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Product Listing
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - The Next King
By Wong Casandra - 13 Mar 2012
Launch SRP: S$948

Features & Performance - Part II

Multimedia Performance

There's no questioning it - the Samsung Galaxy Nexus's 4.65-inch Super AMOLED screen with HD resolution is gorgeous and it's no exaggeration when we say that it's unrivaled. It comes with excellent colorful reproduction, contrast and good viewing angles under the sunlight. Samsung phones have traditionally been outfitted with AMOLED screens and they have contributed positively to battery optimization with their higher level of power efficiency.

The other notable feature of the phone is that the phone is one of the first in the market to come with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. We do have a slight complaint here though - on the highest brightness level, the screen is a tad too bright; conversely, it comes across as extremely dim to a point of absurdity when the brightness is entirely turned off. 

The Galaxy Nexus is equipped with a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus capabilities.

The built-in camera app comes with a pretty cut-and-dried user interface. To switch from video to still to panoramic shots, simply click on the three small icons accordingly at the bottom. Otherwise, settings are easily configured by tapping on a small round icon (not seen here) to pull out a tab of various options.

We found it slightly troublesome to use the Gallery's editing features due to the fact that they aren't available immediately after shooting. You have to choose to view it in the Gallery and then select Edit to get to the settings. There's a pretty good selection of filters here, so shoot away.

Click to view in full size. Click to view in full size.

Click to view in full size.

We were pleased with the overall photographic competency for the Galaxy Nexus; that's not to say that there weren't any flaws. For starters, we found that colors could get a tad over-saturated; some photos turned out too 'soft-focused'; shots taken in low light could get overly noisy; photos sometimes ended up flat with less details. Our suspicion is on the aggressive built-in image stabilizer software.

On the other hand, its super-fast auto focus and zero shutter lag were welcomed features, allowing us to take accurately focused shots that we might have otherwise missed. Generally, the Galaxy Nexus displays bipolar tendencies when it comes to camera performance; sometimes, we found ourselves with pretty bad shots. Thankfully, most of the time that was not the case.

Battery Life Performance

Our final performance benchmark is our regular battery test. This consists of comparing the smartphone to a select group of devices chosen based on their similarities across battery capacities, display sizes, resolutions and processing power. Our testing methodology involves testing a video with a 480 x 800 pixels resolution looping under the following conditions:

  • Screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections active
  • Constant data stream via email and Twitter

We compared the phone based on primarily two sets of attributes: processing power and screen size. The devices in question include the Motorola RAZRiPhone 4S, HTC Sensation XE, and Samsung Galaxy S II.

Smartphones Compared
Specifications/Device Samsung Galaxy Nexus Motorola RAZR iPhone 4S HTC Sensation XE Samsung Galaxy S II
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz
  • Dual-core 1GHz
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz
Display Size
  • 4.65 inches
  • 4.3 inches
  • 3.5 inches
  • 4.3 inches
  • 4.27 inches
Display Type
  • Super AMOLED Plus
  • Super AMOLED Advanced
  •  IPS-TFT
  • S-LCD
  • Super AMOLED Plus
Display Resolution
  • 720 x 1280
  • 540 x 960
  •  640 x 960
  • 540 x 960
  • 480 x 800
  • 135.5 x 67.9 x 8.9 mm
  • 131 x 69 x 7.1mm
  •  115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm
  • 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3mm
  • 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm
  • 135g
  • 127g
  •  140g
  • 151g
  • 116g
  • 1750mAh
  • 1780mAh
  •  1432mAh
  • 1730mAh
  • 1650mAh

If there's one area that we weren't impressed with, it's in the Galaxy Nexus' battery life. It is the second to last in the group with 329 minutes, about 170 minutes lesser than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S II. Naturally, its power consumption is the second highest out of the group at 1.18, losing to all contenders except for the HTC Sensation XE (1.56).

Perhaps the Android 4.0 OS is not as battery optimized as we would like to think. The large 4.65-inch full HD screen is probably the other reason so as to why the Nexus didn't perform as well as we thought it would.

Needless to say, its battery life to (weight x volume) ratio had been severely handicapped by its mediocre battery life despite its relatively slim proportions and light weight. The battery performance is a far cry from the Samsung Galaxy S II; a shame since the latter was released about a year ago. It is only natural to expect the Galaxy Nexus to supersede it in this aspect.

To give you a real-world gauge, we observed that the phone could last for at least a full working day, with emails and Twitter feeds pushed constantly to it. Other activities included occasional web surfing and calls.

  • Design 8.5
  • Features 8.5
  • User-Friendliness 8.5
  • Performance 7.5
  • Value 8
The Good
Gorgeous 4.65-inch AMOLED Plus 720p screen
Comes with Android 4.0
Speedy performance
The Bad
Hit and miss camera performance
Lackluster battery mileage
Apps unable to function properly at times
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