With every new generational jump in Android OS, Google likes to present the OS with a “flagship” device, not necessarily a “Nexus” device, but something substantial. Android 1.0 began with the G1 – a T-Mobile Exclusive device and the first Android phone on the market. Android 2.0 brought in the Motorola Droid, heavily advertised by the exclusive carrier Verizon and began a huge influx of new customers thanks in part to the OS, the advertising and the network. Android 3.0 was a bit if a different breed in that instead of a phone, the “flagship” device was a tablet made by Motorola called the Xoom. Finally, Android 4.0, the latest major Android iteration out the door will be ushered in with the Samsung built Galaxy Nexus.
Of course, along the way, other minor updates have also received Google’s special attention with the first of the Nexus devices. The Nexus One phone was brought in around Android 2.1 and was meant to help show hardware developers what Google was expecting to help boost the technology. That was later followed by the Nexus S and Android 2.3. With each new phone and each new OS release, Google is actively raising the bar for hardware manufacturers. While Google themselves don’t build devices (yet) they team up with the manufacturers to build Google imagined devices. The Galaxy Nexus looks to be a prime example.
The Galaxy Nexus will be the first phone to come pre-installed with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. The latest OS brings a number of enhancements not only under the screen, but on the screen as well. The UI has been heavily revamped bringing a merger of Android 2.3 and Android 3.X together. The system font has changed, the icons and methods for displaying information has evolved. The OS has a number of additional features that are not at first apparent, but will help expand the capabilities of the OS as a true multi-device OS. It should help app developers create a single app for multiple devices with minimal tweaking. Features such as “Face Unlock” and Android Beam are neat tricks that provide additional features.
The device itself will be a powerful 1.2Ghz dual-core device with a large HD 1280×720 resolution screen. The
8MP 5MP camera around the back is said to be very fast, excellent in low-light and very high quality. Android OS added some additional features to the software side of the camera app to provide better photos as well, including a new built in panorama feature. The phone is scheduled to release in both an LTE version and a GSM/HSDPA version. In the US, Verizon Wireless is the only carrier to announce it will sell the phone, an LTE version at that. The GSM/HSDPA version should carry all the 3G/4G frequencies for both AT&T and T-Mobile here in the US as well, so there is a good chance it will eventually make it’s way to those carriers. Of course, if you can’t wait, ordering the international version might be an option.
Most the pre-sale reviews and reports are painting a very pretty picture, with just a few downfalls. The phone will not have a microSD card for additional storage and come in two versions 16GB and 32GB. I think Google is really looking to push most content to the cloud. The screen, while HD at 1280×720 and a Super AMOLED variety is said to be of the pentile variety, meaning that each pixel is not RGB, but neighboring pixels share certain subpixels. I personally have an Atrix 4G at this time with pentile 960×540 and in my opinion the screen is excellent.
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