Galaxy Nexus Review Part 2: Software Overview and Final Thoughts


  • Marc

    This is a very nice phone and I love ice cream sandwich!!!

    • havy

      Since this is pentaband, guess next iPhone will be pentaband. Let the software competition begin!

  • Galaxy_nexus

    GOD I love this phone more and more as I read about it <3

  • russ

    Been thinking about getting an iPhone but this seals the deal. ICS on a mediocre phone…gotta be better than iPhone!

  • keiYUI

    Thoughts on the device: Holy crap why didn’t I wait for this phone… 🙁

  • Drodro

    Quite disappointed by the camera review. On the official site they advertise that the phone has top notch low light performance. What happened?

    Hope that the noise cancellation and ambient light sensor can be improved by a software update.

    Still getting this phone for sure. 🙂

  • mike

    Ics is a noticible and substancial leap. This is a great review Nd puts alot of things into perspective. Being and Ios user, the Google Nexus has alot of features and upgrades that are very appealing to me. Keep up the good work MS!!!

  • Sean

    I really need to get one of these but I already have a device with a confirmed ICS (transformer) coming to it what should I do

  • KapitalK

    Excellent job review the Nexus Prime, very through and honest!

  • Randy

    Wondering if the Nexus S drops to say ~$200 outright, would that be worth more than paying $550 for the Galaxy Nexus? I have an entry level android at the moment.

    • jnrbshp

      yes it definitely would if you dont mind having the high end features, which it sounds like you dont

    • aka

      if you have to ask for opinion on price…

  • freestaterocker

    Biggest thing that stands out to me as a WP7 user: all highlights of new software features discussed in this review are either already present in mango OS or irrelevant on Windows Phone. The world needs to see that there is better phone software than just android and ios.

    • joe

      yes… apps would be irrelevant on wp7.

  • freestaterocker

    Also, I can’t discern any difference between roboto and wp7’s metro font.

  • Mark

    Awesome and honest review! Thank again. Is it any wonder I come here? Not sure I’m dissuaded from buying the GN in the least, but it is nice to know what I’m walking in to.

    I take issue with only one point:

    “those who already have Android devices less than, say 18 months old… HTC, Samsung and Sony Ericsson have already committed to updating their latest fleet of devices to ICS in 2012; whether that means in two months or twelve months remains to be seen, but you will get it.”

    No, the vast majority will not get it. I’m in that <18 month group and I'm not even getting Gingerbread on a former high end flagship brand name device unless I want to hack it in myself. I'd say that *most* high end phones released in the last 6 months will get ICS. The rest of us are likely SOL.

  • bobsbiggerballs

    So this review was on a At&t/tmobile Galaxy Nexus and not the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, Hopefully the Engineers at Verizon Caught these hiccups which is causing the delay with the phone to get them fixed.. i can dream right. LOL

    i am stilling going to buy the galaxy nexus, has anyone invented a small portable SDcard attachment so i can download backs up to the card, sort of a external SDcard back up..

  • furyagain

    I am glad i got myself the HTC amaze,
    which should have ICS pretty soon, from offical release or XDA

  • Cave Man

    Hmm…don’t know if I should sell my Sensation to get this or not. I’ll probably wait until end of February. If by that time a good CM9 version gets released or HTC releases the update, then I’ll keep it, else I’m switching.

  • dave

    I’ll be keeping my ‘S’. Wait for the next Nexus. Hopefully Google will un-puff it’s chest and smoke the search box on all screens… what a bunch of turkeys.

    Anyway looking forward to getting ICS on my ‘S’ before xmas!

  • jim

    Ok so the battery sucks the camera is not as good as the iphone and the speaker volume sucks? No thanks

  • anonymous pedant

    The black screen alights? I doubt it. Stick with the technical details and leave the overwraught creative writing to high school English students.

  • Erix

    Will the 32 gb model available on Rogers?

    • aka

      Not to hijack this thread and no intention of spreading rumours, but what if Rogers & Telus delayed their launch of SGN for the LTE model instead? However, I still believe that Bell paid Samsung a pretty sum of money to be first, so that’s probably not the case, it’s still nice with 21 Mbps.

