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Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

8.6/10 AVG.
RATING



8.6/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus currently has an Informr score of 8.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 45 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The UMTS version of the Galaxy Nexus packs all the same features as its LTE sibling including Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" OS, NFC and a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera. It also has the beautiful, and large, HD-resolution OLED display and dual-core processor for which reviewers have shown their love.

In comparison to the LTE version, HSPA+ offers theoretically slower data speeds, but on the other hand can be considered a "world phone", able to operate on all of the more widely available 3G HSPA+ networks.

For a more complete review of this phone's network independent features, please visit our Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE page.


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
4.65"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


GSMArena

Google didn’t disappoint with the execution of Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Samsung did an excellent job with the hardware of the Galaxy Nexus.It's probably only the second Nexus phone (after the Nexus One) that is really attractive to customers at large, rather than mostly to developers.A new maj...

- GSMArena Team, GSMArena
Beta News

The Galaxy Nexus best represents the intended Android experience, whether it gets minor updates or major ones like Jelly Bean, it’s the right choice for someone who wants the latest and greatest in terms of software and most importantly a stock, non-convoluted Android smartphone. It’s a modding-frie...

- Mihaita Bamburic, Beta News
Recombu

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is practically a new phone despite the same hardware. Software additions and optimisation have resulted in new applications for you to play with, a more refined interface and what can only be described as a what feels like a turbo charge to the user experience. The 5-megapix...

- Basil Kronfli, Recombu
Brighthand

When the Samsung Galaxy Nexus originally came out, it had the advantage of being the newest and most cutting-edge Android device out there: the only one with Android 4.0, an HD screen, and equally impressive specs, which helped compensate for its flaws. Six months later, that's no longer the case. W...

- Adama D. Brown, Brighthand
Engadget

The Galaxy Nexus remains one of the best Android phones on the market, and this version, in particular, includes Google Wallet. Still, the battery life is relatively short, and early adopters will have to wait for Sprint's LTE network to go live.

- Terrence O'Brien, Engadget


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Samsung released the Galaxy Nexus on December 9, 2011.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus user manual here.


Samsung backs up the Galaxy Nexus with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Galaxy Nexus has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




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Quick view

Screen Size
4.65"

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus's screen size is 4.65 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1.2 GHz

There is a Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 Dual-Core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
5+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16/32 GB

Internal memory is 16/32 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
1750mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1750 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 12 days standby time, 510 minutes, 181 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy Nexus Specs

Overview
Release date December 9, 2011
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/2100 MHz
Data:
EDGE, HSDPA 14.4, HSPA+ 21.1
variations
SIM card size
Yes
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 Dual-Core 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.43 W/kg
Body: 0.74 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Headset, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1750 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 362 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 181 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 510 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 12 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.5 x 6.8 x 0.9 cm (5.3 x 2.7 x 0.4 in)
Weight 135 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 4.65 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 3.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out HDMI
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
No
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Panorama, White balance
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
1.3 megapixels
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, PPT, XLS
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable ()
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Google Nexus 3, Google Nexus 4G, Samsung I9250

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy Nexus Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy Nexus
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Critic Reviews


GSMArena

Excellent audio quality but below average battery life

Google didn’t disappoint with the execution of Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Samsung did an excellent job with the hardware of the Galaxy Nexus.

It's probably only the second Nexus phone (after the Nexus One) that is really attractive to customers at large, rather than mostly to developers....

More

Google didn’t disappoint with the execution of Android Ice Cream Sandwich and Samsung did an excellent job with the hardware of the Galaxy Nexus.

It's probably only the second Nexus phone (after the Nexus One) that is really attractive to customers at large, rather than mostly to developers.

A new major version of Android is not the only first to its name, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is also the first droid phone with a 720p screen. And what a screen it is - the 316ppi pixel density makes for an amazing image sharpness and completely hides the PenTile nature of the matrix.

Top-notch connectivity is also a big plus and the browser is hands down the most capable mobile browser currently available.

Read full review

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Beta News

Most well-rounded Android smartphone on the market today

from Beta News

The Galaxy Nexus best represents the intended Android experience, whether it gets minor updates or major ones like Jelly Bean, it’s the right choice for someone who wants the latest and greatest in terms of software and most importantly a stock, non-convoluted Android smartphone. It’s a modding-friendly device, which it’s also important to me and others like me, because I plan on experimenting with custom ROMs like CyanogenMod 10, and the Galaxy Nexus is officially supported by the developers behind CyanogenMod or AOKP....

More

The Galaxy Nexus best represents the intended Android experience, whether it gets minor updates or major ones like Jelly Bean, it’s the right choice for someone who wants the latest and greatest in terms of software and most importantly a stock, non-convoluted Android smartphone. It’s a modding-friendly device, which it’s also important to me and others like me, because I plan on experimenting with custom ROMs like CyanogenMod 10, and the Galaxy Nexus is officially supported by the developers behind CyanogenMod or AOKP.

