Though having a "high pixel count," the Pentile Matrix screen shares sub pixels. It is NOT super amoled PLUS.. That means text will not look as crisp as the resolution specs would lead us to believe. Also, color rendering will not be as true, but the real kicker is the lackluster camera! Why, why, why would they introduce their new and redesigned OS on a phone with last year's camera? If I were Google, I wouldn't trust Samsung with another Nexus. Clearly, their heart is not in it.
If you watch or read any of the reviews about the device, you'll notice that they all note that the Pentile Matrix actually has no visible bearing on the quality of the screen. Most reviewers have said (notably Joshua Topolsky in The Verge's review, and Myriam Joire in Engadget's review) that the screen is the nicest they've ever used.
All of those reviews will also note that the camera is lackluster. For me though, a camera is useless if you miss your opportunity. The quality of the picture doesn't matter if you can't actually take the picture in time. Somehow, Google/Samsung have enabled instantaneous pictures on the Galaxy Nexus without any shutter lag. That feature, to me, is enough to make up for "last year's camera." Plus, I'm sure it will be a step up from my iPhone's 5MP camera that everyone seemed to love.
Points well taken. However, if you listen to Miriam Joire in her analysis of the Galaxy Nexus in Engadget Mobile's most recent podcast, she points out that Pentile Matrix has inherent disadvantages to Super Amoled Plus technology which DOES become pronounced on the Galaxy Nexus. After using the device for a full week, she finds that the GN maintains reasonable battery life by significantly lowering the brightness of the display. At these settings, text on the display becomes less readable than would SA+. Also, I do not see why ICS could not use the superior camera used in the Samsung GS2 without significantly hampering camera performance. Apple has done it on the 4S which has slower clock speeds! (I use the 4S as an example because it has been recently released also, and offers a fantastic camera!) The Nexus line updates hardware very infrequently by Android standards, which means Nexus fans will have to live with a weak camera for quite awhile before the next Nexus comes to market.
I'm definitely not disagreeing that Pentile is worse than SA+, but rather that on a display this size, it's not horrible. I would hate it if it was on a qHD screen, but because Google has opted for an amazing resolution, Pentile doesn't mean as much as it normally would. I really don't think that a 1280x720 SA+ screen has been made, so they had to use regular SA.
As to the camera point, I do agree that it is the weakest part of the device. Frankly though, I'm probably not like other consumers. I take a photo with my phone once or twice a month. I almost always carry my dSLR near me, not always on me, but I tend to only use my phone's camera for shots I'm not planning on displaying.
That Super Amoled Plus may not be available yet is something I had not considered. I totally agree that I would prefer Pentile at qHD than SA+ at WVGA. in regards to the camera, that is a crucial feature for me. I don't usually carry a point and shoot. I'm wondering what other people think on the camera issue. Is it going to dissuade others from getting the Galaxy Nexus?
Even though the Galaxy Nexus has a pentile display, I still find the screen great to look at. I don't really notice the sub pixels at all and the 720p screen makes everything very very crisp.
I was disappointed with the camera but I wouldn't dismiss the phone just because of it. Everything elseabout the phone is great.
Like what Cass said, it's probably not solely Samsung's fault for using the cheaper camera. A lot of the decision making was probably from Google itself. Hence, I wouldn't simply kick out Samsung from making another Nexus phone.
It is kind of sad that this flagship device doesn't have a really great camera, like the one that you find on the iPhone, but I don't think Samsung is the sole company to blame. At least from what I've read, Google and Samsung work together very closely to create these Nexus devices and there must have been some cost limitation for the weaker camera sensors.