Galaxy Nexus Mini Review

After the long list of postponing release dates, Verizon finally introduced the Galaxy Nexus to the public around mid december of last year. I was getting impatient waiting for the Nexus Prime so I jumped the gun early and bit on buying an iPhone 4s. Although that is an amazing phone that’s very easy to use, it lacked the “unlimited possibility” feeling that Android phones provide. If you don’t know what “feeling” I’m referring to, then you have yet to explore your phone.

Unboxing this bad boy had me giddy like a little boy on Christmas morning. The inside of the white box had a deep red color that complimented the sleek, black body of the phone. I immediately slapped a screen protector on the 4.65 inch screen, regardless of the fact that its equipped with Gorilla glass. I previously owned a HTC Thunderbolt which also boasted a Gorilla glass display – and it still managed to get scratched.

The Super AMOLED screen is stunning, displaying the deepest blacks and vibrant colors on its HD screen. A lot of people I know don’t like screens that are too big. It defeats the purpose of having a compact cell phone to stick in your pocket and be able to function it with one hand. Luckily, I have big hands and have had no problems with this phone (except addiction). It’s slim plastic body makes it real lightweight, and the “hyperskin” material on the back feels nice and secure on my fingers. I bought a silicone case for this thing, but I don’t even use it. I’m happy to say that although I have dropped it on concrete floors without a cover on, the body still looks brand new.

One sexy feature that seems almost pointless is the slight curve the screen and phone have that was supposedly designed to match the curve of your cheek. The curvage is not noticeable at first glance and doesn’t seem to affect the placement of the phone on my face, but it does add to the unique look that Nexus branded phones are famous for. There are also no hardware buttons, but on-screen “softkey” buttons that disappear to utilize the full screen for videos and pictures.

The phone is blazing fast. It may be due to the 1.3Ghz processor or Verizon’s 4G LTE data. Regardless, I enjoy navigating through homescreens and applications smoothly like my phone was just dipped in melted butter.

The UI is extremely minimalistic and neat, so I don’t think there should be any need for third-party launchers or home replacement apps. You are free to rearrange the stock dock with custom apps and folders. The basic applications did not go through much of a makeover, which is fine because this makes the phone all the more easy to use. A new addition is a softkey dedicated to a list of running applications that you can transfer between or free up memory by “killing” the process. There is also a fixed Google search bar on top of all of the homescreens which allow for easy access to search through applications, contacts, music, or the web.

The G-Nex is equipped with a 5MP camera that is somewhat disappointing. It boasts a zero shutter lag which is awesome, but only if there is proper lighting and not too much movement. The only thing that saves the poor camera quality are the extra features like red-eye removal, time-lapse recording, and panoramic shooting.

Being the first phone with Ice Cream Sandwich, the Galaxy Nexus surely stands above the rest. Although it may not be drastically different from its predecessors, ICS portrayed a more simple, futuristic feel.

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