Verizon Wireless is offering a refurbished “certified pre-owned” version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for $229, sans any contract.
The Google-partnered device is the first on Verizon Wireless with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean. While the phone is $49 with new contracts, the offering is significant for existing customers with grandfathered unlimited data. Verizon Wireless no longer allows customers to keep their unlimited data, and sign a new contract. They must pay full retail price when upgrading, or purchase a used handset.
With a full retail price of only $229, the Galaxy Nexus is an attractive option for those on grandfathered data to upgrade to a modern device, especially from a 3G smartphone… and keep their coveted data plans.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus served as the design basis for the Samsung Galaxy S II. The key advantage that sets it apart from other devices, is that it is one of the few maintained as part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and thus receives new firmware from Google within days of release.
While Verizon typically holds up firmware for months in testing and approval, hackers can create extremely stable and proper firmware releases, since Google provides pre-built workflows for creating firmware for the device. It is expected that the Galaxy Nexus will continue to receive AOSP upgrades after it is phased out, possibly six days from now at a looming Google announcement. It is all but confirmed that Google will announce its fourth Nexus smartphone, built in partnership with LG, at the event.