  • Wellner

    Wow. I really enjoyed the review. Thank you for the good read. Unfortunately I’m one of the US Verizon end users still awaiting for this delicious phone to hit stores, and I feel this review has been one of the most thorough and informative to let me know what I should expect(excluding the LTE and even more of a disappointing battery despite the slightly larger capacity). Happy to see ICS has come to the maturity many were expecting to see, though I still see Google as an experimental development team and unless they have consistent bug free releases I will expect bugs here and there, especially off a fresh release. Not even Apple has had a complete perfect release, but they are much closer to the aforementioned perfection.

  • monsterduc1000

    What about gaming?

  • bob

    Why no mass storage device? How do you transfer files to the phone?

    • Greeneking4

      Even though it lacks a SD slot, you should be able to connect the phone via USB and transfer files to it, as you would any mass storage device.

    • Greeneking4

      Sorry Bob, I didn’t read the review properly. Forget my comment 🙁

  • Merckx

    So do I buy the nexus or SG2? I can’t decide (first world problems!)

  • Dalex

    Love the review, very detailed look at ICS and the GN sounds like a great device, though I’ll be sticking to my white GS2. In my opinion it looks sleeker and is the more powerful device.

    My only gripe is in the beginning of the review when ICS is introduced you mention ICS making everything easier and that the previous versions were “hard”. That seems to tick me for some reason. What exactly was hard about using android before? Everything is intuitive and easy to tinker with. I admit I love tech so maybe my opinion is biased, but was it really that “hard”? Are people so tech challenged they can’t figure out the older versions?

  • Endless

    Thanks! Reading all of this just makes me more excited to get the phone. It’s almost the perfect timing. My 3GS has been annoying me, and my grandpa iPod Video has just died after 5 years of service. I like my MP3 player and phone to be different devices, so when I get the Galaxy Nexus, my 3GS will become my dedicated music player!

    Honestly, the “disappointing” camera is still extremely impressive to me. I myself have a DSLR, so super high quality photos on the phone don’t matter!

  • guillaume

    So, after reading this nice review, i’m still undecided between the galaxy s II x and this device. I’m a Telus customer and i have an old blackberry, this would be my first Android phone. Do I buy the sIIx right away or do I wait about 2 months for the Nexus? Help! :p

    • Dalex

      If you don’t mind waiting, its a better idea. The Telus S2X is not as good as the international/bell one. The Nexus has a higher resolution, a faster SoC, and will have ICS out of the box. I’m not even sure if Telus’ version will get ICS, let alone when.

    • aka

      Just like the review said, for those with SG2 currently, there doesn’t seem to be any compelling need to upgrade, unless you’re digging the screen rez and ICS immediately.

      For you deciding between the SGIIX vs SGN, and waiting, by the time you wait for Jan 2012, could be end of month, you’ll hear more about HTC’s quad-core Tegra3 devices, and may wait for that. Then after Feb 2012, you’ll probably hear Samsung announce their SGIII lineup with far superior hardware specs, just like what happened with Nexus S (though that’s also a great phone).

      It’s a hard debate between the two,
      * SGIIX has higher clocked CPU at 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S3 vs 1.2Ghz TI OMAP 4460, though benchmarks
      * SGIIX has better camera (8MP vs 5MP front and 2MP vs 1.3MP back)
      * SGIIX has faster radio (42Mbps vs 21 Mbps)
      * SGIIX has Super AMOLED Plus ( vs SGN’s Super AMOLED)
      * SGIIX has higher capacity batter ( 1850 vs 1750)
      * SGIIX has DLNA support, unable to confirm for SGN support
      * SGIIX has HDMI out via expansion port through microUSB charging port, not sure about SGN, maybe.
      * SGIIX has microSD expansion up to 32GB, SGN doesn’t.
      * SGN has ICS out-of-the-box and a bigger and higher rez screen (4.65″ vs 4.52″, 720p vs WVGA)
      * SGN has higher pixel density (315 ppi vs 207 ppi), and the pentile matrix display doesn’t affect it much.
      * SGN is made for ICS, no button on bottom of phone, making the current SGIIX buttons redundant when ICS is out?
      note: Samsung will release ICS for the SGIIX if you’re willing to wait, or you can root it and get it immediately as ICS source has been released to developers. It’s already being ported unofficially to SGII devices at this time.
      * Both screens seems to be provide sufficient anti-scratch protection.
      * SGN comes with a higher clocked version of SGX540 inside the current Nexus S, however the SGIIX has a much more powerful Adreno 220 GPU. May make a difference in future gaming applications.
      * Samsung will be announcing a more powerful SGIII generation devices later in 2012, with screen rez and most likely Super AMOLED Plus to match.

