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Google, Samsung unveil Galaxy Nexus phone running Android 4.0

post #1 of 175
Thread Starter 
Google and Samsung announced on Wednesday the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the first device to feature the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich release.

Unveiled by the two companies in Hong Kong, the new handset will sport a 4.65-inch Super HD AMOLED display with 1280 x 720 resolution, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, NFC and a 5-megapixel rear camera. The Galaxy Nexus sports 4G LTE connectivity and an HSPA+ version, depending on the region.

Samsung and Google had originally planned a launch event for Oct. 11, just one week after the unveiling of the iPhone 4S. That event, however, was postponed, reportedly out of respect for the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

The Galaxy Nexus is now set to launch in the U.S., Europe and Asia starting in November.

Google first teased its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update in May. The release is meant to reunite the Honeycomb tablet-specific variant with the smartphone-oriented Gingerbread.



The Mountain View, Calif., software company has promised "an entirely new look and feel to Android" with version 4.0. During Wednesday's event, Android mastermind and Google executive Andy Rubin highlighted three defining characteristics of Android: ease of use, beauty, and "beyond smart" cloud capabilities.

However, presenters during the event experienced some minor hiccups. For instance, Android's new "Face Unlock" feature failed to recognize Google's Matias Duarte, as noted by Engadget.



Google also demonstrated a new "Android Beam" feature in Ice Cream Sandwich on Wednesday. Android Beam makes use of NFC chips to offer tap-to-share functionality to share information including contact information, webpages, people cards and "a bunch of other things." The software giant plans to quickly release an API to allow developers to take advantage of Beam in their third-party applications.

The Galaxy Nexus will serve as one of the first challengers to Apple's just-released iPhone 4S. Apple appears to have an instant hit on its hands, as sales of the device topped four million in the first three days of availability.

"In our wildest dreams, we couldn't have got off to a better start than we did with the iPhone 4S," CEO Tim Cook said during an earnings conference call on Tuesday, noting that he is confident that Apple will "set an all-time record for iPhones" in the coming quarter.

Apple currently holds the top spot among global smartphone makers, but Samsung comes in as a close second.

In addition to being fierce rivals, Apple and Samsung have become locked in an embittered legal dispute. As of late, Apple appears to have gained the upper hand, after back-to-back victories against Samsung in Germany and Australia.
post #2 of 175
Why release ice cream or whatever on a phone worse than the galaxy s2 and WORSE than the iPhone. Seems like a slow release. The razor 2.0 seems like a better phone to do this on...
post #3 of 175
The announcement is still going on if anybody wants to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/android
post #4 of 175
Duarte's face wasn't recognized.. Too much make-up? Or just ugly?
post #5 of 175
Extending the screen into the space dedicated buttons used to use is brilliant. Bigger screen, similar physical dimensions.
post #6 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by pooman625 View Post

Why release ice cream or whatever on a phone worse than the galaxy s2 and WORSE than the iPhone. Seems like a slow release. The razor 2.0 seems like a better phone to do this on...

The phone specs look pretty good to me.
Galaxy Nexus
Network HSPA+ 21 850/900/1900/1700/2100; 850/900/1800/1900 EDGE/GPRS (LTE will be available depending on region)
Processor1.2GHz dual-core processor
Display: 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED
OS:Android Ice Cream sandwich
Cameras:Rear cam: 5-megapixel, Front cam: 1.3-megapixel for video call
Video: Playback and recording at 1080p (30fps, MPEG-4/h.263/h.264)
Connectivity:Bluetooth 3.0, USB, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, NFC
Sensors: Accelerometer, compass, gyro, light, proximity, barometer
Memory: 1GB ram + 16/32GB storage
Battery: 1750mah standard battery
Size: 135.5 x 67.94 x 8.94; 135g
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Or just ugly?

Really?
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post #7 of 175
I'm not going to lie, excluding the apparently terrible facial recognition lock () I've been REALLY impressed with Android 4.0 so far. It's an interesting fusion of Honeycomb, Gingerbread, and WP7 tile-y style. And dat screen .
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post #8 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicNReason View Post

I'm not going to lie, excluding the apparently terrible facial recognition lock () I've been REALLY impressed with Android 4.0 so far. It's an interesting fusion of Honeycomb, Gingerbread, and WP7 tile-y style. And dat screen .

