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My HTC Incredible, which has served me well these many years, is ready to be retired.

I want a Verizon 4G Android phone that I can unlock. I'm leaning toward the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, because it looks easy to unlock and has a lot of hardware features I like.

What do you think, G+? Don't say iPhone, because I'm not interested. I'm looking for a 4G Android Verizon phone that I can easily (read: with a script) unlock to get root access.

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Josh Hall
Gnex is what you want then
I have a Motorola RAZR and i love it. I've read all kinds of crazy stuff about rooted and cracked version which apparently is easy if you know whaty you're doin.
My wife and I both changed from an Incredible to a Nexus in December and love it! I highly recommend the Nexus.
I've got the Sprint Galaxy Nexus and absolutely live it! Haven't even needed to root it yet!
Rock on for wanting to play with your phone's insides. I'm currently writing a game for the Smartphone and having a lot of fun.
I love mine. Solid phone, snappy, and a great screen to boot.
Wait for the Samsung Galaxy S III. It's coming soon to a store near you!
I went from the Incredible to the Galaxy Nexus, and I've been really happy with it. Unlocks like a dream.
Mel A
My beau has one and he loves it. We're a home of two religions. Me with my iPhone and iMac, and him with his PC and Android. We still get along just fine.
I've heard some rough things about the Gnex...I would wait for the Incredible 4g...
Does Verizon have Galaxy Note?
I'm waiting on a version of the note for Verizon... it may be a long wait.
Highly recommend the Nexus. Had it since it was launched, and it's great!
Waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S III. An easy root of it will be out a week after release. Take that to the bank. ;-)
Just got my Galaxy Nexus delivered this evening. I am loving it!
My Galaxy Nexus is super sweet. Unlocking, rooting, and flashing ROMs is easy.
I'm definitely very pleased with the GNex, and yes it was pretty easy to unlock.
The Galaxy Nexus is extremely easy to unlock and root and flash custom ROMs to. I have had my Nexus for months and wouldn't exchange it or sell it for any phone on Verizon right now nor that is coming any time soon.
perfect choice. unlocking the bootloader is as easy as typing.. fastboot oem unlock. and you can even lock it back up with.. fastboot oem lock. then all you got to do is flash a custom recovery and the superuser binaries(or custom rom) :D
If you have to get one now, then Galaxy Nexus for sure, it is by far the best android out there right now.

Or you can wait until the S3 comes out and see which one is better.
Galaxy SII hands down best phone I've ever owned by a huge margin
The Galaxy Nexus is a nice phone. Unlocking it is about as easy as it can get. And to top it all off, it is a supported device by CyanogenMod. The SIII isn't really worth it in my opinion. Kinda ugly IMHO.
I have the Nexus. It is wonderful. Will be unlocking it this weekend and updating to the pure Google ICS version.
Galaxy Nexus all the way. Once you get a Nexus series phone, you won't go back.
I'd stick with HTC. The new One series looks good.
Galaxy Nexus is decent. I Unlocked mine yesterday and today am putting the nightly build of CM9 on it... why? Just because!
+Rob Watson I was thinking about that, but is it easy to unlock it? Is there a compelling reason that it's better than the Nexus?
The Galaxy Nexus is really the only thing worth considering based on your wishlist and availability. There are a couple HTC phones possibly coming soon that could meet your requirements as well.
Get a tricorder! (sorry, couldn't resist)
But seriously, hold out a few more weeks for the Galaxy S3!!!1!! much shiny
I have the Galaxy Nexus (previously owned the Incredible as well). I got it around launch and I love it. The screen size is much more hand friendly in my opinion. The Incredible or the iPhone feel down right small since I moved to it.

As for unlocking, I rooted my Incredible, but I haven't bothered with the Nexus due to the pretty much vanilla ICS that comes on it is rather fantastic for how I use it. So I can't answer much on that.
My husband got the google Galaxy Nexus and loves it. He's been programming and reprogramming it for the last 2 weeks.
Galaxy Nexus is good. It's the official Google phone for the time being, and those can always be unlocked very easily. Otherwise, I'd say the Driod Razr Maxx would be good as well, given the crazy battery life.
Samsung Galaxy S 3 (in like... a few weeks...)
I had an accident with my Droid Incredible, and the screen was shattered. I loved my DInc like no other gadget. I got a Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and it is pretty rock and roll. No Facebook sync if that's important for contacts. Easy as heck to root, several options available. Running LiquidSmooth v1.35 and it is pretty much no worries. Works fantastic. Camera, rocks. 4G, pretty nice although in my area, still a bit slow. The size is a bit tough to get used to after the DInc, but not too awful. Nice for reading on Kindle, web, and the number of apps you can install is good after dealing with the DInc's limitations.
I am retiring my Samsung Fascinate running CM9 tomorrow when I take delivery of my GNex.

I think as far as Verizon phones go the GNex is your best bet. Samsung makes one hell of a phone.
I went through the same upgrade path and happy with my Galaxy Nexus. It wasn't as easy to root as the incredible. The latter had a one-click option whereas the the GNex was a multistage process involving unlocking and flashing the ROM to factory (as in backup first of course). Either way I am very happy and don't think I will do another Android phone again that doesn't have vanilla Android stock.
What's incredible is that you still have that phone! aw snap!
I snapped on +Wil Wheaton :-)
Same boat for me. Got the Incredible on day one, but having issues with it lately. Also heading for a Galaxy Nexus.
Just got a Galaxy Nexus a couple weeks ago and I love it.
I have a Galaxy Nexus. I love it. You will to.
GNexus is a good phone, but was underspecced compared to the SII (not entirely, but Sammy could have done better) the SIII in comparison should be a much better handset if you don't fancy the SII
I am up for upgrade qnd looking for a 4G phone without bloatware. Right now, i have the HTC Evo and I love it... Except for the freqking bloatware. And I don't want to root it because I really don't want to deal with each update hassle. Anyone have any suggestions? I do want Android.
I'm getting a Galaxy too, can't wait:]
I think you are on the right track with Samsung. I've had good luck with their smartphones lately. I still have my Galaxy S (fascinate) and its still a great phone. I'm in no rush to upgrade although I do pray a Nexus mysteriously shows up on my doorstep ;)
As I am into #NFC I would go for the +Samsung Mobile Galaxy Nexus or the +HTC One, And no NFC is not just for payments, if you can find a good place to pick up tags you can short cut alot of functions (ie, put it into silent mode before bed, etc).
+Damien Basile is that available on Verizon? Because I would definitely consider that a contender then. I thought AT&T had a deal to be exclusive for at least a little while.
can you wait a month or two for the Galaxy SIII? I bet XDA will have it unlocked pretty quickly.
Galaxy Nexus is developer phone, no bloatware crap on it
Galaxy nexus is what I've got my eye on, too +Wil Wheaton . I would be replacing a rooted Motorola Milestone(Droid in the US) w/ CM7. Not sure I can live without the HW keyboard, which is why I hesitate. The only reason, really.
The GN looks like a beautiful phone. I was stuck with an iPhone because, well, the refurbished one was about $20. If you're not that desperate for a new smart phone, well, you've gotten your recommendation. :)
I have a Bionic, but would trade for the Nexus in a heartbeat.
I've had a Galaxy Nexus since soon after launch I couldn't be happier with it. It's a pleasure to use. Android 4.0 is well designed, elegant and usable. The Nexus hardware is hard to beat. 4G is faster than my home network connection, the duel core processor is very snappy, the Super AMOLED screen is sooo beautiful, the phone is mostly screen and thin (it fits my average size hand well), and the battery life doesn't inconvenience me. I don't know how you could manage not to be happy with it. I'm really picky with hardware and software, and I do weeks of detailed research before buying technology. The Galaxy Nexus has met and surpassed my high expectations.
Wil, the Galaxy Nexus was meant to unlocked and rooted. I had never done it before and it took me about 30-60 mins to unlock, root, and re-download my apps. Super easy and it's a GREAT phone!
+Wil Wheaton I really like my GSM Galaxy Nexus, and I assume it's even better with 4G LTE. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Quad core will only eat battery...Don't worry about G3S, stay with dual core and wait for the quad core to actually mean something. Besides, ICS is optimized to run with the processor in the Galaxy Nexus!
I have a Razr, though I haven't tried to unlock it so I don't know how difficult it is. But I think it's a fantastic phone. I suggest the Razr Maxx variant though for the added battery life.
The HTC thunderbolt fits these requirements? The rooting process doesn't even require flashing a new rom.
On another note, the new iPhone sucks. It's not an innovation, it's a lame repackaging of last year's hardware. Good to see you dismissing it, good choice.
Trust your instincts, Luke. The Nexus has been my faithful companion since I picked one up at launch months ago. I love it. It fits nicely in the hand, is great for browsing and media, and is big enough to do most of the tasks that a larger tablet is expected to, while still not being ridiculous (I'm looking at you Streak/Note/S3).
Galaxy Nexus is awesome. You won't regret it.
I personally lean toward the Razr Maxx for Battery Life. 4G=Battery Hog. (Amazing tech but kills the battery on my Droid Charge)
The Galaxy Nexus is a great phone. I have the GSM version on AT&T and love it. I just got an HTC One X yesterday and while it's a very nice phone I still prefer the GNex.
The Galaxy Nexus is great. It's the phone you're looking for!
My GNex is awesome. Rooted in 10 min with a script and they even have a GUI version if you want it even easier. Running Cyanogen 9 nightlies with 0 issues.
What about the droid incredible 2? I have both, similar features.
I haven't done any unlocking as of yet, but the Galaxy Nexus would be my upgrade of choice strictly for the fact that I don't have to root for it to be functional - it doesn't come with all that crapware my Incredible has (and therefore, wouldn't quit delivering my text messages because it thinks it's running out of room, then make me delete apps I want so I can keep CityID and VZ Navigator)

The Galaxy S III is looking pretty promising though... depends on how long you can wait.
By the way, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus doesn't have any GSM roaming capabilities.
SGS III if you can wait Wil.. Samsung has a great track record with being easy enough to unlock, root, and mod.

