Why Did I Buy the Galaxy Nexus Again?

At the end of 2011, I faced a tough decision about which phone I should buy to replace my iPhone 3GS. Ultimately, I decided on the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

One of the reasons I decided on the Galaxy Nexus was because it was a Nexus branded device.

What does this mean exactly?

In the past, it meant that the device would get relatively quick updates. Yes, major Android updates. But maintenance updates as well.

Well, my experience with Android, prior to getting the Nexus, was one riddled with bugs, glitches, sluggish UIs.

I figured picking up a Nexus would save me from these issues. And if there were issues, Google and Verizon would make sure to handle them quickly.

You can probably guess where I’m heading with this.

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My experience with the Galaxy Nexus has been one riddled with problems. Poor battery life, connection stability issues, hang ups, and random reboots. I’ve also experienced the fairly well-known audio issue where the mic cuts out but that issue has only started to happen recently.

Why Did I Buy the Galaxy Nexus Again?I will say that for the most part, I’ve heard mostly good experiences from Galaxy Nexus owners. But I’ve also spoken with some that have endured the same, troubled road I have.

I’ve dealt with several of these issues, the battery life issue in particular, since I picked up the device back in December.

The fact that it’s now April and we have yet to see a major update for the Galaxy Nexus is absolutely mind-boggling to me.

While I appreciate the Android development community, I shouldn’t have to fall back on them to get a relatively bug-free experience on my smartphone.

I thought Google and Verizon were going to provide that experience for me given that this is a Nexus phone.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case at all and quite frankly, the allure of the almighty ‘Nexus’ has dimmed for me.

There is an update on the horizon though and I am hopeful that the Android 4.0.5 update solves a lot of the issues that I’ve had with my Galaxy Nexus, and really, Android 4.0.

It’s just a shame that I’ve had to wait for four months and counting in silence waiting for Google or Verizon to say or do something for their flagship device.

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How has your experience with Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus been?

Comments

  1. Jerry Fahrni says

    Picked up a Nexus just a couple of days after it was released. Besides the battery life being less than desirable (actually it’s terrible), I haven’t had any problems. I’ve been quite pleased with the speed of the device and Android 4.0.

    • Chris Leckness says

      1st off Jerry, don’t I know you? 
      Next, I agree with you. I haven’t had any issues other than toting a 2nd battery, but custom roms and tweaks allow me to get through a work day most of the time.

  2. Psmith says

    I have the exact same feelings as the author of this article. This phone has been a MASSIVE dissapointment with bugs and the lack of updates even minor to fix these issues have been non existant. I have been on android since it came out and this will be the last time I own one. I will get whatever iteration of the iphone when my contract is up with verizon for this piece of shit phone. I will also not stay on verizon, they may have a good network but their sluggish qa process to get shit updated is not worth it. And I say good network only for 3g only devices LTE devices are horse shit affecting 4g and 3g.

  3. tjobrien says

    I’m feeling a bit screwed too. I paid a lot of money plus a two-year commitment to Verizon to get this phone, and I can’t help but expect better for what it cost. Sure, the screen is nice. And it’s pretty quick. But LTE data connection problems, audio issues, battery life, reboots, and a crappy camera? Come on!

    I can’t stand Apple, but I need stuff that works. And I’m one quarter into 2012 and my phone is still as dysfunctional as it was when I got it. Why didn’t I take it back when I saw the problems? I foolishly thought “It’s a Nexus, it’ll be updated with a fix in no time”. Won’t make THAT mistake again. I’m seriously considering the next iPhone.. Ugh, I can’t believe I just said that. :(

    • Trob6969 says

      I got the htc rezound and i have zero problems. I bought it for its right-out-the-box capabilities so even though its supposed to get ics, i wouldn’t care if it didn’t.

  4. Blackstarnino says

    Maybe you should look at Verizon, I have an unlocked gsm nexus and it is the best device I have ever had.

    • Chris Leckness says

      Verizon could be at fault, but a friend of mine, Matt Miller is also having some similar issues in the Seattle area with the GSM version. He also has audio issues too.

  5. ol1bit says

    I thought about it alot, and ended up with the HTC Rezound.   Fast, better screen rez, better sound, better 3d graphics.   I couldn’t see spending 300 on a phone with old specs.

  6. Ghurt06 says

    I am 100% done with anything Android!! I have had the Thundrrbolt the Droid Charge and now the Galaxy Nexus, and i have been nothing but disappointed with the connectivity with these 4G devices! I can garantee my next phone will be an iphone! Why, because it just works and if there are bugs they fix it case closed!