They might as well copy from WP7 now. It has a lot of great UI elements and MS is already getting paid plenty from Android-based devices.
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post #9 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They might as well copy from WP7 now. It has a lot of great UI elements and MS is already getting paid plenty from Android-based devices.

Well played sir
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post #10 of 175
I like this addition



"When you get a call you can choose to decline the call, or just swipe up to automatically respond with one of a few pre-defined messages -- polite screening, as it were."

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post #11 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They might as well copy from WP7 now. It has a lot of great UI elements and MS is already getting paid plenty from Android-based devices.

A WP7 software clone running on an iPhone hardware clone? I think the world would probably cease to exist!
post #12 of 175
I hope a user experience in 4.0 will be better then youtube's streaming quality.
post #13 of 175
I wish I had more time to futz around with Android. I just don't. It might be cool, at least from the perspective of knowing what is going on in the Android ecosystem. Of course it might be interesting to know what is going on with the city sanitation department, but I don't have time for that either.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #14 of 175
Android now has screen capture, just like iOS. How innovative.

Android now has an innovative folder function. You drag one app on top of another, and a folder is created.

Also, big fail on that Face recognition demo.

I look forward to seeing the tv commercials invade my tv stations for this phone. Probably some teenage kid sitting in a spaceship or something, with lightening effects in the background and swooshing sound fx.
post #15 of 175
what percent of the existing hardware running android will be able to upgrade?
post #16 of 175
I caught the tail end of it. Honestly the new Android looks very slick. It's good to have Google and Apple pushing each other like this.
post #17 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The phone specs look pretty good to me.
Galaxy Nexus
Network HSPA+ 21 850/900/1900/1700/2100; 850/900/1800/1900 EDGE/GPRS (LTE will be available depending on region)
Processor1.2GHz dual-core processor
Display: 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED
OS:Android Ice Cream sandwich
Cameras:Rear cam: 5-megapixel, Front cam: 1.3-megapixel for video call
Video: Playback and recording at 1080p (30fps, MPEG-4/h.263/h.264)
Connectivity:Bluetooth 3.0, USB, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, NFC
Sensors: Accelerometer, compass, gyro, light, proximity, barometer
Memory: 1GB ram + 16/32GB storage
Battery: 1750mah standard battery
Size: 135.5 x 67.94 x 8.94; 135g

Really?

Specs for spec is always half the story.
post #18 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They might as well copy from WP7 now. It has a lot of great UI elements and MS is already getting paid plenty from Android-based devices.

A lot of the design language was already present in Android. They just made it more consistent. I actually see a lot of WebOS influences too. That's probably Duarte.
post #19 of 175
"Cut, copy, and paste is improved and made consistent across the OS."

I think it's warranted for people to jibe Android about this since iOS 3.0 received this in 2009.


"Folders are now "dead simple to make." Now you just drop one icon onto another and it makes a folder. You can then rename it and re-order the icons however you like."

I didn't know that was more complicated before ICS.


""Galaxy Nexus has no buttons" -- it's part of the UI. He's saying "virtual buttons are more useful.""

What an amazing paradigm shift in such a few short years.


"We started by looking at every screen and thinking about it like a magazine layout. We wanted something relevant, emotional, and we looked to the latest trends in graphics design to insprie us."

That sounds like a good idea to me.


"Meet Robato. It's a totally new typeface for Android -- modern yet approachable. It was built from scratch for high-definition paper density displays."

I'm not sure I like that font but I'm glad to see them adding fonts… but is that it? Doesn't iOS 5.0 contain 58 fonts and Android 3.x only have 3 fonts?
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post #20 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The phone specs look pretty good to me.

Specs? Really?

Did you forget your sarcasm tag?
post #21 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Specs? Really?

Did you forget your sarcasm tag?

