Nexus LTE, World's First Android ICS Phone Lands on Verizon Today
December 15, 2011 11:41 AM
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Here's everything you need to know about Samsung's latest smartphone
Verizon Wireless may be the
most expensive carrier
when it comes to traditional smartphone data rates, but its
double data holiday promotion
has transformed it briefly into one of the cheaper carriers. Add in its
industry-leading customer satisfaction
and you have what seems to be a winning combination.
I. The Galaxy Nexus is Upon Us
Today the carrier is at last, after
, launching the
Galaxy Nexus from Samsung
Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
). Priced at $299 with a new two-year contract, the phones are expected to be a hot seller.
Here's what you need to know about the phone's hardware specs:
1.2GHz OMAP 4460 ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor from Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI)
4.65" 720x1280 HD Super AMOLED (only 2 subpixels)
16GB of memory (optional 32GB)
5MP rear camera with LED flash plus a 1.3MP front facing camera
1080p (30fps) video recording
1850 mAh replaceable battery
Here's some of the improvements you'll get with
Android 4.0 ICS
Drastically refined GUI
New camera app with improved image stabilization, facial recognition, and one-motion panerama shots
Improved default Webkit browser.
Upgraded contacts app
Fancy graphical data manager app for dealing with life on capped connections.
Quick access to text message response to incoming calls
Swipe-dismissal of notifications
Facial recognition unlock
Universal voice typing
Wi-Fi Direct (allows faster, easier connections)
Google Beam/Near-Field Communications (NFC)
(A full list can be found
Many bemoaned that the Verizon opted
not to pick up Samsung's sleek flagship smartphone
, the Galaxy S II. Well fear not, the Galaxy Nexus is more or less the Galaxy S II with a slightly different feature set. It has a lower resolution camera and lacks the microSD expansion found in most Galaxy S IIs. But on the other hand, you get a slee, gently curved packaging that screams distinctive.
If you can get past the Prime's strong battery life, (temporarily) exclusive Android 4.0 support, and sleek packaging, there's a couple of other phones you should consider. Take a peek at the world's thinnest Android --
the Motorola Droid RAZR
. It features a lower resolution display, but the world's best form factor and weight. Also check out the Rezound from HTC Corp. (
). It features improved audio hardware/software, a faster (albeit older) CPU, and a better 720x1280 display that has the proper 3 subpixels, as opposed to Samsung's slightly gimped 2 subpixel version. It's all about the tradeoffs -- your personal priorities, what's in stock in your region, and which phone's design calls to you the most.
Yes, for now ICS gives the Nexus a key edge over the competitors as the OS dictates smartphone usability, and the Nexus could enjoy near-exclusive access to ICS for a month or two. That said, within three or four months expect most flagship models to have jumped to ICS or be preparing to. So one of the phone's biggest selling points will soon be a pedestrian feature.
II. Verizon Bumps LTE Coverage to 200 Million Americans
In related news Verizon has
[press release] its nationwide LTE network to include multiple new regions. It writes:
On Thursday, Dec. 15, the company will turn on its 4G LTE network in Dover, Del.; Lafayette, Ind.; Fitchburg/Leominster, Mass.; Duluth, The Rochester Area and St. Cloud, Minn.; Manchester/Nashua, N.H.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Findlay/Tiffin and Youngstown/Warren, Ohio; and Indiana, Pa. The company is also making expansions on Dec. 15 in San Diego and San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Savannah, Ga.; Chicagoland, Ill.; and Baltimore and Hagerstown, Md.
Verizon is winning the coverage battle with AT&T, Inc. (
), the other current U.S. proprietor of LTE 4G coverage. AT&T, who
got a late start
offers faster service
in most of its regions, but will cover only about a third of the number of Americans that Verizon does by the end of the year.
AT&T hopes to cover
70 million Americans
now covers 200 million Americans. Which service is better depends on where you live, but for the majority of buyers Verizon is the best carrier to experience next-generation 4G on.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
12/15/2011 12:35:29 PM
[razr]... the world's
form factor and weight
That's totally a matter of opinion. I happen to be one of those who thinks trying to hold phones as thin as credit cards is a pain and makes it easy to drop. So the race to paper thin phones is meaningless to me and little more than an effective marketing gimmick.
12/15/2011 1:39:14 PM
I would agree with you... until I played with the Razr at a Verizon store. It isn't just thin. It is the perfect weight, light, but not too light. The kevlar on the back, textured sides, and coated glass on the surface make it natural to handle and unlikely to accidentally drop. The width is just right for me, but I have average-sized adult male hands. Maybe the ladies might think it is to wide. I don't know. I just wanted to mention that despite the Razr's large screen, it had great hand feel. A store rep even let me put one in my pocket (the demos are on wires) and it fit in the front of my jeans better than I would have expected. Haven't seen the Nexus Prime yet.
12/15/2011 3:44:45 PM
I agree with you 100%. When I got my Bionic (love it BTW) and held it I didn't really care for how thin it felt. I got the extended battery for it (also to extend the life of the phone to be more useful) and now it feels great. I can't stand trying to hold some tiny thing phone in my hand, it's just not comfortable for me. Maybe I just hold my phone differently?
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