Google and Samsung launch Ice Cream Sandwich and Nexus
Today at an event in Hong Kong, Google and Samsung pulled the curtains off from the much awaited Android update – Ice Cream Sandwich and the next device which will carry the update, the Galaxy Nexus.
The Galaxy Nexus is a sleek device whose glimpses have been caught in many sneak peek videos, pictures and leaks. The strikingly different handset comes with quite a few goodies under the hood.
The D-day, for all the Android fans and enthusiasts is here – the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich are now official. Brilliant. Loads of new features have been thrown in here.
Starting off, the Galaxy Nexus sports a massive 4.65″ Super AMOLED HD display. That’s a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. And a pixel density of 316 PPI. That’s quite close to the ‘Retina’ display of iPhone 4. Well, it should be awesome. And it’s curved, a bit, the glass that is, and not the actual screen, ala Nexus S, which also was from Samsung.
And apparently, the surface is oleo-phobic – it hates oils. Meaning? Lesser possibility of it getting dirty. Thank ye, Samsung.
Course, the Galaxy Nexus will come with the latest version of Android – v4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Loads of bug fixes and some improvements and a few additions – either inspired or fixed. More on that later.
There are no hardware buttons on the front. Making and receiving calls on the go will be a pain, as I’ve learned the hard way. But it could be. I always prefer physical call and end keys. Not that they were there on any Android of late, anyways.
There’s a 5 MP camera on the back. Aided by a single LED Flash. And it is capable of doing 1080p video recording @ 30 FPS. We’ll leave the experts to determine whether that’s good or not, or until we use it ourselves. Lets not pass judgement on that just yet. There’s a 1.3 MP front facing camera as well, which can be used to make video calls and also, unlock your phone. Yep. Face Unlock has been added to ICS. Sweet.
Oh, did I say the camera comes with a Panorama mode? And time lapse? And you can zoom in and out while recording? There’s continuous Auto Focus as well.
On the processor front, there’s a 1.2 GHz dual core, Cortex A9 based processor. Then there’s 1 GB RAM. And the Galaxy Nexus comes in 16 GB and 32 GB variants. And there’s no memory card slot (kills a bird.. angry bird).
The Galaxy Nexus supports LTE and HSPA, and NFC. And there’s a 1750 mAh battery. Lets just hope it would be enough to last for a day.
Ice Cream Sandwich
Probably the biggest attraction of the day, Ice Cream Sandwich was also announced at the event. I’m mentioning the highlights here -
- Google Beam – Basically, NFC technology, ala Nokia Just Tap. Pair two NFC devices just by touching them and send across files wirelessly.
- Works on both tablets and phones. That was the basic premise for Ice Cream Sandwich
- Roboto Font – Made specially for HD displays, the Roboto font enhances readability, obviously.
- Resizable widgets, better Notifications and Keyboard
- New People app. Ala People Hub on Windows Phone, just not as good, though
- New Data Usage app, so you know how much data you’ve used and have control over it
- New Homescreen. Open Camera and Phone right from the shortcuts here. Roboto font definitely looks sweet here
- Zero shutter lag in Camera, and response time of just 0.01 ms (the touchscreen/UI)
- Native Screenshots capability
- Face Unlock = More security
- New Browser – Incognito Mode, offline page viewing etc
- New Gmail and Calendar apps
Here’s a video of the new Galaxy Nexus in action -