Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Three: Hands-on review

Three were so excited about the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the flagship Android phone, that they sent me one to cast my weary eye over for a week or so. So how is the new hotness?

Samsung and Google left little out of the guts of the Galaxy Nexus. Inside the device you’ll find a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 CPU clocked to 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, 32GB or 16GB of storage (I tested a phone with 16GB), and the usual assortment of radios (Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, GPS). The device is also equipped with an NFC chip, as well as a compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, and barometer.

Galaxy-Nexus-Hands

Smartphone cameras are rapidly getting better and better and are being called upon to do more heavy lifting. The camera on the rear of the device is a 5-megapixel shooter with a companion single LED flash, while up front there’s a 1.3-megapixel camera. A year ago I might have felt this camera was amazing. Now I merely find it so so. Performance was sub-par in low light and it regular conditions it lacked the “wow” of iPhone 4S, but still really good. I am merely whelmed by it. However the built in Hipstamatic/Instagram functionality is pretty cool and the in camera editing facilities are excellent – knocking the pants of the modest offerings of iOS5.

Settings in general are great – a nice addition to Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest incarnation of Android. It’s really easy to pop in and edit settings on most pages and there lots of little dials I can hit. This is much, much better than the iOS system of having to hunt through the settings menu to find things.

As someone who fell foul of O2’s “unlimited data” when using Spotify for the first time, the ability to monitor and restrict data usage was a godsend and it’s great to be able to set hard limits for data usage to prevent hefty fees.

The Nexus uses face recognition to unlock the screen, which is clearly a gimmick but is also fun. I tried with a picture of Milli Vanilli and it didn’t work, so it’s a useful way of settling lots of “you look just like X” type arguments.

The battery life is about a day, which is acceptable in this age of lowered expectations.The screen is huge, which is wonderful for gaming and photo viewing yet annoying for day to day use.
Multi-tasking on the Nexus however was brilliant. There is a dedicated software button (if there can be such a thing) on the side that lets you jump in and out of multi-tasking. There is a swipe gesture that lets you flick away tasks. Multi-tasking uses a large thumbnail of the screen rather than an icon. Again this is much better than iOS’s little tray of icons system – at least in terms of user friendliness.

Overall, everything was very fast and responsive and oversized screen aside, delightful to use. The mobile browser was quick and played nicely with 3’s mobile network across East London.

For more about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus head to Three

Samsung and Google team up to launch the Galaxy Nexus

The ever-competitive Smartphone market has just entered new territory with the immediate release of the Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus is the world’s first Smartphone to run Ice Cream Sandwich, the rather amusing name for the Android 4.0 operating platform.

Galaxy-Nexus

With power in mind, Samsung have given the Nexus a 4.65″ HD display using AMOLED technology. This gives a crisp resolution of 720p, making it one of the most vibrant displays on the market.
With a 1.2 GHz dual processor at its heart, the Nexus is well placed to shake up the market and take vital sales away from its competitors.

So how does the phone compare with its other competitors on the market? Well the raw spec can be found below, although when compared to its nearest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S2 (which represents great value for money whilst packing a punch) we will opt for its older cousin for now…

Processor: 1.2 GHz Dual Core Processor
Display: 4.65” 1280X720 HD Super AMOLED
OS: Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
Camera: Main(Rear) : 5 MP AF with LED Flash, Sub (Front) : 1.3MP for Video Call
Video: Playback / Recording 1080p
Google Mobile Services: Android Market, Gmail, Google Earth, YouTube, Movie Studio, Google 3D Maps, Google Calendar, Google + app
Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 (2.4 GHz), NFC
Sensor: Accelerometer, Compass, Gyro, Light, Proximity, Barometer
Memory: 1GB RAM, 16GB/ 32GB Internal memory
Size: 135.5 x 67.94 x 8.94mm, 135g

As you can see, the power is certainly there and it ticks every box for a Smartphone, along with the fact that it comes complete with Ice Cream Sandwich to tempt you. However, we think the real competition will come when Samsung release their Galaxy S3 phone, which you can almost guarantee it inevitably will.
For more information, please visit www.samsung.com