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December 09, 2011

Exclusive: Samsung Galaxy Nexus hands-on!

We haven’t done an unboxing around here for a long time and I thought after getting a review unit of this upcoming Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I thought I’d re-introduce the tradition. So here it is, hot off the oven — the Galaxy Nexus running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

This is probably one of the very first few units to arrive in the Philippines and I’ve only been familiarizing myself with the unit for the last couple of hours. I have to day that despite being very familiar with Android Honeycomb, I was a bit confused on the first minute or two after booting it up.

The packaging is very simple and relatively small (I remember the box of the Nexus One is bigger) but slightly longer. Inside the box is the unit, the battery, micro-USB cable and USB charger, an in-ear earphones — that’s it, no pouch or sleeve or anything extra.

The splash screen during boot-up is really cool and, although ICS is pretty much patterned from Honeycomb, the UI is definitely fitting for a smaller-than-tablet screen.

If you look at the specs of the Galaxy Nexus below, it’s not that much of a hard-core selection compared to the other handsets we already have. In fact, in some areas the Motorola Droid Razr and the Samsung Galaxy Note has a bit of an edge over the Galaxy Nexus. See below for the complete specs.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus specs:
4.65″ HD Super AMOLED screen @ 1280×720 (315 ppi)
TI OMAP 4460 1.2GHz dual-core processor
PowerVR SGX540
1GB RAM
16GB and 32GB internal storage
HSPA+ 21Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
NFC
5MP autofocus camera w/ LED flash
1.3MP front-facing camera
1080p video recording at 30fps
1750mAh Li-Ion battery
Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

What’s really refreshing to see here is how Android 4.0 fits into the over-all experience. I cannot make a definite conclusion right now but so far, it’s been pretty swell.

That large 4.65-inch screen is gorgeous and even the smallest of text on a web page is readable because of the dense pixel density. The device feels a little lighter than I expected (way lighter when the battery wasn’t there) and though it’s mostly made up of plastic, it’s got a pretty solid build and nice feel to it.

The interface is fluid and smooth but the UI needs a little bit of getting used to. For one, the “Settings” button we’re all too familiar on Android 2.x is no longer there and is replaced by the standard Honeycomb menus — Back, Home and Recent Apps.

The device settings is now accessible via the drop down menu from the top. If you have an Android Honeycomb tablet, this one should be easier to familiarize with. There are 5 home screens

There’s not much physical buttons here — just the power button on the right side and the volume control on the left. There are three metallic contact points on the right side which could be used to connect to a dock.

Anyway, I’m just starting to get to know the handset and how ICS performs but so far I am already impressed. More on this once we post the full review.

If you’re interested in getting one, it’s a whopping Php38,800 over here.

Disclosure: Widget City provided us with this review unit and is an advertiser on this blog.

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33 Responses to “Exclusive: Samsung Galaxy Nexus hands-on!”

  1. Jay
    Twitter: jayprietornemt
    says:

    Wow. In the flesh. Can’t wait til SE releases ICS updates for their Xperia lineup. :)

  2. Nick Dael
    Twitter: nickdael
    says:

    wow! looking forward on the full review.

  3. Adrian U says:

    I was actually wondering when you were gonna post this… Im actually planning on visiting Widget City after my exams tomorrow…

    Considering what the device offers, the price seems a bit steep… Lack of UMS and reliance on MTP, which can sometimes be unstable, for file transfer is also a bit worrying… If you dont mind, please cover this on your review…

    I’ll probably hang on to my Nexus One four a few more months.

    • droly23hp says:

      my Nexus S running ICS by drewgaren is actually using MTP.. and i can say that MTP is much better than regular USB file transfers

  4. Operation Super says:

    Meron na ba nito sa Smart Jump Center?

  5. KraM says:

    FRESH!!! . .cant wait to see ICS in my Samsung Galaxy Note. .Im only using ICS theme for now . .:-(

  6. knives809 says:

    Masyadong mahal samantalang ung ICS lang naman ang lamang niya sa ibang higher end smartphones (and to think andoird OS is supposed to be free). Hehehe. Believed to be as the ALMOST PERFECT SMARTPHONE. But price is really a big let down. Di kaya ito magkakaron ng carrier either SMART or GLOBE?