    • Racer24crm says

      Actually, if there are any problems, apple will tell you that yo aren’t using the phone properly and there is something wrong with you. Look at antennagate or the ipad overheating problem. Last year there was a story of a woman who took her phone outside with her and the glass shattered in her pocket. Apples explanation? The phone shouldn’t go out in winter because it is cold and she should have left it inside. RIGHT.

    • guest says

      don’t you think it’s the 4g network and not the phone that is at cause? you only have to read the news to know that verizon has had nationwide issues with 4g. it’s an immature technology. 

  7. Bink says

    No VERIZON Galaxy Nexus here—just good ol’ GSM Galaxy Nexus,
    with decent battery life (improved with 4.0.4), no stability issues, hang-ups
    or random reboots—and fully supported by Google with software updates (not very
    timely, but they do provide updates).  I’m
    pleased.

  8. Cdud says

    I got my Galaxy nexus a few weeks after it was released. My update was up and I wanted to get an I phone 4s but I couldn’t stand being lock into apple and like the freedom of customizing my own phone. So as soon as I got my nexus cdma I’d rooted it and flashed a rom. I couldn’t be more happier. I’m getting 15+ hours on 3g and 2+ hours of screen time and no issues with what you stated. I’m on 4. 0.4 and it is super snappy. Either way I would be happy if I had went for an I phone but I’m a proud nexus owner!

  9. nate says

    Amen. Ex iPhone junkie… soon to be reborn iPhone junkie. Rumors of jellybean and I’m still on 4.0!?!?! Give. Me. A. Break.

  10. Racer24crm says

    My Galaxy nexus is my favorite mobile device I have ever used. other than the low sound problem I really don’t have any complaints. As for the battery life issues, people need to understand that they expect their phones to do everything all day long when current battery tech simply can’t keep up with the demands of the device. Simple solution to this problem, download a toggle widget and turn off the 3g/4g when not being used or switch to wifi whenever possible. Using my phone a decent amount through out the day (my go to device over even my ipad) I usually have 50% power left after being unplugged for 15 hours when I go to bed. Even with leaving only 3g on i can go a whole day.

    I would say that the update issue is most likely because of verizon. Verizon has strict rules when it comes to updating devices and the blocking of google wallet by them just goes to show you how much control they have over devices on there network. 

    The iPhone is a great simple device but its one that i could never get for the simple fact that it lacks true customization as well as the lack of a real GPS. Sure, you can download one from the app store but why should I pay $70 for the TomTom app when I can get google maps/navigation for free and its one of the best out there.

  11. RichieWCW says

    I previously owned a Motorola Droid X on Verizon. I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus back on December 15th, 2011. Its a great phone for sure, but not a perfect phone. The volume was extremely low, even when the settings were set at the highest. I downloaded an app called ‘Volume Booster’ which helped out tremendously. As far as battery life is concerned, I picked up an extended battery, and I notice that if I run it on 4GLTE only a portion of the time, I can get alot of good battery time without it giving out on me by the end of the day. I still think with the transition we’re facing in today’s technology is that there will never be the ‘perfect’ phone. The best thing to do is adjust, enjoy, relax, and wait for technology to develop further. I love my Galaxy Nexus and I LOVE the coverage on Verizon Wireless ;)

  12. JaredTims says

    Mine has been great other than the audio skipping during playback at times and the terrible battery life.  I hope the update allows for the LTE 4G/3G setting to be toggled programatically.  Right now there are widgets out there that take you to the settings screen, but don’t automatically toggle it for you, much less let a profile app set it for you.  I really thought updates would come quicker.

  13. snmclean21 says

    I thought I would comment on this also.  I picked the Galaxy Nexus up the very first day it was released and I have had so many problems with it, this has to be the buggiest phone I have ever used.  First, the battery is pretty terrible it’s in the red after about 6 hours and that’s just with me text messaging and checking emails.  The only way I can get the battery to last even half a day is to turn 4g off and dim the screen and do absolutely nothing with the phone.  Then the tethering is extremely buggy as well, whether it’s USB, Wireless or Bluetooth tethering to my laptop or any other device such as my iPad is a pain.  

