Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

We've updated our Galaxy Nexus review to reflect the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update

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If there is one element of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus bound to divide opinion, it's the camera, which clocks in at 5MP.

It's not the most adventurous of phone camera specs considering the iPhone 4, which launched almost 18 months before this, came with that. Indeed, the Samsung Galaxy S2 beat the Samsung Galaxy Nexus to market by a good few months, and that rocks an 8MP camera.

In the time since the Samsung Galaxy Nexus launched its camera has become even more dated, with 8MP snappers becoming the standard on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 4S. Not to mention the slightly ludicrous 41MP Nokia 808 PureView.

Yes, we read the comments on the reviews and we know that readers often berate us for mentioning megapixels and point out that there is so much more to a camera than that and yes, we agree.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

Light levels, lens and so on all contribute. But the fact of the matter is that whatever the Nexus has, it's not brilliant.

Don't get us wrong - if you take a photo in bright daylight and stand still it comes out fine. But in low light or snapping a moving subject, you'll be disappointed.

The camera on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus takes photos unbelievably quickly. You tap the capture button on screen and before you can remove your finger, the photo is taken and saved. It really is that fast.

But that comes at a price: focusing. We get the impression that the camera is constantly refocusing to avoid having to do it solely when you take the picture, but it means that photos can come out blurred, particularly with landscapes, fast movement and busy environments. Luckily, you can tap to focus to redeem this.

The actual camera comes with very few options - yes, you can change the scene mode to one of a handful of variants.

You can also change the white balance and exposure as well as turning the flash on and off, but in terms of settings that's all there is. They're easy to change at least, with only a couple of taps needed to do anything.

There is also an inbuilt panoramic mode that we really enjoyed using - but don't do it in a hurry. Even when you've finished, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has to stitch the photos together. And our unit took almost 20 seconds to do this.

There's a 1.3MP front facing camera too, which is used for Face Unlock, self shots and Skype/webcam.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review
In the right conditions it's possible to take quite pleasing, detail rich photographs.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review
Action mode lessens blurring on fast moving objects, but fails to eliminate it.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review
Bright light can flood images, but unless you're pointing the camera right at the sun the results aren't normally too bad.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review
Close ups are handled well, with the camera managing to focus easily.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review
Without flash, dark indoor scenes display a significant amount of noise.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review
With flash dark indoor images are a lot less noisy, but come out slightly blurred.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review
While objects in the foreground look good, those in the background lack detail.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review
Night mode produces images that you can at least make out, but they're still very dark.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyHSPA+, HSDPA, HSUPA, EDGE, GPRS
SAR Value0.30 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy Nexus
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 850
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time8.30 Hour
Screen Size11.8 cm (4.7")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density315 ppi
Height135.5 mm
Width67.9 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time270 Hour
Product NameGalaxy Nexus Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Product LineGalaxy Nexus
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeProximity Sensor, Gyro Sensor, comfortmeter, Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberTHRGALAXYNEXUSBLK
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

With the latest Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 operating system and brilliant 4.65" HD Super AMOLED screen, the Galaxy Nexus is without doubt the next-generation Android™ smartphone. New applications, such as Face Unlock for extra security and Android Beam for enhanced content sharing, will utterly blow your mind. The curved and stylish design also packs in a powerful 1.2GHz dual core processor for PC-like performance while on the go and a 5mp camera with fast image, panoramic shot and HD video recording. The Galaxy Nexus - Simple. Beautiful. Beyond smart.