Samsung and Google Unveil Galaxy Nexus The First Android 4.0 Based Smartphone

Submitted by lalit on October 19, 2011 - 11:36am.

Samsung and Google unveiled the new Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the first phone designed for the latest release of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The new phone comes with dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED HD screen, 5-megapixel camera, 1.3-megapixel front camera, 1GB RAM, 16GB or 32GB onboard storage, LTE, HSPA+, WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC and microSD card slot. The phone is designed around a curved glass display and is 8.9mm (0.35-inch) thick with a 1,750-mAh battery.

Even though the hardware specs of the new Galaxy Nexus are impressive it’s the software side Android 4.0 that everyone has been waiting for. Google says with Ice Cream Sandwich their mission was to build a mobile OS that works on both phones and tablets, and to make Android simple and intuitive. Some of the key new features and improvement Google added to Android 4.0 are:

Refined UI: Google created a new font that is optimized for HD display and also eliminated all hardware buttons in favor of adaptable software buttons. Multitasking is made easier and more visual with thumbnail images of apps used recently – tapping a thumbnail switches to the app. Notifications are more interactive, users can now swipe to dismiss individual notifications, apps from the recent apps list and browser tabs lists. The new Favorites tray gives instant access to your favorite apps, shortcuts, folders and other priority items.

Resizable widgets: Android 4.0 gives access to customizable widgets that can embed live application content directly on home screens. Interactive widgets let users check email, flip through a calendar, play music, check social streams, and more — right from the home screen, without having to launch apps. Widgets are resizable, so users can expand them to show more content or shrink them to save space.

Powerful Voice Engine: Android 4.0 introduces a powerful new voice input engine that offers a continuous "open microphone" experience and streaming voice recognition. The new voice input engine lets users dictate the text they want, for as long as they want, using the language they want. Users can speak continuously for a prolonged time, even pausing for intervals if needed, and dictate punctuation to create correct sentences. As the voice input engine enters text, it underlines possible dictation errors in gray. After dictating, users can tap the underlined words to quickly replace them from a list of suggestions.

People App: It offers richer profile information, including a large profile picture, phone numbers, addresses and accounts, status updates, and a new button for connecting on integrated social networks. The app supports various social services like Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Improved Camera Capabilities: The camera app includes new features like continuous focus, zero shutter lag, stabilized image zoom, tap to focus, face detection and single motion panorama mode. It also allows editing and sharing of images.

Faster Web Browser: Android Browser has improved page rendering performance through update version of the Webkit core and the V8 Crankshaft compilation engine for JavaScript. Android 4.0 browser showed an improvement of nearly 220% over the Android 2.3 browser in the V8 Benchmark Suite and more than 35% in the SunSpider 9.1 JavaScript Benchmark. When run on a Galaxy Nexus device, the Android 4.0 browser showed improvement of nearly 550% in the V8 benchmark and nearly 70% in the SunSpider benchmark.

Android Beam: It is a features for sharing across two NFC-enabled devices. It lets people instantly exchange favorite apps, contacts, music, videos — almost anything. It’s incredibly simple and convenient to use — there’s no menu to open, application to launch, or pairing needed. Just touch one Android-powered phone to another, then tap to send.

Face Unlock: It is a new screen-lock option that lets users unlock their devices with their faces. It takes advantage of facial recognition technology to register a face and to recognize it later when unlocking the device. Users just hold their devices in front of their faces to unlock.

The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will initially be able only on the new Galaxy Nexus phone announced today. It will come to other device by end of this year. Galaxy Nexus will be available in US, Canada, Europe and Asia starting in November. You can get more information about the new device on Nexus website. Check out the introductory video below.