If you can't wait for the SGSIII, the Galaxy Nexus sounds like the best choice.
Wil, have you considered the HTC X? It's on multiple platforms, launches with Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.7" screen, everything short of quad core. Sprint is releasing one shortly (independent of your Verizon thing) but a solid Android phone.
+Wil Wheaton Galaxy Nexus, rooted with the AOKP ROM installed. Faster, more features, way better battery life, and rock-solid. You can even overclock it to 1350Mhz with virtually no extra battery usage.
I personally love my Galaxy Nexus and it is very easy to unlock and root. I love its options and features and lack of bloatware. However, the upcoming Galaxy S3 will also be a great option, if you can wait it out.
I have the Razr as well serves me well I have had no problems with it at all till this date but I heard the HTC One X is pretty sweet as well
holy shit.. 10 minutes later, there are 100 comments.. most of which saying the Galaxy Nexus or SGSIII.

The G+ crowd knows what the fuck is up!
It's definitely THE android geek phone. More root-friendly than any other device out there. I'm a rooted custom ROM user and haven't envied any new devices on the horizon because I know I'll always have the options to put whatever version and tweaks to android I ever want on this device. You won't regret it. Enjoy.
Hold out for Galaxy S3? Should be another month or so.
I had a Droid Incredible and recently upgraded to the Galaxy Nexus. I immediately rooted it and loaded the CM9 ROM and loaded the 4.0.4 update that's out in the wild. Favorite. Phone. Ever. The user community is phenomenal and the phone is so much fun. You won't be disappointed.
Go with the Galaxy Nexus. Many phones are promising ICS at some point but taking quite a while to deliver. There are many good roms for the Nexus at this point. I run stock rooted 4.0.4 with Nova Launcher. Boot loader is easy to unlock using standard Android SDK tools. Good luck!
I own the Galaxy Nexus and I would highly recommend it. The factory OS settings are nothing shirt of elegant and it's a great phone design wise. If you're looking for android phone, then the newest version (ics) is the only way to go. My only dislike about this phone is the raised camera lens. I already scratched my lens, and now all of my pictures are blurry.
The Galaxy phones are the way to go. I have the Galaxy SII on AT&T and it rocks with +Cyanogenmod CM9.
Nexus is super fun to customize plenty of crap on the interwebs to play around with
I also vote GSIII. Although I will be getting the Galaxy Note as soon as I get my pennies saved.
I don't know if I will ever be able to retire my HTC Incredible... Love that phone. If I were to replace it, I think I might go with the DROID INCREDIBLE 4G LTE.
I'm hoping to hold out until Republic Wireless offers more phones.
This is relevant.. Bananaphone

unlocking it for root access requires some peeling though..
Love my Verizon Gnex but the battery life is awful. Luckily, I can keep mine plugged in most of the day at my desk.
I've got a Galaxy Nexus and love it. It felt too big at first. I came from an iPhone and was used to being able to text with one hand.

But the bigger size does have it's benefits. It fits in my pocket nice and flat, and it's amazing as a GPS or in-car audio source.

I also find myself using it for browsing more often than with other phones because it's big enough not to feel like I'm 'mobile browsing' instead of just browsing.

Overall, I've been surprised at how much I like it.
I have a G-Nex and I love it. I'm currently running AOKP Milestone 5 (soon to upgrade to the latest build). HTC Phones are otherwise the way to go if you want ease of unlocking because they've been unlocking their phones lately. As much as I love the hardware on the Razr Maxx it is not easily unlockable. So for what its worth, the G-Nex is your best bet. HTC doesn't have anything comparable on Verizon just yet.
The Galaxy Nexus is the best phone I've ever owned. I have yet to see anyone who disagrees.
I really like my Galaxy Nexus, it's one of the better phones on Verizon right now. There are a lot of really good ROM's out for it as well as good support in developer community. I bought mine pretty close to release date and havn't had any major issues with it aside from the battery life.
Only complaint I have about my Nexus is the quality of the camera. And perhaps even the glitchyness between music player and headphones w/ controls. But other than that, I love it. I went from HTC Dream to iPhone 4 to Galaxy Nexus (Canadian version).
Don't know about the unlocking, but performance of the stock experience has been exceptionally good. Some advice I've not seen mentioned elsewhere: You should definitely ask to get the free extended battery (only 200mAh larger) in the store. If you go on ebay you can find larger extended batteries, but email the seller and make absolutely sure its for the Verizon version of the phone (the battery contacts for the GSM variant will not work with the Verizon one).
I absolutely positively love my galaxy nexus, no better phone imho, specially not on vzw. Run liquid, get francos kernel, your sitting pretty. I upgraded from the droid incredible myself and it was a fantastic upgrade.
I can't speak to what Verizon offers, but I do Tech Support for Bell Mobility, and my somewhat biased opinion is that there really isn't a BAD Samsung Android phone. The Note is both very popular and unpopular for the same reason - its size. The Galaxy line as a whole seems to be a group of solid, excellent phones.
As just about everyone says, the G-Nex is one mighty combination of hardware and software. Root is literally one click with Wugs toolkit , add AOKP and Nova Launcher, you'll be able to launch friggin space shuttle's. Just sayin...
The only real downside is the size. It's not a small phone. The flip side of that is the screen is nice and big, though...
Yes it's big, but it's slim. And it's HALF the weight of an iPhone
I have been considering a Motorola Razr Maxx. I believe it can be rooted, but I think the bootloader is still locked down. I haven't played with the Galaxy Nexus, but I haven't been too happy with the feel of some of Samsung's newer phones.

I've liked most of the HTC Android phones that I've used, though the HTC Thunderbolt has not been very reliable. 3G/4G will drop completely randomly and mobile hotspot tends to crash, leaving DHCP and NAT to fail.
I also have the Galaxy Nexus, love the wide screen and slim profile (it looks great), has a fantastic camera and is pretty capable, but at this point it's also half a year old.
Can't beat the Samsung screen. VZ has been dragging their ass across the carpet leaving a trail of broken promises concerning updates. If you're rooting though, you can't beat the hardware :-D
Love my Droid Bionic. Tweaked it so it gets good battery life too.
I have a GSM Galaxy Nexus and it really is great. It's big without being huge, has a very nice screen and Ice Cream Sandwich is great. The most important thing for me is that it's always got the latest version of Android and will get Jelly Bean before every other phone, pretty much guaranteed. I definitely recommend it.
I just got an unlocked Galaxy Nexus GSM from Google for $400 (no contract). It is a nice phone and is certainly snappier than the HTC/TMO G2 it replaces. The downside is it eats the battery way faster (at least twice as fast when running mytracks). The Verizon phone is quite a bit more encumbered with a locked bootloader and locked SIM. If you don't mind GSM, the GN from Google would be the easiest way to go. It also gets the updates on the day they are released by Google, so that is a plus in the pure Google phone's camp too.
Maybe some group of celebrities can phone up Verizon, and ask for what you want: a phone you can actually own.
What do you think about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy SIII? Or an HTC One X? Both have similar hardware and wonderful features.
For VZW's line up, Galaxy Nexus would be my choice. Especially if you are looking to unlock the boot loader and get root.
I love my Galaxy Nexus. The new One series by HTC is nice, but if you're looking to mod and root the Gnex is unparalleled in this area.

