The Galaxy Nexus, Google's attempt at a wireless device and manufactured by Samsung, was released on Thursday, and within two hours, an update was released for the OS. The Nexus is the first phone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has a fast camera, big 720p screen, and super fast 4G speeds on Verizon Wireless' network. What, exactly, needed to be fixed?
Software Version 4.0.2 ICL53F
Speed seems to be the issue, with not only WiFi speeds improving, but enhancements to 3G/4G connections and hotspots, as well as speedy auto connect to wireless networks saved in the phone. They say the lock screen will be updated as well, but from what I've seen the only lock screen update is the addition of the Verizon Wireless logo.
This update was also released to correct two known problems. One issue Galaxy Nexus users were facing was receiving the message “Data was disconnected due to roaming.” The phone was not actually roaming, and if you have installed the update, the message will only appear when it should. The second issue involved mail attachments failing to open.
Verizon Wireless also improved the front-facing camcorder, adding and enhancing certain visual effects. Volume level was improved in the Google navigation app, which provides directions as a GPS unit placed in your car would. The update also wiped out DivX, which it originally supported, and plans to do so in the future in another update. At this time, however, DivX support is no longer.
Disappointment After Disappointment
Not only must you update your phone immediately upon purchasing it (seriously, how annoying, when you just want to play with your new toy and have to wait for a software update?), but modifications were made since the last version (HSPA+) was released. One of those change: weight. The LTE Galaxy Nexus is 15g heavier than the original, and as such, some reviewers say it makes the phone a bit unbalanced. The HSPA+ version was bottom heavy, sitting comfortably and more importantly stably, in your hand. The new LTE version seems to have the majority of its weight at the top of the phone.
Another strike against the phone: battery life. Compared to other Android phones, the battery does not last long at all. One tester found that the battery drained ridiculously fast. So fast that while the phone was plugged into the car charger while using Google Navigation, it failed to get a decent charge to the phone to give sufficient directions. That could be a bit of a problem. Why the lightning fast battery drain? Simple: with lightning fast speeds (and this baby's fast) comes lightning fast battery drain. However, there are other 4G LTE phones on the market that last longer than the Galaxy Nexus.
Verizon Red Tape
The biggest issue Google fans will find with this phone is the fact that Google Wallet is no where to be found, nor can you install it via the Android Market. Why not? Because Verizon says so, it would rather go with its own investment, the Isis payment service.
So not only must you walk around advertising for the company (the Verizon Wireless logo is all over this baby, with no compatible cases as of yet to hide it), you are restricted as to what apps you can install. If you don't mind this and are prepared to tweak your display and connection settings at times to gain some battery life, pick your Galaxy Nexus up for $300 with a two-year contract at your local Verizon Wireless or on their website.