Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

If you're expecting a goodie bag full of apps on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, you're in for a shock. Not because Samsung or Google are being tight, but simply because this is a 'Pure Google' handset, and that's why it comes with the bare bones.

Out of the box, it's stuffed full of Google apps that are almost all stuck together in a folder on the home screen. They include all of the usual suspects: Maps, Google Play, Gmail, Calendar, Google+, Play Music, Talk, YouTube, Navigation and Messenger.

Google Books and Currents are also available, but appear to be excluded from this folder. There are also widgets available for most of these, displaying things such as upcoming calendar events and your most recent emails.

Maps

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

Maps is the latest version, and supports 3D images of certain cities, which isn't the most useful of features but is definitely up there when it comes to showing off.

It's had a slight refresh from the previous version, and although it looks ever so slightly different with the shortcuts at the bottom of the screen, not much else has changed.

Not that it needed to, since it's one of the best mobile apps out there, bar none. The one new addition is 'My Places', an area in the app that remembers previous places you've searched for, allowing easy access to frequently used maps. You can also favourite locations and save maps for offline viewing, both of which appear in 'My Places' too. It's a good addition that really rounds out the package.

Maps is also tightly integrated with Google Navigation, which is still in BETA. Not that we're complaining, because it's brilliant. If you haven't or don't want to spend the money on a dedicated sat-nav app (of which there are many), then Google Navigation is an excellent free alternative.

It does require a data connection - that's the downside - but its ease of use, flexibility and up-to-date info makes it worth it. We also found that GPS had no problem locking on, either for Maps or Google Navigation.

Apps

Google+ is a new addition to Google handsets, having previously been a manual download from the Android Market. It's no different to the last iteration.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

Calendar, however, is different. The excellent Calendar offering has been redesigned, and it looks fantastic.

It's the same principle - multiple calendar support, full integration with the desktop version and so on - but it just looks so much better. It's amazing what a lick of paint can do. Plus, you get a new Calendar widget, and this is one that can be resized.

This being an Android handset, you can download as many apps as you want from Google Play.

It's getting bigger every day, and the quality is always improving. Think of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as a blank canvas that you can decorate as much or as little as you want here.

And even better news for Sky fans constantly dragged away from their TV: Sky Go is now supported on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This means access to sport, film and entertainment channels whenever you want.