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Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich: It’s Official

Lack of mechanical buttons, sleek new UI highlight the new device

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Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich: It’s Official
[ Technology]

After weeks of speculation, the Google/Samsung mobile event lived up to its promise and delivered on both the hardware and the software that everyone wanted.

At the Hong Kong event (taking place last night for those of us in the West), the new Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS was unveiled, as was its flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (previously referred to as the Nexus Prime).

The Galaxy Nexus (seen above), is the new member of the Google phone lineage. It lives up to many of the specs that have been rumored for some time including a 4.65 inch screen, 1GB RAM and a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor.

That giant screen is a Super AMOLED true HD experience – running at 1280×720 resolution. By all hands-on accounts, it’s one of the most gorgeous looking screens on the market.

As far as the camera goes, it’s a 5 megapixel device with an instant shutter (like the iPhones 4S). You can shoot 1080p HD video with the Galaxy Nexus.

It’s a thin phone, measuring 8.84mm thick (and 4.29 mm bezel) and has a new, sleek feel as there are no mechanical buttons – everything is built into the touch surface, including the home button. The device comes equipped with NFC capabilities, which not only sets the stage for mobile payments but allows for the Android Beam feature – a way for users to share apps, videos, contacts and more by “bumping” their Nexus with another Nexus. It’s also a 4G phone, as promised.

But one of the biggest draws of the Galaxy Nexus is in the software – the all new Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Google sought to create an OS that would function equally as well of tablets as mobile devices, a Gingerbread-Honeycomb on steroids. Here’s what they have added –

With Ice Cream Sandwich, our mission was to build a mobile OS that works on both phones and tablets, and to make the power of Android enticing and intuitive. We created a new font that’s optimized for HD displays and eliminated all hardware buttons in favor of adaptable software buttons. We also dramatically improved the keyboard, made notifications more interactive and created resizable widgets.

ICS also updates the tab manager, inbox browsing and has cleaned up the calendar function. The OS integrates Google+ photos into the People app, which is the new contacts system for ICS. The all new interface also sports a brand new font, designed by Google, called “Roboto.”

Android Ice Cream Sandwich had also introduced a phone unlocking feature that uses facial recognition. Like Apple’s new voice assistant service Siri, time will indeed tell how effective the “Face Unlock” function really is.

With Apple’s new iPhone 4S (with the new iOS 5) selling like crazy and Motorola just unveiling their impressive new beast of a phone yesterday, Google and Samsung look to have made a huge splash with the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich.

Both the phone and the new OS will become available in November.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich: It’s Official
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