Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

Price when reviewed

At this moment in time, Samsung has it made. Not only has it just defeated Apple’s attempts to ban its devices from sale in Europe, but with the Galaxy S II it has the market’s best smartphone, and it also has the exclusive contract to develop smartphones for Google.

Its second such Google phone is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which introduces to the world the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.

Android 4, as it shall henceforth be known, borrows features and styling from the tablet-orientated Honeycomb (Android 3) version of the OS, adding new features and a slicker look. We’ll look at it in detail further down this review, but first let’s take a look at the hardware.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The star is the subtly concave AMOLED screen, which measures 4.65in across the diagonal, with an HD resolution of 1,280 x 720.

That’s the highest resolution we’ve seen on any smartphone, and the Nexus manages to squeeze it into a chassis weighing only 135g. It’s thin too, although not quite as skinny as Samsung would have you believe: at its thinnest point it measures 8.9mm from front to back, but that swells to 11.7mm at its thickest point.

Under the hood, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor backed with 1GB of RAM powers the Nexus to some impressive benchmark results.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus - side on

The SunSpider test completed in 2,005ms – faster than any other smartphone we’ve yet seen. Our new web page load test, in which we time how long the phone loads 28 web pages in sequence, saw the Nexus return a time of 11 seconds, this time a little behind the iPhone 4S’s 9.2 seconds.

In Quadrant, the Nexus scored 1,785 points – quite a way behind the Samsung Galaxy S II’s result of 3,460, but on a par with other Android phones of a similar specification.

Sweet, sweet Ice Cream

Coupled with the new operating system, though, the Nexus feels like a different beast entirely, because the principal benefit Android 4 brings is immediacy.

Clicking links, swiping screens, and navigating your way around the new interface is as sharp an experience as it is on Windows Phone and iOS devices.

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 17hrs 40mins
Standby, quoted 11 days 6 hours


Dimensions 68 x 8.9 x 135.5mm (WDH)
Weight 135g
Touchscreen yes

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 1,000MB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes


Screen size 4.65in
Resolution 720 x 1280
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes


OS family Android

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