Friday, July 20, 2012

Samsung Google Galaxy Nexus Review

Google Galaxy Nexus - The first Jelly Bean phone

Update: Read my Android Jelly Bean 4.1 on the Galaxy Nexus Review here

My Nexus S was pretty much my go-to phone and was working perfectly until I was experiencing some button “issues” (which mysteriously disappeared after a few days). I was in the market for a new phone. The HTC One X looked appealing to me because the polycarbonate material used on it looked like the one from the Lumia 900. But I was having second thoughts on the Sense UI skin and the ability to upgrade to new firmware version so I just decided to go to the next Nexus in line - The Galaxy Nexus.

Google Galaxy Nexus Specs

  • Display: 4.65" HD (1280 x 720) Super AMOLED
  • Processor / GPU: Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 / PowerVR SGX540
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Camera:  5 megapixel / 1.3 front-facing camera. 1080p video recording
  • Other Features: Notification light, NFC & Android Beam, Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass, Proximity/Light, Barometer


The Galaxy Nexus is Google’s third Nexus phone and second one made by its partner Samsung. It’s not that big of an improvement of the Nexus S but it brings a slew of worthy upgrades primarily screen estate and processing power.

No Capacitive Buttons?
The Galaxy Nexus has no capacitive buttons anywhere on the screen and uses about 1/8 of an inch below to display the usual 3 buttons seen on devices running Ice Cream Sandwich, the Back, Home and Multitasking buttons. If you’d prefer the old Nexus S 4-button layout of Back, Home, Menu, Search then there is a tweak for that.

Notification light at last
One more thing that I like about the Galaxy Nexus is its 3-color notification lights that pulsates and glows below the display. It was the one thing that irked me when missing texts and calls on the Nexus S. The app LightFlow on Google Play adds new features like multi-color notifications for calls, sms even Facebook and Twitter alerts.


Beautiful HD Display
The Galaxy Nexus’ screen resolution is now the size of a typical HD television. It has 316ppi that provides crisp images and the Super AMOLED display brings out vibrant colors. There is however a small debate on the quality of the display as it uses RGBG PenTile layout rather than the allegedly superior RGB layout. For me, I don’t really see and mind the difference. The screen is still great at the size it’s presented on.

The 3 on-screen buttons below gives way to Youtube and other videos when played on the device making the videos truly 1080p.

I didn’t include any camera shots since it’s the same crappy 5-megapixel quality on the Nexus S. They didn’t even make it to at least 8megapixel like the Galaxy S2. The continuous shot and fast auto-focus makes it bearable.

I didn’t see the Galaxy Nexus as a real worthy upgrade to the Nexus S at its old suggested price of over $600. But at the rate it’s selling and at a price of $350 at Google Play, it’s a decent upgrade to it’s predecessor. So far, battery life has been good and I have had no issues whatsoever besides the low speaker volumes (which may be a software bug).

If you have the Nexus S, I suggest that you hold on to it, upgrade to Jelly Bean 4.1, skip the Galaxy Nexus and save for the next Nexus phone which should be coming right around the corner. I’ll try to make a separate post about Jelly Bean 4.1 when I received the OTA update or when I manually update it.

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