4G

Cracking Open the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Teardown

In December 2011, Samsung launched its much-anticipated Galaxy Nexus smartphone. It's the latest device to run on Verizon's 4G LTE network, and the first to run the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google's Android OS.

Our friends at iFixit got their hands on an unlocked, UK version of the Galaxy Nexus and cracked it open last month. But as my teardown shows, Verizon's version may look the same on the outside, but much of the hardware inside is different. Follow along as I go inside the first US version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

9 comments
Tim Pa
Tim Pa

I have the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I like the phone and it has a clear sound when talking to someone. The main things I do not like is of course like all smart phones only one day of battery. 2. You can not add ring tones to it as this phone has blocked all downloaded ringtones from being added to it. ( I called and talked to tech support and they said that is a complaint they are getting.) 3. The ringtones on it are not very easy to hear (even with volume up all the way). Verizions 4G LTE keeps going out of service in my area (Lansing Michigan) in 3G this phone is slow. (only because I get used to the 4G LTE speeds and when you go to 3G LTE it is like day and night.)

Ian Norris
Ian Norris

I have had many phones including Iphones and the Nexus leaves them for dead.Fast,lots of apps not in iphone, high level versatility and just a terrific phone. Oh by the way you can make phone calls as well. Try Dialer One, Call Recorder.

Krewell
Krewell

Are you sure about the Exynos 4210 processor? Ice Cream Sandwich was supposed to released on the TI OMap 4460 first.

wechtenb
wechtenb

Thanks for the teardown Bill. Typical great work. How about the HTC Rezound? It's arguably one of the big three LTE handsets right now along with the Galaxy Nexus and Droid Razr.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler moderator

If you're running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, what are your first impressions? Do you like the new features? Did the new version of Android take some getting used to? Tell me what you think.

TailsNeon556
TailsNeon556

To add personal ringtones to the Galaxy Nexus or any android device for that matter.. You need to create a folder on the device's Fat32 / storage partition media>audio>notifications or >ringtones or >alarms once the audio files are in these folders the OS will see them as part of the Android System

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler moderator

When this gallery was first published, I indicated that the chip shown in this image contained the Galaxy Nexus' 1.2GHz processor. And given the information I had at the time (the processor's clock speed and chip markings), I identified the processor as Samsung's 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 processor. Since the gallery was published, Kevin Krause over at phandroid.com has suggested that the Galaxy Nexus does not use the Exynos 4210 but the Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 processor. This is possible, but given that I can't find any chip on the Galaxy Nexus' motherboard with markings that shown it contains a TI OMAP processor, I can't know for sure. I've updated the image's title to note that it may not contain an Exynos processor, and I've put in a call to Samsung for confirmation. I'll update this gallery when I get confirmation about the chip.

bob
bob

From what I've read after trying to find a way to separately set the ringtone and notification volumes, the API in Android 4.0 (ICS) has removed that functionality. In other words, I can't set my phone to ring at night while my other notifications stay silent unless I use a third party app as a work-around, which is annoying. Other than that, the phone has been fantastic the 5 days that I've had it. I'm hoping for a software resolution to the combined volume issue.