updated 10:25 pm EDT, Tue October 18, 2011
Google and Samsung make Nexus
Google and Samsung at their joint Hong Kong event unveiled the Galaxy Nexus. The new flagship is the first Android 4.0 phone and is a showcase for the platform: it drops physical navigation buttons in favor of all touch and borrows the visual multitasking as well as other elements. Google+ is now built into a Windows Phone-like People Hub, and the NFC inside can now be used to share data between phones through Android Beam.
Other additions include post-shot photo editing and a Face Unlock feature that lets users access the phone just by looking at it., Chrome Sync for browser bookmark syncing, and revamped core apps with much more visually rich, easily comprehensible menus. Gallery now includes post-shot photo editing, and users can snap panorama shots just by sweeping the phone.
A heavily modified version of Samsung's Galaxy S II HD LTE, its cornerstone is a 720x1280, 4.65-inch curved Super AMOLED screen in a design that's still just over 8.9mm thick. A dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP4460 chip like that in the Droid RAZR powers the phone, along with 1GB of RAM, but an extra highlight is the back camera. Samsung is using just a five-megapixel sensor but promises "zero shutter lag," much like what Apple is doing with the iPhone 4S.
A "pogo pin" connector lets users dock the phone on its side and both charge up as well as get access to docking apps.
Asia, Europe, and North America are getting the phone in November with 16GB and 32GB versions as options. Verizon and certain other carriers will get a full LTE version, while others will get a pentaband HSPA+ model. Verizon's model hasn't been mentioned, but is expected to cost $300 on a contract.