I have a Sprint iPhone 4S and the Gnex and honestly I dont understand all the fuss about the iPhone. My Gnex with the extended battery lasts just as long, the screen is higher quality, larger, and the gap in apps isn't what some make it out to be. I don't see myself ever getting a non-Nexus Android in the future. The only thing better is the camera and this can be mitigated with some replacement camera apps (HDR Camera+ works exceptionally well). 
Not sure about the unlock, but I love my Galaxy Nexus
I've got a Galaxy Nexus. Trust me, you will not regret it. Pure Android is the best.
The Galaxy Nexus is the most expensive phone I've ever purchased and it's also the best phone I've ever purchased. I love it more than is proper for a grown man. My biggest guff is the photo gallery that imports pics from all your linked Google accounts (Blogger, G+, etc), but it's a minor quibble. I have no need for a tablet because the Nexus is big enough to be tablet-like while being small enough to be phone-like. I am in phone heaven.

Edit: Oh, and one other quibble, the volume and the power button are at equal level on opposite sides of the phone. Until you get used to the positioning, you may often turn off the phone while trying to adjust the volume.
The 4G LTW Incredible is coming out in a few weeks. I am also retiring my HTC Incredible and getting THAT one, because I loved the Incredible so much!
I love my GN.. I haven't rooted it yet.. but it's getting tempting. VZW service is great, even if I'm bitter about the wallet/isis thing, and the lack of updates thus far.
The nexus is a great phone to be sure, i've had mine since release so have had time to find a few bits that annoy me, there are very few, and only one (build quality) that cant be fixed via roms.
As you say the root is super easy, and there are lots of great roms and kernels out there to find just what you want.
Id take the nexus brand over any other as you will get the latest android versions if not first, certainly very soon after release.
As mentioned the only real disappointment is that aside from the screen (which lets be honest makes up most of a phone now'days). It doesn't feel like a quality phone, slightly squishy to hold, and taking the back cover off makes me cringe with all the snapping sounds.
When compared to the htc onex and lumia phones which are all very solid in construction it feels, kinda cheap.
Galaxy Nexus! It's the best. I love my GSM Google Galaxy Nexus.
I have a Galaxy Note, sadly not available on Verizon. You could wait a bit for it to hit Verizon. IDK about the International version of Note, might be worth researching?
+Wil Wheaton Stay away from the Verizon Stratosphere... It's a pain in the ass that has an online training to show you how to use the damn phone.. Yeah, I should have taken the class..
I've got a GSM Galaxy Nexus and I love it. I know that the Verizon version has to deal with some Verizon quirkiness, but I would still definitely recommend it.
Hey +Wil Wheaton I am currently running a GN with the samsung extended battery. I have it unlocked and running the latest Android update to 4.04 IMM76K and I'm running Franco Kernel Milestone 3. Unlocking it and rooting it was a breeze. There are utilities you can download to click to unlock. I get great performance out of it and the 4g is amazing. The updates fixed the signal switching issues. The only real concern I have is that this thing sucks down battery. If that's not a big concern for you (I just plug in whenever I can, it charges very fast) then this phone is amazing. If you're worried about the battery life the Droid RAZR Maxx would probably be the way to go (although I'm not certain how the unlocking works on that.)
I'm sold on my Droid Bionic. It has solid hardware and open for rooting.
I just think you are awesome for your lack of interest in the Iphone! Good form!
Bang for the buck, end-user replaceable battery. Great battety life with some judicious adjustment of LTE and WiFi when not in use: Droid Bionic. The drawback is that it has no ICS, yet. It is more comfortable in my hand than either the RAZR or Galaxy Nexus (and I have friends with each).
I really dig on the Nexus... larger screen is nice... easy to root, and if you're going to do that anyway, you can't go wrong there
Of course you could just hold out for the Galaxy S III.
+Wil Wheaton , hold out for a few weeks to see if the rumored RAZR MAXX HD gets an official announcement. If it does, it will be the best phone on Big Red in pretty much every way, both in hardware and software, and the RAZR is easily unlocked. If the HD does not go official, the MAXX is easily as good, and in many, many ways better than the Nexus.

If I had any hope that the Asus Padfone were coming to VZW, I'd say that that would be the one to wait for, but I very much doubt we'll see it.
I have the galaxy nexus Wil, and I love it. it's versatile, and it takes crisp clear pictures, the screen is large and easy to read, and it just plain works better than any phone i have ever owned. Though I upgraded from a Droid Eris.
I really love my Droid Razr Maxx. If there's an HD coming out, I think it would be worth it. The battery life is freakin' fantastic.
My husband LOVES his Nexus. It's cool enough it sometimes makes me want to switch from my iPhone. 
Compare the Gnex with the Samsung Galaxy S III.
Incredible > Excelent companion.
Galaxy Nexus > a great device on fire, go fo it!
Love mine (though it was a free gift). I almost never use 4G though since it's such a battery hog. With 3G I can run for a day and a night. With 4G, I can run for about 8 hours.
Galaxy Nexus is pretty sweet. I like mine.
I'm pretty happy with my Galaxy Nexus. It is EXTREMELY easy to unlock, being that it's a Nexus device (no retarded platform breaking locks).

The one downside is no access to Google Wallet. Because it competes with Isis. Verizon is partnered with Isis. Isis is not yet launched. This is, of course, a provider issue, not a phone issue.
About the Razr Maxx being many way better than the Nexus, that's wrong. It's only better in one way. Battery life. I will admit on that front it is kicking major ass though.
I'd go with the Nexus, It is super easy to root, all hail Wug's Galaxy Nexus Root Toolkit!
I love my Nexus and it was easy to unlock. The SIII looks pretty sweet though.
You can't go wrong with the Galaxy Nexus, Wil. That's what I'm using and it's been an excellent device for me. Highly recommended.
i love my ReZound, but i have no idea about rooting it.
Love the Galaxy Nexus with AOKP.
I've honestly enjoyed my Galaxy Nexus enough so far that I don't feel compelled to root it.

The SIII does look pretty sweet, though. If I were shopping around, I might consider an SIII if I could root it.
+1 for the Galaxy Nexus. I've been thrilled with mine. A clean, unmodified version of ICS is a great experience!
I absolutely hated my Droid Razr - even rooted - until I installed the Eclipse ROM. Now I luvs it. All the battery troubles went away with Eclipse and it is much faster as well.
I want a Samsung Note, but don't want the terrible service that comes with the only provider who is offering it.
As I'm sure it's already been posted but xda-developers had a huge list of rootable equipment and the how to's as to make it easier.
LOVE my Galaxy Nexus. First 'droid where I haven't even thought about rooting it....
You might want to wait a bit until Samsung releases their Galaxy S III phone in the U.S. sometime in June. The processor looks great, and I'm sure it's only time until there is root access.
I was in the same boat and chose the razar maxx over the galaxy nexus. I am glad I did the battery life rocks
iphone is horrible! I would also stick away from Galaxy too thou. Read the reviews from users first, it apparently is buggy! I can say that. :-(
Dooooo it. Love my rooted Gnex.
I have the Galaxy Nexus, rooted and ROMd outside of horrible battery life the phone is great.
I love my Nexus, but I don't mess with it. Great phone.
Definitely go for the Galaxy Nexus if you're sticking with Verizon.
I love my Galaxy Nexus, but Verizon's is still more locked down and not by definition a real Nexus. I would wait for the Incredible HD if I were you.
Galaxy Nexus is the easiest to root out of the box. However, you may want to go with the RAZR Max or the Incredible LTE when it comes out shortly (though that might not be unlockable right away and is possible HTC will say the carrier would not let them offer their unlock utility like they did with the One X on AT&T).
buy it direct from google, then put it on verizon, you cant fully unlock the phone if you buy from a carrier
I recently got an HTC One and am so far loving it. I do not however know its unlock-ability.
After you root, install Autostarts and it will allow you to go through the phone and see everything that starts with a trigger, like changing wifi, changing towers, bootup, etc, and will allow you to disable them all, including the verizon stuff. Greatly increases battery life. And of course, you can snag double and triple extended batteries. And unlike some others have said, in two button clicks with WUGs unlocker, you can both unlock and root the Gnex.
I got a T-mobile Vibrant when it first came out. Touchwiz is a horrible joke that ruined great features of android in order to look like an iPhone. It took over a year and a cyanogen mod to get the GPS working, with Samsung and T-moblie denying all the way that GPS had a problem. All the while they promised updates coming that they pushed back and pushed back. By the time it finally came Cyanogen had managed to reverse engineer the drivers that Samsung keeps pretending they'll live up to the requirements of the GPL for.

