• http://twitter.com/justreboot JustReboot (Jeff)

    That settles it / keeping the resound / once ics is ported /upgraded to it i’ll have all the features. a great screen and the extra buttons i’m used to :)

  • http://twitter.com/tadejkolino Tadej Rudec

    “This definitely isn’t the iPhone.”

    That’s the point. You missed it with this review.

  • Anonymous

    Tadej, the review wasn’t written saying the iPhone is what the Galaxy Nexus should be. It compared to that; it compared to Android 2.0; it was compared to just what works or doesn’t. There are things I like about it; things I don’t like. That’s true of the iPhone, too.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, I own an iPhone but I think you’ve written a fair and objective review. They’re just phones (well, ok, they’re just pocket computers with phone apps). I think you’ve avoided the fan boy trap. Well done.

  • http://twitter.com/basvandenbeld Bas van den Beld

    I keep wondering where you find the time to write these lengthy pieces, you always go all the way, impressive.

    What I was wondering, why the comparison with the iPhone? Should it be compared? 

  • Anonymous

    Bas, yep, I think it should very much be compared. For one, there are people who are going to be deciding between they two, so it makes sense to compare and contrast. For another, there are things that the iPhone does well and is weak in, as is the case with the Galaxy Nexus. I think it’s important to highlight those, so that both platforms potentially get better. The other comparison that makes sense, I felt — which is why I mentioned at times — is Android 2, because lots of people will be stuck on that for the next few months.

  • http://twitter.com/basvandenbeld Bas van den Beld

    Yeah, I tend to agree with you Danny. I’m asking because I see different types of users. Perspective plays a big role, for example I always hear from people who are used to an iPhone that they feel Android is 2nd best, where people who start off with an Android tend to rate that a lot higher and don’t feel iPhone is that special at all. So the perspective can be different.
    I never owned an iPhone and started with Android when it comes to smart phones (actually Microsoft, but between those two :) ). I love the Android and don’t see the extra value of the iPhone that much, but maybe that is because I never owned one. On the other hand I own both an iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, and I LOVE the Galaxy, way better than the iPad. Because it better fits my needs. The only downside is that some apps are not ready for Android yet, but that is a matter of time. I would however advice somebody who is starting off with a tablet to use an iPad, because it is simpeler to use and the apps are more ready, you won’t get lost that quickly as an unexperienced user.   

    It’s a bit vague, I know :) , but don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you have got the wrong perspective, I am talking about readers and users here. The comparison is great, it however also takes a perspective.Did you ever play with the new Microsoft phones? I hear they are pretty good too.

  • Anonymous

    “By 4G, I mean real 4G — super fast, not the mock-4G most of the other carriers talk about.”

    Really?  I didn’t think anyone in the U.S.A. had “real 4G”.  Doesn’t that mean 100 or 1000 Mbps?  These speeds sound good but still very sub-4G to me.

    It’s my understanding that Verizon only has “4G LTE”, which is the sub-4G standard created by Japan’s DoCoMo to bridge the gap between 3G and 4G.  DoCoMo has 250 Mbps service in Japan, and they call it “Super 3G”, for example — they know it’s not real 4G.

  • Anonymous

    If that’s all you care about, maybe you shouldn’t be wasting your time reading reviews.

  • Walt French

    I keep not understanding why people who know better claim that a phone like this is “$299.” No, that’s $299 PLUS 24 months of ball and chain. The state where you pick up the phone knows better, as you will see sales tax charged against a much higher price.

    I guess there’s not much of a market for unlocked CDMA phones, but there’s a real simple way to see the actual retail cost.So what is it? How much does this phone cost, when purchased on contract thru Verizon? 

  • italia.caffe.0735

    Thanks for the balanced review that points out useful and practical features of the Galaxy and Iphone. User interface is really important but not easy to get right. About sound quality. I find that Skype to Skype calls on the iphone 4 on 3G/r wifi has much better sound quality vs. normal calling even on the same carrier netork. BTW, I am in Japan on Softbank mobile. 

