By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 12:00 am
The Android world has a new flagship phone, and Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, is finally official. In Hong Kong, Google and Samsung have announced the Galaxy Nexus, the first phone to run ICS. Here’s a video about it:
The Galaxy Nexus may be the ultimate Android handset to date–if so, it makes the reign of the Motorola Droid RAZR, which was announced Tuesday morning, the shortest on record.
The Nexus has a 4.65″ 720p display, 4G, and NFC capability, and it’s got the teardrop-shaped case that people thought the iPhone 5 would sport. But the real news is Ice Cream Sandwich. It owes a lot more to Honeycomb, the tablet-friendly version of Android, than it does to Gingerbread, the most recent release for phones. It ditches the physical buttons, has thumbnails for multitasking, lets you unlock your phone via facial recognition, and generally looks slick.
I’m hoping it’s the first phone version of Android that doesn’t feel like it was created by nerds who don’t know much about interface design–and that the stuttering problem which This is My Next’s Vlad Havov noticed when he tried out the Nexus disappears before the phone ships.
More thoughts to come…