      Please feel free to add more differences in followup replies.
      Hard decision, I dig the higher rez and larger screen of the SGN, it’s never good time to upgrade.

  • Alex

    I hope that future phones can have 2 speakers in back, would give a left right audio (top and bottom of phone) when holding it landscape, and wouldnt have issues with speaker volume sounding low. Its very annoying when trying to show off something using your phone, and everyone turns away because they cant hear unless they put speaker to their ear. Audio hasnt improved in 5 years, its ridicuilous, i think my bold 9000 from 5 years ago was best performing audio i ever had.

    My infuse is 4g, and quite loud.My only complaint of my infuse is i doubt it will get os4.0, and the gps is useless.
    I reserved this nexus phone on rogers, but if speaker volume is that low, that might be a deal breaker for me.

    Unfortunately, i dont think the gs2 is much louder.Im hoping with htc and beats, maybe future phones will put more emphasis on audio quality and loudness.

  • Gilbert P.

    Worried about the google seach bar on every home page? Install a different launcher.

    All the news I’ve seen so far points to only the Verizon version having the 32gb storage.

    I just hope messing withe the ISO settings will improve night time pics. Google made a point that this device takes great night time pictures.

    The battery issues don’t bother me too much, there’s always a way on Android to improve battery issues. Just requires some patience and experimentation. 9 hours is a great starting point compared to many other Androids. People have have found ways to double their battery life, heck JuiceDefender alone will help achieve that.

    I can’t wait to get this device in my hands. I hear it calling my name in the distance!

  • Lazed

    I hope HTC brings out a phone with some metal on it and a better camera. Definitely not a fan of plastic overload.

  • Justin

    you guys have to realize that ICS just got announced. This phone is a great phone, but if the Galaxy S II is getting the update as well, which phone would you get??? because the Galaxy S II is holding up its own as well!!

    • bob

      I would take the Nexus just for the display.
      But not having to wait for ICS is an other plus.

  • swa

    Just noticed that you s**t the video at Sheppard station.. great place to be and quite close to where I live 🙂 great review..

  • swa

    I meant shot*

  • Steve Dion

    Nice fanboy review! Give me a break 9.5/10 software and 9/10 hardware? Crappy camera, buggy software? Those are the two most important things on a smartphone. No way do they deserve 9.5 and 9. Should be more like 8.5 and 8!

  • Aydin

    for those with newer HTC devices who want to wait of ics. dont because you wont see the update till at least april and thats why i will be selling my sensation and getting this.

  • whocares

    Why did you rate it so high, it completely sucks – the camera, noise cancellation, call volume, battery life, size.


  • Sylvester McCoy

    It’s not LTE.

  • michael

    Finally a worthy upgrade to my vibrant.
    The SII was not worthy because of the terribly unavailable updates for the vibrant. (Us version)

    • daveloft

      The updates to the Galaxy S in Canada were timely, so as long as your not in the US I’m not sure why that’s relevant.

  • cass_m

    Nice review. I plan on upgrading from my i9000m *if* the GS feels good in hand. I passed on the Nexus S because it wasn’t any better than my SGS but this has enough more features. I like the fast camera speed for outdoor shots. I really like my Galaxy Tab 10.1 with honeycomb and would like consistency across devices.

  • aka

    I really like this review for the benchmark chart comparing similar devices. It really puts into perspective on the kind of performance expected from the devices.

  • Johnisgay

    I heard theres no Adobe Flash?

    • Steve Dion

      Doesn’t matter if no flash, the camera is sucky, software buffy handmade of plastic, it beats the iPhone 4S OK?!!!! Bunch of fanboys, face it, the phone is sub par! That being said i’ll still get one!

  • 69iner

    damn should I wait for this or get the HTC Amaze??!!

  • Marc

    So if I am a Rogers customer with a 3+ year old BB curve 8310 and my choices are get the SGSII LTE now.. or wait till early – mid january for the Galaxy Nexus.. I should wait for the Nexus?

  • MrMarvelous

    Hold on, your video review for this is really only 3 minutes? It was kinda of hit and miss and left out some much needed points. Thank you for including an actual rating but I highly suggest you re-do your video review. Especially for a phone with this kind of clout, don’t you want to further your websites reputation? Look how good it felt when Matias shared you. Please re-do.

