A majority of you might not have had the chance to check out Android Ice Cream Sandwich yet, but you should definitely check to see if the new OS can be installed on your smartphone.
Upon turning the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on, we’re greeted with the lock screen, a screen that all you Android users should be familiar with by now. To unlock, a simple gesture of sliding the padlock outside of the circle will unlock the device. Sliding to the left will also enable the camera from the lock screen.
Once you’re inside, you’ll notice a few slight design changes to the look of the Android OS.
As always, the same shortcuts work, such as the holding down on the home screen to bring up the wallpaper options.
You’ve also got the five icons down in the dock, the centre button being the main menu.
Obviously you can’t tell from the pictures, but the transitions between sliding left and right on the main menu are absolutely stunning. They’re smooth, lag-free and the whole environment just feels a lot quicker than Gingerbread.
Swiping to the far right of the menu also brings up a new screen. You’re able to take a look at the available widgets and also click the Android Market button in the top right corner to download more.
The options on the camera app are what impressed me the most. With such a high-quality camera, you’re going to want some decent options for once you’ve taken your photos. Well, with the touch of a button, you’re able to scroll vertically down a menu that includes many different settings including flash, brightness / contrast and scene mode. You can also change the picture size and whether you want the Nexus to store the location that the picture was taken.
After taking your shots, you can also have the option to send the photo to someone via one of the five options provided, which are: Via Bluetooth, Picasa, SMS, Google Plus and Email.
A few other application have received updates including the Android 4.0 web browser, which now features tabbed browsing, incognito tabs and the ability to force the desktop version of a website.
The Android contacts app has also had a facelift with the overall layout being much more interactive than contacts apps on other device.
You can also setup the Face Unlock feature of Android Ice Cream Sandwich, however, we have come to the conclusion that this is more of a gimmick due to the blatant security flaws where you can just hold up a picture of the person and the phone will unlock.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has proven itself to be quite the power house it says it is on paper. From the insanely high-quality HD display, right down to the way Android Ice Cream Sandwich works on the device, there is hardly anything to fault with the Galaxy Nexus.
The design, for us, felt a little on the boring side and we’d have loved to have seen a little bit of aluminium in what had been a long awaited smartphone for the best part of the end of last year.
You can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Nexus from most places online for anywhere in between £400 and £550, so if you’re thinking of purchasing one make sure you shop around to get the best deal.
To conclude, in terms of usability and performance, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is quite honestly one of the best smartphones we’ve used in a while, and we can’t make up our minds between the Galaxy S2 and the Nexus.
- Extremely fast and responsive
- Insanely high-quality Super AMOLED HD display
- Slim and lightweight design
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- Great camera with zero shutter lag
- Battery life
- Incredible graphics
- Audio quality and volume levels could be improved (lacks depth / bass)
- At least an 8MP camera would have been better than the 5MP camera
- Overall design could be improved – looks slightly boring