The heart of this handset, above hardware is Android 4.0.x, Ice Cream Sandwich and the experience begins with the now standard Google setup wizard. This process sets up the phone for initial use by helping us connect to Wi-Fi, create an account and set the time and user name.
From there the handset then walks us through some basic functions and we are left to our own devices.
The Nexus is designed to provide solid hardware with an unmodified, non-bloated version of the OS and for that reason our home screens are not cluttered with huge numbers of widgets and shortcuts. At the bottom of the screen we have shortcuts to phone, contacts, apps, messaging and browser but otherwise only essentials and helpful tools are here by default with plenty of extras available.
Shown above are the default options for available widgets and they allow us to add items such as YouTube, music and calendar to our home screens.
In terms of the out of the box apps we get a trimmed down list, in comparison to any other Android Smartphone we have reviewed. Of course this means the phone is easy to customise to our own taste with no added bloat that takes up resources. As expected all of the apps can be pinned to one of the five home screens.
The complete list of Pre-loaded apps is:
Books, Browser, Calculator, Calendar, Camera, Clock, Downloads, Email, gallery, Google Mail, Google+, Latitude, Maps, Market (updated to Google Play during initial phone setup), Messaging, Messenger, Movie Studio, Music, Navigation, News & Weather, People, Phone, Places, Search, Setting, Talk, Videos, Voice Dialer, You Tube.
The key software offered by Samsung to help us manage the phone is KIES. In the first Kies Screen we find information on our handsets current status which includes space, firmware and basic sync/transfer options. Sync allows us to fine tune our transfer setup, import/export allows us to perform contacts transfers from applications such as Outlook and backup/restore allows us to keep a copy of the phone contents and should anything go wrong we can restore quickly and easily to an earlier state.
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