Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

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

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The upgrade to Android 4.1 brings a big change to internet use on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and it's not a good one. What we're referring to is Flash, or rather its absence.

When the Samsung Galaxy Nexus launched with Android 4.0 there wasn't any Flash support either, but it wasn't long before the Flash Player app was updated to be compatible.

This time it's gone for good. Adobe have announced that they're ceasing mobile development of Flash Player and any device running Android 4.1 or above will be incompatible.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

It's not the end of the world, Apple users have got on just fine without it. But much of the internet still uses it, so it is notable for its absence, particularly if you're coming from a device that does have Flash support.

Having said that, Flash aside, the browsing experience on the Galaxy Nexus is what you would expect. It's brilliant. Pages load incredibly fast over Wi-Fi and very fast over HSDPA.

We navigated to the TechRadar site and it took just three seconds to give us a full overview of the desktop version of the page. It was five seconds before the loading bar disappeared but the last two seconds didn't stop us from exploring or moving on.

Loading a mobile version of the site took less than two seconds. Doing the same test over 3G added roughly an extra two seconds, which is still pretty impressive.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

We'd somewhat expected Chrome to become the default browser with the update to Android 4.1. After all, it's out of Beta now and is the default browser on the Jelly Bean rocking Google Nexus 7, but for whatever reason the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has stuck with the standard Android browser.

Pages are initially displayed full screen zoomed out and you can even choose a default zoom level from the menu to personalise this. Tap to zoom works well as does pinching to enlarge or shrink pages. Text reflows well on sites that our other Samsung, the Galaxy S2, failed to alter.

You can also save pages for offline viewing later which negates the need for the likes of Instapaper or Read-It-Later.

What Android appears to do here is store a large picture of the page you have saved because when we then put our Galaxy Nexus into offline mode and tried to click on links to see what it would say, we realised that links were no longer links but just text and touching it doesn't allow you to click on it, or even highlight it for copying and pasting.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

Bookmarks are displayed through a tab at the top and can be added easily. You can also view several open windows, which are displayed in a card-style – the same as the one we get in the multi-tasking menu.

The browser is fantastic and aside from the lack of Flash, we had no complaints. However, we appreciate that Android's browser is not necessarily to everybody's taste and if this is the case, you can easily download a third party one from the Market.

There are dozens available with Google's Chrome browser being an obvious choice and the likes of Dolphin HD and Firefox being very credible alternatives.

Whichever browser you choose the great screen quality really helps here, making even zoomed out text impressively crisp, clear and readable.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
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
ColourBlack
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
ManufacturerSamsung
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 Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
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.