Remember yesterday when I proclaimed the just-announced Motorola Droid RAZR to best ever smart phone, what the iPhone 4S should have been? ("iPhone, iSchmone: Is Moto's Droid RAZR Best Phone?")
Well, forget that. The Motorola Droid RAZR was so October 18th, 2011.
Last night in Honk Kong (Hong Kong?), Samsung unveiled the first smart phone to run the Google Android 4.0 operating system, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, maintaining the dentist-defying Android monikers.
This Galaxy Nexus has specs similar to yesterday's old news Droid RAZR with one big difference: the Nexus sports a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, about a third denser than its competitors and once again upping the smart phone screen size/resolution ante.
Otherwise, behold the Nexus specs highlights:
- 1.2 GHz dual core processor (same as Droid RAZR)
- 4G LTE connectivity (same as Droid RAZR) or 4G HSPA+, depending on carrier
- 5 MP digital camera (Droid RAZR: 8 MP camera)
- 1080p video recorder (same as Droid RAZR)
- 16 GB/32 GB memory (not sure if the second 16 GB is an included pre-installed 16 GB micro SD card or a second model with 32 GB of built-in memory)
- 8.94mm thin (Droid RAZR 7.1mm)
- 135 grams (Droid RAZR 127 grams)
But it's not these specs that arguably pushes the Nexus a smidge past the Droid RAZR. It's Android 4.0
What's in the Sandwich?
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, as implemented on the Nexus, includes four new features:
Software navigation buttons, a first for Android smartphones. According to the press release, "the lock screen, home screen, phone app, and everything in between has been rethought and redesigned…"
Android Beam, which uses Near Field Communications (NFC) technology that is supposed to turn your phone into a debit/credit card, allows you to share web pages, apps and YouTube videos with friends by simply tapping your phones together.
Face Unlock, which uses facial recognition to unlock your phone.
People app, which lets you browse friends, family, and coworkers, see their photos in high-resolution, and check their latest status updates from Google+ and other social networking sites.
Since I was not in Hong Kong, I'm not quite sure how any of these works or if they are an improvement over Android 2.3.5 (if you're keeping score at home, Android 3.0 is the tablet-based Honeycomb operating system). Nexus is due to arrive on these shores in November, so I guess I'll find out then.
But at the rate at which the Android army is announcing new 4G phones with 4.x-inch screens, Apple is going to have a lot of catching up to do if and when the iPhone 5 ever actually comes out, even with an ever sassier Siri.