We've got around a fortnight of Galaxy Nexus use under our belts, so we thought we'd offer up some updated thoughts on the device's battery performance. Before we begin, remember that we're talking about the international GSM/HSPA+ version here, as opposed to Verizon's upcoming LTE model.
When we first reviewed the Galaxy Nexus we reported that its 1750 mAh battery lasted us around 14 hours on a single charge with pretty heavy usage. That involved a decent amount of browsing over Wifi and HSPA+, music playback, a little video streaming, voice calls and shooting test photos and video footage for our review. That's not at all bad, and more or less mirrored what we got out of the international Galaxy S II when we reviewed it back in June.
With any rechargeable battery, there's a certain amount of settling in to be done, which is why you'll often notice that a brand new device's battery performance may improve over the first week or so of use. During this time you'll also notice that you're using your new toy a little less, and this'll also affect your battery performance, as you're less likely to be pulling the thing out of your pocket every few minutes.
Over the past couple of weeks we've been using the Galaxy Nexus day-to-day as our daily driver, and with less intensive usage patterns we've been very pleased with the phone's battery life. So far, we've never been in a situation where the phone's died on us before the end of the day while we're out and about. However, we will say that with heavy use -- for example, constantly streaming from YouTube -- it is absolutely possible to run down the battery in a few hours. Then again, that's something that applies to just about every smartphone out there -- it's not unique to Android, ICS or the Galaxy Nexus by any means.
With more conservative use (by which we mean "using it the way we normally use a smartphone"), we were regularly going over 24 hours on a single charge. In one instance, it even lasted from Saturday evening through until Monday morning. The main factor at work here is the phone's exceptional efficiency when it's "asleep" with the screen off. When it's sleeping, even with various accounts syncing away in the background, it uses next to no juice at all. This is a common theme with many dual-core CPUs, and one of the reasons why multi-core chips are so cool. It's balanced out, though, by the fact that at higher brightness levels, that HD SuperAMOLED screen can quickly chew through the battery. That's nothing new either, and we've seen it before on many AMOLED-based devices. As such, we recommend leaving the auto-brightness setting to do its thing.
Hopefully that gives you a rough idea of what to expect from your GSM Galaxy Nexus if you've got one ordered, or are thinking of dropping some cash on one. As we said, who knows what kind of performance we'll see out of the LTE version when it arrives, but for now we're more than happy with its international cousin.