  • http://twitter.com/mingramjr Michael Ingram Jr

    You don’t have to pay to use the “find my phone” feature on Latitude or the scream feature

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1549984935 Gary Mullinax

    Nor do you on iOS

  • http://twitter.com/jokeyrhyme Ron

    I have to agree with most of this. As an Android fan, there really isn’t any better option, and probably won’t be until the next Nexus device. Sure, more powerful devices will ship between now and then, but they’ll be tainted by jealous carriers and manufacturers sacrificing agility for “distinctiveness”.

    Regarding the behaviour of the Android browser: go to Browser -> tri-colon -> Settings -> Advanced -> Open pages in overview. You can turn that on and off. Off is more like iOS, it will zoom in and wrap paragraphs automatically. On (the default) will detect websites that don’t modify their viewports for mobiles and will start by zooming out. I have this off and have no complaints.

    I think Android’s major software issues in 4.0 are:
    – still some inconsistent UI decisions, although iOS has its share (search for skeumorphism, yuck!)
    – certain features are buried too deep in menus (Symbian was widely hated for it’s crazy-deep menus, let’s hope Google fixes this)
    – certain defaults are not wisely chosen, and correcting them involves deep menus as above
    – it changes design language a little too frequently for many to keep up with, so third party applications (and some of Google’s) look out of place
    – the Browser is 100% better than it used to be in 2.3 / 3.2, but it is still bad compared to Mobile Safari and nowhere near as exciting and ground-breaking as Google Chrome

  • http://www.facebook.com/ethanlmcheng Ethan Cheng

    Dear Danny Sullivan,

    Please please please please please PLEASE watch where you’re going when you rollerblade down the path. Seriously. Texting while rollerblading is not a thing that should be done by a sane human being with a will to live. Whatever you’re texting, it can wait until a later moment when you aren’t on wheels.

    You probably wouldn’t feel very safe if I was texting while riding toward you in the opposing lane, and that’s why I would never do a thing like that. Please do me the same kindness.


    A bike-commuter who does not want to get injured by having to veer off the path to avoid a distracted rollerblader.

  • http://twitter.com/ProCapture Doug Young

    In fairness the weird arrow (which is clearly supposed to be a paper aeroplane) and the back button icons have been used for years in Mail on OSX (and probably elsewhere) in the first instance and on a slew of digital cameras in the second
    This is like complaining that Germans should use the English words for please and thank you because Danke unt Bitte are veird

    iPhone does offer exposure controls (exposure lock, very useful feature that every tog should know and use – look it up)

    Isn’t using gps navigation on a phone really a second best experience, really useful when you are on foot, but I find it terribly tedious compared to my TomTom due to the fact that I voice dial and receive multiple calls when driving and don’t need the distraction of my directions being obscured when doing so
    Another problem is having the phone connected via bluetooth for calls, but listening to radio or cd which results in no audio for navigation unless I fart around
    I do wish though that TomTom would find a way to integrate intelligently with the data connection of smartphones and the superior directory of businesses, satellite imagery etc

    iPhone call quality for me is fantastic

    And Yeah, texting while rollerblading – Very Uncool

  • http://necenzurat.net necenzurat

    what? no calendar review?

  • http://twitter.com/nonprofit_tech Nonprofit Tech

    You say, rather quickly… “Finally, one thing I really love is the “Request Desktop Site” option on the Galaxy Nexus, which the iPhone lacks. I’ve used this plenty of times.” 

    Is ‘Request Desktop Site’ the equivalent of ‘Add to Home Screen’ on the iPhone, where it adds a link to the website or web app to the desktop, so you can quickly jump access it? Is it like a desktop bookmark?

    If so, the iPhone has that, it has since the first, since Apple didn’t give developers a way to add apps, Apple encouraged you to save bookmarks of web apps to your desktop/home screen instead. 

    If not, what is ‘Request Desktop Site’? You didn’t explain in post. 

    P.S. Good review. Lots of detail and I loved the screen shots.

  • http://twitter.com/punyweakling Lemon

    No. It’s desktop user-agent. 

  • Denver Lobo

    “Request Desktop Site” is a feature that lets you quickly view the desktop version of the page you’re on.

  • http://twitter.com/punyweakling Lemon

    Seriously, once you use the paper-plane (come on, is this not obvious?) icon ONCE, do you EVER have to think twice about using it again to send shit? We’re not goldfish. My process was “Oh, that’s Send” and then I knew it was Send and never forgot it was Send. This is UI which assumes it’s ok for users to learn something simple and retain it.