And above and beyond that, The battery is terrible. I have never felt as betrayed by a purchase as I did by this phone and just pray for the day my contract runs out so I can get back to an HTC. I will never give Samsung another dime of my money as long as I life. I really urge you not to waste your money on a Galaxy phone they are jokes.
Don't get the Incredible 2. Though I love mine, there is no chance of rooting the phone at all. However, a friend of mine got a Bionic and rooted it. So far he loves it.
You've probably heard it before, but the display on the HTC Vivid (AT&T) sucks the life from it's battery in no time. I'd beware of equivalent Verizon offerings.
I upgraded my Incredible for the Rezound, but I think if I was buying today, I'd grab the One. (but I do like my rezound) It has S-OFF now so it's very easy to hack!! This phone can also be used internationally on a gsm network. DONE!
Galaxy Nexys user here, it's pretty badass :) Only other phone I'd consider at this point is the HTC One X, but I am not sure if it's available to you.
What ever you do, don't trash the incredible. I flashed Kang's CM9 on mine and use it as a music player in the car. The skip ahead with the volume + is indispensable. Flip it to airplane mode and only use it to play music and you get 5-6 days battery. I don't know about you but having a music player you don't have to look at is a good use for an old phone.

As for a replacement phone, the only downside to the Gnex is no removable storage.
I got my partner a Samsung Galaxy Nexus for our anniversary. He likes it very much, but says it's a bit quirky. Far and away better than the Blackberry he had.
I love my Droid Incredible too, but know it's soon time to upgrade our cellies. :-(
Hey Wil, I once had a HTC Incredible as well. I recently retired it in favor of the Droid Razr Maxx and haven't looked back. The battery life is amazing, especially coming from an energy guzzler like the Incredible was. It's increased size and thinness takes a bit to get used to, but it's a much higher quality product that looks great and functions very well.
Everyone I know that has the Nexus loves it. I have a Bionic and love it, but Motorola is dragging their asses on their promise to unlock their phones. A 4G Version of the Incredible will be released within next month, I believe.
Just make sure it's actually 4G capable so when they finally get a real 4G network set up you can take full advantage of it.
End your misery. Buy an iPhone. Hehe.
I'm up for an upgrade as well. Been debating Nexus vs. Maxx.
I have a droid 4, which is similar to the razr with a hardware keyboard (need that since I have big fingers), and they both can be rooted really easily. Not sure about carrier unlocking if you need that.
Why would you not buy the phone from google itself? 400 bucks and it comes pre unlocked with no 2 year plan needed?
+Kirkda Khan , the Galaxy S3 IS a tricorder ... Kirk and Spock told the Samsung engineers they're not allowed to admit it, out of fear it will affect the timeline.
You can't go wrong with the GNex
Love my G-Nex, and it wasn't too difficult to unlock. I'd spring for another battery though.
My vote is for GNex.
GummyRom once you root it.
If you liked the incredible I would say try the rezound. It is pretty simple to root. There also is a pretty decent following for it on certain forums. I have a house full of htc phones. Me(rezound), wife(rezound), 2 oldest of our 3 daughters both use the incredible 2. No real problems with any of them. I have read that the rezound can be used as a global phone as well. It's also a pretty affordable phone.
On the other hand I'm kind of excited about the prospect of the GSIII coming to Verizon. If it does I will be definitely be checking that one out. I hope you end up finding one that you like.
Pretty happy with the Galaxy Nexus - had mine a month now. But the Galaxy Note is getting rave reviews too.
+Wil Wheaton Is there a particular reason you want Verizon? I myself am on it but because of cost, which is obviously less of a concern for you, I am switching to T-Mobile and getting an HTC One S. Given Verizons pricing, especially on data, you might want to do the same, what with the upcoming BOGO deals and all.
I received my Galaxy Nexus from Google for a Christmas/Holiday gift in December. So I have had about 6 months with it, and I really like Ice Cream Sandwich and the Nexus hardware. A good choice.
I went from the HTC Incredible to the Galaxy Nexus and the biggest problem I find with the phone is it's a Verizon phone and they take forever to update the software. I've had nothing but issues with it since I received it (this is my second GN with the same issues) and it suffers from complete signal drop outs when I turn on LTE causing the phone to heat up and killing the battery. Also, the wifi drops out on me when the screen goes off unless I'm connected to a 2.4GHz G network. I'm stuck on 4.0.2 and I hear 4.0.4 is supposed to fix all these issues but until then it's slightly more functional than a brick.
Razr Maxx! Rootable with long battery life.
I also upgraded from the Incredible to the Galaxy Nexus. Love it. I unlocked right away, and really like the lack of bloatware. Unless you consider Verizon's backup service and account-access app as bloatware, but for me these are things I would use anyway.

I recommend the Nova Launcher, will eliminate the annoying Google search bar at the top of every screen, lets you resize widgets, plus landscape mode on the desktop. Sooooo great!
I get a chance to try most of them, I like the Nexus, but I think Motorola Droids are much nicer. I will be getting Droid 4 when my Droid 2 dies. I really like the Smart Actions ...
Your best bet is definitely the Galaxy Nexus or you could always wait until the summer for the Samsung Galaxy S III. If you're just signing up for Verizon then get your Nexus from Amazon Wireless (only $50).
Oh, the Maxx definitely has a great battery! I haven't unlocked mine but I do find it nice not having to charge the phone during the day unless I spend over an hour talking.
I went from a Droid Incredible to a Galaxy Nexus - I got both as soon as they came out. You will not be disappointed with the Galaxy! The screen is fantastic, there is virtually no Verizon bloatware, and you can root immediately!

Don't forget to get the extended battery. It's a modest increase in power, but I think it makes the phone feel better in your hand.
Galaxy Nexus totally the way to go, and i speak from experience!
I love the GNex, but an after market Mugen battery is a must. I hated mine until I got the bigger battery.
I love my Galaxy Nexus. I haven't unlocked it, but as I understand it is pretty easy to do. Size is right, phone is fast, and ICS is great. Drawbacks, updates are slow because of Verizon (Won't matter if you loading a custom ROM), No official support for Google Wallet, and I have one of what appears to be a very small number of phones that have some sort of radio bug. Supposed to be fixed with the 4.0.4 update if it ever comes. Even with the drawbacks I wouldn't trade this phone for any other Verizon phone.
Nexus line will always be a great way to go.
+Wil Wheaton get the Gnex. I love mine. Try AOKP for the ROM. It's fantastic.

And with AOKP ROM and a custom kernel, you'll get great performance and battery life.
Gnex is great for people who can't get a Galaxy S2. If you are coming from an Incredible, it will rock your socks.
My only issues with the galaxy nexus are the screen for video playback and the radios are somewhat weak compared to other VZW LTE phones. If you're a fan of sense, I'd highly recommend the Rezound. It's a great phone, has htcdev unlock support and now S-OFF. It lakes a vanilla AOSP ROM at the moment (RIL is the holdup I think), but that will probably come in time. If the Nexus/Rezound are too big, the HTC Incredible 4G will be out soon I think.
Love my Galaxy Nexus and very friendly for any sort of modding/unlocking/rooting. But is still great even if you don't.
My friend has a Galaxy Nexus II and it's awesome. I don't know about unlocking it, but it has a nice screen and phone design. Solid battery life.
Could this be the end of you hitting the 'b' key instead of the space bar Wil? I know that Cyanogen mod and my Incredible just loved to do that over and over and over!
GSM GNex is the way to go.. CMDA is really... meh. Something on verizon has the samsung hardware going nuts, prompting quite a few replacements. I would suggest a HD motorola razr maxx, you can root it, but as of now not much else. it IS a solid phone, but screw moto for the farce they put on. The new HTC is looking pretty nice as well, but lately it seems better to get the phone in retrospect was very nice vs waiting for the new hot phone that proves to be a clunker.
On Verizon, I'd recommend either the Galaxy Nexus or an HTC phone. I haven't heard too much bad about HTC phones & they've got a good rep at enabling users to unlock their phones.

The Rezound, hardware wise, is very similar to the GNexus. Its just got a slightly smaller screen, physical buttons (instead of the GNex's on screen) & a slightly slower processor (1.2 v 1.5). It also doesn't have as much on board storage, but the Rezound has an SD card to make up for it (GNex has NFC instead).

Moto's Razr Maxx is also a good contender. Its bootloader will (likely) be locked, so you won't be able to flash custom roms, but... Its main draw is the extended battery it ships with (3000mAh instead of the standard ~1750 most other phones have). But you can get large extended batteries for most any phone (I've seen 3000 & 3900mAh for my Droid X). Not too sure if it has much special going for it other than the battery.

But... If you're going to be doing a lot of international travel, you may want to consider a GSM phone (AT&T or T-Mobile) as CDMA (Verizon & Sprint) is pretty much a US only standard. With a GSM phone, you should be able to get a pre-paid/pay as you go contract on the local network & just swap out your SIM card & still use the same handset.

