Galaxy Nexus experiences: HDMI out and free calling with data only SIM

The Galaxy Nexus is the flagship Android device running Google's Ice Cream Sandwich OS and is a very powerful smartphone. It supports HDMI out and VoIP calling as well.

My Galaxy Nexus arrived on Friday and I posted some first impressions on Saturday. I have been using my Galaxy Nexus extensively since then and trying out some different functions and testing lots of apps. I am very pleased to say that HDMI out works like a champ and learned you can make calls with a data-only SIM.

I purchased an ACCELL MHL adapter inn September and hearing that the Galaxy Nexus supported HDMI out I figured I would try the two out together. The MHL adapter plugs into the bottom microUSB port on the Galaxy Nexus and then has a microUSB power port in the side of the adapter that you must also plug in. This will both power the adapter and connection while also keeping your Galaxy Nexus charged up while you enjoy the HDMI out experience.

Often when you connect a mobile device to an external video source you will find that the device software limits the ability to play this video, I assume for digital rights management reasons or something. Google Videos has several 99 cent rental options so I rented Conan the Barbarian and downloaded it to me Galaxy Nexus to test out. I am very pleased to tell you that there appears to be no limitations with HDMI out and I was able to watch the movie in HD on my 37 inch LCD from the Galaxy Nexus. When you plug in the HDMI MHL adapter, connected to an HDMI cable, to your Galaxy Nexus you will see everything go into landscape orientation (the only way to get landscape in the home screen on the device) which is what you want since your TV is in landscape already. Everything you see on your device appears on your TV so you can watch rentals or purchases, view YouTube videos, play games, work with documents and more on the big screen.

As discussed this weekend on MobileTechRoundup show #254 Kevin Tofel also purchased a Galaxy Nexus. He started out using it with the data only SIM card from his T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Tab and discovered that he could use it for phone calls as well as data. Kevin pays $40/month for this unlimited data service with this SIM so the ability to also use it for VoIP calling is a very appealing alternative and gives you a glimpse of the future. Like Kevin, I don't make a ton of calls and most of my smartphone interaction is data related so going with a data only model and using VoIP for occasional calling is a very attractive option.

I am working on responses to questions from my original Galaxy Nexus post and am also testing out the camera, Gmail, and many other functions and features to put in a more detailed review post. If you have any questions (as many in the US wait for the unknown Verizon launch date) please let me know and I will provide responses in this upcoming post.