    And it’s consistent across email, messaging, G+, G+ Messenger, Talk… the list goes on. 

    At risk of sounding combative, if you actually think carriage-return or the system-wide back buttons are “Send” you’re a fuckin mental.

  • Dan Andersen

    Yes, it’s very important to avoid the fanboy trap, i.e. actually provide a considered opinion on which device you think is better for your purposes. That would be unacceptable, right?

  • http://twitter.com/squidlr squidlr

    The ICS browser continues to be user unfriendly and very slow to load pages. Install Opera Mini ASAP for a good Android web browsing experience.

  • http://twitter.com/beno1604 Michel

    I can not believe people are putting up with these huge phones, I for one see them as a step backwards. Electronics never get bigger over time, except when Google needs more space to put their ads.

  • Theo Clark

    Find my iPhone = Google Latitude turned on.

  • http://twitter.com/godofbiscuits Jeff Barbose

    Great review, but….

    ” In some ways, I find Android 4.0 more complex than Android 2.0. But I’m hoping it’s an important stepping stone to somehow getting to that simplicity.”

    Doesn’t the pro-Android camp forlornly issue this hope Every Single Time there’s a new release of Their Favorite OS?

    We’re at “I” now with Ice Cream Sandwich.  Maybe “W” will break with convention and finally, honestly, really be “Wolf”.

  • Jon T

    Sounds like not too bad a phone. Considering just how stolen it all is…!

  • Anonymous

    Alex, correct, Real 4G in terms of the parade of fake 4G within the US, not outside of it :)

  • Anonymous

    About $100 more than buying the iPhone 4S, since you’ll get the same horrible ball and chain contract. Or it’s like $650, I think, without contract.

  • Anonymous

    Totally get your concern. If it helps, it’s when the boardwalk is empty in front of me. It’s a really long one. If you really care to know more about my particular situation, see http://daggle.com/making-balboa-boardwalk-safer-822

  • Anonymous

    It’s not exactly the same as German vs English, because whatever phone you use should speak your language, not force you to speak its language. The arrow should be intuitive. I should understand that’s what I’m supposed to use in order to send something. I’ve not found it to be that way.

    Thanks for the iPhone exposure tips. I will look that up (though they shouldn’t bury it).

    GPS on the phone is not as good as a dedicated GPS — but it’s very, very close. I’ve used it plenty as a replacement for that when driving, and when I don’t have my dedicated GPS. I don’t get a lot of incoming calls, though. 

  • Anonymous

    Cry me a river.

    Everyone copies and innovates.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    How on earth did you think that Request Desktop Site meant Add bookmark to homescreen? …

  • Anonymous

    How can you mistake pressing the back button at the bottom of the screen as ‘Send’.

    Only someone who has played with the phone for less than 5 minutes would make this mistake. I mean how else did you ever get back to a view if you were using this phone? The function of that symbol wouldn’t change (i.e. to ‘send’.)

    Similarly I disagree with your review about the Send button itself. The send button is an airplane symbol which is system wide. If you ever sent a Google+ post or even something as trivial as an SMS message you’d see they’re the SAME icon.

  • Anonymous

    “Electronics never get bigger over time, except when Google needs more space to put their ads” ……… I am totally going to steal this line from you.

  • http://www.iDoiDevices.com Jason Yeaman

    Yeah….especially since the paper airplane send on that phone was stolen from macos mail. A seasoned dev would have implemented a single glow call on the send icon after 5 or so seconds of keyboard inactivity, or if they wanted to google it all stupid, that retarded green garbage can with the rectal therms stabbed in the top could pop out and ask the retard using the device if it would like to send the message, ala MS clippy style…the way it does during handset activation, and phone calls.

    Looks like another google fail. They have the hardware, they have the software, but still…..no vision.

    The browser experience is a complete joke.

    It’s got some polish….but still….no attention to detail, no intuitive human interface flow.

    It will get better.

    Nice keyboard layout……pffffft

  • http://www.iDoiDevices.com Jason Yeaman

    In the initial spin of the developer initiative, we didn’t have Xcode. They wanted us to develop via web apps because we didn’t have a real sdk. We have never been able to add apps without a jailbreak unless the device is provisioned for an ad hoc side load for internals or test.

