Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0 LTE handset unveiled

Google and Samsung on Wednesday unveiled the first smartphone running on the Android 4.0 mobile operating system, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich – the Galaxy Nexus, which is expected to rival Apple’s iPhone 4S handset.

The Galaxy Nexus supports LTE, as well as HSPA+ technology and looks like a slightly larger, slicker Nexus S. Under the hood it features a 4.65-inch display with 720p resolution and a dual core 1.2ghz processor.

Google said that the Ice Cream Sandwich OS was aimed to work on both phones and tablets. As part of the upgrade, Google has created a new font that’s optimised for HD displays and eliminated all hardware buttons in favour of adaptable software buttons. The company said that it has also dramatically improved the keyboard, made notifications more interactive and created resizable widgets.

The web browser is also much faster, claims Google, and features a refined tab manager and the ability to sync bookmarks with Google Chrome.

Google has also introduced a feature called Android Beam, which uses near field communication (NFC) to instantly share webpages, YouTube videos, maps, directions and apps by simply tapping two phones together. Another new feature, Face Unlock, uses facial recognition technology to unlock phones by recognising the user’s face. had the opportunity to very briefly play with one last week and can confirm the device is physically impressive, while the updated software package seems slick and speedy.

“Beaming a video with a single tap or unlocking a device with only a smile sounds like science fiction. Now, you can actually do these things, and more, with a phone that fits in the palm of your hand,” said Andy Rubin, senior VP for Mobile at Google in a blog post.

The Galaxy Nexus will be available in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia from November, added Rubin.

Samsung join RIM, LG Electronics, Sony Ericsson & Nokia on a keynote Q&A session at LTE North America on Wednesday 9th November 2011

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