Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

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  • 4G LTE-enabled smartphone with Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS, 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display, and dual-core 1.2 GHz processor
  • Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking (with optional Wi-Fi Mobile Hotspot service); Near Field Communications (NFC) capabilities
  • 5-MP camera; full HD 1080p camcorder; front-facing video chat camera; Bluetooth stereo music; 32 GB memory; corporate and personal e-mail
  • Up to 12 hours of talk time, up to 150 hours (6.25 days) of standby time; released in December, 2011
  • What’s in the Box: handset, rechargeable battery, wall/USB charger, stereo headset, quick start guide

The world’s first smartphone running on Android 4.0 (a.k.a., Ice Cream Sandwich), the 4G LTE enabled Galaxy Nexus by Samsung for Verizon brings a redesigned user interface with enhanced multitasking, notifications, full Web browsing experience, and more. You’ll also enjoy innovative, next-gen features such as Face Unlock, which uses facial recognition to unlock the Galaxy Nexus.

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Powered by Android 4.0 and a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor (view larger).

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4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED Contour Display (view larger).

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Galaxy Nexus by Samsung
At a Glance:

  • 3G/4G LTE connectivity

  • Android 4.0 OS
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED touchscreen
  • 32 GB memory
  • 5-MP camera + Full HD 1080p video record
  • GPS navigation
  • Wi-Fi Capable (802.11 a/b/g/n)
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Personal/corporate e-mail
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The Galaxy Nexus is outfitted with a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED Contour Display (with curved glass), 5-megapixel camera with zero shutter lag and Full HD 1080p video recording, and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calls on the go. It’s powered by a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor that speeds up your web browsing, gaming, and multitasking.

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network provides speeds up to 10 times faster than Verizon Wireless’ 3G network. With 4G LTE, you’ll enjoy simultaneous voice and data capabilities, allowing you to check e-mail, browse the web, download an app, and check directions on Google Maps while on a call. You can expect fast download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G LTE mobile broadband coverage areas (learn more about 4G below).

You can share your high-speed 4G LTE connectivity with multiple devices–laptop, another phone, MP3 player, and more–via Wi-Fi using the built-in Mobile Hotspot functionality (additional service charge applicable). And the Galaxy Nexus is outfitted with ultra-fast Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking as well as next-generation Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity.

The new Android Beam feature (using NFC connectivity) allows you to quickly share Web pages, apps, and YouTube videos with friends by simply tapping compatible phones together. You’ll also enjoy easy access to a full complement of Google mobile services, including Gmail, Google Maps 5.0 with 3D maps, syncing with Google Calendar, a redesigned Google+ app, and access to more than 300,000 apps in the Android Market.

Other features include a virtual onscreen QWERTY keyboard with enhanced auto-correction and touch recognition for a more natural feel, 32 GB of internal memory, 1 GB of RAM, and up to 12 hours of talk time.

Advanced Photography and Video Recording

The Galaxy Nexus has a full-featured 5-megepixel camera with automatic focus, top-notch low-light performance, and zero shutter lag. Open it right from your lock screen, and fire off a photo instantly. You can also take beautiful panorama pictures–just point and touch the shutter and pan your phone from one side to another. Android immediately stitches together an expansive panorama photo, ready to share.

A full-featured photo editor lets you add filters and effects, adjust color, straighten, reduce red eye, crop, rotate, flip, and even doodle on your favorite photos–right after you take them. Your edits are saved as a copy, so you can always get to the original.

Your photos can upload themselves with Instant Upload, which makes it much easier to share them with family and friends. If you’ve signed up for Google+, you can enable Instant Upload and share photos with anyone you choose.

Shoot video in Full HD 1080p, and snap still shots while you’re at it. Continuous focus, real-time zoom, and time-lapse mode give you the power to shoot stunning videos. When your footage is ready, create your own movie with Movie Studio and upload it to YouTube. When you shoot videos, you can choose from a number of silly faces and other fun effects. Galaxy Nexus is smart enough to recognize individual facial features–give your friends big eyes, squeeze heads, make noses bigger. Or change the scenery with background replacement.

