Why we can't recommend the Samsung Galaxy Nexus -- yet

The Galaxy Nexus seems to have a serious bug -- here's how it affected our review and what we're doing next.

We won't lie: it's rather thrilling when a big new product is properly broken. Whether it's a juicy hardware fault like the iPhone 4's antenna or a major service breakdown like the BlackBerry outage or the PlayStation network palaver , a consumer electronics crisis is meat and drink to CNET UK.

Because this is what we're here for: to tell you what's broken, why it's happened, and to pester the manufacturer on your behalf until it's fixed. And while increasingly good quality assurance means genuine hardware snafus are becoming rarer, ever more complicated software means hacks and bugs are becoming more common.

It's the latter that concerns us today. The first phone to run Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich software, we were extremely excited to get our hands on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus . But the phone we tested in our review has an extremely annoying tendency to drop its volume to zero, over and over again, when we were using 2G (in our case on Tesco Mobile's O2-powered network). This means we couldn't hear what the other person was saying when we were on a call.

Looking around the Internet , it seems we aren't alone. The phone went on sale last week and a number of punters are reporting this same problem. Although we can't yet be sure how widespread the issue is, it seems to be a software bug that could be fixed with an update.

We're duty-bound to mention this in our review, and we do, prominently. Simply put, we don't want you to go and buy this phone and wonder why we didn't mention such a glaring problem. And that means we have to alter our review score, however good the phone might be in other respects.

We feel the model we reviewed deserves a two-star score because it suffers from a major flaw: you can't use it as a phone under certain conditions. It's a real shame, because otherwise it's brill. It has the highest resolution screen we've ever seen on a mobile, and Ice Cream Sandwich really is a major leap forward for Android. We said all of this in the review, so you should go and read just how good a phone it is for yourself.

So, our next steps: we have contacted Samsung and Google, and await their response. We'll let you know what they say and when we can expect a fix. And when the problem is solved, we'll go back to our review, get rid of the stuff about this bug and change the score to what it should have been in the first place: a magnificent four and a half stars.

Update 2 December: Google has pushed out an official update that fixes the bug, and we've amended our Samsung Galaxy Nexus review to reflect this.  

 

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