Verizon's Galaxy Nexus - An extended test of Android's Latest Benchmark
By Clarence Stone Wednesday, April 04 2012 @ 07:30 AM EDT
The Galaxy Nexus hit stores late holiday season last year and with Samsung's fierce advertisement campaigns it quickly ascended to the top of the must have list. Word of its beautiful curvacious screen and its cutting edge Android 4.0 software update had not been the topic of conversation since the release of the new iPad. Does the silence from its users mean its truely problem free unlike the iPhone 4? An extended test on the beautiful Nexus answers all these questions and more.
Curved Glass and Ice Cream Sandwich - Ring, ring! Banana Phone!
The people who tell you that first impressions and resumes don't matter are lying. The truth is that the Galaxy Nexus ended up on my desk after being out for more than 2 months because I was still impressed by its resume full of firsts. This is one of the first phones shipped with Android new software 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich". This is also the first phone to be equipped with what Samsung dubbs a "contour HD display". So on paper my impressions of frozen treats and banana phones made me sure the Galaxy Nexus would be something I could deal with on a day to day basis.
At first glance the phone made me wonder where the banana-ness had went. But on further examination I discoverd that the curve on the display was not as drastic as was described in its resume. Hey, some times we over hype ourselves by mistake right?
The experience of turning on the display more than made up for the slight disappointment. The screen is gorgeous. I a weird "where is this light coming from?" kind of way. The whole phone seems to be brandished from this one slice of curvacious glass with light coming from ... somewhere.My desire was amplified when I gripped the back of the phone to feel its texture. Something of the golfball dimples made it feel more human than the usual cold glass back of my robotic iPhone.
The new Android operation system was easy to adjust to and I was soon back on the road after a mild learning curve. At day one I was sure this would be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
I believe only time tells the full story and I try to keep devices as long as I can so I can illustrate the exprience of living with them.
The Galaxy Nexus it still doesn't fail to impress.I think it comes down to the fine details that had been thought out unlike the other android phones that have landed on this same desk. A great example is how the screen dims automatically when you hit the clock so that the only thing that is lit is the time in a deep Robin's eggish turqouise blue.
Fact: Samsung's Nexus uses a 720p super AMOLED screen on this phone. The reason why menu's and backgrounds are mostly black is that when a AMOLED pixel displays black it is completely off. Unlike other screens, like the iPhone, that stay lit on the shade of black. This effect gives the great illusion of the "endless" screen.
Android's Ice Cream Sandwich is full of great little touches like these. For example, almost every software is complimented by textures that were not there in the past, adding a touch of class and material to an otherwise robotic screen. I had a friend tell me it looked like peices of sand instead of a white background, but don't we pay more for the impressiveness of textured resume paper?In my weeks with it I also got a chance to try cool Android features like Hangouts where you can chat with your friends, or Android Beam that lets me tap another friend's nexus to send him the link to the site I was looking at. I found these to be very useful social features. Another cool evolution to software is the ability to unlock the phone via facial recognition, this feature really gets the crowd. Yup, its finally starting to feel more like 2012!
Fast Fast Fast!
Oh yes, it's also great at being a phone too. The speakers are loud and the call quality is great. The processor on the phone makes it easy for me to handle tons of tasks and pick up a call. This was something my Original Droid had a hard time doing sometimes. Data was fast, especially on 4G. Of course I expect no less from Verizon! The LTE is fast fast fast! And surprisingly, I had no problems with the battery lasting for a day.
Now to the stuff that I didn't quite enjoy. One glaring fault of the phone to me was the fact that the power buttom was on the right side of the phone. It was a very soft easy to push button and I kept hitting it during normal use. Good thing the phone is fast enough to turn back on and continue working. Another small complaint I had was the brightness of the screen. As a night owl the radience of the AMOLED screen really was eye piercing in the dark, some normal day people would say this is a great feature for screen visibility in the day time!
With the latest Android OS, its ground breaking screen, and its LTE speed, it is easily one of Verizon's best offerings. After three weeks, I'm glad I didn't get the silly novelty banana phone that I thought I was getting. The Galaxy Nexus is a phone I would hire and mostly because it is great at leaving a lasting impression on an average user like me.
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