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Dec 152011

The whispers of a December 15 release date for the long-awaited, LTE-capable version of the Samsung GALAXY Nexus turned out to be true. Verizon Wireless’ product page for the GALAXY Nexus now accepts orders for the well-loved Samsung phone.

Verizon has an exclusive lock on being the first to release the Nexus phone from Samsung, and other carriers and retailers will likely release theirs after some time. The Verizon variant is slightly thicker than the one launched elsewhere owing to the LTE radio in the device.

The Android phone from Samsung costs $650 on full retail price, but with a 2-year contract on Verizon, you can get the Samsung phone for only $300 on Verizon with overnight shipping.

Amazon Wireless, however, seems to have a better offer, with the Samsung phone costing only $200 with a new, 2-year contract with Verizon. Amazon ships the Nexus phone for free, too, although its product page says it will take two days for the Android phone to reach you. Check out more details about this deal on the Samsung GALAXY Nexus product page on Amazon. Full retail price for the Nexus phone on Amazon is about $800.

The Year’s Most-awaited Android Phone

Many in the U.S. have been considering the GALAXY Nexus as the phone to buy this year not only because of its powerful hardware specs but also because it is a Nexus phone. The GALAXY Nexus, in fact, is the flagship Google Experience Device (GED) for the latest and greatest (according to Google) version of Android–Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Being the flagship Nexus phone for Ice Cream Sandwich, the GALAXY Nexus is expected to be always first in line for any upcoming updates or upgrades to Android 4.0. For the average person on the street, this means that owning a GALAXY Nexus means always getting timely software updates.

The Android phone comes with a rather large screen with a display diagonal of 4.65 inches. The display uses HD Super AMOLED technology from Samsung for hi-resolution screen display and for better viewing even under bright lighting. Another interesting feature of the phone’s design is its curved screen, which slightly concaves downwards. This is a design that is not commonly used in any other Android phone. The Nexus S, which is also made by Samsung, has the same curved screen design.

The new phone from Samsung also comes with 1 GB of RAM and a dual-core, 1.2-GHz processor–both of which are more than enough for smooth and silky performance and multitasking. Plus, with 4G LTE on the Verizon network, connecting to the Internet ought to be faster than a 3G connection.

First Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Phone

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich brings a lot of new experiences and improvements from previous Android versions. For instance, the GALAXY Nexus has Near Field Communication (NFC) support onboard, and the new Android Beam takes advantage of the NFC hardware to enable users to share files and data with other NFC-capable smartphones by simply tapping both phones against each other.

Ice Cream Sandwich also makes contacts management more pleasurable and easier for users. Google has improved the People app in many ways. For example, when viewing a contact’s detail page, you can easily see not just the information about the contact but also the contact’s status updates from various social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and the like. You’ll be able to experience the new People app first on the Samsung GALAXY Nexus.

The GALAXY Nexus sports a 5-megapixel camera. Whereas most other recently launched Android phones carry 8-megapixel cameras as the minimum, the Samsung phone carries only a 5-megapixel camera. Yet, disappointment about the “lower” camera resolution was easily quelled when Google and Samsung explained–and demonstrated–that the Camera app in Ice Cream Sandwich has zero shutter lag. In plain words, there ought to be no delay between the time you press the shutter and the time the image is actually captured.

The secondary camera on the front of the Samsung phone is rated at 1.3 megapixels. Again, this one caused some hubris a while back, until someone pointed out–and proved–that the front-facing camera on the GALAXY Nexus is capable of capturing video at 720p HD resolution.

The new phone from Samsung also has the usual list of sensors commonly found in most other Android phones, plus a unique sensor–a barometer. Much as we’d like to think that the barometer on the GALAXY Nexus is used to help us predict the weather, it turns out that it serves a more practical purpose.

Your wait is finally over. The GALAXY Nexus is here. Get it from either Verizon Wireless or Amazon Wireless, and have yourself a merry holidays.

Images courtesy of SlashGear

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