    However, the one thing that bothers me the most are the random reboots.  They happen so often and sometimes the phone is just sitting there on my desk and suddenly it reboots itself.  Two times I was on a phone call and the phone just shut itself off and started back up, and one of those phone calls was pretty important.I tried factory restoring it twice and the problems are still there.  Apps randomly crash, 3g and 4g are constantly going on and off, sometimes the keyboard won’t work when trying to compose a text…I’m not sure why I have all these issues with my device.  I owned the original Nexus One from HTC and that had a few problems but nothing like what I am experiencing with the Galaxy Nexus.  I’m going to hold onto this phone for a little while longer but if Apple releases the next iPhone with 4g I am done with Android.  

    • Bink says

      Have had zero issues with tethering.  In fact, the first time I tried it, I was impressed
      with how simple it was to use—and how it Just Worked.  Took all of 60 seconds to tether it to my
      tablet—and 50 of those seconds were the result of having to type my very long
      WPA key into both devices.

      As for random reboots, I haven’t had any.

      • snmclean21 says

        That’s cool, tethering starts up just fine for me also.  It’s just if using it for an extended period of time however the connection will just die.  I’ll look at my Nexus screen and the icon for tethering disappears and then I’ll go to the setting screen and if I’m using USB it says “tethering error”.  If using wireless or Bluetooth for tethering I don’t even get any error message it will just uncheck the check box for where it says “Portable WiFi hotspot” or “Bluetooth tethering” and I’ll have to check the box again to turn the tethering back on.  I’ve had these errors when tethering with my Windows 7 laptop and my Macbook Air and iPad.  I’m really hoping an update is sent out soon that may address some of the issues I have had.

        • Bink says

          I haven’t seen this in my case—and some of my tethering
          sessions have lasted a couple of hours.

  14. apdimatteo says

    The connections issues are the worst and what I expect is contributing to the short battery life.  Connecting to wifi during the day/night provides decent battery life.  When away from wifi the data cuts out completely (while friends have full 4g/3g signal) and the phone is cycling through and trying to reconnect to the network.  A minute later it reconnects (and hopefully you don’t need a data connection for that minute)   The loss of signal makes driving navigation interesting or listening to streaming music near impossible. 

  15. kecker says

    I’ve had all the problems you list, but really the one that bothers me most is where the audio cuts out during a call. Happens all the time.  As a result I can’t use Androids flagship smartphone as a phone. 

    Pathetic.

  16. RichieWCW says

    The best thing to do is adjust, enjoy, relax, and wait for technology to develop further. I love my Galaxy Nexus and I LOVE the coverage on Verizon Wireless ;)

  17. Adam Truelove says

    I’ve pretty much had all those problems that you mentioned, and still love the Nexus.  Those issues happen so infrequently, that it doesn’t bother me at all.  It reboots maybe once a week, but it does so rather quickly, so what do I care.  I don’t really have signal issues at all.  The battery life is of course, horrible, but it was on my last phone too, so I’m used to it.  The ONLY issue that truly bothers me is the mic cutting out.  But I don’t call many people, and when I do I don’t stay on the phone for long.

  18. Dboy2012 says

    I totally agree with the author..im also havin connection problems..the audio is to low…battery life sucks(even though i have an extra battery) and my phone once in a while will reboot itself..but i mean..i do love the phone…when it works..it really works..its fast.. but i hope verizon wll get hus an update soon.

  19. Malcombbrown says

    I’ve had my Nexus for a couple of months and really aside from the battery life this is the best Android device I’ve owned to date. I don’t like how long it’s taking Verizon to get out the updates, but i bought the Nexus to root it. I just wanted to have a nice comparison for after it’s rooted. I will never poem am iPhone, never!!!

  20. Amishonline says

    I have had the Galaxy Nexus for over 3 months now. I purchased the extended battery with the phone and get about 20 hours out of the phone with this battery installed. I have no complaints.

  21. marty45714 says

    Chris, I have a Nexus. Got it in December. The battery life is horrible. I had place a charger at work just to make it through a day. Some good news I can give you is that I applied the 4.0.4 leak that was made available in February. That has stopped the spontaneous reboots, and transition problems between 3G and LTE. It’s very stable now. The biggest problems I have remaining are that at times it is sluggish and unresponsive. It also occasionally loses connectivity to the camera which requires a reboot, but that has only happened twice since I owned the phone. My previous Android phone was a Motorola Droid X and I had similar problems with bad battery life, GPS issues, sluggishness, reboots and FC’s. I’m really about to give up. The bigger 4.3 plus inch screens are the only thing keeping me on board. If Apple would release a bigger screen, I would go iPhone in a heartbeat. It’s not just the phone platform that is a problem for Android. There still aren’t many good apps for Android tablets. Everyone is writing them for phones. Honeycomb is a terrible experience for a tablet and right now I believe the Transformer Prime is the only tablet with ICS. And don’t even get me started on Google TV. I have a Logitech Revue which is the single biggest piece of crap electronics device I’ve ever owned in my life! If I end up going iPhone, I’m going to go iPad and Apple TV as well!

