The Galaxy Nexus is still one of the best Android smartphones out there, although we are closing in on six months since the device made its debut. As you probably know, this week Google has started selling the Nexus on its Play Store. Available for just $399.99, which is less than what Amazon and other retailers are charging for the phone, the Galaxy Nexus comes with the same winning hardware, but with tweaks in the software department.
Running the Android 4.0.4 “takju” build, the Nexus now comes with native Google Wallet support. Sure, Google’s payment service hasn’t been doing that great lately, with several safety issues reported and even a couple of worrying departures from the project’s managerial board, but the service still has a small but faithful fan base. Google has thrown in a $10 starting credit in the Google Wallet for all the Nexus devices, so it’s pretty obvious that the search giant is intending to push its mobile payment service forward at all costs.
On the other hand, if you don’t care about Google Wallet or if you, for some reason, prefer the international version of the build, you can easily and safely flash the “yakju” software package on the phone, available for the international unlocked version of the Nexus. Likewise, if you live outside the US and you want to give Google Wallet a quick spin (even though you won’t be able to actually use the service), you can flash the US “takju” build.
You might also want to flash the “takju” build even if you are from outside the US, to ensure you get the fastest updates. Google will probably push new updates first to the unlocked GNex it solds on its site. Another reason would be just to experiment – I am sure that there are plenty of enthusiasts that would try out “the other version” just for the sake of it.
All the factory images for Nexus phones can be found and downloaded at this link here, so those of you passionate about custom ROMs, software, firmware, and stuff like that should have something to keep you busy for a while.