Every so often, Google releases a new device under their Nexus brand. Far from just being a new Android phone, the Nexus devices are supposed to set the precedent for future Android hardware and software, which is why their release often coincides with a new version of the Android operating system.
The Samsung made Galaxy Nexus is the third Nexus device, preceded by the HTC Nexus One and the Samsung Nexus S. It represents a major upgrade in terms of both specifications and software over the previous generations, including hardware like a dual-core processor and 720p display. However, this hardware is simply there to highlight the latest software, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Android 4.0 represents a major revamp in both the look and function of Android, and a new and exciting direction for the operating system.
There certainly is a lot at stake here for Google, so just head on past the break for our first look and unboxing of Verizon's LTE variant of Android's latest flagship hardware.
Plain seems to have been the goal when designing the outside of the Galaxy Nexus's box, so much so that the entire packaging is pure white on the outside. In fact, it is so simply a pure white rectangle that I don't even feel the need to include an image. Suffice it to say that the box is well built to protect the phone, and let's move on.
Once you open the box, the Galaxy Nexus is displayed prominently in the center as usual, as you can see on the right in the above image. Underneath the device, you will find all of the included accessories on the left.
Verizon includes all of the minimum standard accessories like the booklets no one reads, a USB cable, and an AC adapter. Headphones are a pleasant surprise, and while they are sure to be of mediocre quality, including them certainly doesn't hurt.
The Galaxy Nexus itself has the standard slab of glass on the front, and thanks to the lack of capacitive buttons the look is only broken by the earpiece and front facing camera. Design cues are taken from the Nexus S in the curved or "contour" glass, and while the effect is less pronounced on the Galaxy Nexus it is certainly still there.
The back of the Galaxy Nexus is actually one of the best I have seen on a Samsung device. Instead of feeling cheap and plasticky, the panel feels quite solid and the texture is good. As the removable battery door is only the textured part you see above and not the entire back panel, creaking and movement are also minimized.
From what I can tell so far, the Galaxy Nexus is a great piece of hardware by Samsung. Ice Cream Sandwich, though, brings a whole plethora of new changes and features, and it's going to take some time for me to sift through everything that's going on. First impressions are good, but stay tuned for the full review sometime next week.