterduc1000

      They are both clocked at 1.2 ghz.

  • pr0cs

    Great overview. Glad to see MS taking some time with the device and giving a thorough review. Good stuff guys, can’t wait for the next section.

  • The Rock

    Unlocked also, very nice

  • blairmn

    ahhh i have been waiting months for this, hurry up canada lets get this for unlock or else im going to the states

    • hd1

      I think you mean UK. Verizon is doing everything possible to f**k up the US launch.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the great write up. Look forward to the video when I get home from work!

    Very excited!

  • Abe

    yep its still a first day buy for me.Bye Bye Rogers,Hello Virgin!

  • northy

    so people like JAY and others who say there will be something better in a month,, in away you are correct,, but in a big way you are incorrect,,, till you have had a nexus phone you wont understand,

    but plain and simple, its pure google OS, NO overlays, NO bloatware, NO delays on upgrades, Nexus are never locked,,

    so the nexus phone is far more then hardware, its a total experience,,

    as for buying with no contract, Best Buy told me no can do for the first 30 days after release,,, here is hoping there wrong,,I want to buy one outright,,

  • bob

    Micro SD would have been nice, but this is still the best phone out there by far.

  • Yeria

    I was just going to buy an SGS II LTE once the price falls a little further when Galaxy Nexus starts to sell. I knew Nexus wasn’t going to as powerful as SGS II, so it really wasn’t an option for me to begin with. After reading this review though, my plan has become as clear as mud again. Nexus not having microSD support is still a downside, but I can overlook that if that’s the only issue I will have to deal with… Double U Tee Eff am I going to do now??

    • Dab

      Have to agree here. I was committed to buying this phone, but lack of a MicroSD slot just killed it for me. Guess my wait continues…

  • math

    Even if the phone is unlocked, you still have to be with the carrier for at least one month. Bell, Rodgers and Telus do not sell the phone without a contract…thats why they are called carriers…

    • northy

      bull.. I can walk in right now and buy a nexus S full price and leave,, without any contractt to anyone,,

  • math

    Even small carriers…if you want to buy a phone with no contract at all go at futureshop or best buy. If you want to have a big deal on it, buy with a carrier and if your tired of the compagny, buy it off…you only pay the balance of the phone anyway!

  • math

    Northy, maybe with some carriers, but in Quebec at least with the big three you have to take a minimum monthly plan if im not mistaken

  • northy

    goto costco,, best warranty when you buy phone out right,,,

    • KnightFire

      Costco has been mentioned a few times now, so I’ve started to look into it:
      – Right now if you activate a smartphone on a 3 year term (only on Rogers, and Bell?) you get a $150 Costco cash card (some stores may say $125 but I’m told it’s $150 now).
      – If you buy a phone out right Costco will allow it’s return after 90 days instead of 30 – no word on the allowed usage though.
      – Extended 3-year hardware coverage can be purchased for $49. Hardware is fixed/refurbished 3 times, before a ?refund? is granted – my local staff really didn’t seem to know.

  • northy

    math you are mistaken,, thats why the give the price break down as 1-3 yr on plan,, then price with no plan

  • Gab

    Can you tell me how the sharpness compares to the HTC raider. I saw one in futureshop and was very impressed by the raider..

  • TheHansTheDampf

    I am always struggling with the bands and UMTS frequencies. Will this finally be a phone that works for phone + 3g around the world?

    I had troubles with every phone before to get it working across Asia/Europe/USA (e.g. the old HTC Desire doesnt support US UMTS frequencies)

    • bob

      yes it will work in both GSM and UMTS modes around the world

  • math

    Well I can say that I know that with Bell and Telus it is as I say. The full price is for monthly plans and you get a very small deal on a one year contract. I cant talk for the others but pretty sure that Public Mobile is the same too. But as for the others I cant confirm anything.

  • Louis

    This is making it harder for me to have to wait until Jan 2012 to get the phone through Telus 🙁

    Mostly since its unlocked and you seem to praise the hell out of it. I guess the more reviews we get of the production model the more ill be clear on if i gotta buy it!

  • HwyXingFrog

    What about the Glass on the screen. As we all know, they aren’t using Corning’s Gorilla Glass, do you know what glass they ended up using?

    This is a big deal for me making a decision on this phone.

    Thanks mobilesyrup.

  • Tom

    Glad that you mentioned the GPS – I think that is one of Samsung’s weaknesses. For example, I found the GPS on the Nexus S to be quite a bit worse then the Nexus One. Maybe that’s unfair – the N1 had an incredible GPS – but you expect them to get better over time, not worse.