    • Nick

      I agree.
      Daniel, I realize you put a lot of effort into the review and it’s appreciated. However, I would prefer a lengthy video review, especially for a device with so much hype. A milestone
      The scripted video review you gave feels much less genuine than when you just go through the device and do some benchmarks in front of the camera. Like the one you made for the S2.
      Just a thought. I think most would agree though.
      Keep it up

    • aka

      You kids and your videos. Not everything needs to be in a video. For example, I’d rather see the raw benchmark data in the written report, than waste bandwidth on watching a 10 min video of the benchmarks actually running, and coming to the same conclusion.

      In the right context a video review can be effective, keyword on “right context”.

  • DesireHD

    Nice overview, maybe I’ll wait for quad-core phones after all!

  • Sylvester McCoy


    Right on. The review could be 30% shorter if the author would take out the melodrama and useless verbiage.

    “Welcome to ice cream sandwich. Have a taste.”


  • Marc

    I have a 3 year old BB cure 8310. Should I wait till january for the nexus and not get the SGSII LTE now? (on rogers but have an upgrade option available)

  • Deo

    is this phone really going to cost $800? was going to buy it, but was anticipating $499

    • MrMarvelous

      Where did you get $800 from? The American sites which list the Verizon LTE model?

    • aka

      you’re mistaking the UK price in £ vs the North American price in $.

  • Theturtle

    Lets not judge those benchmark tests. Remember Quadrant is not optimized for hardware acceleration yet. Just an FYI

  • Abdul

    Does it have Google Wallet pre-installef? And does it support scrollable calender widget?

  • Richard

    This phone has some really nice specs. Though i dont know what all the fuss about the ice cream sandwich OS. The htc sense im running on my gingerbread HTC incredible s looks better in most regards. Unless you can customize ICS, then there is no real point to get this phone based on ICS. Your better off with the HTC amaze.

  • Quick

    HELP !!!
    Could someone could help me please. I’m still hesitating with buying this wonderful phone or buying the HTC Amaze 4g who should receive ICS upgrade in a couples of months. Camera is important for me and I dont know what to do.

  • kendomaster

    9/10? seriously 9/10?

  • Moritz

    Nice review. Thank you. So I know all the specs, have read all reviews, but now I would like a simple one scentence opinion. What phone would you choose as your primary: iPhone 4s or galaxy nexus?

  • KingK

    How about no Flash for ICS???

  • hey

    you are a bunch of i****s. all of you. all

  • tom

    I have been an iphone user since 2007 (iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, almost iPhone 4). I have spent lot on ios apps but who care, I am definitely getting the Samsung Galaxy Nexus when it comes out.

    Bigger Screen, LTE on Verizon, and Pure Google Experience…

  • RC

    How can this be the best phone out there?

    -no SD card
    -No HDMI out – how the hell can I show my family/friends the photos/videos and movies on my HDTV?
    -No mass storage means same issue as no HDTV access above. Yeah you can try and use DLNA but with limited codec support from the TV itself. It’s best to run off the phone itself!!!
    -Utterly upset at Samsung for limiting hardware on the “best phone” ever.

  • OAbrey

    My son and I have been talking about our acquiring new smart phones. He bought a Samsung S2 for his gf the other day. He has been trying to convince me to pass on the Nexus and go for one too. I have read numerous articles about the phones, and this was very thorough.

    After reading this, I feel like the Nexus might be the way to go, but am conflicted because of the difference in camera resolution. Has the Nexus better interpolation software than the S2? Does it “feel” like a step upward or a step backward from the S2?

  • BT

    So it’s Jan 13 2012 and the Galaxy Nexus was released on Rogers today. I am still torn between this and the Galaxy S2. No expandable memory, inferior camera and no LTE on the Nexus, but better resolution and ICS right now and better support, faster OS upgrade in the future (due to it being google’s flagship device).

    The primary use for the new phone will be consuming media, so the Nexus should be the obvious choice as the slightly larger screen and higher resolution would be most beneficial. But everything else, including the ICS update coming soon for the GS2 seems hard to give up

    I won’t wait for the Galaxy S3 unless it’s being released in Q1 of 2012, I just can’t wait any longer to upgrade. Decisions…decisions! Which one should I go for, Nexus or Galaxy S2?