I'm not too familiar with the GSM line up, but... The HTC One X seems to be a fairly good contender hardware wise. I know the AT&T One X has a locked bootloader due to "restrictions" (ie AT&T didn't want it unlocked).
The radio does suck on the Nexus, and so does the battery, I always carry a spare, but I love this phone. Only other phone I'd consider is the razr max but not sure how rooting that one goes.
Got a nexus back in December and I have nothing but good things to say about the experience so far.
I are bad geek and don't know the current status of unlockability, but my take is: HTC One X for the "my processor is bigger than yours" factor; Galaxy Nexus for the Google, just the Google, and nothing but the Google; Razr for battery time; and LG if you want to match your washer/dryer...
I don't know of the availability of the Galaxy SIII in the US (us people in AU have no official availability date) but chances are by the time you can get a hold of one, CyanogenMod and a root process will be available.
I love my Galaxy Nexus, a little disappointed by Verizon's behavior with a Nexus device, but if you are willing to root I would recommend it.
The Incredible 4G and Razr both have very locked bootloaders... As will the Galaxy S III (which isn't due til summer)... The best VZW phone for hacking and modding is the GNex, by far.
For the last two years, I've been a Droid X user. Suffice to say, I'm wholly sold on Android but will never buy another Motorola product again. Their last OTA update broke my root, which was the last straw. I bought a Galaxy Nexus last weekend, and it's been nothing short of a revelation. No "Android lag", no Motorola blur and, amazingly, no Verizon bloat. ICS is an exceptionally slick mobile OS and the Galaxy Nexus is the premier device to experience it in its purest form.
Oh come on, don't be a sheep. Get a Windows Phone.
You can't go wrong with a Nexus phone. Every Galaxy Nexus user I have met has great things to say about it. The screen is amazing, battery life is fantastic and you have a tremendous number of ROMs to choose from if the default ICS build doesn't work for you.
I've had my Galaxy Nexus since it launched on Verizon. It's simply the best phone I've owned (Samsung Moment, HTC Evo 4G, Evo Shift, Evo 3D). The screen is gorgeous for everything, especially video playback. The phone signal is great and the LTE speeds are faster than my home cable internet. I have mine unlocked and running CM9 nightlies on it.

+Josh Carroll has no idea what he's talking about. The HTC "unlock" is bullshit and doesn't do anything useful. The Nexus line is true unlocking and is as simple as fastboot oem_unlock and one has full access to the hardware unlike HTC's bullshit unlock methods that prevent true access.

However, I do not like Verizon as a carrier at all. As soon as I'm financially able, I'm jumping ship to Sprint for better prices. They recently got the Galaxy Nexus and are rolling out their own LTE network. Google Wallet is now publicly available on all GNex models without having to sideload the apk.

GNex also has a simple tool to unlock, flash a custom recovery, and push superuser. Then it's as simple as installing ROM Manager and installing the CM9 nightlies.
I've had a Galaxy Nexus for about six weeks and am very happy with it.
Still hating no HTC One X on vzw. Incredible LTE sounds promising but only 4" qHD screen.....

Nexus is nice but I'm too big a fan of sense 3.5 to go back to stock. Of course thats what flashing roms are for.

You should pop in at, me and the rest of the staff there would be happy to roll out the red carpet and you can compare notes with some of our 1 million members (yes, i'm bragging a bit, sue me :))
Why not just buy a Galaxy Nexus directly from Samsung? Its already unlocked.
I'd say Rezound or Galaxy Nexus. Nice displays in both (720p). Both are LTE phones and both are excellent phones. I say you should play with them at the store to choose which one best fits you. Both can be unlocked. If Verizon were getting an HTC One X phone I'd say to go with that but that isn't happening right now.
Galaxy Nexus is pretty nice, it just sucks down battery like there's no tomorrow.
Just got one love it. But get the bigger battery. 4G eats up the juice.
I would wait a month or so. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is coming out soon. The specs sound amazing. That being said, I didn't read the other 285 comments, so I'm sure someone else recommended it.
I have a G-Nex, and I love the thing. There's really nothing out there I'd recommend above it right now, on any carrier.
I had an Incredible for a month less than two years. I just switch to the Droid Razr a couple of months ago and I love it. I do kind of wish I'd shelled out the extra hundred for the Razr MAXX. The battery life is way better than that of the Incredible, but still not ridiculous like the Maxx purports to be. Moving away from the HTC Sense UI did take a little getting used to but my only real complaints are that I don't have a way to have my gmail list the number of unread messages anymore, and I only have 5 screens instead of 7. However if you are planning on rooting the phone and putting ICS on it that's not really an issue.
Galaxy Nexus Prime is the way to go. I love mine, and yes, get the bigger battery.
The Verizon Galaxy Nexus is a solid phone. I use it as a work phone but have a AT&T iPhone for my personal line. Battery life could be much better on the Galaxy Nexus but that's my only complaint. Defiantly get the extended battery.

Still find myself using the iPhone; just wish the screen was bigger. 
I went from the HTC Incredible to the Galaxy Nexus.

I loved the Incredible and I love the G Nex even more. :)

The only two issues have been battery (i got the extended for free with my package deal) and the 3g/4g radio issues (these are fixed with version 4.0.4).

There is nothing like a pure ICS experience with no hardware buttons to get in the way. Happy phoning!
I personally have a VZW Galaxy Nexus (though I didn't unlock it). I love the phone but I have a few issues with it:

#1 The screen uses an enormous amount of power and may be defective: from day 1 I noticed that my screen was often very warm even when off for a long period of time, though this hasn't been consistent. When this happens, battery life is terrible, and the screen uses more than 50% of the battery power. Samsung said to pull the battery for 2 minutes or so and it should be fine, but I've had mixed results with this. I don't know if it's just my phone or all Galaxy Nexus phones.

#2 Although the phone has been available from Verizon since December, and the GSM version has been available since November, the official car dock (at least for the Verizon/LTE version) is still not available, and no one can give us an accurate idea about when it may become available.

Beyond those issues, I really love the phone, and you might as well. Go to a Verizon Wireless store and test drive one.
I have one, they are great. I am about to unlock mine, I need more room, and hate some of those apps they put in that are useless, but cannot be removed unless you unlock your phone so you can be a root user.
That's funny, I'm getting ready to replace my incredible too (overheating getting worse). The Rezound is awesome and recently got script unlock and s-off as well, I believe. And of course you also have the htc warranty canceling unlock method for it too, but I'm guessing you're not for that by your mention of script.
I'm thinking of going with the new incredible 4g. It has the new super battery efficient snapdragon s4 chip. I can also depend on every htc eventually getting full unlock.
I'd suggest that you just buy the phone that you want unlocked and then you can choose the carrier that works best for you.
Gnex is the only phone to even consider
I Have a Verizon GNEX Super easy to Unlock and Super easy to restore to stock.. Super easy to root. Tons of Options out there for the GNex.
Have the Galaxy Nexus on T-Mobile, and it's wonderful.
Get yourself a Galaxy Note. Then you can have a "Phablet", like me.
Just don't get the HTC. My husband had one and it was constant problem after problem.
+1 for the Galaxy Nexus (on Sprint). It's a fantastic, snappy, top of the line Android phone. Haven't rooted it yet tho.
Definitely the Galaxy Nexus. Easy to unlock, and root!
I've been using the Galaxy Nexus since January, also coming from the HTC Incredible. It's been an excellent phone, but definitely get the extended battery. There is an excellent "Galaxy Nexus Toolkit" which can unlock and root the phone very easily, if you don't want to muck around with the SDK and a terminal (much).
I bought my nexus prime unlocked. I'm on GSM though. If I were on verizon, I would go GSM and get an unlocked nexus prime.
Vanilla Android OS FTW, I mean Ice Cream Sandwich.
Stu Art
Chaim S
I have to add my vote for the Nexus. Awesome phone, and you can unlock/root it easily.
The GNex is pretty good, comes preinstalled with ICS. The Razr is also an awesome phone, and just a quick Google search shows it's pretty easy to root. There's a new HTC Incredible 4G coming in the next few weeks, too, if you can hold out; it'll be the second device to be launched with ICS, and presumably because we have all the bugs worked out of the system by the GNex will be smoother upon release than the other.
I'm eyeing the Galaxy S3 right now. My S1 was easy to unlock.
I have the Galaxy Nexus (GSM international so I know it's not the same!) and unlocking the bootloader and rooting was easy as. I like the phone but battery life is an issue (I carry a spare). It's also now 6 months old as a phone and there are 'better' phones out. +Phil Nickinson from Android Central has just reviewed the Verizon HTC EVO 4G LTE which is an HTC One X rebranded and the One X is getting rave reviews so probably worth a look.
My wife and I are big time supporters of the HTC incredible users. She just switched to the razer and she loves it un-sure if u can un lock it but its a great phone. You will be really happy with it. make sure if you need alot and I mean alot of battery then go for the maxx. Other then that those two I would say are really your chose for your next phone. ( I plan I getting one too!)
I really like the HTC Rezound. It's fast, and will give you the same HTC experience. It's also easy to unlock and has a very active modding community.
I have the Samsung Stratosphere, a Verizon 4g that can be rooted, and also has a slide out querty. The newer Moto droid 4 also has a slide querty, 4g, and dual core processors.
+Wil Wheaton You've been running Cyanogen and LauncherPro, so I think it's safe to say you won't be satisfied with anything but a Nexus. Touchwiz and Motoblur and SenseUI can bite my crank.
I have had a Verizon Galaxy Nexus since December and it is a fantastic phone. It if very easy to unlock and there are tons of roms for it. I don't know if there is a script out there to unlock it, but considering how easy it was for me to do it I'm sure someone has made one by now. I do recommend you pick up the official extended battery though. The battery life is just a tad bit on the short side with the standard battery.
I am really loving the Nexus. I haven't unlocked mine, but a good friend of mine has done so, and he said it was dead easy. Two thumbs up!
I love my rooted nexus. Super easy to customize and overclock! I agree on the extended battery, too! Get one!
I upgraded my OG Incredible to a VZW GNex. Almost got the Razr Maxx, both are awesome phones.
I just rooted a Galaxy Nexus.... it was so easy. Just type fastboot oem unlock in adb! Great Phone!
I'm Google's Community Manager for Android, do feel free to ping me if you have any questions +Wil Wheaton

