Pros Pure Android experience
Cons Many reviewers don't understand what a pure Android phone is.
Summary Since there is no way to respond to the CNET review, other than with a review...
This "journalist" apparently knows very little about Android phones:
"As impressive as it is, Ice Cream Sandwich can be messy, and without it, the Galaxy Nexus is just another Android device."
There's a HUGE difference between this and other Android phones, just in the fact that it's a pure Android phone. It will always get the latest Android updates directly. The software has not been mucked around with by the carrier or the phone manufacturer. Imagine what it would be like if Apple allowed the carriers to mess around with iOS. It would be a disaster.
I like Android phones, but I will never buy an altered phone. So really the Nexus phones are the only real choice.
Pros Very well built OS very easy to use.
Cons No SD slot
Summary This phone is everything a phone should be
Pros Superb interface; great battery life; very, very fast; lots of extra unique features; all applications have been refined and improved; and much more.
Cons None. Honestly.
Summary The Samsung Google Galaxy Nexus is what every Android fan has been waiting for - and the wait is worth it. The interface has been refined and much more user-friendly while still retaining the feel of Android that gives the users complete control.
Stock Android Launcher -
You can customize the stock launcher further than previous versions and it's also become far smoother. The launcher will not have to reload it's app drawer when a ram-hogging application is used unlike older phones of the Nexus line. Adding and placing widgets have become and easier and are now resizable. Folders have been improved. All of these features are all wrapped up to form a more streamlined experience, which older iterations of Android suffered from.
Refined Applications -
All of the applications have been redone to match up with the launcher's interface. The camera application has greatly improved, adding features such as zoom (something Stock Android sorely needed), panorama, instant capture (which works very well, especially for a camera phone), and easier access to controls. The camera sensors have also been refined to make superb photos. The 5 MP camera isn't something to shy away from, you'll only notice differences from a 5 and 8 MP camera if you blow up the photos to table-sized proportions. The Gallery app has also been redone, for a much faster interface while still retaining the 3D effect it used to have. Music has improved also (and can be downloaded to any Android device running Froyo via Market, it isn't just limited to Android 4.0). It's Music store is also very impressive and handy for any music enthusiast. Settings have become far, far more user friendly, and brought along several new features, particularly data control. Voice Recognition has been improved and not appears instantaneously as you speak. The keyboard, messaging, downloads, and more have also been refined. In short, every application has been redesigned to match everything in the operating system together.
Build Quality (Including Screen, Battery, and Call Quality) -
Although the device is made of plastic, it feels great very good in the hand and can easily endure rigorous beating. It's screen is impervious to scratching of keys and other sharp objects. Furthermore, the pixel density is 720p, and shows. Images are bright and vibrant. Battery life is truly superb, and can last you throughout the day with moderate to heavy usage at full screen brightness. Call quality is crisp, clear, and non-existent in the dropped calls department.
The browser deserves it's own section because of it's massive improvement. The old browser used to be very, very plain, featureless, and overall quite slow. This one isn't. It's fast, adds tons of new features (Including tabs and incognito mode), is smooth, and overall looks great. It's a massive improvement and a very important one.
On the whole, the phone is the best out there. Android 4.0 is snappy, smooth, and a much better experience than previous versions of Android. Applications are smoother, don't suffer from any forms of lagging or frame-per-second mishaps, and tie together well. Call quality is great, build quality is great, the HD screen is great. Everything about this phone is great. I highly recommend it.
Pros Ice Cream Sandwich is very fast and smooth.
Swipe Gestures incorporated throughout all the UI
720p Super amoled screen
Epic fast browser performance
fast zero shutter lag camera
Made gingerbread look like it was version 1.0
Cons Battery life is mediocre
Summary Overall, Galaxy Nexus is currently the best smartphone available. Ice Cream Sandwich is a huge leap from gingerbread. It now has a snappier, smoother performance. A better and a more user friendly interface, and a more uniform UI. Basically, this phone is the answer to almost all of the problems Android had during the past versions.
Pros Can't say more other than looking forward to the next pure Android experience until I own the phone.
Cons There are phones out there with better hardware specs on paper
Summary Obviously not a single one of the "user" reviews are actually reviews. None have owned the phone, so they're just spewing specs or comments from other reviews.
My own "review" is a comment to the review made by CNET, not on the phone itself.
I was frustrated by the review made. It was PAINFUL to read. Specs were incorrectly listed in parts (ie Bluetooth 2.0 in some parts and 3.0 in others). It was poorly organized with entire sections being useless or redundant. Additional the reviewers were repetitive - I have never seen "more on that later" so many darned times in any 'review'. You should question why you need to say that. Don't overview the same things a dozen times. You can give a basic overview once at the start of the review and then list straight details. If they do not pertain to the section you are covering, then DON'T MENTION IT IN THAT SECTION. This entire review could have been parred down to three or four paragraphs.
Beyond what I find to have been a very poorly written review is the opinionated drive for simplicity. Yes, I wan't Android to be more intuitive, but I do NOT wan't it to lose the "clutter" of options. There are people that want a remote for their TV that just has an on off button and something to change the channels. Then there are the people that want 42 programmable buttons so they can have it flip menus to a different orientation, change color hues, turn on hungarian subtitles, and add the MS Office paperclip helper to amuse them. Can't really have those 42 buttons without burying them somewhere or having it look more cluttered than that remote that has only 3; but that customization is one reason why I pick Android over iPhone. Would love to see sites that are supposed to be impartial take that line as a good devider rather than as a bad thing because not every monkey can handle the learning curve involved with extra buttons.