Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB (Unlocked)

Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB Everyone needs to realize the price of this phone is average for a brand new phone that's unsubsidized. I paid this much for my Nexus One when it came out. You have an option here, either you can buy it from Verizon for $199.99 with a 2 year contract and only be able to use it on verizon (Not bad if you're already with verizon) however if you want to use this phone with AT&T or T-Mobile then you will have to buy the GSM unlocked version which is unsubsidized. Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB The benefit of this is you can use it on any carrier that has the correct bandwidths (Pretty much an GSM carrier) in any country. So if you're with AT&T now, you can buy the phone, have full data service but later if your decide to go to T-Mobile you can take your phone with you, exchange sim cards and ta-da...your phone works again, with full 4G data service on T-Mobile as well.

Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB
Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB
So, there's a plus side and down side to both. You can make the choice, but don't rate the phone poorly because you don't think it's a good deal because you can get it cheaper by being put under contract. 
1. Incredibly sexy: thin but not too thin, slightly contoured, more rigid than other Samsung Android devices thanks to the internal metal frame
2. Large, bright, detailed screen. However it doesn't come off as huge due to minimal bezel and the use of the bottom portion of the screen for contextual soft-keys. The screen uses a pentile-matrix configuration, but the pixel density is so good that you really can't notice unless you look very closely and even then it's difficult to tell. The blacks melt into to the bezel beautifully and the colors pop.
3. You get the very latest version of Android, with instant updates from Google. I have grown to despise carrier/OEM UI skins and their accompanying OS update delays. The Android 4.0 UI is a huge upgrade and behaves much much better, making such carrier/OEM skins even less desirable. The interface seems to have been reworked from the ground up for smooth, responsive operation. Transitions are slick, and apps run great. I haven't had app compatibility issues some others have mentioned; some games haven't been updated for 4.0 yet but most apps I use work fine. The whole experience is leaps and bounds over any prior version of Android. 4.0 seems made for this phone and works perfectly.
4. If you get the unlocked GSM version, it works on any GSM network in the world with up to 21mbps HSPA+ speeds. I bought it overseas and popped in a $30/mo T-Mobile SIM and it works perfectly, I get speeds between 3-8mbps in the SF Bay Area, with seamless transitions between EDGE, HSPA/HSPA+. Not to mention no carrier bloatware!
Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB
5. Everything in the OS works great: Wifi hotspot, bluetooth tethering, bluetooth HID (I tried Apple wireless keyboard and trackpad), battery and bandwidth monitoring, music controls on earphones, built-in equalizer, HDMI out over MHL. I am amazed at the relative lack of bugs in the OS given how new it is.
6. The device is relatively easy to take apart (according to and OEM parts are popping up on ebay, so if you break something or something stops working, you can fix it relatively easily and cheaply (except the screen, don't break that! You would have to replace the whole screen/digitizer/housing assembly)
7. Thanks to having a single worldwide GSM model, there are plenty of compatible accessories available already
8. Touch sensitivity on the screen is great. The UI 'sticks' to your finger much closer than other Android devices I've used, though still not *quite* as close as iPhone -- however the iPhone people who have used my phone don't seem to notice. In fact, this is the first Android device I've had where iPhone people don't immediately fault-find when they use it, and seem kind of thoughtful and chagrined instead
9. Battery life seems pretty good for an Android device. Not as good as an iPhone, but I can easily make it through a whole day of moderate-to-heavy use. The removable battery means you can improve the battery life with an extended battery and can replace it when it starts to give out.
Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB

1. Lack of an SD card slot and only 16GB of internal memory. This is the only thing that bothers me. However USB OTG solves part of this problem (with a special cable, you can plug in an external mass storage device -- this does not work currently without a custom firmware, but official support will be included in a future firmware update as confirmed by Google)
2. Screen is scratchable... it's not Gorilla Glass but the point is, even Gorilla Glass scratches given contact with the right material. Order a good screen protector when you order the phone and don't take off the retail packaging screen film until you are ready to put on the screen protector. This will keep your display perfect for years.
3. Screen doesn't seem *quite* as bright as the SGS2 screen, but it's still brighter than any LCD I've used.
4. You can't buy the GSM version with a USA warranty... but if you buy it from a reputable international retailer they will broker your international warranty claims. Eventually you will be able to get the GSM version in the USA with a USA warranty (eg from Amazon)
Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB
5. Some software issues I have noticed: Screen auto-brightness is set too low, camera default processing settings are pretty bad, GPS lock seems a little laggy, native HW-accelerated video codec support seems lacking especially compared with other Samsung Android devices. Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB  All of these will probably improve with updates from Google to the new OS (my own conjecture based on Nexus/Android history)
6. Buying the unlocked GSM version is expensive, and will always be more expensive than buying it subsidized on contract. However no USA carrier has announced they will be carrying the GSM phone, so it may never happen or if it does, you may be waiting a while. I had a hard time parting with the money until I received the phone... but after owning it for a day, any regrets were completely gone. I would pay that money again in a heartbeat

Here are some additional cons if you decide to get the VZW version:
1. Locked down to the VZW USA network on an expensive monthly plan (about $80/mo minimum, and a $350 ETF) with data caps (2-4GB/mo)
2. LTE kills battery life
3. VZW bloatware installed but can be disabled, they charge an extra $20/mo for wifi hotspot, firmware version disparity with GSM model
4. A little bit fatter and heavier, making it less compatible with accessories for the international GSM version
5. IMHO: you're not really getting the pure experience in terms of the OS, it's sullied by VZW's strong-arm business decisions
Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB
Some pros for the VZW version:
1. You will pay around $200+tax for the device with new/reup contract
2. VZW LTE is crazy fast (but you will hit the data cap that much quicker)
3. USA warranty and carrier support
4. 32GB internal memory

Bottom line: Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus 16GB if you like Android, you will love this phone and won't be able to go back to anything else unless you need/want some hardware support outside of these specs (eg. you really prefer a smaller phone, or you really need an SD slot)


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