Galaxy Nexus a more sophisticated Android

The scoop: Galaxy Nexus smartphone, by Samsung (service through Rogers, Bell, Telus, SaskTel, Fido and Virgin Mobile).

What is it?
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the latest Android smartphone from Samsung,utilizing the new Ice Cream Sandwich (Version 4.0) operating systemfrom Google. The phone has avery thin 9.47mm profile and a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display, makingit larger than the Apple iPhone 4 or 4S smartphones. The Nexus ispowered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and includes 1GB of RAM to runapps that can be downloaded from the Android Market. The phone canstore 32GB of data files, including music, movies and photos. An802.11n connection lets you connect to a Wi-Fi network if you don’twant to utilize the 4G or 3G network.

Whyit’s cool
 The new OS has some redesigned features, including a lockscreen, homepage screen and an improved phone app. The 5-megapixeldigital camera includes 1080p video capture and a panoramic photo modethat lets you take almost-360-degree photos. A front-facing1.3-megapixel camera allows for video chat or self-portraits.

If you or your users are completely in the Google camp with its apps(Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Music, etc.), the smartphonecompletely integrates with those offerings — after signing in with myGoogle account, each of the Google apps quickly synchronized with mydata from those services.

In my tests in a few different locations, I achieved an average of18.13Mbps ofdownload speed, and 6.48Mbps of upload speeds. This is super-fastcompared with existing 3G phones, and even surpasses some homebroadband speeds (especially my lousy cable service at home). Inaddition, you can use the phone as a mobile hotspot, allowing up to 10devices to connect to access the 4G network.

The fast network speeds made it much easier for me to upload video fromthe phone to sites like YouTube and Facebook. For example, a 30-secondclip of my kids at 1080p resolution had a 27MB file size, which wouldtake a long time uploading over a 1Mbps 3G connection. With the 4Gnetwork, it took less than a minute. This opens up more opportunitiesfor sharing video with others, rather than having them sit on the phoneor transferring them to a PC for sharing later.

Some caveats
With speeds like that, it’s easy to fall into the trap of utilizing the4G speeds instead of relying on your home broadband and Wi-Fi network,but the 4G speeds come at a cost with bandwidth caps from the carrier.For most of the apps, using Wi-Fi at home is preferable, and won’tincur those data charges. But if you’re out and about and have good 4GLTE coverage, you won’t be disappointed by the fast downloads andupload speeds.

Bottom line
While many smartphone users continue to wait for a 4G LTE iPhone,Android fans can already experience the next-generation speeds of 4GLTE on an advanced OS. If you have been considering making the switchfrom the iPhone to Android, the Galaxy Nexus is a great phone toconsider.

Grade
5 stars (out of five).

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