In the wee hours of last night (or just after breakfast if you live in Hong Kong), Google's Andy Rubin and Samsung's JK Shin launched the latest version of Android – Ice Cream Sandwich – running on the equally shiny and new Galaxy Nexus handset.
Galaxy Nexus Face Unlock and Android Beam
The 1.2GHz dual-core handset has a stonking great 4.65-inch Super AMOLED screen and a couple of swanky new features. Face Unlock uses the phone’s ‘redesigned’ camera to, you guessed it, unlock the handset, while Android Beam harnesses NFC to share contacts, web pages, maps and even apps with nearby Android devices.
Galaxy Nexus Screen
The Galaxy Nexus is the first outing for Samsung’s High Definition Super AMOLED screen, boasting 1280x720-pixel resolution that wouldn’t have been out of place on a 32-inch flatscreen a couple of years back. Samsung is also claiming the world’s best contrast ratio (100,000:1) and fastest response time (0.01ms).
Galaxy Nexus Build
The design sports a 8.94mm skinniness and a 4.29mm bezel, with a slip-resistant back and no hardware buttons – all navigation is done within the screen, on soft buttons nicked straight from Honeycomb (including that cool multi-tasking control to open recent apps).
Galaxy Nexus Camera
The 5MP camera has near-zero shutter lag, 1080p recording and enough advanced features to have Canon and Nikon quaking, including time-lapse videos, continuous capture panorama, face focusing and video snapshots. For the nautically and meteorologically inclined, there is also an on-board barometer.
When it comes to comms, Samsung is hedging its 4G bets, offering the Galaxy Nexus in both LTE and HSPA+ flavours. Three in the UK will offer the HSPA+ version in time for its network upgrade at the end of the year. The phone starts shipping worldwide in November and will be the only Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) device to launch in 2011.
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