  • Geoff

    Man, do I ever wish that my contract was expiring Dec 2011 instead of Dec 2012!

  • northy

    so for you guys who want to give the thumbs down about buying a phone at full pop no contract,,

    I just called rogers and bell, its no problem to buy the phone at full price and walk out the door,,,

    its funny as the lady at bell said thats why we call it no contract price

    • GoatForSale

      I had the same experiance buying from bell and telus however their reps on the phone were saying one thing and the instore reps were saying another. In the case of telus the guy actually showed me the screen in the system where it said in big letters DO NOT SELL OFF CONTRACT, as i stated above though i was successful at both stores. =)

    • JohnisGay

      That’s how it’s supposed to work. But the people who want to make the commission from selling plans and data will tell you they don’t have any left IF the supplies are low. Friends from fido/rogers would do this for the iphone a lot.

  • Slype

    >>And, yes, the phone is unlocked by default so carrier
    >>portability shouldn’t be an issue.


    >> no microSD slot
    That’s too bad but not a deal breaker (sit down Liz Lemon!)

    Overall, this seems like a fantastic phone and I suspect that those who are willing to fight with BB/FS to get this phone outright will be able to do so at the beginning, but I suspect this will be a hot item for the holidays so I think I may just tell myself that I’ll get it in January when the craze for it dies down a bit and it becomes more widely available. Really looking forward to this awesome piece of hardware!

  • John

    My Christmas present to me!!!! Buy it from Future Shop in November. No carrier involved!!! Can’t wait.

  • math

    Yeah well there you see the big difference between the phone and in store. People on the phone don’t sell you a phone but people in the store do. Of what I have heard from people working in store, its not something that is supposed to even be possible but I see that actually it is. Still, I would not count on that cause I know that it is popular belief in stores that it cant be done.

    • northy

      you are right there is ,, that is why i called local stores and not just there corperate phone numbers,,,

      give it a try

    • northy

      so for Shlts and giggles I just tried another bell store and wireless wave, both told me i can walk in buy phone at full pop no contract,,,

      so 2 bell STORES,, 1 Rogers STORE and wireless wave all said the same thing,,,

      and when i personally talked to the guy at costco a few weeks back said the same,,,

      so I see no issue with buying phones not on contract,,,

      how ever a week ago,, Best Buy guy told me Bell was not going to sell it out right (no contract) for the first 30 days,, I questioned both bell stores on this and wireless wave and none of them knew anything about that,,, but they also had no idea on pricing yet either

    • hd1

      @ northy

      I think I speak for everyone when I say, we really hope you’re right.

    • T

      I’ll just mention that from working in a bell retail store, the point of sale system, called POS+, will NOT allow you to sell the phone without a rate plan attached to it. That is either a 3 year, 2 year, 1 year or a 30 day plan. When people come in to buy a phone and they don’t have an existing bell plan they need to go through the entire process of credit check and signing up for a 30 day plan. That’s as low as it goes, 30 days. There is no such thing as walking into a CORPORATE Bell store and walking out without a Bell plan for at least 30 days. Not even managers can override this. The corporate philosophy was pretty adamant about only dealing with people who were bell subscribers or would be after they walked out the door.

      As far as I know Futureshop and BestBuy can sell phones without plans because their POS system is entirely different.

  • McBain

    Step 1: buy from Virgin on supertab

    Step 2: cancel

    Step 3: use it on any network

    • Dan Maskell

      With the Virgin supertab, do they also make you buy one of their simcards and pay an activation fee before you walk out with the phone?

  • boojay

    Are you guys trying to tell us the Galaxy Nexus makes the iphone look like s**t? Because we already knew that.

  • Mike

    Nice McBain. That works too. Im just hoping the carriers dont inflate the no contract price. Hopefully it sells around $500-$550 maximum.

  • Dalex

    Awesome job as always you guys! So Ice Cream Sandwich is that good that the hardware doesn’t matter huh… wow!

    Can’t wait to get ICS on my SGS2!

  • Lean-N-Supreme

    I need one of these in my hands

  • james

    you know most of these places say that they’ll let you buy it no contract with no problem now. wait until it actually is out and people are flocking to the store to get it. that’s how it worked with the SGS2 when i tried to get mine no contract

  • Andrew

    Just purchased a Galaxy II LTE – having manjor issues trying to decide whether or not to return it and wait for this nexus or try to pick up a HD LTE somewhere else….


  • Bikram

    I guess nobody noticed that Galaxy nexus has a SINGLE CORE GPU when most of the new cell phones have dual core.

    • John

      Maybe you should learn to read.

