So preliminary review time. I've had the Galaxy Nexus for a night of play time and my first impressions are that this is one of the best phones out there and almost definitely the best android phone you can get.
- Screen size
- Un-touched ICS experience
- TEH SPEEEEEEED of the device
- TEH SPEEEEEEED of 4G LTE (Which I was surprised was in my area already
So with the pros. The screen is very big and VERY pretty. Super AMOLED is beautiful. Blacks are black, colors pop. And despite that, it doesn't feel too big in my pocket. Coming from an iPhone 4, this thing is way lighter, so that may be part of it.
You also get a nice ICS experience without MFG or carrier bloatware. And it's very polished. I remarked to Chief in an IM that it has that "iOS-ish" level of polish. Subtle effects like apps fading in from the background when scrolling through the pages of apps in the.... app... area thingy. Doesn't do anything to the actual usefulness, but it looks and "feels" nice, without being over the top and excessive as "OMG LOOK AT THIS EFFECT" like how some linux distros like to do.
Speed is great. Everything is smooth, app switching is better than on the iPhone, nary a hiccup yet. And 4G is amazing. I get 2 bars of reception in my area (out of 4 bars, so say 50%). Speedtest.net results were 16MBPS down and 8MBPS up. Down speeds matched or exceeded comcast on wifi at home and upload speeds were vastly superior to comcast. Ping was 48 ms compared to 29 ms on wifi. The only thing I hate is losing "unlimited" data at AT&T and going to a 4GB per month plan at Verizon. We'll see how that plays out and if 4GB is enough (I suspect it's plenty since I use wifi a majority of the time).
So now the bad. I have 2 main gripes so far. The volume is too damn low! On headphones maxed is merely adequate. Chief directed me to a setting that I bumped up from ~80% to 100%, I haven't been able to test that yet. If not, there is an app called volume+ that apparently can further tweak things to amplify the volume. So that is something that should be able to be fixed in one way or another.
The second gripe is battery life. I'm coming from an iPhone and got very good battery life. This phone is decidedly less impressive in that regard. On a full charge I got a bit over 6 hours out of the battery, with about 5+ hours "screen on" time, so 5+ hours of actual use, doing things like IM, web browsing, YouTube, and benchmarking.
More normal usage would probably net 6+ hours of use. I know 4G is a battery killer, and with such a huge screen, I guess you would expect shorter battery life. There is an extended battery that just barely makes the phone thicker, so little in fact that most cases still fit fine. I'll probably get it, it's $30, and people are claiming an extra hour+ of usage. 7-8 hours of use (not standby mind you, use) would be perfectly fine to me. Even what I have is OK, I can always charge at work if needed.
So, at least so far, my 2 biggest gripes seem to be things easily remedied. I'm going to probably order the extended battery, a case, and an extra charger for work from amazon tonight.