Vital Statistics

The Galaxy Nexus by Samsung weighs 5.29 ounces and measures 5.33 x 2.67 x 0.37 inches. Its 1850 mAh lithium-ion battery is rated at up to 12 hours of talk time and up to 150 hours (6.25 days) of standby time. It runs on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, as well as EV-DO, Rev A 3G and CDMA 800/1900 frequencies where 4G LTE is not available.

What’s in the Box
Galaxy Nexus by Samsung handset, rechargeable battery, wall/USB charger, stereo headset, quick start guide

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Organize your home screen with folders.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich Operating System

The Galaxy Nexus runs the Android 4.0 operating system (dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich), which adds powerful new ways of communicating and sharing while improving on the best Android features: easy multitasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens, resizable widgets, and more.

The new Ice Cream Sandwich interface features an onscreen navigation bar that replaces the hardware buttons for Back, Home, and Menu found with older Android-powered phones. And with Google+ integration, you can video chat with groups of up to 9 friends as well as easily upload and share photos and videos. Other features include:

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Face Unlock

You can now unlock your phone with just your face using the Face Unlock option. It takes advantage of the front-facing camera and state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to register a face during setup and then to recognize it again when unlocking the device. Just hold your phone in front of your face to unlock (or use a backup PIN).

And the lock screen now lets you do more without unlocking. From the slide lock screen, you can jump directly to the camera for a picture or pull down the notifications window to check for messages. When listening to music, you can even manage music tracks and see album art.

Home Screen Folders

Quickly access related apps right from the home screen by organizing apps and shortcuts into folders–just drag one app onto another to create a folder.


Multitasking is even easier and more visual in Android 4.0. The Recent Apps button lets you jump instantly from one task to another using the list in the System Bar. The list pops up to show thumbnail images of apps used recently–tapping a thumbnail switches to the app.

Voice Input

The new voice engine in Android 4.0 lets you dictate the text you want, for as long as you want, using the language you want. You can speak continuously for a prolonged time, even pausing for intervals if needed, and dictate punctuation to create correct sentences. As the voice input engine enters text, it underlines possible dictation errors in gray. After dictating, you can tap the underlined words to quickly replace them from a list of suggestions.

Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network allows you to download photos, apps, and games in seconds and entire movies in minutes. LTE (or Long Term Evolution provides significantly increased upload and download speeds over 3G networks, as well as significantly reduced latency (or lag time). Verizon Wireless expects 4G LTE average data rates to be 5-12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2-5 Mbps on the uplink in real-world, loaded network environments.

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With these blazing fast speeds, you’ll be able to stream HD movies without the annoyance of constant pauses to buffer the video stream–as well as quickly download HD-quality movies right to your phone in minutes. Additionally, you’ll be able to download a new song file in about 4 seconds or upload a photo to your favorite social networking site in about 6 seconds.

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE mobile broadband network will also redefine the mobile office for business users. Business applications that used to require wired networks will be untethered forever, allowing you maximized productivity and efficiency while you’re out of the confines of your office. Enhanced security lets you tap into most VPN networks with less waiting, and faster responsiveness enables you to upload 10 MB presentations back to your team in less than 25 seconds.

In areas serviced only by 3G, you can expect download speeds of 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps and upload speeds of 500 to 800 Kbps in Mobile Broadband coverage area.

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  • Ultra-fast 4G LTE connectivity via the Verizon Wireless 4G Mobile Broadband network, with expected download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps. Where the 4G LTE network is unavailable, the phone will connect with the Verizon Wireless 3G network.
  • Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking (802.11 a/b/g/n) for accessing home and corporate networks as well as hotspots while on the go.
  • 4G Mobile Hotspot capability allows you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot using your Verizon Wireless 4G LTE connection, which can then be shared among up to 10 Wi-Fi-capable devices (up to 10 devices on 3G).
  • Next-generation Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity backward compatible with older Bluetooth-enabled peripherals and includes stereo audio streaming.
  • Android Beam for sharing contacts, web pages, directions, and more via Android Beam to compatible phones.
  • GPS for navigation and location services
  • Integrated Google Maps with turn-by-turn navigation, street and satellite views.