Plenty of apps are great when taking them one by one, but it’s the overall software package wrapped in a sturdy shell that I like the most. The Galaxy Nexus is the most well-rounded Android smartphone on the market today, and it shines by keeping it just like Google wanted to.

Read full review

Less

Recombu

A practically a new phone despite the same hardware

from Recombu

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is practically a new phone despite the same hardware. Software additions and optimisation have resulted in new applications for you to play with, a more refined interface and what can only be described as a what feels like a turbo charge to the user experience. The 5-mega...More

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is practically a new phone despite the same hardware. Software additions and optimisation have resulted in new applications for you to play with, a more refined interface and what can only be described as a what feels like a turbo charge to the user experience. The 5-megapixel camera still struggles on the noise front and the lack of micro SD card slot may still irk some, but Jelly Bean has in one fell swoop made the Samsung Galaxy Nexus feel like the Android phone to own, all over again.

Read full review

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Brighthand

Beautiful full HD screen and plenty of storage but no MicroSD slot

from Brighthand

When the Samsung Galaxy Nexus originally came out, it had the advantage of being the newest and most cutting-edge Android device out there: the only one with Android 4.0, an HD screen, and equally impressive specs, which helped compensate for its flaws. Six months later, that's no longer the case. With the Samsung Galaxy S III due out in the US in twenty minutes or so, the Droid RAZR HD on the horizon, and other competitive models in the wild, I'm a lot less willing to forgive the GN's shortcomings. Add to that the fact that Sprint's LTE network is still nonexistant, its 4G capabilities are basically wasted, and will continue to be unless you live in one of the few lucky markets where Sprint will be rolling out LTE in the near future....

More

When the Samsung Galaxy Nexus originally came out, it had the advantage of being the newest and most cutting-edge Android device out there: the only one with Android 4.0, an HD screen, and equally impressive specs, which helped compensate for its flaws. Six months later, that's no longer the case. With the Samsung Galaxy S III due out in the US in twenty minutes or so, the Droid RAZR HD on the horizon, and other competitive models in the wild, I'm a lot less willing to forgive the GN's shortcomings. Add to that the fact that Sprint's LTE network is still nonexistant, its 4G capabilities are basically wasted, and will continue to be unless you live in one of the few lucky markets where Sprint will be rolling out LTE in the near future.

The Galaxy Nexus is still a good piece of hardware, but the onward march of time and Sprint's network troubles have reduced it from "cutting edge" to "kind of average." It's not a bad buy if you know its limitations, but for those seeking a truly high-end smartphone, there are better options out there.

Read full review

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Engadget

The battery life is relatively short, and early adopters will have to wait for Sprint's LTE network to go live

from Engadget

What can we say about this phone that hasn't been said before? No, seriously, what? It may sound a bit glib, but the Sprint Galaxy Nexus is the same phone we've already reviewed twice, just with a Sprint logo slapped on the back. There are some minor cosmetic differences, but they don't...More

What can we say about this phone that hasn't been said before? No, seriously, what? It may sound a bit glib, but the Sprint Galaxy Nexus is the same phone we've already reviewed twice, just with a Sprint logo slapped on the back. There are some minor cosmetic differences, but they don't make the phone any more or less desirable. It's still one of the best, if not the best, phones on the market. What's more, if you've got a hankering for some plain vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich, this is the only way you're going to get it. (Short of loading up a custom ROM, of course.) The big difference here is the Sprint network, which makes it the weakest link in the chain -- at least until it flips its LTE network live. Here in New York, even when we could get a consistent signal, it was like we had traveled back in time. In the age of 4G, Sprint's EVDO Rev. A network simply can't keep up. But, if you're already a happy Sprint customer and want a future-proof device that will be able to take advantage of its LTE network when it launches, this is easily the best of your current options.

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PhoneArena

Attractive display, 4G LTE enabled, with Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box

from PhoneArena

First and foremost, if you’re a Sprint customer who simply can’t wait any longer to experience the bountiful features associated with Ice Cream Sandwich, you should no doubt check out the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. However, bear in mind that the handset is brandishing a $200 on-contract price, whi...More

First and foremost, if you’re a Sprint customer who simply can’t wait any longer to experience the bountiful features associated with Ice Cream Sandwich, you should no doubt check out the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. However, bear in mind that the handset is brandishing a $200 on-contract price, which seems normal at first, but considering that it’s essentially a 5-month old model, we actually would’ve liked to see it come in at a lower price point. To tell you the truth, for the same amount of money, you might as well wait to check out the upcoming HTC EVO 4G LTE, which seems to be a logical move since it’s the newer and fresher device. Finally, it’s a bit of a shame that you can’t make use of its 4G LTE connectivity, since the network is sparsely available in test markets for now.