      “The dual-core TI OMAP 4460 SoC runs at 1.2Ghz”

    • MrMarv

      John, maybe you should learn to read. He clearly (as in all caps’d it) said single core GPU. Not CPU. GPU. *dust hands*

      That said, I feel a single core GPU doesn’t really matter if it performs well, and from Daniel’s review it seems that it does.

  • Jason

    You should be able to get it outright, if you go to the right shops. I know T-Booth let me buy the Bell Motorola Atrix outright, even though everywhere else wouldn’t

  • Ribbys

    Is there any word on the 32 GB version? 16 GB is not enough for me.

  • Deli

    +111 for mcbai

  • Hammam

    Damnit, no LTE? I was excited about this phone but if it doesn’t have LTE, its going to be outdated in less than a year. I seriously hope Robers will get the LTE version.

  • Andy

    So 3G is compatible across all Canadian carriers, does that include US and/or Europe as well (if Verizon ever decides to release it)? What about HSPA+, is that treated differently?

    And I understand this was for the HSPA+ version & it was implied that no LTE version is coming to Canada, could somebody clarify that? First I’m hearing it.

  • Dylan K

    Selling RAZR. Must have this phone.

  • Johnny Boy

    Looks like an amazing phone… almost makes me regret getting the sgs2 a month ago…. almost !!! no sd card slot is a deal breaker, and 32 gb is not enough for me, i am using 32gb only for music…. if they had a 64gb version it would be my next device.

  • Claude

    I’m looking to buy my first Android phone this winter, and looking at this one and the SII LTE from Rogers. What’s your experience with app size. Isn’t 16GB enough?

  • Ribbys

    Any word on the 32GB version?

  • Gallagher Nexus

    Great looking phone, but a lot of the issues raised here are legit. If you’ve got a decent phone, why not wait until the Nexus 4 comes out in a year or so? It will probably have LTE, a quad-core processor and 32GB of storage, hopefully Gorilla Glass and a better camera. Once my Nexus S gets ICS (no idea when that might be) I’m good to wait another year. (Caveat: Of course this line of reasoning doesn’t apply if you need to replace your crappy phone now…)

  • iEtthy

    all i need to read is 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage (no microSD slot)

    To know im not getting this Hunk of iPhone wanna be Product.

  • iEtthy


  • JustAnotherDan

    Cool. Now WHEN can I buy it and HOW MUCH will it cost?

  • Mac

    I want this. I wish people would buy the Nexus line more so the internet isn’t so full on people complaining how they never get OS updates. Granted, they should be getting them but still.

  • jimsoklar

    does the camera have a zoom feature that is sorely missed on the nexus s

  • jimsoklar

    does the camera have a zoom feature????

  • Andy

    Yes, the camera has zoom.

  • justITguy

    Whats the cost outright? Might consider this over the Razr now….

  • Sam

    Holy crap, I plan on getting one but even I think this article is over the top.

  • Keetchigan

    I’ve had other phones made by Samsung, I would need to test out the signal capabilities of this phone – they make hardware and add in a phone.

    What I have found again, with all Samsung phones; is that the Super AMOLED screen always looks better than Apple’s.

  • Stevearino

    anyone know if you can get this at costco? I asked a couple of weeks ago and they were sure about the razr, but not the nexus….

  • nil

    Just to re iterate, you can not be refused sale of this phone because of no contact. They have no contact pricing as a legal requirement.

    If you are refused sale because you don’t want a contact you can report the company to the competition bureau of Canada as it is tied selling and they take these matters very seriously.

    Google tied selling or competition bureau of Canada for more info.

    • Jack

      the point isnt that you can not get this phone without a contract, but that u must sign up for service for minimum 30 days. I know a lot of stores that I called when the SGS2 came out said they would not be selling it outright, and that I had to get at least a month to month service.

  • Helgi S.

    I’ve been trying to decide for some time now between Razr and Nexus. Saw penty of mixed razr reviews and finally the review on this side turned me off. You have a lot of good things to say about this phone. What I can’t get out of my head is how flimsy the back cover seems to be in the video. Will it really protect the sensitive electronics inside from humidity rain and snow. Will it fall apart in yoiur pocket. I went from razr to nexus and now I’m lost…. help

  • Joe Paterno

    Fail cuz screen is 2 big. Won’t fit in pocket. Might as well be a small tablet.

  • Louis..again

    Well Verizon will be getting LTE versions…so i dont see why rogers wouldnt get one.

  • jaydee

    Any word on a 32 gb version?

  • Nic

    Great review by I am not really sure its better than the Galaxy SII LTE myself.

  • jershyjersh

    15% off telus team webstore — friends and family

    Anyone got a cheaper strategy ?

