By Ben Bowers
on 10.19.11

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the latest showcase device developed under Google’s close supervision, built for one purpose: to make Android’s latest incarnation look like the belle of the smartphone ball. Its 4.65-inch, curved contour glass, HD Super AMOLED display boasting a legitimate 1,280 x 720 (720p) resolution is just the start of a stellar spec list that includes a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage, a 5MP rear camera (with zero shutter lag), a 1.3 MP font-facing camera, 1080p 30fps video capture, an embedded near field communications module, and even a barometer.

Like the Nexus S before it, the handset is also the first to pack the latest iteration of Android (version 4.0), dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich or ICS for short. Android Beam is a noteworthy improvement which allows NFC equipped ICS phones to share YouTube videos, contact information, maps, web pages, and even links to apps in the Android Market via a simple tap. So-called Face Unlock makes use of the front-facing camera and facial recognition technology to unlock the phone only when it detects it your smug mug glaring down at the screen. Ice Cream Sandwich now sports some extras that seem strangely familiar too, such as direct access to the phone’s camera via the lock screen, a built-in photo editor, an updated notification system, tabbed web browsing, near-instant voice dictation, folders for apps, and improved data usage management. Pricing and official partners have not been announced outside of Japan, but we wouldn’t be surprised if big red got a nod in the U.S. sometime soon.

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