24 Hours with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for Verizon

It was a rainy Wednesday evening in Minneapolis.  My Verizon contact was racing through the swarming, downtown, rush hour traffic.  She comes to a sliding halt, the wrong way on a one-way street.  I approach.  The package is transferred.  She whips around and speeds off.  The Nexus is mine.

Ok…it might not have been that dramatic.  It was raining, though.  It’s been just over 24 hours since the “drop” and I have been using the Galaxy Nexus as my primary device the entire time, and then some.

Its first duty was taking pictures and video at the Wild vs Blackhawks game.  I am seriously impressed with the quality of the camera –especially how fast it takes pictures.  While I was at the game, I took a few videos, in HD (1080p, 150MB), uploaded them to YouTube, and had a comment before the game was even over.  Galaxy Nexus + Verizon 4G LTE + YouTube = Personal, Instant News Channel.  I’m going to give the Android Movie Studio a shot, to add some pizzazz.

The most frequently asked question I’ve been asked is “how’s the battery life?”  Well, so far it hasn’t been the greatest.  I unplugged it at 8:00 AM and it died at 5:21 PM –Ironically while I was looking at this graph.  Keep in mind, I have been playing with the phone all day long, as well as other folks at the office.  I kept it on the 4G network, and didn’t use WiFi.  As you can see from the battery graph, the batter drain was pretty steady, minus the short period that I had it plugged into a USB port.  Tomorrow I’m going to be more mindful about battery usage. There is an extended battery available.  There is also a dock that charges a spare battery, but not the actual phone, without the use of the included micro USB “Y” adapter (weird).

My only real gripe (so far) isn’t with the phone, but with Ice Cream Sandwich itself. While I’m in love with about 90% of the user interface, I feel like it’s inconsistent at times.  With the lack of a physical, or even an on-screen menu button, Android stuffs a small menu button in the System Bar –the semi-permanent buttons at the bottom of the screen.  However, if an app developer has implemented an Action Bar, the menu button is now at the top of the screen.  But if a developer implements a different shortcuts bar (not sure of the name), the menu button can be located there, towards the bottom of the screen.  Speaking of the System Bar, I’m not a fan of the layout.  In my opinion, the Back and Recent Apps buttons should be flipped, to make it easier for righties.  Better yet, make it user-selectable for righties OR lefties.  Also, I miss the search button :(

Well, that’s all I have for now.  Keep an eye out for my full review.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to drop them here or tweet me (@breon).

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is available now from Verizon Wireless for $299.99 (with a new contract) or from Amazon Wireless for only $149.99 (also with a contract).

Tags: , , ,