Not at all. Based on the comment I responded to I assumed he was saying that this device was 'worse' in it's ability to deal with a comparable mobile OS.
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post #22 of 175
I'm actually only slightly disappointed with the new Nexus (lackluster gpu and camera) but everything else is pretty impressive. Wish they'd talked more about the under the hood improvements like graphics accelerated UI (FINALLY!) and the speedier browser
post #23 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Specs for spec is always half the story.

Agreed. For once, Google has focused less on hardware specs and undertaken a serious effort on the software side.

I don't see anything super-innovative. What I do see are a ton of UI improvements. This will almost make Android as consistent to use as iOS or WP7. And that's a good thing. It's a lot of little improvements. I remember a DED article for example, a while back, talking about hardware button 'fragmentation'. This problem is now solved with all the key buttons now being softkeys. Swipe to unlock camera. Instant speech dictation. Synched bookmarks with Google Chrome. Incognito mode like Google Chrome. Save webpages for later. Etc. These are all little things that will go a long way to improving the user experience on a day-to-day basis without individually being any sort of knockout.
post #24 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Display: 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED

Here is something I don't quite understand. Many people seem to clamor for a 720p screen on their cell phone. But, according to stuff I've read on home theater forums it makes no sense to buy an HDTV less than (I think) 32". The reason is that below that size the pixels are so small that the human eye can't make out the extra detail that HD provides. I can't say I've tested this myself but it does make sense that the smaller the screen the less you will see.

Looked at from another direction, I also read that when Transformers 2 was released they actually had a different version that played in IMAX. It showed the same scenes but with much more detail because IMAX rez was capable of showing so much more.

So, if HD detail is lost by anything under a 32" screen, why should we care if a tiny (by comparison) cell phone screen is in "HD"?

Now that I think of it, I would like to see an HD version of a movie playing on an iPhone directly next to an iPhone playing an SD version of the same movie to see if I can see the difference.
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post #25 of 175
The "magazine" inspired interface really looks gorgeous. I love the People app as well as people sharing window. This and widgets are too domains in which Apple is falling behind. The core experience of iOS hasn't changed much since the beginning. A rethinking of the whole iOS seems necessary or it will look dated IMO.
post #26 of 175
Aside from giving Google direct access to snoop on everyone's credit card transactions, what possible use does NFC have? There's already two wireless comm systems built into almost every device these days with Wifi and Bluetooth, what point is there to yet another, let alone one that is even less capable? Kudos to Apple for not cluttering the iPhone with that nonsense.

The barometer on the other hand does sound like an interesting addition. Temperature sensing would be nice too.

4.65" screen seems too large though - more of a miniature tablet than a cell phone. Definitely too big for comfortable one handed operation and more than I care to have in my pocket.
post #27 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateScreenNames View Post

Here is something I don't quite understand. Many people seem to clamor for a 720p screen on their cell phone. But, according to stuff I've read on home theater forums it makes no sense to buy an HDTV less than (I think) 32". The reason is that below that size the pixels are so small that the human eye can't make out the extra detail that HD provides. I can't say I've tested this myself but it does make sense that the smaller the screen the less you will see.

Looked at from another direction, I also read that when Transformers 2 was released they actually had a different version that played in IMAX. It showed the same scenes but with much more detail because IMAX rez was capable of showing so much more.

So, if HD detail is lost by anything under a 32" screen, why should we care if a tiny (by comparison) cell phone screen is in "HD"?

Now that I think of it, I would like to see an HD version of a movie playing on an iPhone directly next to an iPhone playing an SD version of the same movie to see if I can see the difference.

Well of course you'll see a difference. What your website probably meant is that when you have a smaller screen, you have to get closer to enjoy the fine details. Put an old TV against an HDTV and look from afar, you won't see any difference. From a few feet away, it will be another story.
Really it's not that complicated.
post #28 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

what percent of the existing hardware running android will be able to upgrade?

They have already said that it is designed to run on all previous Android devices. But Apple said that before rooting all the iPhones 3gs and prior with clogged up iOS4 so who knows if Google will do the same.
post #29 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateScreenNames View Post

Here is something I don't quite understand. Many people seem to clamor for a 720p screen on their cell phone. But, according to stuff I've read on home theater forums it makes no sense to buy an HDTV less than (I think) 32". The reason is that below that size the pixels are so small that the human eye can't make out the extra detail that HD provides. I can't say I've tested this myself but it does make sense that the smaller the screen the less you will see.

