Samsung Galaxy Nexus – Rise of a new giant
Nexus series from Samsung has always brought something new, this time Samsung introduced Android 4.0 aka ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) to the world. ICS was long expected in the markets and people had lot of expectations from this version of Android. So, we have tested the same for you and penned down our thoughts on this wonderful looking device.
Before we talk in details about the build and the aesthetics here are some points which we liked or disliked about the handset.
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 4.65” Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with HD (720 x 1280 pixels) resolution
- Oleophobic surface
- Slim built at 8.9mm
- Dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 CPU; PowerVR SGX540 GPU, TI OMAP 4460 chipset
- 16/32GB built-in storage; 1GB RAM
- 5 MP camera (2592×1936 pixels) with autofocus, LED flash; 1.3MP front-facing unit
- 1080p video recording @30fps; touch-to-zoom while recording
- MHL microUSB port with TV-out (1080p) support
- Loads of connectivity options almost everything (GSM/GPRS/Edge/3G with HSPA/LTE enabled versions at some places/WiFib/g/n/ DLNA/WiFi Direct/Wi Fi hotspot and Bluetooth 3.0 not to miss the NFC.
- No expansion slot, memory restricted to 16/32 GB only
- No FM
- No dedicated camera key
- Poor audio quality
- Below par audio quality
With these excellent specs we still feel that Samsung hasn’t done justice to the new OS by not giving it the superior 8Mega Pixel camera or an expansion slot.
Continuing the trend which its predecessor started, Galaxy Nexus also has the same curvy design with the same oleophobic screens with just two hardware buttons. Although the color scheme looks fantastic and the back panel is meant to give the handset a proper grip. The Oleophobic screen on the other hand protects the screen and makes it almost ‘finger magnet’ proof, with the plastic back panel the chances of the same are minimal. The 4.65” AMOLED screen is simply breathtaking.
On the left hand side of the device lies the volume rocker and on the right hand side is the power / lock key. In order to remove the battery panel one has simply pull the latch placed on the top of the handset, evident that there is no room for any other hardware key to be placed in.
The built of the device is sturdy and comes in a perfect grip thus the chances of dropping the handset are minimum.
Software & Camera:
The main attraction of the handset is the stock ICS which resides in the Galaxy Nexus, the user experience starts with the nice colorful animation and unlock pattern. Along with the various locking methods, the most enjoyable experience is using Face Unlock. Face unlock worked perfectly using various angles and some low light conditions. The usual unlocking pattern is also slightly different from that of gingerbread.
Immediately after unlocking the screen, a whole new kind of screen appeared. Bottom of the screen had three on screen buttons: Back, Home and various tasks
Just above these lies menu and frequently used icons (which can be customized). Again a good change which we noticed was in the notification area, we managed to swipe off the notifications which were not needed.
Screens have limited options and we were not able to either add or remove any of the screens, Widgets could be accessed directly in the main menu and could be re-sized horizontally and vertically. Folders could be created on the panels and folders within folder is also possible by just dragging and dropping an icon.
App drawer is pretty similar to that of its previous versions and ICS doesn’t give many option there, Android Marketplace or Google Play on the other hand has secured a permanent place on the top along with the apps and widgets tabs. Pressing and holding an icon could lead to re-placement of the same on any of the panels.
To access the applications recently opened is possible in the similar fashion as honeycomb, by simply pressing the third on screen key on the screen. This leads to a scrollable screen which displays the recently opened applications, by just swiping away the screen user will be able to close the app.
Galaxy nexus boasts the 5 MP camera with 2592X1944 Pixel with LED Flash. Some improvements can be spotted in the camera module of Galaxy Nexus, still there is a lot of scope for improvement of the same. Interesting feature added here was the sweep panorama mode which takes some stunning panoramic shots absolutely hassle free. Video camera gets 1080p despite of a 5 MP camera and a digital zoom while shooting the video too. Overall a satisfactory camera performance.
Considering the hardware and the ICS it wasn’t a disappointing phone at all, there are certain departments where Nexus could have done better for example the camera module or the expansion slots but we firmly believe that this must have been done to protect the sales of its SGS2 and Note which are selling like hot cakes now as well.