  • Anonymous


    This was a helpful review. 

    Looking to upgrade my Nexus One with this device when it hits wider release in Canada.

    In particular, I am glad you covered the base email app (as opposed to the GMail app).  The Galaxy Nexus looked to be an interesting device for corporate use, but no threaded email from the corporate exchange server is a real bummer.

    At least the email app has search now.

  • Anonymous

    It’s really not. Find My iPhone can make the device play a sound and lock or wipe it remotely.

  • Anonymous

    A tool designed to automatically check me is isn’t the same as a tool designed to help me locate my lost phone, I guess.

  • Anonymous

    Lemon, it’s not obvious or I wouldn’t have found it confusing. Why on earth would I think, if that’s supposed to look like a paper airplane that yes, a paper airplane icon is what I should click on to send something. Because I sent email by paper airplane all the time?

    It’s not a matter of thinking twice. It’s a matter of having to several times think, hmm, is that the one?

    But that’s my take. You don’t feel that way, that’s fine.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure they do. I mean, why wouldn’t you, if you like Android, hope that it improves? There are plenty of confusing things in iOS which I’d hope improve, too. I don’t have to be a fanboy of either for that.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve spent considerably more time with it than 5 minutes, and I have made that mistake. I don’t think it’s difficult when there are so many different menu options presented in so many different places. But that’s my take.

  • http://twitter.com/punyweakling Lemon

    What I mean more is: once you knew it was send was it still confusing for you? 

    And when dealing with a system-wide iconography what would you suggest for send? I think the paper plane is an interesting choice – maybe not immediately clear enough, but does that matter if we’re hitting “send” 50 times a day? By then we get it, right?

    One of the icons that shat me at first was the Archive button in Gmail. The two cabinet drawers stacked on top of one another – now THAT is confusing. Or it was until I used it once… Gmail in particular offers “undo” after almost any action. 

    You say “if it’s not obvious” – but my open question is: is it ok for UI to be “discoverable”? Does it have to be IMMEDIATELY obvious? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jorge.jonathan Jonathan Jorge

    Thank you for posting a pretty detailed review of the GN and ICS.  I do have to disagree with you about how “confusing” ICS can be.  Another reason why I think most reviewers usually leave the detailed things about the UI out of their reviews because every user is different in how they use a phone.  The best thing about this phone is that it isn’t what the Iphone and Windows phones strive to be. Yes the iphone has no bloatware (something I really appreciate) but you’re unable to alter anything on it.  Once again, different strokes for different folks.  

      ICS is best OS for customization hands down (please name another one that does better) this phone can be molded to pretty much any setting you want.  If you don’t like the “base” email then you can use the Gmail App and vice versa.  How can the task manager be a nuisance as you noted?  Have you even used gingerbread, because ICS seems to have actually made a lot of things easier that had been tedious in Gingerbread.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/jorge.jonathan Jonathan Jorge

    lol, why is everyone so adamant to be calling corporations out on stealing this or that.  Why doesn’t Zerox have a million fan boys trying to always remind Apple and Windows about what they stole or copied or tried to copy?  

    Get over yourselves.  Everyone copies everyone.  It’s called innovation.  One company does one thing, another company observes and alters or does that one thing better.  Apple is especially good at this.  So is Samsung.  

    What’s your beef?  You mad that ICS is better than anything Apple has ever done right now?  Does it make you feel better knowing that Google did or did not copy Apple or Windows or Linux or Apache?  You mad bro lol

    Get over yourself and enjoy some desert:  Ice cream sandwich to be exact.  

  • Andre Richards

    That’s more or less what it is. The reviewer needs to correct this.

    And yes, the iPhone has had this feature since day one. It allows Web developers to program their site as if it were a mobile app and then allows users to run the site in full-screen app mode with no browser controls or anything to get in your way. The iPhone even displays the site as its own app icon and treats it as its own process separate from the mobile Safari. It’s an amazing feature that Android has never had. You can bookmark webapps in older versions of Android but it just launches them in the browser like a regular bookmark. I use this feature all the time on my iPhone for mobile webapps and it’s brilliant. It’s about time Android caught up with it.

