First Impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Android 40

First Impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Android 40

The release of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone marks the debut of Google’s Android 4.0 mobile operating system; saddled with the unfortunate moniker, Ice Cream Sandwich. Verizon Wireless is the carrier of choice for the Nexus in the United States, with the smartphone fully capable of accessing Big Red’s 4G LTE network where available.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Specifications

  • 1.2 GHz Dual Core Processor
  • 1GB On-board RAM
  • Installed 32GB microSD Card
  • 4.65-inch Super AMOLED Touchscreen
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Dual Cameras with up to 5 Megapixel Resolution
  • HD Video Capture Capabilities
  • Bluetooth and WiFi Connectivity
  • Android Market License
  • Google+ Integration
  • 2 Year Contract Price: $299 with Data Plan

The Galaxy Nexus is a state of the art smartphone, making it the perfect launch device for Android 4.0. Its $299 contract price means frugal shoppers might want to check out a more inexpensive Android phone, like the Samsung Illusion.

The Nexus is a Powerful Android Phone

A powerful antenna allows the Galaxy Nexus minimal problem when accessing Verizon’s 4G LTE network if present. Some 4G smartphones from Verizon have occasional difficulty maintaining a connection to 4G, but not the Nexus.

The 4.65-inch capacitive touchscreen sports a sharp and bright Super AMOLED display capable of resolutions up to 1280 x 760. Both on-board cameras perform HD video capture, with the rear-facing unit capable of a full HD video resolution of 1080p.

Bluetooth 3.0 and WiFi connectivity provide seamless personal networking, and the device also supports a host of Bluetooth profiles for many functions. The Nexus’s battery lasts nearly 12 hours during standard usage.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich in Action

A first look at Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) reveals the lessons Google learned with their tablet centric Honeycomb operating system dovetail nicely onto the smaller footprint of a smartphone. The animated backgrounds and 3D graphics effects give the Nexus a look that makes iOS and older Android phones seem dated.

Since Google is attempting to fight Facebook’s social network dominance, Ice Cream Sandwich features tight integration with Google+. The Android Market is also fully licensed, so users have access to nearly 300,000 apps for download in addition to the standard collection of preloaded software. The included web browser works great, especially when connected to WiFi or Verizon’s 4G LTE network.

Anyone in the market for a new smartphone needs to check out the Galaxy Nexus in action. The latest version of Android raises the bar in mobile operating systems, so expect Apple’s next version of iOS to sport similar interface improvements.