Galaxy Nexus – More photos, launch news (just ship it!)

Frustration levels mounting, many have told us that they've already jumped the gun and purchased either an HTC Rezound or Motorola Droid RAZR. Both respectable, and well reviewed devices. Neither, however, ship with Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).

Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

I was a lonely soul
I had nobody till I met you
But you keep-a me waiting
All of the time
What can I do?

It’s your life
And you can do what you want
Do what you like
But please don’t keep-a me waiting
Please don’t keep-a me waiting

Samsung Galaxy Nexus on VerizonHere’s what we know. Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the most talked about Android handset ever, is already shipping in the UK. It arrives in Canada on December 8. And the US: ? Still unclear. The latest rumor has it shipping via Best Buy on December 11. Adjust your lives accordingly.

As I’ve written before, it continues to amaze me the fog of war surrounding the Nexus launch. At least the volume bug will be fixed for us laggards. And, better yet, if these photos on Slashgear are accurate we’ll be (thankfully) able to immediately disable all that Verizon bloatware.

Frustration levels mounting, many have told us that they’ve already jumped the gun and purchased either an HTC Rezound or Motorola Droid RAZR. Both respectable, and well reviewed devices. Neither, however, ship with Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), Google’s latest and greatest mobile OS. Then again, those buyers can look at the upgrades their handsets will likely receive in Q1 2012 as a New Year gift, reinvigorating their by-then ancient smartphones–why do Android vendors release so many devices, so rapidly with such minor improvements?

Also, some have criticized the RAZR display.

I remain on the fence.

Originally I wrote about the upgrade dilemma facing us OG Droids from November 2009. We bought in early to the Droid vision, and now vendors are lining up for our upgrade dollars and loyalty. I racked and stacked the RAZR, Rezound and Nexus Prime in a comparo and discussion. Over the course of a few weeks I narrowed the choice, and the Nexus emerged the winner, primarily due to ICS–though, NFC is a nice bonus too, as is the curves of the phone itself. Reviews have been generally positive (CNET) to outright lowing (The Verge). Some, though–Apple Fanboys disguised as “fair and balanced” neutrals–have not been so kind. One reviewer compared Nexus to the iPhone 4S and came away unimpressed.

With all these delays, I began to capitulate. Either I’d buy a RAZR like so many have already done, and life would go on. Reports of abysmal battery life (half a day?!) primarily due to the drain that is 4G LTE caused me to rethink that decision, as much as I’d like to buy American, and as much as I’d like to stick with Motorola.

Verizon Bloatware on Galaxy Nexus
Verizon Bloatware on Galaxy Nexus never had a chance: Disable at once.

My other idea now is to wait for the new-new super uber flagship Android smartphone that will likely ship in Jan/Feb (okay, so it won’t be on Feb 30th after all…). Guaranteed it will hit, and there will be a fabulous 2012 New Year’s campaign attached to it that will induce more frothing among us Androids.

Regardless of how this plays out and when Nexus ships, I’m still amazed at what trusty Moto Droid can do even though it’s over two years old now. Google Navs is a routine savior, getting me around the Bay Area with relative ease (traffic is the bane of Silicon Valley). Here’s a slightly worn smartphone that can run Nav, Gmail, and Google Music all at the same time. And I can still easily switch to Facebook, Twitter, Yelp or anything else with nary a hiccup (but with minor delay). That’s testament to the openness and robustness of Google’s astonishingly powerful mobile OS.

Samsung/Google/Verizon – 5 Ideas for a Better Launch

I’ve jokingly called them The Three Stooges when it comes to the Nexus launch. Here’s 5 simple ideas on how to get it right, and build customer loyalty, not frustrate legions who could potentially jump ship to Apple.

1. Be specific on date.

2. For Google: hold 2 major Android launches per year. One focused on smartphones, the other on tablets. Only announce major Android releases at these two events. Put the energy into high profile features- not specs.