Communications & Internet

  • Full messaging capabilities including SMS text, MMS picture/video and IM instant messaging
  • Full HTML browser
  • Personal and corporate e-mail access with support for Exchange ActiveSync as well as mobile e-mail accounts (Google push, Yahoo!, POP3, IMAP).
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  • Dual-core 1.2 GHz processor capable of opening web pages twice as fast as most other smartphones.
  • 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED multi-touch screen (1280 x 720 pixels) with Contoured Display.
  • MicroUSB port
  • 3.5mm headphone jack


  • 32 GB internal memory (non-expandable)
  • 1 GB RAM for improved multitasking.


  • 5-megapixel camera with continuous auto focus, zero shutter lag, single-motion panoramic mode, and LED flash.
  • Full HD 1080p video capture with on-phone movie editing and easy upload to YouTube.
  • Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chats and self portraits.


  • Music player compatible with MP3, WMA, and AAC/AAC+
  • Video player compatible with MPEG4, H.264, H.263, WMV


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  1. Nathaniel Allen says:
    245 of 258 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Not the pinnacle of new technology, but Android perfection (for now…), December 15, 2011
    Nathaniel Allen (Oakland) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)

    There are phones with bigger screens (Galaxy Note), faster CPUs and GPUs (Rezound), thinner profiles (RAZR), more memory and longer battery life, but the Galaxy Nexus (Verizon’s LTE version) puts a respectable amount of everything together into one package, and leaves me practically nothing to complain about.

    IN SUMMARY: This may turn into one of my longer reviews, so in a nutshell: BIG, but comfortable to hold, though begs to be used with two hands. Screen is awesome (bright and crisp) & keyboard is accurate. No problems with signal coverage. Average volume levels. Smooth & fluid Android interface feels polished. Camera very good, but vid cam has a lot of issues. “Typical” LTE battery life i.e. widely variable depending on usage, AT BEST a whole day on one charge.

    Android 4.0 Operating System:

    Outstanding: The OS feels integrated, speedy and mostly intuitive. Face unlock isn’t just a gimmick, it’s mostly reliable (though not in bad light), and it’s very swift in getting me to the home screen. Swipe-like gestures similar to Palm’s failed Web OS are carried over to manage and switch recent apps. The ability to expand widgets and personalize screens is not only fun, but really useful — for instance, I set up a screen for “home” where I’m more interested in the weather, Facebook & G+ updates, and feeds from my bike forum, whereas my “work” screen has quick access to certain web sites and apps that I use regularly. Icon animations for screen transitions are subtle but just enough to give the front end interface a sort of 3D effect. The selection of “live” backgrounds is neat, but a few of the more graphically intensive ones slow the phone down just a bit — and as great as they look, I still opt for corny (and static) photos of the kids. Hopefully, this being a Nexus device, new OS updates will come regularly and quickly from Google, without delay from Verizon — but be aware that this may be a bit of a beta device since it sees the first wide distribution of everything.

    You’ll need to know that because the operating system is new, there will initially be application incompatibilities. This isn’t a knock against the Galaxy Nexus — it’s something early adopters of a new platform should expect. I expect this to last only a short while, because new Android 4.0 devices are in the pipe for release in the coming months.

    Phone & Signal:

    For starters, I like 4.0′s big “clean” dial pad. And it’s also easy to dial from any of my contacts, as they culled from all sources (personal Gmail, company email via Exchange, G+). But I prefer to use voice dial because I’m often driving when calling, and I’d prefer voice confirmation ala BlackBerry (Android 4.0 still requires me to look at the screen to confirm). External speaker sound quality is loud enough for most uses, but just slightly quiet & flat compared to other phones (not a problem over my Bluetooth visor-mounted speakerphone or headset), and my voice quality is apparently clear and loud on the receiving end. I live and work in a well covered urban area, so signal strength is rarely a problem with any phone. However, I do have a couple of “dark spots” in the remote areas of where I work, and the GN hasn’t dropped a call on me yet. LTE coverage has been equally strong with fantastic data speeds, fantastic, *but* Verizon’s 4G antenna is literally attached to the building I work in. It’s not enough to say “faster than dialup” as in some respects it is faster than my home cable (longer latency times, however).

