Google and Samsung have announced the world's first smartphone running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) - the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, a.k.a. Nexus Prime. Featuring a lineup of Google software upgrades such as Face Unlock and NFC-based Android Beam, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a slightly curved 4.65-inch Super AMOLED screen working in 720p (1280x720) resolution, a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and HSPA+ network support as standard, with LTE support depending on the region.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus with "pure Google experience"

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus boasts a 5-megapixel rear camera equipped with autofocus, LED flash, zero shutter lag feature, improved low-light performance and panoramic picture mode. It's capable of capturing 1080p Full HD 30fps videos and there's also a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls.

Other hardware specs aren't too shabby either - 16/32GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC support, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/ 5GHz), Wi-Fi hotspot mode and 1,750 mAh battery. Galaxy Nexus also incorporates a number of sensors including accelerometer, compass, gyro, light, proximity and a barometer.

The smartphone has a slip-resistant hyper-skin backing and a slightly round-shaped housing and it measures just 8.94 mm (0.35 inch) thick and weighs 135 g (4.76 oz).

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus will hit the shelves in United States, Canada, Europe and Asia in November. There's no word on carriers at this point, although it's rumored that Verizon will offer the new Nexus in the U.S.

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

According to Google, the 4.0 version of its mobile OS is optimized for both phones and tablets. Along with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus announcement, Google has revealed a set of features specific to the new OS:
  • Face Unlock - using facial recognition to unlock the phone
  • Android Beam - NFC-based feature allowing to quickly share web pages, apps, and YouTube videos with friends by "simply tapping your phones together"
  • People - a new app allowing to browse groups of contacts with high-resolution photos and status updates uploaded from Google+ and other social sites
  • redesigned lock screen (with new lock screen actions), home screen and phone app
  • new software navigation buttons and resizable widgets
  • improved multitasking and notifications
  • new font optimized for HD displays
  • faster desktop-class browser with ability to sync bookmarks with Google Chrome
  • NFC and Wi-Fi hotspot support
  • Live effects for graphical transformations of videos captured in the Camera app
  • pre-loaded apps: Android Market, Gmail, Google Earth, YouTube, Movie Studio, Google Maps 5.0 with 3D maps and turn-by-turn navigation, Google Calendar syncing, Google´╝őapp

Take a look at the following promotional video presenting Samsung Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0: