Samsung Galaxy Nexus: Latest news, first look video

As we continue to wait for the mystery that is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone to arrive on Verizon, here's the latest news, commentary, and opinion.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

UPDATE 11.16: The latest rumor has the Nexus arriving on Black Friday (Friday, November 25).

UPDATE 11.16: Word has it Nexus is delayed until early/mid December.

UPDATE 11.17: The reviews are in! One is calling Nexus “One of the best smartphones ever made” -> full story.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Greetings from the Baja. The big question of the day: when will the Samsung Galaxy Nexus land? We do know the UK will get it first, though there is some confusion around the exact launch date. We’re expecting to see it in the US later this month, or in December–some of you may have the scoop on that. Count me as non-plussed concerning the delay. I’d like for it to hit stores once I return back to Silicon Valley. Selfish, I know.

Why the big deal over Nexus?

Nexus will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich, Google’s latest edition (4.0) of its hot Android mobile OS. It’s apparently a significant upgrade, with many interface improvements and an entirely new approach to how applications are launched. Many of us will be watching to see if Google falls flat twice in a row. Its Honeycomb OS was a bomb, ultimately not making inroads against the iPad in the tablet market.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus or HTC Rezound or Motorola Droid RAZR?

These are the 3 flagship Android smartphones for the moment. The end of 2011 will be known as the first of the “great 2-year upgrade cycles” for us Androids. Motorola Droid, the amazing phone that started it all for the little green robot, hit Verizon November 2009, eventually selling millions. So there are a lot of us ready to upgrade, with the choice likely to include the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC Rezound, or Moto RAZR (only $199 on Amazon), for my money the one to get if you’re tired of waiting. For more, read about the Android upgrade dilemma.

I’m 99% sure I’m going Nexus. RAZR is thin, sweet, but I have concerns over the display quality and battery life (though, 4G LTE is widely reported to be a drain on any phone). The Rezound has better cameras, but I don’t like its bulky build.

Nexus has the aforementioned of ICS, which means softkeys for instance. BTW – is anyone else less than thrilled about facial recognition for an unlock screen?! I’ll continue to use the pattern or PIN; faster, more convenient.

Latest news

You can surf Google News just as click-happy as I can, but here are some of the more interesting bits of news worth sharing that I’ve found on Nexus:

  • Here’s a short first look review by What? (and see the video below for hands-on).
  • Stories, like this one by HuffPo, continue to trickle about an Android security flaw related to the face unlock feature (using a digital photo to fool it) – it seems like we go through this headline-grabbing cycle every 12 months or so.
  • Phonedog is frustrated by the fog of war created by Samsung and Google about the launch of Nexus: “Without a solid date to go on, those that were on the fence about the Galaxy Nexus have probably already purchased an iPhone 4S, Galaxy S II, DROID RAZR or some other similarly spec’d Android phone.” Maybe. But just look at all the extra headlines and buzz the phone has generated… well, amongst us early adopters at least.

First Look Video: Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Here’s the best early review I could find. This video, by Which? (not What), gives a good overview of what to expect in the Nexus. Note that finally–finally!–the back button is where is should be: on the left end. Now if only the engineers could find a way to design a holographic button or softkey that floats somehow along the side bezel, that would be peachy keen; that’s where our thumbs naturally sit.

Explore. Create. Live. Follow Stark Insider on Twitter and Facebook. Join our 9,000 subscribers who read SI on tablets and smartphones on Google Newsstand. Prefer video? Subscribe to 
Stark Insider on YouTube, the largest arts & travel channel in San Francisco.
  • Anonymous


  • Emma

    I’ve heard it will be available in the US in time for black friday. Very excited to see how it compares to the other 4G phones currently on the market.

  • Samsung fan

    According to my local Verizon store, it’s coming out this Friday. Not sure if they were supposed to release that info, but that’s what they said :)

    • danny

      I sure hope you got the correct info. I have been anxious and quite frustrated.

    • Greg Malleus

      My power button finally bit the dust on my OG Droid.  Need a new Verizon phone here soon.  Been waiting for this for a long time.  I wish they would just announce a release date.  How hard is it to say “This phone will be available on date X”?

    • Rgg

      Its already almost 19th, no sign of the GNex. BTW… FYI GNex had final testing tmrw (November 19th) from Verizon. So as of now VZW has no idea themselves when the release date will be all depends on quality control tests results as of tomorrow. If all goes well it will be announced on the 21st of November and released on Thanksgiving. Mr. Clinton you may use this info to post your next article, just make sure you credit me and my sources “Masta”.

  • This was an incredibly useless article that just summed up all previous ones.

    • Emma

      Doesn’t the fact that it summed up other articles make it useful?

      • broomulack

        Not if you already knew all of the information contained within it!

  • Anonymous

    PIN/Password is actually both slower and less convenient.  I think the only relevance that remains is that it is much more secure than facial recognition.

    • Chuck Harris

      Depends, inadequate lighting would make the facial recognition feature much slower.

  • danny

    OMG, this is the greatest article I have read regarding the Nexus. I love the review link. It’s extremely helpful. Because of this article, I will not rush to get the 4S. Great work Mr. Stark.

    • I’m so relieved to learn I’m not the only sarcastic gringo on the WWW.

      • Jd

        WInter is coming.

  • David Abraham

    seriously tempting!

  • James Sarino

    Since it’s not making its way to AT&T (for now), unfortunately for me I’m not willing to wait for it. I’ll move from my Nexus One (how I’m going to miss her) to a Galaxy SII Skyrocket, which I would argue should be included as a flagship Android phone.

  • If it isn’t out by black friday I will be getting another phone. If it was simply an upgrade I would wait but I am switching to Verizon from AT&T and I can’t suffer AT&Ts terrible signal too much longer. 

    • Samsung fan

      I hear you!  I had Verizon for several years and switched to T-Mobile because of prices… and now I want to go back to Verizon. I’m tempted in getting the RAZR if I don’t hear anything about the Nexus soon! My local (Chicagoland area) Verizon store said it would be released the 18th (friday). I hope that’s true. Maybe they just haven’t publicly announced it so they don’t take too much hype from the RAZR

  • Leejiman

    uhh….Black Friday is 11/25 not 11/18
    is it coming out 11/18 or Black Friday?

    • Samsung fan

      There is still no official date, but when I called Verizon last night, the girl that answered the phone said the 18th.. I dont know if she was supposed to give that info, but that is what she said… Now I just hope that’s the actual REALEASE date and not a pre-order or whatever. It could also be the date they’re getting them into the store.. who knows … we’ll find out soon

  • Anonymous

    Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, which is the 25th of November not the 18th.

  • Anonymous

    CORRECTION: Black Friday is November 25th, not this Friday, November 18th.

    • alltweed

      Most of the VZW reps don’t seem to know.

      I had a long call with one on a biilling issue yesterday 15th and conversation drifted to Nexus. She said her system had nothing and that when a phone is close to launch her screen says coming soon. 

      I got the impression this will be a december phone and the current 4G double storage promo will end just in time. She thought the promo would go thru end of month for qualified customers. She also pushed the Thunderbolt Phone pretty hard as a rep did once before with me?…

  • lordloki

    By the way, it is “bezel” not “bezzle”

  • s0uth

    wow. just watched the video. 

    i cant wait!!!!! 

    and can care less about the face unlock.

  • MichaelP

    The RAZR is $199 on Amazon. This doesn’t help me any since I’m waiting for the GN at $299.

  • Come on Verizon what are you waiting for! Bring out the damn thing already, I’ve been waiting for this release for some time now. At least info on the release date! geesh!

  • Jon

    Just a heads up on the Rezound.  It had true potential, and Verizon managed to screw it up!  I upgraded from the Incredible I for more memory, storage, processing speed, and an amazingly huge, high pixel display.  First shortcoming – no FM tuner.  More importantly, when I loaded my apps, I found I had very little extra space.  Not much more than I had on my Incredible – even though the Rezound is advertised at almost twice the operating memory space.  What happened is they loaded this phone with even more Verizon “bloatware” – which they locked into the phone.  I don’t mind it coming pre-loaded, but let me decide what I want to keep on my phone.  You’re getting this piece of @#!$ back Verizon – Epic FAIL!!!

    I will probably give the Galaxy Nexus a try, but not holding out much hope that Verizon will leave less of its “CrapWare” off of this phone!

  • Max

    i like how he says beta and google   beeeta and gooooogle