    (Note 1/22/12: There have been numerous reports (confirmed by Verizon) of signal problems in either fringe coverage areas or inside buildings. I, personally, have not experienced any problems with this either with dropped voice calls (CDMA/1X) or dropped data connections (LTE/3G) BUT there is a short “no data” time out when the phone switches from LTE to 3G, or vice-versa. HOWEVER, out of curiosity checked my 3G signal strength in Settings > About (LTE must be switched to OFF to read 3G signal strength, otherwise 4G reception will be displayed) and observed the Nexus consistently -10 to -15 dBm WEAKER than some other Verizon Android &…

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  2. Timothy Swann says:
    71 of 74 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Best Verizon Phone Ever, December 17, 2011
    Timothy Swann

    This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)

    Hardware & Form Factor:

    A lot of the reviews of the GSM version claimed that the phone felt big in people’s hand and that some people had trouble with one-hand operations, however I don’t see this to be the case. I have had no trouble using this phone in one hand. It fits comfortably in my hand, and the phone is incredibly light. While the RAZR might also be light, because it is slightly wider, it did not feel as comfortable in my hand.

    While this phone may not have the same high-end processor that is found in the HTC Rezound, the 1.2 GHz dual-core processor combined with Android 4.0 makes this thing lightning fast. (Update 1/17/12: My research has informed me that the processor in the device can actually clock up to 1.5GHz. You can get speeds higher than 1.2 GHz, but you must unlock your bootloader and flash a custom kernel. There are a few that overclock to 1.35 GHz since that is what has been found to be the highest speed that remains stable. Do this at your own risk.)I have found no lag in anything. At times, launching the camera application takes a few extra seconds, but it is really not too bad. Overall, launching apps is the fastest of all of smartphone out there (and yes, this is faster than the iPhone 4S). Since I’ve already mentioned the camera, I’ll mention it now. It takes very good photos, but not quite the quality of pictures that the iPhone 4 or 4S is capable of. While it is only a 5MP camera, REMEMBER that MP is not the whole story because the light sensors are even more important. That being said, this takes very good photos and make this a good point-and-shoot camera, just not great.

    While some people don’t like the plastic feel that Samsung chooses to use, it feel very sturdy! If you need to take the back cover off, it comes off fairly easily, but snapping it back in is somewhat annoying. But keep in mind, how often will you really need to take off the cover. Because the phone is made of very high-quality plastic, it is much sturdier than the iPhone. Yes, the iPhone may have more of a premium feel to it, but to make a phone that has glass on the front and back of the phone, you will very scared of dropping it for fear of cracking the glass. And if you crack the glass on the iPhone, it is not covered by insurance.

    I have two assessments of the speaker on this phone. For phone calls, it’s great, whether you have it on speaker phone or not. However, if you try to watch a video or listen to music on it the speaker could be louder, but the fact that the speaker is on the back of the phone plays a factor in why it could be louder. . Let’s remember this though, this is a phone so in that respect the speaker is great!

    The Display is absolutely amazing! It’s crisp, and the color saturation is incredibly. I’ve never seen a display quite like it. It is on par with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and the HTC Rezound. While the Rezound technically has the highest ppi, the 315ppi on the Nexus is amazing. You can adjust the brightness to save some battery life, and even on low the picture looks as good as is to be expected, but I’ve chosen to leave it on full brightness because the screen is just that pretty. At time I find myself switching to the auto-brightness setting which I find is very helpful. Since I have always used my cells phones as my alarm clock, the auto-brightness makes it easy to actually look at the phone when the room is dark after I’ve just woken up. Because the screen is amazing I am willing to leave it on full-brightness most of the time, except when I go to sleep becasue I don’t like being blinded when I have to either snooze or dismiss my alarm.