  • harpoon

    I’ve called around and it appears that the non-LTE is 16GB only? It’s hard to know as these reps are mouth breathing imbeciles half the time.

  • Paul

    Galaxy s2 with Ics would fair better than this. . . Who cares about fancy lightings?

  • jclg

    Well, I think this about seals the deal for me. I was mulling over one of the SII variants or the LG Optimus LTE, but I think I’ll be happy with the Nexus.

    16GB isn’t a deal-breaker, nor is the lack of micro SD card. I’m probably getting a 64GB iPod touch at some point to carry my music and podcast collection, and I wouldn’t use my phone as a primary music play anyway because of battery drain.

    Although the phone’s unlocked (which is EXCELLENT), is it still going to be filled with bloatware from respective carriers? I’m thinking of getting it from FS (or wherever) in Dec. and then signing up with Telus.

  • Yogurt

    What I want to know is does dust collects under the screen?

  • Nathan

    Eff it i don’t need the expandable memory, I’ll just use my old galaxy s as an mp3 player. I’m getting this as soon as it is released for Rogers.

  • MrMarvelous

    Excellent review so far Daniel, but may we request that two things?

    1) When comparing it to other devices, the 4s in many peoples opinion has been bested by devices other than the Galaxy Nexus. Like the Galaxy S2 for example. I feel I’m tired of reviewers comparing to inferior devices.


    2) That you start putting down actual ratings at the end of your review. Not sure when you decided to forgo this, but it serves as a concrete, final say as to what you really think. That in context with the review helps a user decide on whether or not they like this device and whether or not your review is faulty. 😛

  • Paul

    LOL, the voice recognition interpreted “Nexus” as “Texas”, but for the record that’s pretty dang close and good.

    Also, great overview!

  • Pontuseu

    Any chance of this working with Koodo?

  • Lost in London

    What’s with “Bell” on the main screen? Please tell me if it can be removed.

  • Wooot

    if you want to buy it ourtight:

    buy the phone from virgin on supertab, then leave. done. just pay the remaining tab

  • Lee

    finally the retail price is ….. $650 not bad

  • John

    Does anyone make a phone with a decent earpiece volume? I have a blackberry right now which the volume is fine, I tried to switch to the HTC Desire HD but the earpiece volume was too low and I returned it. Now, I was hoping for the galaxy neuxs but in the CONS the earpiece volume is too low. Would anyone have a good state of the art android phone with decent ear peice volume to suggest?

  • Nicholas

    Hey Daniel. Did you run into the UK volume bug that’s happening on the other side of the pond? I’m really looking forward to this handset, but if there’s a hardware issue, I might shy away until Sammy get’s their act together.

    • Nicholas

      Damn. I should learn to do my research before opening my yap. We won’t have the same UK volume issue here so not to worry.

  • Andrew

    Ok so here comes a question.

    Will this be able to run on Bell/Telus’s 42 mbps network or just on the 21 mbps network? There is quite a speed difference between those two.

  • John

    21 only think so.. The 42 is for internet key for computers for exemple, not for cellphones. (it’s what i think)

  • Mike

    Hey guy, does any one know if this phone is going to be unlocked? I talked to bell today they said when they give the phone out to people they’ll program it on the spot? Can I still use it with other carriers?

  • Nishant Bhatt

    Look wise, this is the best android phone yet. I am running ICS on my Galaxy S and its so amazing.

    Can some one explain how wifi direct feature works on ICS? I see an option in settings > more but dont excatly know how to use it.

  • Toons

    So, you can buy it outright from any carrier and it will still be unlocked?
    Would the Bell version come with any bloatware?

  • Tristan

    why is it better to buy it by Wireless Wave ?? :O

  • Teddy

    Does anybody know where this can be had with 32gb? 16gb is just disappointing…

  • John

    I like the part he says “Performance as been dramatically increased” I guess with a dual core and 1 G of ram that would no the a problem for Android, Guess the battery will suffer though after some apps installed

  • shafin

    gayayay fuk all andorid and nexus and samsung and son eriicosn an htc’s all about ihpone nexus copied the iphone 4s so fuk this

  • Rybo

    Anyone know if there’s a difference between Bell and Fido Galaxy Nexus? If there’s a logo of the company on the phone or when the phone is booting?


  • Jeremy

    I just got a Galaxy Nexus from telus and signed up with Wind. When I was at the store the guy recommended I do something to the phone (“flash it”?) because the updates for it in Canada are based on the company you bought the phone from instead of coming straight from Google. Anyone know what he was talking about, if its true, and how to do whatever this is?