Google and Samsung's event in Hong Kong just ended, and Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus are official. Ice Cream Sandwich is the marriage of Android OS 2.x for phones and 3.0 Honeycomb for tablets in terms of UI, but it's a lot more than that. New features include an unlock screen that uses the front camera to recognize your face and unlock the phone, a new People app that replaces contacts and Gallery on steroids.
The People app has serious social networking integration and reminds us of Windows Phone 7, as do the new pervasive side-swiping gestures in the built-in apps to access additional related screens of info. NFC is put to use for more than mobile payments, and you'll be able to use it to "Android Beam". That means sharing contacts, URLs, apps and more with folks physically close to you.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google's new flagship device, will be the first to run Ice Cream Sandwich. It has a 1280 x 720 pixel Super AMOLED display that measures 4.65 inches. The phone has a very small bezel and the usual Android buttons are gone, so the phone isn't that much bigger than the current Samsung Galaxy S II. It has a front camera and a rear 5MP camera with Ice Cream Sandwich's new panorama feature and fast shot times.
It has a dual core 1.2GHz CPU, LTE 4G (HSPA+ for some markets outside the US), and is curved (reminiscent of the Nexus S). It's only 8.84mm thick-- it couldn't quite beat the Droid Razr in the skinny department.
The Galaxy Nexus will be available in the U.S., Europe, and Asia beginning in November and gradually rolled out to other global markets.
Galaxy Nexus specs:
HSPA+ 21Mbps/HSUPA 5.76Mbps 850/900/1900/1700/2100
EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 *LTE version will be available depending on the region.
1.2 GHz Dual Core Processor
4.65" 1280X720 HD Super AMOLED
Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
Main(Rear) : 5 MP AF with LED Flash with zero shutter lag and fast shot2shot
Sub (Front) : 1.3MP for Video Call
Codec : MPEG4/H.263/H.264
Playback : 1080p @30fps
Recording : 1080p Full HD Video @30fps
Codec : MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+
3.5mm Ear Jack
Android Market Gmail, Google Earth, YouTube, Movie Studio
Google Maps 5.0 with 3D maps and turn-by-turn navigation
Syncing with Google Calendar, Google+ app
Bluetooth technology v 3.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/ 5GHz)
Accelerometer, Compass, Gyro, Light, Proximity, Barometer
1GB(RAM) + 16GB/ 32GB Internal memory
135.5 x 67.94 x 8.94mm, 135g
Standard battery, Li-on 1,750 mAh
For more info about Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, visit www.android.com
For more info about the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, visit http://www.google.com/nexus/
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview
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