As others have pointed out, the Galaxy Nexus is CDMA + LTE which works great on Verizon's network but is not compatible internationally. There is a GSM + HSPA+ version (which Google even sells directly) which is great internationally and can be used domestically on T-Mobile or AT&T.
Verizon 4G LTE all the way! Nexus is a great choice.
+Paul Wilcox Verizon is currently working on an update for existing 4G devices (and presumably soon-to-come ones as well) that makes them globally compatible. I think it's safe to say that if +Wil Wheaton wants to stick with Verizon and still globe-trot, he'll be able to. ;)
I loved my Droid Incredible too, Wil, but sold it for a cool $60 and put that towards my Galaxy Nexus. Haven't looked back since. When CM9 comes out for GNex, it will be awesome!
If you want the very easy unlock and a pretty good bet of bleeding edge custom rom support, the galaxy nexus is the way to go. The battery life is crap, but I bet you are used to that with the inc :-) If you are willing to switch to a gsm network, that is actually a bit nicer (available from Google and better batter life) but the CDMA version is close.

I'm one of the +CyanogenMod maintainers for the CDMA nexus. Feel free to let me (or anyone else on the team) know if you have questions.
I was very close to buying that same direct-from-Google Nexus +Paul Wilcox referenced myself (I'm on T-Mobile), but I missed having a stylus on my phone so much I went with a Galaxy Note instead. I've loved it so far, it's not so wide I have trouble putting it in my pocket, and its so thin it doesn't really feel like a big phone in my pocket. But oh, the screen space! The instant "take a screen capture and open it in the annotation software" that comes with a press-and-hold from the stylus is great.
#samsunggalaxys3 (if you can wait a month)
Galaxy Nexus is AWESOME!!!! My brother got one and it took me like 10 mins to get it unlocked and running the latest cyanogenmod 9 build ^^. Hands down you should get it!!!!
I have a Galaxy Nexus on Sprint and I love it. No regrets even though the Samsung Galaxy S3 is coming out soon.
I have the Galaxy Nexus and am loving it! We don't have the unlocking problems you guys have here in Aus but the phone itself is great...
<--- ATT Galaxy S2 + Cyanogenmod 9 = unstoppable
GNex - mainly, because it is stock ICS without extra crap other Android phone makers put on it.
Galaxy Nexus with the AOKP ROM is EXACTLY what you want, Wil.
Make sure you try the Nexus in your hand before you buy one. I chose the HTC Sensation over the Nexus because the Nexus' form factor was... awkward. It was just a bit too large for my preference.
Fwiw, I prefer the Rezound over the Nexus, much better signal & can be used worldwide.
I was going to suggest a HTC One branded phone (S,V,X, etc) but that doesn't seem to be launching on the Verizon network instead they are toting a flagship phone from the Droid Incredible line ( HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE ).
Bryan K
The GNexus is an awesome phone, I've had mine since launch day and still love it. Would definitely recommend the extended battery though...
I am very happy with my Thunderbolt, despite it being a little old... ;-)
Depending on why you root, you may not need to if you go with the Galaxy Nexus. It is pretty much a vanilla android experience I hear.
In all honesty, you ask a rather tough question. The Galaxy Nexus is a fine phone, but not having an expandable SD card slot would be, for me at least, a deal breaker. In my personal opinion, I'd likely either go for a Droid 4 or Razr (Maxx) or wait a bit longer for the next slew of phones to be released in the next few months. Both the Droid 4 and Razr have pretty easy root methods, and more importantly, both either have or will be getting Ice Cream Sandwich. Something a lowly Droid 3 owner like myself will likely only be able to dream of.

Best of luck on your choice! Hopefully I've given you something to mull over.
Galaxy Nexus for sure! I moved from an OG Droid to the Nexus and I love it. Hard to beat stock android and ICS is fantastic!
Wait for the Samsung Galaxy S III!
I have the nexus; it has it's flaws, but overall it's a step in the right direction from my original droid.
+Airen Blakovich Moto had stated that Droid 3 will get ICS eventually, but i am eligible for early upgrade, so will probably get Droid 4 by the end of the month.
+Geoffrey Steinman News to me. Last I had seen on Moto's ICS upgrade phase page, Droid 3 was still under "Evaluation". Glad to hear it, though. Thanks for the update!
I'm really happy with my Galaxy Nexus, and I recommend it. I haven't unlocked it (yet), but stock ICS is a wonderful thing.
I'm still on my original Incredible as well. It's been a great phone with the move to Cyanogenmod 7. I will be moving to the Galaxy Nexus as well. I'm being cheap and waiting for a 100 dollar Verizon upgrade. I still don't see a better overall phone, except maybe a rooted Galaxy S3, but that is still an unknown.
Not sure if you are gung-ho about sticking with HTC or not, but we switched from the Inspire to the Rezound when we went to Verizon. I like it a lot more, and it's super-easy to unlock. :)

I don't know if it has 4G or not, but Youtube is absolutely GORGEOUS on it! lol
Wil, I love my Gnex. I have had it since Verizon launch. Best phone I've had. It replaced my Motor Droid.
I'd have to recommend hanging out and waiting for the next Google Developer Phone.
Will two trains of though, either wait for the Samsung Galaxy SIII or get the GNex. That would be entirely up to you,a nd if you want to keep up with the Jones or be one of the Jones. :P
I have the Galaxy Nexus, and if you're going to unlock a phone, this is a good pick. Then you download and install your own system updates, and won't have to wait for the OTA, which is perhaps the worst thing about this phone on Verizon.

The camera is not great quality, but is very fast (I have a very small daughter, so speed trumps picture quality). Some people complain about the pentile pixel layout, but I think those people are crazy. The screen is gorgeous.

But if you're traveling, you might want to consider ditching Verizon, as their network is not GSM, so the Verizon Galaxy Nexus won't work most places in the world. You can get an unlocked GSM phone on Google's website, and sign up with any GSM carrier. Otherwise, you're going to have to rent or borrow a different phone when traveling.
I got a Samsung Galaxy SII
I like the phone a lot, but had 2 surprises:
It has no notification led, this is a much bigger deal than I thought it would be. There is a screen app called LED, but it is not the same and uses the screen, which is my other gripe. The OLED screen is beautiful in bright sunlight, can't really use it that way because is will totally suck your battery. I have to charge it at least twice a day. (please don't comment telling me how to turn features off).

Anyhow, for what it is worth.
Galaxy Nexus, is an awesome phone.
oops. Appp name is 'NOLED'
I have a galaxy nexus, and I like it. I don't root/unlock it, though, so I can't comment on that.
Wait for the pad phone by asus... That looks killer
Sparks McGee would get the Nexus!
No matter what you choose, keep us updated on what you think about your choice. I also have an Incredible. I've been very pleased with my phone for over 2 years now, however, the time has come for me to upgrade. I'm very interested in hearing your thoughts. Good luck on your search!
If you do much traveling outside of the US, Canada & (I think) Mexico, a CDMA phone isn't very useful. Maybe you want to try a GSM provider?
The fact that you said no iphones puts you in my official favorite celebrities list.
You should also check out the Droid Razr Maxx - the only smartphone with enough battery life to last the whole day through...
+Wil Wheaton Follow-up to my earlier reply. What's more important to you, screen resolution or call/signal quality? GNex has the better screen, but a LOT of complaints in the forums about bad cellular quality and lost signals/dropped calls. The DROID/DROID MAXX have a lower pixel density screen, but very solid cellular radios. The (again, rumored) DROID MAXX HD should be the best of both worlds.

Alternatively, the Rezound is a pretty rock-solid offering which I'd be 50/50 on choosing over the GNex if I were to be phone shopping right this minute. I think the GNex is decent, but will be showing it's age very soon, while the Galaxy III is a fairly insulting piece of kit, for its lineage.

