Galaxy Nexus and HTC Rezound would both be excellent choices as gifts if you can afford the $300 on contract price. That's assuming the Galaxy Nexus will cost as much as the Rezound because, like the Droid Razr, it will be one of Verizon's flagship smartphones. As great as the Rezound looks on paper, unless the Nexus comes out with a higher price tag, Nexus would be a better gift. That's because it has a larger screen, but also because it will be debuting the all new Android 4.0 update that so many Android enthusiasts are licking their chops for.
Galaxy Nexus is Google's phone, so it was tailor made, so to speak, for the Android 4.0 experience. The new update is more than just fixing a few bugs because Google has added many new features and changed more than a few things completely. It also has a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display compared to Rezound's 4.3-inch Super LCD qHD screen. However, Rezound's display is gorgeous because it has super high pixel density. In fact, it has the highest ppi (341 compared to iPhone's 326) and that means sharper images with less distortion. Rezound's main selling point is that it features the Dr. Dre inspired Beats Audio system that is integrated right into the device. It even comes with a free pair of Beats Audio ear buds. Coupled with its super thin build and eight megapixel camera, and Rezound is a flashy little guy for sure.
But, the Galaxy Nexus gets the recommendation here because it comes with Android 4.0 installed and because it is a pure Google experience. What that means is, there isn't any manufacturer overlay software that gets between you and Android. Verizon may add some of its apps, but they shouldn't be too intrusive or slow the device down. Rezound on the other hand won't get the Android 4.0 update for a couple of months (no one knows when) and it has the HTC Sense overlay on top of Android. Sense is supposed to make the phone easier to use, but if you compare Android at full volume, if you will, on the Galaxy Nexus, to Sense, Android wins. In reality, Sense won't bother most people, but the power of Android is that it is so customizable, and that freedom will be quite pronounced on the Galaxy Nexus. Tell us in the comments if you are waffling between these two or any other smartphones.