Google Samsung Galaxy Nexus Review


In comparison to other Android phones, one of the big differences you will notice when you pick up the Galaxy Nexus is that it has no hardware buttons on the front of the device—at least, no buttons that are visible when the screen is turned off. Instead, the Galaxy Nexus uses three on-screen Navigation buttons that are part of the system software. These buttons will rotate and change orientation as you rotate the phone. You may also notice that these buttons will occasionally shrink to dots or fade away when not being used in certain apps. You can easily bring them back by touching their location.

Above the Back, Home, and Recent Apps buttons, you'll find a Favorites Tray with five shortcuts that remain static across all home screens. By default, the Favorites Tray contains links to the Phone, Contacts, Application, Messaging, and Browser. The Application link is static; all four of the remaining icons in the dock can be customized to your liking.

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Like its predecessor, the Nexus S, the Galaxy Nexus features a Contour Display. The Super AMOLED screen measures 4.65 inches and supports an HD resolution of 1280 x 720.  Although we like the idea of the Contour Display, we couldn't tell a big difference between it and other, purely flat displays. The front-facing 1.3MP camera is located in the upper right corner of the phone above the display.

The Galaxy Nexus is a relatively thin phone, measuring 0.37 inches thick. It's not as thin as the Motorola Droid RAZR (0.28 inches thick), but it still fits nicely in your hand or pocket. In terms of weight, the Galaxy Nexus falls somewhere in the middle in comparison to other phones we've reviewed lately.

Samsung Galaxy S 4G 4.2 ounces
Motorola Droid RAZR           4.48 ounces
Nexus S 4.55 ounces
Samsung GSII Epic 4G Touch 4.6 ounces
HTC Droid Incredible 4.6 ounces
Apple iPhone 4 4.8 ounces
Apple iPhone 4S 4.9 ounces
Samsung Droid Charge 5.04 ounces
Galaxy Nexus 5.1 ounces
Motorola Droid Bionic 5.57 ounces
Motorola Photon 4G 5.6 ounces
HTC EVO 3D 6 ounces
HTC Thunderbolt 6.23 ounces

Taking a look at the edges of the Galaxy Nexus, and you'll notice Samsung and Google took a less-is-more approach. The volume rocker is located on the left edge of the phone. On the right edge, you'll find the Power button and three metal contacts that could be used for a future dock accessory. A microUSB port and headset jack is located on the bottom edge of the phone.

On the back of the phone near the top, you'll notice the 5MP camera and LED flash. This camera offers continuous auto focus and zero shutter lag as well as the ability to record video in 1080p. We'll talk more about this camera and how it functions later in the review.

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When you remove the textured back battery cover, you'll notice the SIM card slot as well as the user-replaceable battery. This phone does not have a microSD card slot. If you look closely at the battery, you'll also notice that it says Near Field Communication just beneath the Samsung logo. With Near Field Communication, you can share web pages, video, and other content from your screen with another phone by placing the two phones together.


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