Verizon Galaxy Nexus First Impressions

I just got my third Android phone. You can read about my previous experiences: T-Mobile MyTouch 3G First Impressions, Why people get Nexus phones: I rooted my MyTouch 4G after less than one day

This time, I got a Nexus phone—the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I’m just going to list the positives and negatives. These are positives and negatives for me. There may be things you care about that I don’t and things I care about that you don’t. Either way, you may find these lists useful in some way.


  • Swipe-away notifications.
  • Swipe-away recent apps list.
  • Software buttons.
  • Beautiful screen.
  • Built-in screenshot ability without root (volume down button and power button together).
  • Verizon LTE network.
  • I have a Tasker profile that’s a tweaked version of what Juice Defender does. It’s either near-instant or only one second to reconnect when the screen turns back on.
  • No shutter lag on camera.
  • Camera photo quality better than most reviews would have you believe.
  • Speaker is audible, despite what negative reviews say.
  • No need to root to get vanilla Android.
  • Will get updates to new version of Android before other phone models.
  • Not much bloatware on here, but Verizon managed to squeeze a couple of useless apps on. With Ice Cream Sandwich, you can disable these apps even if you can’t uninstall them.


  • Headphones are noise-reducing ones, which are really uncomfortable for me. I know others prefer these. And I found an extra set of old headphones I can use instead.
  • Autorotate is slow.
  • The Android File Transfer app for Mac OS X needs the phone to be unlocked (makes sense, but confusing before you know it), and can transfer only one folder at a time from Finder.
  • Even though speakers are audible, they are not loud, so you will have to crank them up to the max volume to get decent sound.
  • Facial recognition to unlock takes too long. It has to load in a second or two before it even tries to recognize your face.
  • Battery life is not good. The screen is huge, and in the battery stats it easily takes up more than 50% of the battery use. Fortunately I can make it through the whole day using my pseudo–Juice Defender profile in Tasker. I also bought an extra battery from Verizon for $20.
  • The menu soft key (which is now three dots) is sometimes at the top of the screen and sometimes at the bottom of the screen.
  • Keyboard autosuggestions is worse than the Gingerbread keyboard, which was awesome. I used to get four or five autosuggestions. Now I get only three and have to long-press on one to get more.
  • Now that file transfer is MTP, I can’t use DoubleTwist as I normally would. Luckily, I could copy a ton of music and then use the AirSync plugin to finish the rest of the sync wirelessly. I understand why Google moved from MSC to MTP, but it’s also screwed things up a bit.
  • The screen is large, which is beautiful, but it also means I can’t do one-handed WordFeud/Words with Friends while on the bus.
  • If you use the slide-to-unlock unlock method, there’s no way to disable the haptic feedback on it.

Overall, despite all the cons, I love this phone. Ice Cream Sandwich has a beautiful UI, which is a joy to use. The phone is fast. And Verizon’s LTE is wonderful.


  1. just wanted to say thanx for all of your guides, you’ve helped me through many hard ubuntu times. thanx alot.//mack

  2. I wish I got a Nexus. I hate my Pantech, and I really like vanilla Android. Next time I get a phone, it will, be the Android 5 Nexus.

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