Google, Samsung unveil Android 4.0-based Galaxy Nexus

Google, Samsung unveil Android 4.0-based Galaxy Nexus

Summary: Google and Samsung unveil new details about the first device to run the next version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) live from Hong Kong.

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TOPICS: Samsung, Google
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As announced last week, Google and Samsung held a special media event in Hong Kong dedicated to Android 4.0, a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich.

But more than that, the companies that previously partnered on the Samsung Google Nexus S unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, running on the newest version of Android -- the first optimized for both tablets and smartphones at the same time.

The dual-core processor powered device, which has been designed for both HSPA+ and LTE networks depending on market locale and consumer demand, is touted by Samsung execs to offer the "defining premium user experience."

That starts with the color, 4.65-inch HD, Super AMOLED contoured display, which Kevin Packingham of Samsung Mobile boasted has more colors than any TV available today.

Google's senior vice president of mobile Andy Rubin was also on hand for the event, and he touted that the Galaxy Nexus was created based on three principles: simplicity, beauty, and "going beyond smart." He added that that the Galaxy Nexus should act like "your cell phone acting on your behalf" thanks to the power of the cloud.

Previously referred to as the Nexus Prime, the Galaxy Nexus is 4.29mm thin with a soft, textured Hyperskin grip material on the backside. Packingham asserted that while the screen is larger than any smartphone we've seen before, the Galaxy Nexus will fit naturally in the hand and feel "weightless."

That display really does blur the boundaries between smartphones and tablets as the Galaxy Nexus features a buttonless-design on the front -- meaning that this phone drops the usual three or four buttons we typically see on Android handhelds. Instead, those buttons are integrated into the Ice Cream Sandwich UI, and the icons can rotate or even hide, especially when watching videos.

As far as Ice Cream Sandwich goes, the UI changes truly start with a brand new start/unlock screen. But beyond that, the most notable new feature is Face Unlock, which essentially is a face recognition security feature that literally knows the user's face.

Although this didn't work out much during the demo presentation at the HK event, such a feature could prove more useful that Apple's Siri, which, although in beta mode still, is still riddled with errors and confusing responses for the most part.

Again, Face Unlock will only prove useful if it actually works in practice, so maybe both of these revolutionary functions (Siri and Face Unlock) need some time to develop.

Pricing will depend on the region and carrier, but the Galaxy Nexus will start shipping in November. However, the SDK for Ice Cream Sandwich is available immediately.

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Topics: Samsung, Google

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13 comments
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  • RE: Google, Samsung unveil Android 4.0-based Galaxy Nexus

    And in less than 12 hours...the Droid Razr is already obsolete. :)
    jmiller1978
    • RE: Google, Samsung unveil Android 4.0-based Galaxy Nexus

      @jmiller1978 it was obsolete as soon as they called it the RAZR
      Larry Dignan
      • Moto RAZR ... worst phone I ever owned.

        @Larry Dignan Replaced 3 times while under warranty and the last one, the battery life went from acceptable to dead if I don't recharge every night. Before I replace it, the battery life was so bad, that I had to plug the phone to have a call for more than 10 mins.

        And lets not forget the fact that I could not charge and use a bluetooth headset at the same time.

        Worst piece of garbage I ever made a mistake of purchasing.
        wackoae
      • RE: Google, Samsung unveil Android 4.0-based Galaxy Nexus

        @Larry Dignan That is hilarious but I have to agree!
        slickjim
  • Galaxy Nexus will be my next phone.

    if and only if it's available for Sprint. :)

    I'm talking only in Florida if Tallahassee, Altha (west of Tallahassee), Daytona Beach, and Orlando supports LTE.

    Note though that I'm not a fan of AT&T and Verizon.

    Hmm... I wonder what if there are any options besides AT&T if I really want Galaxy Nexus?
    Grayson Peddie
    • Sprint is HORRIBLE in Florida

      @Grayson Peddie I have no idea why you want it in Sprint, when it is the WORST of all in Florida. There are like 1000 dead zones in I-4 alone and you would be lucky to get 1 bar when driving on the Turnpike.
      wackoae
  • Slight Step back from GS II

    The Nexus is a Slight step back specification wise from the Galaxy S2. But I am more interested in the OS. If ICS is a radical make over from Gingerbread, with a far more polished UI than the current Nexus (this has vanilla Droid UI), then it will be worth it. Also, calling it a iPhone competitor can't be fully justified. If and when the Galaxy S2 receives the ICS update, then we may have a true competitor to the iPhone 4s. Again- assuming the UI has been polished and some of the Android fragmentation has been checked.
    ishraque84
  • If Android 4 is 'beyond smart', then Siri is 'smart to infinity and beyond'

    Seriously, these meaningless and essentially wrong marketing tag lines are tiresome.
    DDERSSS
  • RE: Google, Samsung unveil Android 4.0-based Galaxy Nexus

    I have trawled the web since the release this morning and I still can't find a definitive answer as to whether Android 4 will work on Samsung Galaxy SII? I also don't see any definitive release date. Does anyone have the definitive answers to these questions?
    rians
    • Simple answer ... NO

      @rians Samsung is notorious for NOT providing updates.
      wackoae
  • Rachel King and her editors need to learn how to proofread an article.

    Misuse of "that".<br><br>"such a feature could prove more useful that Apples Siri"
    cromero2
  • RE: Google, Samsung unveil Android 4.0-based Galaxy Nexus

    I'm afraid I have priapism after seeing this phone. Way nice phone.
    wuboyblue
  • Verizon Exclusive.. REALLY?!

    What the heck Samsung?! I'm personally tired of all of this Exclusive Release garb.. Do they not realize as a company they would make MORE money doing a multiple carrier release. I'm tired of not having the "right" carrier to get good new technology.. Samsung needs to spread the love and Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and every other bloody carrier we have in this country need to STEP UP!..
    dutch09