    I know I’ve already mentioned the camera a little bit, but since most reviews line item this separately, I will do the same. Yes it’s only 5MP, but MP aren’t everything. As I’ve mentioned, the light sensors are more important. It is a little disappointing to see that Samsung didn’t inclue the 8MP shooter they use on their Galaxy SII brand becasue that phone takes some pretty good photos as well. After spending a decent amount of time playing with the camera, I find that in perfect lighting, this thing takes great pictures, but other than that, it struggles to take a high quality picture. This still doesn’t change the fact that it can take very good pictures, but it’s just not what you would have expected in a flagship phone, especially since pictures from the Galaxy SII takes better pictures. Kind of a bummer. However, you can play with the settings as needed to get what I think can still be a very good picture, but not great.

    Google really made us aware of the zero shutter lag that comes from the software and camera. I’ve tested this several times and demoed it to a lot of people that didn’t quite believe. I could shoot off about 10 photos in like 2-3 seconds. That’s pretty fast!

    This thing can also shoot in 1080. Now if you…

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  3. C. Six says:
    29 of 32 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Business user…, December 18, 2011
    C. Six

    This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)

    Background: I am a Droid early adopter (bought the original Moto Droid the day it was launched). I’ve owned the original Droid, the Droid X and the Droid X2. My wife switched from her Blackberry Storm to the Droid Pro. My son owns Incredible 2. Daughter’s own iPhone 4 and Samsung Fascinate.

    I’ve been waiting for Verizon to launch a high-end bloat free (no Touchwiz, SenseUI or motoblur) since I owned the original Droid hoping that a pure device would improve interface performance. This phone doesn’t disappoint. It is fast. At first launch the phone re-installed most apps that were on my X2. Once I set it up with corporate email (Touchdown app), personal email (Gmail), music library (iSyncr wireless) and logged in/setup all apps that typically ran in background on my X2 (weather, Pulse, Twitter, Facebook etc) I tested the response of the UI. No delay, no hesitation, great video response fast all around experience. Been using it for a few days at this point. Not once have I noticed a delayed response to a swipe or tap – this is a huge win for Android. Typically Android devices have some minor ‘lag’ due to the fact that the OS is so much more functional than competing OS’s (except perhaps Win Phone 7).

    I own a Xoom tablet so the learning curve on Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) was minimal. If you haven’t used Honeycomb there is a learning curve which is managed well by pop ups teaching new tricks. If you learned a previous version of Android you will be up to speed in 24 hours on this device. With that said, this OS is far more powerful than previous versions. Each day since I’ve had it I learn new features which enhance my ability to interact with the device. I love the group folders that can be put on the desktop. While having 7 ‘panels’ of icons is nice – the group folder feature leaves you one additional tap from launching anything from your homescreen – very nice.

    Battery life – this is my first 4G phone. I am a power work user (email & web) but don’t stream a lot of video or play a lot of games. I get through the day and into the evening without issue. My primary concern was being able to get through a 12-13 hour day without needing a charge or to swap batteries. Most days I can get through the work day without issue. I typically get home after a long day with about 20% remaining. Note that I do not take significant measures to manage battery life. I will likely get an extended battery once they are in stock.


    * Pure software – no bloatware
    * Speed and user interface upgrade with ICS
    * Groups on desktops – very convenient feature (simply drag an icon on top of another to create a group)
    * Incredible screen – this is an HD screen. HD provides an additional row of icons her page due to higher resolution
    * Feels good in hand. I like the form factor. In my opinion it could be a bit HEAVIER to feel more substantial in the hand. I will likely get an extended battery which, for me, will kill two birds with one stone (longer life, more substantial feel in the hand)

    * Lack of accessories at launch – this is likely due it being a new device but I’m used to seeing great accessory support from Motorola at launch. It looks like the car charger doesn’t have built in charger but just a ‘hole’ to use a charger. No desktop charger at launch – if there is one, it’s not on Verizon, Amazon, Samsung sites.
    * Weird setting for volume seems to link notification volume w/ phone volume. I love to set up profiles for volume and then control with Locale. At night I want the phone to be able to ring but I don’t want to receive a notification for each email/text. The only method I can find to turn off email notifications is in the Email app which is annoying to have to do each night versus simply swapping profiles.
    * Limited to 32 gb of storage. I knew this going into the purchase so no star deduction – note to Google, on future devices if you’re not going to include an SD card then give an option to buy 64 gb or more internal space on the device.

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