3. Pre-orders… where are they? Build demand online, and reduce potential for lost sales.

4. Communicate with your customers. Early OG Droid buyers from Nov 2009 in particular should be revered, loved, coddled by you. Yet I get better updates, better treatment from Apple–yet, I’ve never owned an iPhone.

5. Just ship it!

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  • Chris Spence

    it is nice to hear  that i am not the only og droid owner frothing at the mouth for the nexus. practically a support group.lol

  • no there are others – OG droid owner. “drink” “drink”

  • Anonymous

    As yet another OG Droid user who is frothing at the mouth, I got to tell you, if the Moto RAZR had *released* with ICS, I wouldn’t even be reading this!! And I agree, the “Three Stooges” have really boogled this up!!  If they weren’t holding ICS hostage, they would have no business advantage at all.  ICS + OG Droid + grandfathered unlimited plan = captive audience!!!!  Better hope we don’t go on a bender this weekend or we *all* may wander over to Apple!  

    • Agreed- it’s odd that Google decided to not blanket ICS across all devices at launch. Why cause so much unneeded market confusion. Then again, the market share numbers suggest none of this matters to G’s growth.

  • I heard they changed the release date again to Febtober 32…. not sure which planet tho

  • Anonymous

    WHAT IN THE HELL IS BLOATWARE DOING ON A NEXUS DEVICE!!!???  I thought the whole point of getting a Nexus was to avoid all that crap and get a PURE Android experience!  I for one am outraged.  I really wanted to get a Nexus phone for this very reason, in addition to getting the latest updates in a timely manner.

  • RichardD

    I had enough of the wait for Nexus and ended up getting a Samsung Galaxy S2 from t-mobile.  T-mobile’s coverage in my area is great and as I went around to the t-mobile and Verizon stores to test out the network and reception, once again, in my area, t-mobile proved to be a lot faster and reliable.  While at the Verizon store, I noticed several phones losing 4G connection constantly as I was testing them out and the signal strength went no higher than 3 bars.  By contrast t-mobile was steady 5 bars in my area.  Download speeds on t-mobile were also twice that of Verizon’s 4G LTE in my area.  

    Overall, I was set on getting a new phone and liked the Galaxy S2 the best.  The Razr was buggy, getting very hot to the touch after only a couple of minutes of testing youtube videos on it.  The pixels on the screen on the Razr were quite noticeable as well.  The only category where the Razr won out in my tests was the overall device volume (without headsets).    

    The Rezound did not impress.  Unlike the G2 and the Razr, the Rezound felt bulky.  The physical design of the phone felt very dated and a real turn-off for me.  Though the Rezound had the sharpest screen, the colors looked washed out and bland compared to the Razr and the G2. 

    The G2 felt really great in my hands. The display was superior to the one on the Razr, and had better colors than the one on the Rezound.  The t-mobile version has a very nice metallic outline that makes the phone feel and look like a premium phone.  Unlike most Samsung phones, this one did not feel like a child’s toy in my hand.  It was fast and responsive and again, the t-mobile 4G HSPA+ proved far superior to the 4G LTE from Verizon in my neighborhood. 

    As far as the Nexus, well, I just got tired of waiting.  And the more I read about it’s cheap plastic feel and disappointing 5MP camera, the more I became interested in moving beyond that.  The G2 will get ICS eventually and I have no doubt that overall, once it does, it will prove to be the better purchase. 

  • I’m an OG Droid user, and I must say that I cannot run Google Maps in any sort of time-critical fashion.

    I’m in Chicago, and if I’m going somewhere after work, it’s about a five-minute walk from my office to the subway. If I need directions from my phone, I almost certainly will not have them before I get to the subway. With the time it takes my phone to switch from office wifi to 3G, then to figure out where I am with the astonishingly slow GPS, then the torturous wait while it parses whatever location I type in, I am often at the subway entrance before my phone can provide directions. And my battery will have been drained about 15% in this exercise.

    That my Droid takes more than 5 minutes to get directions is grating my last nerve down to an exposed and angry nub. This makes the wait on the Galaxy Nexus that much more aggravating.