RAZR series, or Asus Padfone (if it comes to VZW) are the way to go
I haven't been impressed by iPhones nor iPads... got a chance to play on one with someone from Apple, I'm like, ok, impress me, and he's showing me about the apps, and moving from one screen to another, and getting on the internet, and I finally told him that my android phone did the same thing in a much smaller package, was a lot easier to use, and didn't cost anywhere near as much as his products. NOT IMPRESSED.
keep in mind, some HTC phones drop the network if you use your phone as a hotspot.I have a thunderbolt, and I lose my 4 g hotspot all the time. according to Verizon, HTC is aware of the problem but they have no set plans to fix it yet
The nexus is sweet but the samsung galaxy II is awesome and the galaxy III has been revealed already both have great features and hardware
+Wil Wheaton i'm pretty sure that google will release the next nexus in a few month. I would wait for that one with pure android. It will use and will be optimized for jelly bean for sure.
I would definitely wait for the Galaxy S 3, thats what Im doing personally. Its already out overseas, you can buy an unlocked one now if you can go through a British site and have them deliver here. Not sure the whole steps youd need to go to get it working with Verizon tho as I use TMO. If I understand right, Verizon started swapping over to a GSM network using SIM cards for their 4g finally and moved away from CDMA so it should just be a matter of: buy phone, insert card.
i would say go for the nexus or the HTC 1X.. both are awesome phone and easy to unlock !!
Galaxy Nexus because of its ginormous development base.
The 4g HTC Incredible will be out soon...should be worth the wait.
Galaxy S are pretty nice, I'd always chose a Galaxy S class over others. Install Cyanogen for the BEST experience. Also: You should put your old phone on e-bay. "Will wheaton's HTC Incredible", and leave some "stuff" on it for the lucky buyer ;)
The next Nexus isn't coming until the end of the year. I own the Galaxy Nexus and, having come from an Incredible, am nothing but happy. Be sure to get the extended battery - not only does it improve your battery life, but it also makes the phone fit better in your hand.

If you want to wait a few months, you can see what Verizon's Galaxy S3 looks like. Usually Samsung is pretty good about allowing their phones to be unlocked. Stay away from the HTC devices as they've started kowtowing to carriers when it comes to unlocking.
Wait for the Samsung S3. Thats what I`m doing and I always make good life choices.
I have to agree... If you're going to get any Android phone at all, get the Galaxy Nexus. It's the end-all-be-all.
So far I'm a little unwowed by my Galaxy Nexus, though I just upgraded from a N1 that I've had a long-term love affair with. So it could just be that I miss Rachel (its name... Nexus One... our little in-joke).
Battery life is horrible in the G Nexus.
Should wait a couple months for the Galaxy S3, there will be a root for it a month or so after release.
Aaron G
Wait for the Galaxy S III or go with the SII. The SII beats the GNex in every way except for screen resolution.
I actually went from an Incredible to a Galaxy Nexus. Cons: It's power thirsty, and the volume is not as effective as the Incredible's. It's heavier and bigger, and noticeably so at first. This is both a pro and a con (the Incredible looks so tiny now, I'm amazed I used to look at web sites with it. The screen is gorgeous, and with proper power management it vastly out-performs the Incredible. It's sturdier than my HTC was, less prone to over-heating. And after I realized how easy it is to turn off background apps in ICE, I loved how much better the battery life and performance was. The camera is wicked fast, meaning the first pic you'll take will probably be blurry, but you can snap off five more in two seconds to overcompensate. And software-wise, well, it's a Nexus. Extremely little bloat, I'm not sure you'd even need to unlock it. Right now, the only thing I miss from my Incredible was HTC's weather and time app.
The HTC one series looks to have promise. You may want to check that out.
The only downfall with the Samsung is antenna. I had one and switched to an LG spectrum because the signal was a bit better. if you are usually in areas that signal is not an issue, the Samsung is amazing, i was quite happy with it. unfortunately i live in the sticks, and antenna was an issue. cities you will be quite happy with it.
I just received my Galaxy Nexus the other day and it is BRILLIANT. Amazing form factor, Android 4.0 is truly excellent, and the thing is FAST. The LTE is great too. Get this - you will enjoy.
SAMSUNG PHONES ARE EXTREMELY EASY TO HACK. If you can wait till June, you should get the Galaxy 3. That will future proof you for a while.
I love my Galaxy Nexus, which is straight up unlocked right from the factory. Rock it!
I currently have an iphone 4... once my contract is up, I am probably moving to Android. and my Iphone will become a fancy paper weight...
Not that you know me from Adam, or anything... but I have had only good luck so far with Samsung products.

A caveat to that though: this brand has been wonderful... for MY uses. I find the internets to be a bit slow, and the extensions to be willing with only the newest hardware. (i.e. - bluetooth-esque ear peices [even themselves Samsung!], laptops, printers, et cetera...)
But for the money, they seem to have the strongest ratio for cost vs performance.
And Samsung phones look cool. All of them. They practically ooze badassery, and this is not to be discounted.
I think the more important question is... do you have the Tricorder app?
Get a Galaxy Nexus. It is pure magic
Galaxy Nexus is easy to root, and compared to my other phone, roms have been very stable with mine. I use AOKP for roms.
This year I have The Android razor with it I decided to add the 100 Docking station. (also 500 now avail) The Station has a full keyboard approx. 5x8 screen. The Creative Cloud by Adobe is sweet new tech. The razor is great by itself, but likes power and would be great with power stand for off hand use and voice rec.
Take the SGN. Imho currently the best device if you want to flash it with an other rom.
Galaxy Nexus is the phone I'm getting next to replace my Droid X. Lifehacker readers picked it as tops, too.
Yeah, please get a Galaxy Nexus, so I can say Wil Wheaton has the same phone as me. From a hackers perspective a pure Google Phone is the best you can get, this device caters explicitly for people who want to modify the operating system on their phone. However, the Verizon version is substandard in that regard. In case you messed up everything, usually you can flash the factory version of the system, because Google provides all necessary files:
But all LTE versions of the GN are exempt from that rule for legaleese reasons. Jean-Baptiste Queru, the Open Source guy at Google, writes about it:
So if you don't need LTE explicitly, better go for the GSM version, which can be bought directly by Google.
+Wil Wheaton I would buy the Galaxy Nexus from the Google play store. It comes unlocked and will actually get the most current google updates. Not all other variants of the phone actually get the updates.
The Galaxy Nexus is easily your best choice, nothing else unlockable is going to compare to it. I'm a big Motorola fan, so my instant thought on Verizon is RAZR MAXX, but RAZRs are locked to high heaven. Galaxy Nexus is your answer.
I have the international unlocked version of the Galaxy S2 and love it. Although I ditched the cruddy Samsung software for CyanogenMod
I own a Galaxy Nexus, and for the record... it's all about the Galaxy Nexus.
The Nexus is a very good well rounded phone but don't overlook the Galaxy S II. It's got a higher MP camera and now updates to the same Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. also very easy to root and make sim unlocked.
DROID RAZR MAXX. 3300mAh battery, 4G LTE, rootable, and getting ICS (Android 4) later in May, from the current rumors. If you use the phone and don't want to have to charge within a day, this is the phone. Warning: it will ruin your battery expectations for other phones! Durable, too. See if M or V will send you the red one they gave out at the Oscars!
samsumg galaxy series are easy to get root access. I just downloaded two files in my galaxy s ii and followed the tutorials to get that, it's quite simple.
I have been, until very recently, very happy with my MyTouch 4G PD15100from TMobile...and I'm only unhappy now because my battery has gone wonky - not really a device issue. I really love Android, and have the Acer Iconia Tablet A501 as well. Great stuff!
I have a Samsung Galaxy Note and loving it. If I would have to choose the next one, it would have to be the Nexus or the S3.
I have a SIM-unlocked Galaxy Nexus. I'm not sure how much different it is than the one available on Verizon, but this phone is amazing. I was waiting for the iPhone 5, but eventually decided to go with this one and I could not be happier with my decision. I hope you find what you're looking for.
Just to be clear - do you mean root specifically and not unlock which is to break the carrier lock.
I'm curious why the iphone avoidance? I'm no apple apologist/cultist or anything just curious why the flat refusal versus android.
Honestly, the HTC Rezound has the best screen ever. Unfortunately, it's kinda last-gen... You might wait until there are some reviews out for the Incredible 4G and do some research about it. The GNex is great (I have it) but it launched with a dated SoC (mainly the GPU) and that is really holding it back. Feel the difference between the phones when you hit the multitasking button, you will really notice a difference.
I have an iPhone and I hear ya, I will never get another one.
I have heard that the nexus is a poor upgrade at this time and to probably wait if you can for the Galaxy S III.
What about the new Samsung Galaxy S3? Both S2 and S1 was quite easy to unlock. :)
one touch root is so hard to follow :D
I love my nexus. Though it's my first smart phone, so I have no basis of comparison.
I purchased the Galaxy Nexus the day it came out and have zero regrets. It's a solid phone that's relatively easy to...manipulate.
My GNex is the best 'droid phone I've had (my fourth so far.) Unlock/root took 5 minutes to do by command line (not counting the download time to install the ADB) and now there are one-touch Unlock/Root-Unroot/Relock utes that are almost flawless.
I currently have the HTC Rezound, but have been thinking of picking up a Nexus for the same things you want out of your Droid...unlocking would be a snap, and the Nexus would not be loaded up with bloatware and a manufactures skin like Blur on Motorola and Sense on HTC devices.
Sorry if this has been mentioned. +Wil Wheaton, the Galaxy Nexus is nice, very good hardware. ICS runs smooth. As far as root, maybe head on over to , scroll down to Samsung Galaxy Nexus, click on Development, and take a look at the various methods available, to achieve root access. Unlocking the bootloader, is used to install custom recovery software so as to flash different developer ROMs and Kernels. Which IME, truly open up the phones abilities. I have a heavily modded Nexus S and I just love it. Oh, and it's running at 1.32gHz with a overclocked bus and gpu, thanks to the wonderful dev's that make such awesome kernels! :D
I agree with the others, get the Nexus or wait for the Galaxy S III. I always stick with the Nexus phones to avoid the carrier customizations like touch wiz but it's probably still good.
Both my wife and I had issues with HTC phones, so we tend to stay away from that brand. We have Galaxy SIIs right now and love them. They do drain battery life, but the optimizers out there make it last a whole lot longer. I believe the GSIII fixed some of the battery issues. So, I would recommend the GS3 or Nexus. I will say the screen size is big on the GS2, but its great for ebooks and such. Not sure how the screen compares to the Nexus or GS3.
I have both the Incredible and the Galaxy Nexus. AOSP ICS is great, but don't think you have to upgrade to get it. The Incredible is quite capable of running ICS...just check out the Evervolv alpha builds. That said, the internals of the Gnex are great. The externals, not so much. Here's to the next Nexus being manufactured by HTC with micro-arc oxidation casing!
yeah, what somebody else said: Galaxy Nexus for life. Sick battery, sick screen, sick hardware, and I have had no desire to root the device either.
What about the new Asus Padfone? anyone tried it?
nexus is quite a good deal!
I've had the Nexus since September and I think it's awesome, works great and has given me no problems.
I suggest you stick with the Galaxy Nexus or wait a long time for sgs3 on Verizon
Just got myself a Galaxy Nexus, after the past 18 months spent frequently flashing new ROMs on my HTC Desire it's nice to enjoy stock Android that I know will get prompt updates without the need to pay attention to forums.

