The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first smartphone to be launched with the new Android 4.0 operating system, also called Ice Cream Sandwich, has been released overseas and is rumored to be available in stores in the U.S. on Dec. 15, according to an Endgadget report. The report referred to a leaked photo of purported internal pricing guides of wholesale giants Costco.
The Nexus launched in European markets on Nov. 16 and initial reviews of the UK version have been positive. The phone, in the U.S. will be available only on Verizon's network.
The smartphone will mark the beginning of the Android 4.0 era - a combination of the Gingerbread and Honeycomb operating systems in one unit. The features of the Ice Cream Sandwich include widgets in a new tab, a customizable launcher, Gmail with offline search and a two-line preview, a new action bar at the bottom, better voice integration, improved copy-and-paste functions and a new tabbed Web browser that allows up to 16 tabs.
The Nexus will face competition from a number of models, including the Droid Bionic, which hit shelves in September, more than eight months after first being unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 4G LTE, dual-chip Droid Bionic was reportedly delayed in order to complete numerous changes, which, it was hoped, would allow it compete with high-end phones in the industry.
How the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Motorola Droid Bionic Compare:
Size: The Nexus has 135.5 x 67.94 x 9.47 mm dimension and weighs 150 grams, while the Bionic has a dimension of 127.5 x 66.9 x 10.99 mm and weighs up to 158 grams.
Display: The Galaxy Nexus has a contoured glass Super AMOLED display and uses a larger display area - 4.65 inches. The resolution has also been increased to 1280x720, giving the device a pixel density of 316ppi. On the other hand, Droid Bionic has a 4.3-inch qHD screen that may give a resolution of 960 x 540-pixel at about 256 ppi density.
Operating System: The Samsung Galaxy Nexus will run Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, which is a combination of Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The Bionic runs on Android 2.3.5 software, nicknamed Gingerbread. It will, eventually, receive an update, sometime in early 2012.
Processor: The Galaxy Nexus will feature 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, TI OMAP 4460 chipset with 1GB RAM. The Droid Bionic features dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, ULP GeForce GPU, Tegra 2 AP20H chipset with 1GB RAM and 2GB ROM.
Camera: The Nexus has a 5 megapixel camera, which is accompanied with an LED flash and supports 1080p HD video recording at 24 frames-per-second. The Bionic sports an 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with flash and 1080p HD video capture, as well as a front-facing camera for video chat over 4G LTE, 3G or Wi-Fi. It has a Micro HDMI video output connector to display pictures or video on TVs or other devices.
WLAN/Bluetooth/USB: The Galaxy Nexus will have Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth 3.0 version with A2DP with micro USB 2.0 version. On the other hand, the Droid Bionic has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot (connects up to 8 devices and when on 3G connects up to 5 devices), Bluetooth version 2.1 with A2DP and EDR technology and micro USB version 2.0.
Battery: The Galaxy Nexus will come with a standard 1850 mAh battery while the Bionic has a standard 1735 mAh battery offering talk time of 650 minutes and standby time of 200 hours.
Storage: Samsung's Nexus will have fixed 32GB internal storage capacity while the Droid Bionic has 16GB of internal storage and a 16GB external micro SD card included, which can expand up to 32GB.
Price: According to the latest leaks, the Galaxy Nexus will be sold for $289.99 with a 2-year contract from Verizon. As of now, the Droid Bionic is priced at $200 with 2-year contract at Verizon.