The year 2011 seems to be the year of successions. In March, the iPad's successor, iPad 2 was released. Samsung recently released the Samsung Galaxy SII, successor to the Galaxy S released last year. The iPhone 4S was also released recently. The last week saw the release of the Motorola Droid RAZR, and a double feature of a new Android phone and a new Android OS. Google in collaboration with Samsung, unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and showcased the new version of the Android OS, Android 4.0, available exclusively on this phone (for now). The Galaxy Nexus is the third entry in the Nexus range. In this article, learn the technical and physical specs of this phone as well as what software tools it has up its sleeve.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus Specifications
Below, the various technical specifications of this Samsung Google phone are tabulated.
|Samsung Galaxy Nexus||Dimensions(L x W x T)||Weight||Display||Screen Size||Resolution||Shape|
|136 x 68 x 8.8 mm||4.8 ounces/135 grams||Super AMOLED HD touch screen||4.65 inch||1280 x 720 pixel||Contour display, slim bezel, button-free screen|
At one glance, this phone seems to be a veritable colossus, with its impressive 4.65 inch screen and 4.8 ounce weight. Samsung is known for its vibrant and crisp HD screen quality, so any operation on such a high-quality large screen, is bound to be easy on the eyes. Large screen phones can be as thick as a brick but this phone is surprisingly slim with a thickness of 8.8 mm as mentioned in the dimensions above. It is similar in appearance to its predecessor, the Samsung Nexus S, with contoured edges and darkish gray coloring. However, this Nexus model deviates from the Android norm, by losing the standard back, home, or menu physical buttons. Instead the phone boasts a hyperskin, where the standard buttons appear as soft buttons on the screen, when needed and will change, based on the operation being done.
|Samsung Galaxy Nexus||Operating System||Processor||RAM||Storage||Sensors|
|Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)||1.2 GHz Dual-core||1 GB||16 GB/32 GB||Barometer, accelerometer, proximity sensor|
In terms of processor and RAM, this latest addition to the Nexus family promises a speedy and powerful computing performance. The built-in memory of 16 GB or 32 GB is pretty decent. Samsung has neither confirmed nor denied the presence of an expansion slot on the phone. The Galaxy Nexus has the usual collection of sensors and even sports a barometer. But the real sweet deal with this phone is its OS.
The Galaxy Nexus is the launch vehicle (or phone) for the latest high-anticipated Android OS version, the Android 4.0, a.k.a Ice Cream Sandwich. What's new in this OS? For starters, a completely new and bold user interface look. No physical buttons, the buttons will appear on the screen itself and disappear when not needed. A new font (Roboto) is employed and the Android color scheme has a more mature and darker tone.
The "phone unlock" screen has been changed and the OS is more touch-friendly as it recognizes extra finger gestures. You can delete or close programs and files with a swish of a finger and pinch-and-zoom to open information about a program. Widgets can be re-sized at the corners, much like program windows can be re-sized on a computer. There are a lot more nifty features detailed in the "What's smart about this smartphone?" section.
|Samsung Galaxy Nexus||Rear Camera||Front Camera||Video||Perks||GPS|
|5 Mega pixel||1.3 Mega pixel||1080p HD||Auto-focus, LED Flash, zero shutter lag||Yes|
The Galaxy Nexus has a 5 MP camera and 1.3 MP front camera, which are decent camera stats in this age of 8 MP camera phones. High-definition video recording and playback can be performed. But the real icing on the cake (or ice cream sandwich) is the camera's Android 4.0 built-in software. Some features include:
- Quick and effective media capture with zero shutter lag, continuous focus, and LED flash for low-light conditions.
- Instead of searching for the camera in the phone's menu, open the tool directly from the home screen.
- The camera is equipped with facial recognition and you can zoom in and out while recording HD videos. Plus, an all-new panorama mode of capture for large still landscapes.
- Darken red-eyes, enhance light and color, and crop and zoom as you like. Photo and video editing can be done on the phone itself, thanks to a plethora of built-in tools.
|Samsung Galaxy Nexus||USB||Bluetooth||NFC||Wi-Fi||Network|
|Micro USB 2.0||3.0||Yes||802.11 a/b/g/n networks||4G (LTE or HSPA+)|
The phone has the usual connectors for connecting to external devices like a USB port and Bluetooth for wireless transfer. The new spec here is the NFC (Near field communication) chip, which is a smartphone technology, that allows wireless exchange between two compatible devices at close range. With NFC, you can use your smartphone like a credit card to make electronic payments by tapping an electronic card reader. The Galaxy Nexus will support 4G connections. An interesting feature is the data usage monitor, where you can monitor the data usage of your apps, set your own data usage limits for each app and cut out apps that hog your bandwidth. This feature will help you monitor your downloading and network usage easily, so you can avoid "you have been charged for exceeding your data usage limit" statements on your phone's carrier service bill.
What's Smart about This Smartphone
Specifications aside, what is new and radical about the Galaxy Nexus that makes it a Google smartphone? The following are some of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus features, that make it, a one-of-a-kind phone:
- Unlock your phone with your face. That's right, instead of the usual finger-swiping motion to unlock your phone, just hold the phone in front of your face, so the front camera gets a good look at you and the phone will unlock.
- Take screenshots of your phone by holding the power and volume button together. While screen capture is possible with third-party apps, Google has embedded this feature in the OS itself.
- Speak into your phone to record a message or enter text. The Galaxy Nexus recognizes voice input and will translate it into written text. So voice type your SMSs and emails.
- The pinch-and-zoom feature can be used in the Calendar tool. So pinch the screen to shift focus from day view to hour view and zoom out to see the entire year's itinerary.
- Want to share photos or files without using Bluetooth? Just hold your Galaxy Nexus near another NFC-enabled phone and gently tap the 2 phones together to share data. This feature is called Android Beam.
- If you are a MasterCard holder, you can use the phone like a credit card, at an NFC-compatible terminal. For other cardholders, the Google Wallet app on the phone will allow you to use your phone to make electronic payments.
- Your phone contacts can be integrated with their social network profiles like Facebook, Google+ etc. So on viewing a contact, you can have all their details, from their phone number and birth date, to their status updates and account info.
Phew! There are a lot of features packed into this phone's powerful frame. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus' specifications may seem decent but the Android 4.0 is a very intriguing and tantalizing feature of this phone. No carrier or price has been mentioned for the Galaxy Nexus though. However, it is expected to release worldwide in November. All we can do is wait and see how this Google smartphone survives in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.