  22. Dis40fourrecords says

    I love my verizon galaxy nexus but everything the writer of this story went & or is going through i’m right there with him every step of the way this story is my story as well I think the nexus is the best phone verizon has so I even thought about leaving verizon because of how poorly the nexus is being handled it’s a big shame because I love this phone & like verizon to a point what I really want now is the galaxy note/journal is what I read verizon is going to call it :-) 

    • RichieWCW says

      You’re right. In terms of marketing and advertising, unfortunately Verizon pushes Motorola to all extremes while The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is on the backburner. I love my phone, The Galaxy Nexus. It is Verizon’s Best Smartphone.

  23. guest says

    i agree about the lack of updates, but I still love the gnexus. the iphone feels and looks like a kiddie toy in comparison. not sure how everyone can blame the phone for 4g connection issues when the network is widely publicized as having issues. i am burning up the processor day in and out and i’ve had less than 10 spontaneous reboots since i got the phone in december or whenever it was released. I can live with 20 minutes of total reboot time over 5 months. 

    i have never had audio or mic issues. 

    for me the gnexus has unparalleled google cloud connectivity and much better third party app integration into the phone services. and isn’t that what’s important?

  24. Shaun Currier says

    Amen. My wife woke me up last night to say, “what is your phone doing?” Oh don’t worry wife, its just rebooting and waking us up.

  25. Fullboat says

    1 million percent agree.  Experiencing all the same issues plus a few more to add:

    1.  The phone is a bit too big even for normal sized hands.  Seems every Android phone is going big nowadays.  I think a slightly smaller build, somewhere between iPhone and Nexus Galaxy would be perfect.

    2.  Facebook contacts/account will not integrate with the stock build of ICS.

    • David Po says

      1. That is not a problem, that is personal preference. Coming from a Galaxy Note, I feel the Nexus is too small for me :( Again, personal preference.

      2. I don’t know what you are talking about here, Facebook and Android have been able to integrate beautifully since like 1.6. All my FB contacts merged with my google contacts seconds after me entering my FB account info.

  26. parsonbrown11 says

    tiles of death crash, stacked email justifued fonts makes one-letter stacks vertical, weird apos: characters in mail makes html mail look chaotic, unable to enlarge fonts because of bloat in apps,volume up and down alerts, keyboard lag unusable in lanscape, camera crashes during heavy use requiring battery pull hard start, apps are substandard, battery life terrible have to charge 2x-3x daily, lousy speakerphone, phantom alerts, random reboots, bab bad bad phone

  27. Darmon Thornton says

    I’m starting to feel the same way about the Big Red GNex.  Battery life isn’t a problem for me; I invested in an extended battery and it stays charged when I’m in the office or at home.  My biggest bones of contention are the intermittent signal drops.

    After going through a round of troubleshooting with VZW support, the reseller where I bought my GNex from sent me a new replacement under their 30-day policy.  I’ll fire it up and see if the problems repeat themselves.

    • Darmon Thornton says

      Update:  Received my replacement GNex yesterday.

      Ran Speedtest with No Signal Alert and RF Tracker enabled with stock ROM.   No signal drops and full bars from an LTE radio tower near my house.

      After rooting and flashing a custom ROM, No Signal Alert reported no drops overnight (compared to the log entries I was getting with the old GNex).  Speedtest ran OK with no hiccups.   Getting full LTE experience with no drops so far, knock on wood.

      Now that the hardware issues are resolved, I’m a happy camper for now.

  28. Joe Edwards says

    The author and several of the people posting comments are placing the blame at the feet of Google and that is WRONG. The blame squarely fall on the carriers who carry the Galaxy Nexus. The CARRIERS are delaying the updates. IF you were to buy the HSPA+ GSM version (used on AT&T or T-Mobile) you would fine that the device is updated in a very timely manner.

    Buy a phone from a carrier and you are putting yourself in this position.

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