The phone is beautiful btw.
I would get an HTC One X. I have the T-Mobile version and it's fan-bloody-tastic. Like the Samsung it has Ice Cream Sandwich, BUT.... it's lighter, has a quad-core processor, an 8MP rear facing camera, and a 1.3MP front facing camera, has 32GB internal memory standard and has a longer battery life. All in all I think it's a superior phone. I don't know about the root-ability of it as I don't do that till the warranty is up. But, I'll say again, it's awesome.
Nexus for sure an avid g+ user demands a true Google experience phone plus the aokp rom which I run is great also
And with unlock u can use Google wallet lol the guy working at jack in the box was amazed when I payed with my phone
as a gazillion others have said there is no substitute for the GNex....I too came from an Incredible. The CM9 nightlies are coming along swimmingly and there are tons of other roms out there to try. Have fun!
I just bought the HTC One X and am totally loving it.
If I were buying right now, I would definitely take a long hard look at the Samsung though. Its specs are just (only just) a bit more buff than the one X.

I do prefer the One X' design above the Galaxy though. I have the White just to show that I'm not afraid that people will call me girly. (I hide it well)

Oh, be sure to check out the One S. It may not be the flagship, but it is getting good reviews too.
I'm a bit of a Google Fan... So my choice would be the latest version of the (Google Phone) Nexus One phones. I'm pretty sure someone could eventually (if not already) hack it to run Win 95 or 98; based on the processor specs and memory alone.

So, it's probably tacky, but when your done w/ your current Phone, can I have it? Wipe all the data off of it first and any other safety precautions you'd need to do first, of course. I'm ok w/ fixing things, keeping them working. I was low on cash and put two Moto Razrs together to make a working phone again. They both had different problems. Right now I'm on a Jail Broken iPhone 3G (at least third hand before I got it and Jailbroke it.)... Needless to say, a lot of apps are starting to not update any more. :/
I am writing this from a GNex. I love it.
Galaxy Nexus is your phone of choice. You don't even have to wait for major future Android updates because a phone company has to adapt the interface or something...
I say Nexus from personal use, 25mbps and its got ALOT of development going on
Go for the Samsung Galaxy S3, it's the brand new galaxy and the previous Galaxy S2 is awesome and has served me well. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has the best hardware specs among Android Phones hands down and I'm sure you "Wil" be happy with it. ;-)
Galaxy Nexus, like so many others already said.
Paul Li
In just a few more months, galaxy s III will be making it's way to the states, just waiting for carriers to announce if they will be getting them. If you have to have it now, gnex is what you want.
I don't know if Verizon has it, but the HTC One X or the One S are great choices!
The S3 is quite underwhelming considering the hype. The development community for the One X is already working at top speed, so I'd go for that one.
+Wil Wheaton once you go to or get the nexus you never want to come back or wait till october / November for the next android flagship phone
If you come from another HTC, One X will not disappoint. Nexus is nice but it just looks outdated compared to the new HTC phones.
The Nexus is amazing, get it.
I don't know what number we're at but I second the Nexus Wil. Awesome phone.
I just made the shift from Incredible to Nexus. Totally worth it. =)
Motorola RAZR for the win
Oo, oo, I'm sure someone has mentioned the HTC Incredible 4G LTE that's coming soon to a Verizon store near you! I LOVED my Dinc, and only upgraded to the Galaxy Nexus under protest. I sort of wish I had waited for the 4G Incredible now!
I had the Nexus One... I now have the Gnex... I love them!
+Wil Wheaton does it really have to be a Verizon phone? Would it not be better to buy a phone and then just use it with your network of choice? I'm in the UK, so not sure if you have that flexibility with your providers over there.
I just got the HTC One X, but it hasn't got an easy or complete bootloader unlock yet. You can root it and flash a custom ROM, but you can't update the radio without an official update yet. It's a very capable phone, but like any new device it still has bugs - in time it will be awesome, but for now it's "just" great.
The Galaxy Nexus is the modders choice, and as people have said, you can unlock the bootloader with a basic command. It has an established custom ROM community. If you don't already, I'd recommend reading the XDA developer forums for each phone you are considering.
If you consider the HTC route, be aware that the LTE One X (aka Incredible 4G) is only dual core, not the quad Tegra 3 of the GSM version.
Is 4G really a must have? For global use, a non LTE phone may be better.
Hope that's helpful!
Sounds like Google needs to throw u that GNEX bone like they did for he who must not be named WOZ
I use a GNex as well. Biggest plus? It comes with basic Android ICS with no bloatware.

You can add or remove any app you want unlike most prepackaged software vendors put on smartphones.

I usually prefer chocolate, but in this case vanilla FTW. :)
I'm happy with the Galaxy Nexus. Also, with a "Google Experience" phone, you're bound to get OS updates early, unlike those phones with vendor added stuff.
Steer clear.

5 mp camera when 8mp is the standard on modern phones, and most importantly; No MicroSD card slot. That means you're restricted to the USB cable or OTA for data transfer exclusively. No copying files from a memory card onto your phone, or vice-versa.

Both of my Android devices have Micro SD card slots, and I wouldn't buy one without it.
Good choice, bought my GSM Galaxy Nexus about half a year ago and haven't regretted it even once :)
I would go the galaxy S II (or perhaps the S III if you can wait that long). From the research I have done the S II battery life is better.
Get the Nexus. As long as the size is OK for you, you will be happy with that phone. At least I am :-)
I suppose it really depends on what you want to do with your "phone". Most Android phones are relatively trivial to unlock and root these days (if you follow the instructions very carefully). Personally I would look more at the specs of the machine (screen size, resolution, RAM, CPU, storage & battery) and decide.

And the SG Nexus is pretty damn good on all those specs! :D
Xperia s is awesome teamed with the smartwatch rock on
Wil... go for the Galaxy s3... its hugely popular (see the presales numbers..10 MILLION by July) so that means alot of development on the MOD/root/jailbreak side.  It smokes everything out there on the market and if you do it before 6/28/12 you keep your unlimited win
I have the galaxy note 2 and I love it. I don't like the next us. It never lived up to it's expectations. ...
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