We’ve got the Samsung Galaxy Nexus to review today. It features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which is capable of PC-like performance in your hand. The included 5MP camera is also capable of taking ultra-quick snaps, panoramic photos and shooting HD videos. All of this technology is situated behind the amazing 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen. Let’s take a closer look.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was the first Android 4.0 smartphone to be released and, we have to say, it’s definitely a massive step-up from Gingerbread. You’ll find more about the software on the next page.
The display on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is quite possibly one of the most vibrant and detailed I’ve ever seen on a smartphone. This is most likely due to the fact that the screen is a HD Super AMOLED display that features a resolution of 1280 x 720! In the smartphone world, this is one of the best displays you’ll find on a mobile phone.
The high-quality nature of the Galaxy Nexus’ screen also provides an incredible viewing experience whether you’re viewing film and video or playing a quick game of Angry Birds.
Buttons / Ports
If we take a look around the device, you might notice that the buttons and ports are placed very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S2 we reviewed back in November, last year.
The left side of the device features the volume rocker, with the right side sporting the power and lock button.
If we take a look at the bottom, we’ve got the microUSB port (for charging and connecting to your PC) and a microphone. Now, unlike the Galaxy S2, the Nexus features the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom as well, making the entire top section of the phone completely free of ports and buttons.
As with most smartphones nowadays, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus features two cameras in total; one on the front, and a rear 5MP camera capable of taking fairly high quality photos, panoramic shots or Full 1080p HD video.
Now, you Nexus owners might be thinking, “5MP?! That’s what I had on my previous Nexus device.” However, don’t jump the gun. The Galaxy Nexus might feature the same amount of megapixels, but the camera has been drastically improved to provide you with a great experience.
For still photos, the Nexus did a pretty good job with the brightness and vibrancy of the colours really showing through. I found that photos looked slightly washed out a couple of times, but overall the picture quality was brilliant.
The camera appears to be one of the fastest we’ve ever seen, or used, on a smartphone. You literally touch the shutter button and the photo is instantly stored in your photo library. This is a brilliant feature that will really enable the user to get the picture they want.
Now, as with most of Samsung’s latest products, such as the Samsung WB750 digital camera, we’ve got panoramic photo capabilities in the Nexus.
The panoramic technology works great, and provides some really crisp and clear detail on the pictures.
In terms of video recording quality, we were very impressed here as well. The Galaxy Nexus is capable of recording in 720p or 1080p, as well as some lower resolutions, and the overall quality is very crisp, vibrant and clear.
Now, this is something I haven’t seen before, but the front-facing 1.3MP camera is also capable of recording in 720p at 30fps, so for those of you who perhaps record video blogs for YouTube, this would be a very suitable camera for doing so.
Note from editor: Unfortunately, due to a technical fault, we no longer have our photo and video samples, but I will try to get some more done as soon as possible.
As with most smartphones, audio is crucial to a phones performance, with media being a very popular aspect of today’s devices.
Whilst the audio proved to be quite good, I felt that it lacked the depth and bass that it needed to really impress.
I was quite shocked at how quiet the volume was as well. When comparing the max volume level with my iPhone 4, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was just drowned out when testing both devices as loud as they could go.
CPU, Memory and Storage
During my testing for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I was really impressed at the overall performance. The dual-core 1.2GHz processor really helps in providing an incredibly smooth experience. I have no doubt that Android Ice Cream Sandwich also played a part in the performance and overall experience. Applications opened without hassle; scrolling through menus, messages and webpages was all very smooth and lag-free as well.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus features 1GB of RAM, much like most high-end smartphones nowadays, and with the combined power from the CPU and OS, the performance was second to none.
The Nexus only comes in one storage size, which is 16GB. When compared with the iPhone 4S’ 64GB model, this doesn’t seem like much, but 16GB is more than enough space to store quite a few HD films, photos, songs and apps.
Unfortunately, if you do require more space than this, you’re out of luck because the Nexus doesn’t feature a microSD card slot.
The battery life for me, as stated in the Nexus’ specs, was very impressive, with the device lasting for around 8 or 9 hours of continuous use with the screen on almost full-brightness.
The battery is a 1750mAh battery so we were expecting battery life to be ok, but not as good as it proved to be.
When testing the Nexus normally, as an everyday phone, the battery lasted just over a day with the brightness set to half and only using the phone to make a few calls, send texts and play a couple of games and videos.
As you can see in the picture below, the Nexus features only a SIM card slot, instead of a microSD port and SIM card slot that we’re all used to seeing in today’s smartphones.