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Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

We've updated our Galaxy Nexus review to reflect the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update

Our Verdict

The update to Jelly Bean refreshes the Samsung Galaxy Nexus making it exciting again, while price drops ensure it's still a viable option. It's a great handset, but at around the same price the Galaxy S2 is still the better buy.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 8.30 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 720

View full specification

For

  • Jelly Bean makes things smoother
  • Stunning screen
  • Keyboard and internet fantastic
  • Future-proofed with NFC

Against

  • Only five homescreens
  • Other UI's offer better social networking
  • No microSD slot or FM Radio
  • Battery life disappointing

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

If you're expecting a goodie bag full of apps on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, you're in for a shock. Not because Samsung or Google are being tight, but simply because this is a 'Pure Google' handset, and that's why it comes with the bare bones.

Out of the box, it's stuffed full of Google apps that are almost all stuck together in a folder on the home screen. They include all of the usual suspects: Maps, Google Play, Gmail, Calendar, Google+, Play Music, Talk, YouTube, Navigation and Messenger.

Google Books and Currents are also available, but appear to be excluded from this folder. There are also widgets available for most of these, displaying things such as upcoming calendar events and your most recent emails.

Maps

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

Maps is the latest version, and supports 3D images of certain cities, which isn't the most useful of features but is definitely up there when it comes to showing off.

It's had a slight refresh from the previous version, and although it looks ever so slightly different with the shortcuts at the bottom of the screen, not much else has changed.

Not that it needed to, since it's one of the best mobile apps out there, bar none. The one new addition is 'My Places', an area in the app that remembers previous places you've searched for, allowing easy access to frequently used maps. You can also favourite locations and save maps for offline viewing, both of which appear in 'My Places' too. It's a good addition that really rounds out the package.

Maps is also tightly integrated with Google Navigation, which is still in BETA. Not that we're complaining, because it's brilliant. If you haven't or don't want to spend the money on a dedicated sat-nav app (of which there are many), then Google Navigation is an excellent free alternative.

It does require a data connection - that's the downside - but its ease of use, flexibility and up-to-date info makes it worth it. We also found that GPS had no problem locking on, either for Maps or Google Navigation.

Apps

Google+ is a new addition to Google handsets, having previously been a manual download from the Android Market. It's no different to the last iteration.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

Calendar, however, is different. The excellent Calendar offering has been redesigned, and it looks fantastic.

It's the same principle - multiple calendar support, full integration with the desktop version and so on - but it just looks so much better. It's amazing what a lick of paint can do. Plus, you get a new Calendar widget, and this is one that can be resized.

This being an Android handset, you can download as many apps as you want from Google Play.

It's getting bigger every day, and the quality is always improving. Think of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as a blank canvas that you can decorate as much or as little as you want here.

And even better news for Sky fans constantly dragged away from their TV: Sky Go is now supported on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This means access to sport, film and entertainment channels whenever you want.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyHSPA+, HSDPA, HSUPA, EDGE, GPRS
SAR Value0.30 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy Nexus
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 850
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time8.30 Hour
Screen Size11.8 cm (4.7")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log, Caller ID
Pixel Density315 ppi
Height135.5 mm
Width67.9 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Radio TunerNo
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameGalaxy Nexus Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Product LineGalaxy Nexus
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeProximity Sensor, Gyro Sensor, comfortmeter, Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberTHRGALAXYNEXUSBLK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

With the latest Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 operating system and brilliant 4.65" HD Super AMOLED screen, the Galaxy Nexus is without doubt the next-generation Android™ smartphone. New applications, such as Face Unlock for extra security and Android Beam for enhanced content sharing, will utterly blow your mind. The curved and stylish design also packs in a powerful 1.2GHz dual core processor for PC-like performance while on the go and a 5mp camera with fast image, panoramic shot and HD video recording. The Galaxy Nexus - Simple. Beautiful. Beyond smart.