After much waiting and rumoring, what has been called the Nexus Prime, Droid Prime, and the Samsung Prime is now official, and it will be called the Galaxy Nexus. Google detailed this flagship device, as well as Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, at its event in Hong Kong last night and have now updated its product page with nearly full information.
As we expected, the Galaxy Nexus will come packed with stellar hardware, like a 4.65-inch 720p SAMOLED display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4G LTE and HSPA+, NFC, 1080p 5MP rear and 2MP front camera, and all in nearly iPhone-thin thickness of 8.84mm.
Google emphasized the minimal bezel in the design facilitated by the software buttons in ICS as well as the retention of the curved or "contour" display of the Nexus S. Overall, I think that this both the specifications and industrial design look great, and I am sure this is the piece of hardware many have been waiting for.
On the software side, the Galaxy Nexus will be the first smartphone running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of the OS which was announced today along with the phone. Among the highlights of the new OS is a totally revamped UI which matches previous leaks, face unlock, and something that has been a gripe of many users, a new camera application with panorama support.
Ice Cream Sandwich also includes an improved voice recognition engine, as well as voice typing for any text field. While not directly competing with Siri, it should allow developers to make their own Siri-like apps more precise. A feature that will be Nexus only for now is Beam, a utility which allows users to share videos, contacts, pictures, and more via NFC.
While the Galaxy Nexus is great, many people are probably wondering how they can get their hands on Ice Cream Sandwich. Unfortunately, Google said little about this in the presentation, and the only other device we know will be getting it is the Nexus S. For other devices, all we have to go on is that the full source code will be released, so you can expect to see custom ROMs for a number of devices.
For now, the Galaxy Nexus will only be available on Verizon in the US, but other carriers are supposedly coming soon. No pricing was announced, but hopefully Google and Verizon keep the contract price under $200. To be notified when more information about the release is available, just sign up at Google's official page.[Google Nexus official via Android Central]