Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy Nexus Unboxing Review
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Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy Nexus Review

by The Review CrewDecember 16, 2011

For a candy bar phone (a unit without a hardware keyboard) I have to say that I was a bit put off by the light weight feel of it.  Now I know what you are thinking right now… “uh oh he is going to slam the phone”.   Nope.  I’m just saying I’d like to feel more heft in a phone I spend $700 (with tax) on.  It’s a psychological issue I’m sure.  Lightweight makes me immediately think…. cheap or flimsy and well that’s not good.

Aside from that one thing I really like this phone.  It’s everything a phone should be.  The bootloader is unlockable, you can root it easily, you can put roms on it.  Because of all these things there are already 3 roms available for the phone and more coming out as we speak for sure.  To put it simply this phone is a bit of a dream for a nerd and I fit in that category.

The notable specs here are the 4.65 inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED display.  It’s stunning. I love it.  You’ll love it.  Wow.

Apps and web pages pop with a responsive swagger that only comes from plenty of horsepower and that power comes from the TI OMAP 4460 dual core processor and the PowerVR SGX540 GPU with 1 GB of RAM.  Now I’m not going to quote Quadrant scores because well.. first of all it doesn’t do well with dual core processors at all, and it doesn’t support Ice Cream Sandwich (which is the new version of Android OS 4.0, known as ICS).  I know you will see uninformed articles all over the internet today about Quadrant scores and I’m telling you right now it’s a load of garbage.  The benchmark utility just simply does not support this phone and to use it is irresponsible.  I’ll wait until Quadrant releases a version that supports dual core well and ICS before I update this article with benchmark scores.

On the battery side of things I’d like to see more, but then again wouldn’t we all?  There never seems to be enough juice to do what we want on any of these 4G phones and the Galaxy Nexus is no exception.  However, with a little work you can fix that up nicely and I’m going to go ahead and point you in the direction of Juice Defender because with this single change (free download as well) you can add another 6 hours to your phone.  Since this is a nerd dream phone we can also say that if you went ahead and rooted it you can run a program called SETCPU which will allow you to setup profiles for under-clocking your phone.  For instance, you can set it so when the screen is off it runs at 350MHz instead of 1.2GHz.  This uses a lot less juice.  I have mine setup to run at 750MHz when I’m in a call (because I’m not going to be surfing the web) and at 350MHz when it is charging on AC (not USB).  The reason I have it dial down for AC charging is pretty simple, when I plug it in to the wall it’s because I want a quick charge and I’m not using it.  At that point I want to dial down the CPU so it will charge faster.

The SETCPU change will give you another 2 hours so you can really stretch it to last the whole day with moderate use and that’s what I need.  So we’re talking about 14 hours with moderate use with those apps installed.  Without them we’re looking at 5-6ish.  Will this improve? Without a doubt it will.  As they release more radio updates the phones will see some improvement with the battery usage and you will likely see those numbers increase a bit.

The BIG NEWS with this phone release is ICE CREAM SANDWICH.  This is Android 4.0 and it is IMPRESSIVE.  If Honeycomb and Gingerbread had a love child it would be Ice Cream Sandwich.  With a snappy, intuitive design you have access to everything that you need.  Because this is a Google phone (Nexus) it comes with bootloader unlocking, and root access available which means the sky is the limit.  You can go to some of the enthusiast websites and download custom versions of Ice Cream Sandwich that bring additional functionality (like extensive theme options, boot animation changes, and other customization).  This functionality is pretty important to quite a few people.

The camera is pretty cool on this phone.  It’s 1080p video is a bit quirky, but if you are taking stills you can rattle them off very quickly by hitting the button on the screen.  The only other phone I’ve seen capable of doing this that smoothly is the Verizon Wireless Apple iPhone 4s and to be honest… the Galaxy Nexus does it faster.number of people (for instance image backups of your phone so you can have a little disaster recovery, etc…  In addition you can brand your phone with your company logo, and install monitoring applications for your employees.

Right now VZW is offering the phone for about $300 with a 2 year contract, or you can buy it outright for $650 + tax.  It’s well worth it, especially if you like to ROM your phones or you need to brand them for company use.  If you aren’t a nerd I’d say save a few bucks and get yourself the new Verizon Wireless Motorola Razr it’s also a beautiful phone and well worth the investment.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.

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