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printed October 2, 2014
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Review: Samsung Galaxy Nexus for Verizon Wireless

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

The Galaxy Nexus is the pinnacle of Samsung's Galaxy S line of smartphones. Though it bears a strong resemblance to the army of Galaxy S phones churned out by Samsung during the course of the last year, it still manages to have its own identity thanks to the slightly curved profile and attractive lines. It simply looks classier than the rest of the Galaxy S devices in a way that's hard to put to words. Perhaps it is the cleanliness of the design or the lack of obvious controls on the front. While the rest of the Galaxy S devices looked good in their suits, the Galaxy Nexus is wearing a spiffy tuxedo that sets it above its brothers.

The Galaxy Nexus feels very good in the hand. There's no denying that it is a large phone, though large phones appear to have become the norm of late. The rounded sides give the Galaxy Nexus a comfortable feel in the palm. It is wide, and I had a hard time wrapping my mitts all the way around it, but overall the thin profile helps the Galaxy Nexus feel natural to hold and use. The materials are good, and the fit and finish feel spot on. I didn't notice any loose or creaky plastics, and the overall impression is that the Galaxy Nexus is really solid. It'll slip into pockets easily.

 

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There are no dedicated hardware buttons on front. Instead of the four capacitive or physical Android controls that are on the front of previous Android phones, the Galaxy Nexus's control buttons are built into the display. The result is an entirely clean front surface. No buttons, no white symbols, just blackness.

Other controls are kept to the bare minimum. The volume toggle is on the left. It protrudes nicely from the side surface and has excellent travel and feedback -- though the sound is a bit too "clacky." The power/lock button is on the right side, which is where Samsung likes to put this button. It’s smaller than the volume toggle and doesn't stick out as much, but is still easy to find and use.

The top edge of the Galaxy Nexus is blank; both the microUSB port and the 3.5mm headset jack are on the bottom. I'd prefer if the headset jack were on the top, but at least its not on the side. There's no dedicated camera button.

Like all Samsung Galaxy devices, the battery cover is an extremely flimsy piece of plastic. It's embarrassing, really, that this cover isn't of higher quality. It's not a problem to remove, but feels amazingly cheap compared to the rest of the phone.

The SIM card slot is next to the battery, which will need to be removed to access the SIM card. There is no microSD slot, as the Galaxy Nexus comes with 32GB of internal memory. The battery of the LTE version and the GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus are not interchangeable, by the way. They are different shapes and different sizes. The battery covers can't be swapped, either.

If you liked anything about Samsung's (extensive) line of Galaxy S-branded smartphones, you'll surely like the Galaxy Nexus, too, as it has the best Galaxy hardware so far.

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