Looked at from another direction, I also read that when Transformers 2 was released they actually had a different version that played in IMAX. It showed the same scenes but with much more detail because IMAX rez was capable of showing so much more.

So, if HD detail is lost by anything under a 32" screen, why should we care if a tiny (by comparison) cell phone screen is in "HD"?

Now that I think of it, I would like to see an HD version of a movie playing on an iPhone directly next to an iPhone playing an SD version of the same movie to see if I can see the difference.

The goal is to make the pixels small enough that the human eye can't differentiate them. That makes the image smooth and silky. Combine that with a good display panel and backlight and you get a great experience.

The Galaxy Nexus has a 315.83ppi display based on those specs, which is pretty near though slightly less than the iPhone 4/4S at 326ppi. This makes the Galaxy Nexus and other such phones Retina Display phones and you do see the difference because you hold a phone much closer to your eyes than you do a large TV.

This is a good thing for consumers but I do worry about power efficiency from these other vendors.
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post #30 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by X38 View Post

Aside from giving Google direct access to snoop on everyone's credit card transactions, what possible use does NFC have? There's already two wireless comm systems built into almost every device these days with Wifi and Bluetooth, what point is there to yet another, let alone one that is even less capable? Kudos to Apple for not cluttering the iPhone with that nonsense..

You need to tap a button to share via wifi or bluetooth, with NFC, sharing is automatic as soon as the two phones are close enough. It's a really natural and transparent way of sharing. You'll see next year when Apple introduces that in the next iPhone.
post #31 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateScreenNames View Post

Here is something I don't quite understand. Many people seem to clamor for a 720p screen on their cell phone. But, according to stuff I've read on home theater forums it makes no sense to buy an HDTV less than (I think) 32". The reason is that below that size the pixels are so small that the human eye can't make out the extra detail that HD provides. I can't say I've tested this myself but it does make sense that the smaller the screen the less you will see.

Looked at from another direction, I also read that when Transformers 2 was released they actually had a different version that played in IMAX. It showed the same scenes but with much more detail because IMAX rez was capable of showing so much more.

So, if HD detail is lost by anything under a 32" screen, why should we care if a tiny (by comparison) cell phone screen is in "HD"?

Now that I think of it, I would like to see an HD version of a movie playing on an iPhone directly next to an iPhone playing an SD version of the same movie to see if I can see the difference.

I'm not an expert (and actually have been known to argue that 720p is indistinguishable from 1080p on a comparable display in any size less than 42" at normal viewing distance), but a key difference is the viewing distance. You set about 10 feet away from a television. A phone is held a bout 18 inches from your face.
post #32 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by X38 View Post

Aside from giving Google direct access to snoop on everyone's credit card transactions, what possible use does NFC have? There's already two wireless comm systems built into almost every device these days with Wifi and Bluetooth, what point is there to yet another, let alone one that is even less capable? Kudos to Apple for not cluttering the iPhone with that nonsense.

The barometer on the other hand does sound like an interesting addition. Temperature sensing would be nice too.

4.65" screen seems too large though - more of a miniature tablet than a cell phone. Definitely too big for comfortable one handed operation and more than I care to have in my pocket.

The NFC for passing data between two devices quickly and securely is legit. NFC creates a very small loop and could be very easy to keep inactive when not in use. You need to pass a song to friend you don't need to create an ad-hoc WiFi network, join a WiFI network that allows you to see others on the network, use an Internet service like Dropbox for sharing or pairing Bluetooth over 20 feet. You can just touch the devices and send the file rather quickly, securely without using any cellular data, as using MMS would require.

Is this sort of scenario limited? Probably, but it's certainly not as pointless as Bluetooth sounded to me when it first came on the scene with little no real uses.
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post #33 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

You need to tap a button to share via wifi or bluetooth, with NFC, sharing is automatic as soon as the two phones are close enough. It's a really natural and transparent way of sharing. You'll see next year when Apple introduces that in the next iPhone.