  • Anonymous

    This is a terrific review.
    I have noticed when I change my font size to big in the display menu that my email progam is unreadable, by that all the text distorts into itself…..this requires a re-set to the normal size and requires a hard restart to change back……I am trying to leave Blackberry, thought the iPhone keyboard impossibly small and was hoping this larger screen and slightly larger keyboard to solve that, it does somewhat.
    But how do you get iTunes music off a Mac into this phone?
    How do you iPhoto pictures into it?
    I was forced to export my address book into Google mail and import that way……drag now google has all my contacts……..

  • Anonymous

    Lemon, it wasn’t clear to me. Nor was I finding it systemwide, because in some apps, it will be different. But you disagree, and you’ve made that point in no uncertain terms, and I respect your right to disagree with my assessment.

    To me, I shouldn’t constantly be wondering which button does what. Suffice to say, I can accept some learning curve. But when I keep thinking hmm, is that the button days into using the phone and an app, it starts to feel like the problem just isn’t all me.

    I suspect the icon could be improved. I know over time, it’s more a minor issue, because if you keep using the phone and have a problem with this, eventually you will learn.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, these are advantages to Android — you have lots of choices. It’s one of the reasons why people might chose it over the iPhone.

  • Anonymous

    Did you crop the screenshot in the Task Manager section? Your ICS screenshot only shows three open apps when it should be showing four. 

  • Anonymous

    No, i did not. I did scroll it to not show one app that was open, my email app I think, because it also showed some of my email messages. But I don’t think that caused it to show fewer apps.

  • http://twitter.com/ipaschke Ingo Paschke

    Regarding your Consumerist-zoom-example: On Android, you have to double-tap on the paragraph you want to read and not in the middle of the screen. It’s always been this way.

  • http://CTU.GOV Agent Jack Bauer

    Every hemmoroid (aka fan droid) commentator here fails to realize one important thing about what this device sucks in: the graphics department.

    It can’t even match the gs2 let alone an iPhone 4S because of under powered gpu. What’s the point of having 1280×720 316ppi when the apps (which are sorely lacking compared to ios) will even run properly.

  • http://twitter.com/raremage Rick Boza

    except that’s not at all what it is. It tells the phone to get a full, desktop version of the web page rather than allowing to web server to force you to a mobile-optimized version.

  • Anonymous

    Keyboard lag bug
    Font size bug
    Autocorrect over zealous all or nothing.
    Half-baked apps.
    SMS that loses time stamps after midnight
    Email that is plain counter intuitive and weird.
    Weak speaker
    Poor battery life
    No native video support, no app that do QuickTime, apps say they do but don’t.
    This is a toy, and a half finished one.
    The keyboard lag in landscape is so bad it makes the phone almost unusable. It’s not even shaped like a sex toy or it might have some use, hey Samsung make a dildo phone so at least it’s more than a door stop.
    Glad I kept the blackberry for backup. Stuck with this until I

  • Anonymous

    the android is half-baked.
    the programs are unfinished.
    Landscape mode is buggy. Fonts smeared together when larger text chosen. Lots of apps dont fully operate in landscape.
    the keyboard lag really sucks especially landscape.
    and this phone is a incomplete toy. samsung GUI’s and ROMS the worst. What goes through the engineers mind? too much msg

  • Anonymous

    This phone cannot even last for 4 hours on original battery! I can’t even consider the original battery to be a viable option for use

    End up I have to to use an extended battery to lengthen the power life of this phone.  So far the Qcell extended battery last me through a day which is an acceptable usage for me


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PMCFAU7FVQWQQ2Q5SDX2GWNGFY briieme

    I know it’s been a while since you wrote this article, but if you are still using your galaxy nexus, I though it might be useful for you to know that the “recent apps” button is like a smart app kill program, for instance, it will close facebook but if you have background data or instant updates for facebook enabled it won’t kill that. Swiping an app (or phone, text, etc) off the recent apps list closes the program.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PMCFAU7FVQWQQ2Q5SDX2GWNGFY briieme

     Try keeping the phone in 3G only mode unless you are using your internet browser. With the extended battery on my phone I can go almost 2 days (48 hours) before it dies. I always find a time to conveniently charge it at home in that time frame.