    • Fleeb says:

      The reason I think why the price is because it is not yet officially launched here. Perhaps those units sold by the particular distributor are imported.

    • Patrick
      Twitter: freelancerage
      says:

      In open source, free is not as free beer. Maybe you forgot to factor innovation and hardware that comes with the coming up of price. In fact, i think for that price, it trumps iOS in most ways.

    • Fleeb says:

      I just found out where to get this phone for 28k. And again no, the OS has nothing to do with the price of this particular unit. Even if Android was licensed it is not going to sell for 38k. The only reason why is that this phone is not officially launched in the country yet.

  7. ICS says:

    Yup mahal nga siya sa totoo lang ICS ang reason kaya naging mahal to. Im using Samsung Galaxy Note now and i cant wait for ICS pero maraming rumored na Q2 of 2012 pa available. Isa lang ibig sabihin ng Google and Samsung if you want ICS now buy Galaxy Nexus. .:D

  8. Yumax says:

    Or wait for ICS on my Nexus S which will be out in a couple of weeks, just upgrade when Samsung officially releases it here

    • droly23hp says:

      or you can root it and install custom ICS roms out there..literally, wag kana mag antay ng pasko. hehe

    • Yumax says:

      I have nothing against rooting and custom roms, but I prefer to wait for the official build from Google. I still have the patience to wait until December 31. :) After that, if there’s no update yet, custom rom here I come.

  9. nivla says:

    wow can’t wait na.. it will be in my hands today.. my third android phone!!!

  10. dude says:

    I am also waiting for the ICS on my note! It’s gonna be great.

  11. SamsungFan says:

    With the panel lottery thats going on with samsung, id probably wait for the 2nd or 3rd revision for this.

  12. jherwynne
    Twitter: jherwyne
    says:

    kamahalan naman! ganun ba talaga pag latest? The fact that the OS is free, dba?

  13. kenji2000 says:

    Bakit plastic na naman ang likod, yung galaxy sII ang cheap ng likod, madaling magasgas yung bottom part.. parang di mamahalin tignan.. however,but specs are great..

  14. Jhay says:

    Good looking phone!

  15. Jortz says:

    I think this phone is released to introduced ICS (android 4). In reality, the Note is a beast! and the S2, the any-smartphone-killer. hehehe!

  16. Guerrero says:

    Now we know why Yugatech keeps pimping Widget City’s shoddy non-warrantied devices. It’s because they advertise on this website.

    • yuga says:

      Now you know why I disclose conflicts of interests — to be transparent to my readers. Besides, it’s only fair to give credit to the source of my story (in this case, it’s Widget City).

      It’s still up to you, the buyer, to decide where your hard-earned money goes.

  17. TECHIHUNT
    Twitter: techihuntgadget
    says:

    I’m surprised to see so many bad
    reviews. this phone is great, purchased
    it brand new directly from amazon and very impressed.

    • BrunoRapido says:

      Techihunt, how much did you spend including shipping, taxes, etc.. for the purchase of Galaxy Nexus via Amazon? Was it delivered directly to PH?

  18. jonaflormicfren
    Twitter: daniojr
    says:

    So nice, but expensive.

  19. JFORT
    Twitter: jhsfortunolive.com
    says:

    it would have been nice if the screen was not pentile.. the continuing legacy of nexus phone, pentile display..

  20. Dustin
    Twitter: dcluvblizZard
    says:

    im thinking to buy galaxy note kaso malaki siya and i also read the in a review that they recommended this instead of the note. but the note has lot of features but this has the 4.0 ice cream sandwich OS, cant make up my mind ill tune in on this specially the price tag here.

  21. jpacs2007 says:

    Already ICS on my Nexus S!

    I was actually thinking of upgrading, but when I found out that the official ICS upgrade from Google came out, it feels like I have a brand new phone again!

    Now I am rethinking getting a Galaxy S2. Even if ICS came out on it, which is definitely sure, it would be heavily skinned by TouchWiz. I prefer my OS unskinned, without having to flash my phone to use custom roms.

  22. 12th says:

    my FM radio po ba Galaxy Nexus?
    Thanks^ ^

  23. Cai says:

    Have you tried using Skype on this? How does it fare for Skype video calls?

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