"Even More of a Handheld Computer That Also Makes Calls"4.0 starson by pcorning
Pros: * Large, beautiful screen
* Pure Android, with best access to upgrades
* Fast camera
* Android 4's core apps are very good
* Works on both AT&T's and T-Mobile's high-speed data networks
Cons: * Too big for many hands - hold it before you buy it
* Fixed storage (no SD card slot) will annoy some
* Photos don't match what you see on screen before the shot
* Android settings menus are more confusing than before
Summary: I ordered this from Handtec in the UK, received it via FedEx (very good customer service, by the way). I bought it to get access to Android 4, and all the upgrades that come with a Nexus phone. If I hadn't needed those things I would have waited for the quad-core phones with better cameras coming out in the next few months.Android 4's data management feature is a great addition: It lets you set it to warn you when you've exceeded a certain data limit each month so you aren't hit with extra bandwidth charges or throttled back to low speeds.
First impression on getting it out of the box was how slippery it is, and how big. I wear men's medium gloves, so my hands aren't very big (sorry, ladies), and the Galaxy Nexus felt like it just didn't want to sit in my hands. A slim rubber case helped a lot.
I got it running with around 30 apps (only Hulu wouldn't work - Netflix does). The core Android apps - especially Email (I use Exchange) and Calendar are hugely improved, making it easier to set appointments, sort mail between folders, etc. Great job here.
Also very nice is the ability to group apps on your screen by dragging them on top of each other. iPhone has had this for a while, and it really cleans up your home screens by letting you put, say, 5 camera applications in the space of a single icon. Tap that icon and it expands to show all the apps in that group. Well done, even if it's an 'old' feature.
The camera as fast as they say, with very little shutter lag. It's also nice to be able to unlock the phone right into the camera function (you just drag the unlock icon left instead of right). But the shots appear darker and muddier when you retrieve them than when you saw them framed on your screen as you pushed the shutter. Strange, and disappointing. Also, switching between video and still modes has become a bit complex, so you'll lose some shots with the extra steps Android has inserted into the process.
Android's menus are substantially changed, and often not for the better. Some settings are now behind vaguely named menu choices, and Google could have used some icons to help us scan them more quickly. Even the core Back/Home/Running Apps buttons are often hidden, which gives you more space for data but it is so far less comfortable to use than dedicated keys.
All the gimmicks - Face Unlock, direct beaming to the other 5 people who have this phone, etc. - don't need them, don't care. If you love gadgets even more than I do, though, they might be fun.
I'm running Android 4.01 so far, but I've seen no sign of the volume bug. There is another bug that launches the Calendar app and tries to make lots of new appointments (the Back button calms it down again, but it freaked me out at first). Other than that, the thing seems solid.
Bottom line: If you want a Nexus phone, this is probably it for a year. If you don't care, wait a few months.
Updated on Dec 2, 2011
Phone calls are generally clear - the Galaxy Nexus seems especially good at minimizing wind interference - but I have encountered some 'clipping' in a number of calls. Sounds seem cut off and choppy, more than on the Nexus S or Nexus One.
WiFi connections also have problems. The phone seems to lose connection often, even when very close to an access point. When it loses connection the WiFi strength indicator icon shows a ghost image that looks like the plane icon used when in airplane mode (all radios off). I'm guessing this will be solved with the 4.02 update.
Battery life is slightly better than the Nexus S so far.
Swype doesn't suppor Galaxy Nexus screen resolution yet. SlideIT works well, though, and a larger screen means a larger, easier-to-use keyboard.
Updated on Dec 6, 2011The more I use this phone, the more I am convinced that CNET's review is totally correct.
It's a good phone, but not a great one. ICS is an improvement over Gingerbread, but it is a patchwork of design themes and some of the menus are just bizarre (having the 3-dot controls at top and the bottom of certain screens - email - and having different menu choices in each group is just one example. This is Google thinking - Gmail has always had a pretty terrible UI.) The home screen does look beautiful, though - better than iPhone or previous Android versions.
The camera really is mediocre, and that may be kind. Call quality is worse than that of the Nexus S. Text does not look so good on the new screen.
Google is also undermining the Nexus brand by not forcing carriers to allow ALL Google apps. Try to find Google Wallet - even on T-Mobile you can't, and Google doesn't offer a complete Android market, free of carrier editing.
I like it, but it doesn't meet expectations.