I would hope the user has to initiate or at least approve sharing. "Automatic" is code for insecure.

Also, BT 4.0 includes a low-power standard that allows a wake-on-demand function and can replicate similar functionality to NFC and RFID.

I'm willing to bet Apple never includes NFC. It's a buzzword technology that has failed to catch on significantly. Reminds me of people clamoring for e-SATA in Macs. Yeah, not going to happen.
post #34 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Android now has screen capture, just like iOS. How innovative.

Android now has an innovative folder function. You drag one app on top of another, and a folder is created.

Also, big fail on that Face recognition demo.

I look forward to seeing the tv commercials invade my tv stations for this phone. Probably some teenage kid sitting in a spaceship or something, with lightening effects in the background and swooshing sound fx.

How did I know you'd come here to troll?

iOS was not the first device to ever have a screen capture. I can understand how you can say that they copied the folder creation method from iOS, but screen capture? Go back to your anti-Android hole.

"Also, big fail on that Face recognition demo. "
Yep, no one has ever had a small failure at a demo.
Thank god they didn't have to ask people to cool it on the wireless because their advanced antenna was unable to get signal in a crowded room. THAT would be embarrassing. /end_schooling

Seriously, I can understand why people on here would say "I don't like this or that," but stupid trolling is just unnecessary \
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post #35 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

I would hope the user has to initiate or at least approve sharing. "Automatic" is code for insecure.

In the video it could be seen that when putting two phones close together, whatever the application onscreen, the image would animate backwards and ask for confirmation. Single tap sharing.
post #36 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

The "magazine" inspired interface really looks gorgeous. I love the People app as well as people sharing window. This and widgets are too domains in which Apple is falling behind. The core experience of iOS hasn't changed much since the beginning. A rethinking of the whole iOS seems necessary or it will look dated IMO.

YES! I really am jealous about android widgets. It seems natural to have actual information on the homescreen without needing to launch an app. I would like it if Apple took this concept and applied their (generally) superior aesthetic design expertise to it.
post #37 of 175
Why did they go for an older, underpowered GPU for this display?
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post #38 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by X38 View Post

Aside from giving Google direct access to snoop on everyone's credit card transactions, what possible use does NFC have? There's already two wireless comm systems built into almost every device these days with Wifi and Bluetooth, what point is there to yet another, let alone one that is even less capable? Kudos to Apple for not cluttering the iPhone with that nonsense.

The barometer on the other hand does sound like an interesting addition. Temperature sensing would be nice too.

4.65" screen seems too large though - more of a miniature tablet than a cell phone. Definitely too big for comfortable one handed operation and more than I care to have in my pocket.

Did you not see the Android Beam demo? That seems like a useful feature to me. It might seem gimmicky right now. But in a year or two when every Android phone has it, it'll become quite normal to use it. Kinda like how most Blackberry users exchange contact info today by scanning barcodes on each others phones.

Design the apis well enough and this could even work Android to iPhone.
post #39 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

You need to tap a button to share via wifi or bluetooth, with NFC, sharing is automatic as soon as the two phones are close enough. It's a really natural and transparent way of sharing. You'll see next year when Apple introduces that in the next iPhone.

Technically on this one they needed to tap the screen to share. But I suppose that's good. You don't want accidental sharing of your information if you've left the NFC module on.
post #40 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicNReason View Post


"Also, big fail on that Face recognition demo. "
Yep, no one has ever had a small failure at a demo.
Thank god they didn't have to ask people to cool it on the wireless because their advanced antenna was unable to get signal in a crowded room. THAT would be embarrassing. /end_schooling

First of all, take a look at the name of this site. It's impossible for me to troll when making fun of Fandroids. Now, if I was a loser and liked to spend my time hanging out at Android sites and talking crap about them, I could see your point.

That face recognition demo was no small failure, as you put it. It was a catastrophic failure when they were attempting to show off a brand new feature.

Apple had Wifi problems that one time, because there were too many Wifi devices in the audience and things were congested.

What's Google's excuse? The failure was at the app level, it wasn't due to third party interference like what happened to Apple.
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