Read full review

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Know Your Mobile

If you absolutely love Android and can't wait for Ice Cream Sandwich, the Galaxy Nexus is for you

from Know Your Mobile

It's a massive shame, to be honest, because without the bug the Galaxy Nexus is the Android fan's dream phone. The display is fantastic, Android Ice Cream Sandwich provides a lot of necessary improvements and yet it's just as customisable as before. Battery life is also pretty reasonable, too. Bu...More

It's a massive shame, to be honest, because without the bug the Galaxy Nexus is the Android fan's dream phone. The display is fantastic, Android Ice Cream Sandwich provides a lot of necessary improvements and yet it's just as customisable as before. Battery life is also pretty reasonable, too. But because of that big volume bug flaw and because a number of smartphones will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich early next year, one of which will be the Galaxy S2, we're not entirely convinced the Galaxy Nexus offers enough of an upgrade. Because you will have to wait for the software fix, you may as well stick with the vastly cheaper Galaxy S2.

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Ausdroid

Light, sleek, thin, unique design, camera shots are quick

from Ausdroid

The Galaxy Nexus is a great device but it is not for everyone. It appeals to a certain group of people – those who value a vanilla android experience, simply must have the latest updates, and love to be involved in the modding scene. If you aren’t one of these people you will probably look at the spec sheet of the Nexus and wonder what all the fuss is about – only a 5MP camera, pentile screen, relatively underpowered GPU.. I know a lot of SGS II owners don’t see the need to upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus and are instead holding out for the SGS III which is probably going to suit them better anyway. But the Nexus isn’t about the specs it’s about the pure Google experience which is something you just can’t get from any other device. If you’ve owned a Nexus before you were probably counting down the days until this phone’s release and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed....

More

The Galaxy Nexus is a great device but it is not for everyone. It appeals to a certain group of people – those who value a vanilla android experience, simply must have the latest updates, and love to be involved in the modding scene. If you aren’t one of these people you will probably look at the spec sheet of the Nexus and wonder what all the fuss is about – only a 5MP camera, pentile screen, relatively underpowered GPU.. I know a lot of SGS II owners don’t see the need to upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus and are instead holding out for the SGS III which is probably going to suit them better anyway. But the Nexus isn’t about the specs it’s about the pure Google experience which is something you just can’t get from any other device. If you’ve owned a Nexus before you were probably counting down the days until this phone’s release and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Despite some of the minor annoyances highlighted above I still consider this to be the best phone available right now. This opinion isn’t based purely on the hardware specs, some of which I would definitely improve if I could, but on the device experience as a whole. Sure, some aspects of this phone are a compromise, but I would gladly give up some features for a vanilla Android experience and the best dev community support you can get. The Galaxy Nexus is the most exciting device to be released in a long time and will only improve further with the dev community behind it.

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InsideHW

This smartphone is a well-rounded product in every conceivable way

from InsideHW

Galaxy Nexus is an expensive device that doesn’t bring as many advancements in the hardware department (at least not as much as we’d expected), and packs some flaws as well. Its weak battery and lack of memory extension options certainly don’t do it any favours. However, on the whole, this...More

Galaxy Nexus is an expensive device that doesn’t bring as many advancements in the hardware department (at least not as much as we’d expected), and packs some flaws as well. Its weak battery and lack of memory extension options certainly don’t do it any favours. However, on the whole, this smartphone is a well-rounded product in every conceivable way, made to fit the user’s needs from the get-go, as reflected in the ICS version of its operating system. Its production quality, weight, design, response time and many other, less striking attributes leave very little place for doubt – this is the best Android-based device currently in production. Although Galaxy Nexus was originally intended to serve as a development platform for Android programmers, it has evolved into a phenomenal phone that’s bound to get under the skin of even the most hardcore sceptics, which is enough to earn it our highest award.

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Pocketables

Feels incredibly solid, camera shutter is seriously fast, blazingly fast

from Pocketables

I've always been a fan of the Nexus line. Since I don't like manufacturer skins at all, and always like to have the latest software available, they are a perfect fit for my use case. Additionally, they usually have some cutting edge specs that will last them at least throughout the term of a two-year contract....

More

I've always been a fan of the Nexus line. Since I don't like manufacturer skins at all, and always like to have the latest software available, they are a perfect fit for my use case. Additionally, they usually have some cutting edge specs that will last them at least throughout the term of a two-year contract.

Some users may have been disappointed when the Nexus S proved to be only an incremental upgrade over the Nexus One, but with the Galaxy, the Nexus is back. Even with the 5MP camera and supposedly outdated GPU, I would feel comfortable picking up the device on contract and knowing it would continue to be relevant for the full two years. It ranks up there with the very best smartphones available right now, and thanks to continuous software updates will continue to be relevant for some time.

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