back to article Samsung, Google whip out Android 4.0 Nexus

Here's the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - aka the Galaxy Prime - launched by the South Korean Apple biter and Google in Hong Kong this morning. As expected, it runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and a 4.7in, 1280 x 720 OLED display. There's a gigabyte of Ram on board, and a choice of 16GB or 32Gb of …

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  1. Kevin Fairhurst
    Joke

    Sounds like a noisy holiday destination...

    Are all the cars there Hong King?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5Mpix camera, slower CPU

    So it's worse than the Galaxy S2? What's the point?

    Are they going to keep ICS locked away so S2 users never get it or what?

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Wait for benchmarks

      Mobile phone CPUs contain the CPU, GPU, cache, ram and hardware accelerated bits & bobs for video, audio and so on. It's entirely possible that a device may appear on paper to be slower but in practice is faster or feels faster because graphics performance is better or memory access is faster, or the pipeline is kept filled, or the cache is larger or any other reason. I have no idea if that is the case with this new phone, just saying.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Should be an easy win

        The S2 runs Android 2.x. This handset runs 4.0. 4.0 uses the GPU to accelerate 2d drawing, 2.x uses the GPU only for compositing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          ThomH

          Maybe so, but 4.0 on the S2 will blow this junk out of the water.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @DrXym

        It's got a 4 year old GPU on it, probably wont't be breaking any speed records.

        1. robin thakur 1
          FAIL

          Agreed, this looks quite weak actually graphics-wise, and it's not exactly pocketable. Nice design but that's about it, plus you can bet your life it will be crappily built using plastic like all the other Samsungs.

        2. tmTM

          That old?

          It's not as old as you make out, perhaps announced in 2007, but the SGX540 GPU was the GPU of the year in last years smartphones - it wiped the floor with the Adreno 205.

          The chip in the OMAP 4 is overclocked for greater performance and still holds it's own against Tegra2 and alike helped by dual channel memory as opposed to the Tegra single channel.

          If anything I'd say the tech specs are broadly similar to the Galaxy S II and performance-wise there won't be alot between the two.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @tmTM

            Last year's phones weren't driving a 1280x720 screen were they. The Galaxy S was 800×480.

            GFX performance should really have doubled just for that alone, putting in last year's popular chip to drive this resolution is plain stupid.

            Tegra may be single channel, but the Galaxy S 2 uses Exynos which is dual channel.

            What they put in this one is a lot of old rubbish.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Funny how 8mp for the iPhone 4S is adequate and just "souped up", yet on an Android phone a 5mp camera is seen as okay.

      Also. 4.7 inch screen? is this seen as some sort of "upgrade" in specification? it's amazing how phones have shrunk for years and that a smaller phone was more advanced. Now a bigger slab of a phone is some how better?

      If a phone sticks out of a shirt pocket then that's a fail (Cue Moss from the IT Crowd phone in toilet joke). If you can't easily put it in your pocket then that's also a fail. Or is there some sort of fashion for wearing a bumbag to put your big slabphone in these days? How much video do you really need to watch on a phone?

      1. HMB
        FAIL

        Talk first, check facts later

        You've obviously not seen the side by side photos with the iPhone 4S and Nexus One then. Neither it seems, have you paid attention to the fact the screen is a lot more edge to edge with any extra buttons put onto the main screen area.

        It's really not that much bigger:

        http://www.wired.co.uk/reviews/mobile-phones/2011-10/samsung-galaxy-nexus-mobile-phone-review/viewgallery#!image-number=10

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Oliver 7

        Too big?

        Totally agree with comments about the size of smartphones these days. When I recently renewed my contract I went for a Desire S 'cos I wanted something I could actually fit comfortably in my trouser pocket. The flagship models may be bleeding edge tech (not this one admittedly) but they're simply too big to be practical.

      3. LeBeourfCurtaine
        Paris Hilton

        The fickle dictats of fashion

        Where digital cameras are concerned, the number of mega pixels isn't as important as you might think. A 10mp camera might sound fantastic, but depending on the optical chip used, the image quality could be worse than a 5mp camera. The ability to deal with low light levels is very important; I had a Nokia 5800 with a dual LED flash that resulted in grainier, lower quality images than my current Samsung Galaxy S without a flash.

        I recall reading in the tech press and various reviews that the iPhone cameras have never been regarded as having a particularly high quality image output, so 8mp versus another manufacturer's 5mp offering might not be indicative of anything other than a perceived improvement.

        As for video, watching Venture Brothers whilst on the train has been a welcome diversion! If only battery technology could keep up the pace :o(

        Paris - because style matters, dangit!!

        1. borkbork
          Thumb Up

          digital cameras

          Exactly. The only difference between 5MP and the 8-12MP cameras in these things is the file space required to store the extra noise captured in each photograph. A decent 3MP DSLR will likely still take better photos.

          It's not as if people taking photos with their phone are expecting to print them out A4 sized or larger.

  3. nsld
    Thumb Up

    curvy

    Nice curves top and bottom, lets hope they have patented the design!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The design isn't new, almost the same as the Nexus S.

      They just slapped a humongous screen on it.

  4. K
    Go

    f***

    Anybody want to buy my Galaxy S2? I'm trading up :D

  5. Thomas 18
    Thumb Down

    Ice Cream Sandwich

    Is possibly the worst product name ever conceived. I thought it was some sort of obscure reg joke.

    1. Jedit

      The product name is Android 4.0

      But all Android versions have a sweet-based codename - Gingerbread, Froyo and so on. It helps because the layman can identify the most recent version without being tricked with sales gobbeldigook about marks and mods.

      1. Hardcastle the ancient

        That might work somewhere where 'froyo' is a known sweet. Here it sounds like an evil second cousin of the Bagginses.

        1. Jedit
          Headmaster

          Froyo

          Is the abbreviated name for frozen yoghurt, as made by Ben and Jerry's and sold in a supermarket near you.

          1. bep

            location location location

            Not anywhere near me old boy. Until your post and the ones before it I had no idea 'Froyo' was something you ate. I just assumed it was something to do with Lord of the Rings or some such. Maybe the Android folks need to be reminded that there is a world outside the USA and quite a lot of it is using Android devices these days.

      2. Thomas 18
        Go

        Wait a minute!

        Fro-yo = 2 syllables

        gin-ger-bread = 3 syllables

        ice-cream sand-wich = 4 syllables

        1. Argh

          Cup-cake = 2 syllables

          Dough-nut = 2 syllables

          E-clair = 2 syllables

          We'd be great at charades!

        2. Mark #255

          Android codename progression

          Eclair

          Froyo

          Gingerbread

          Honeycomb

          Ice Cream Sandwich

          I for one look forward to Jellybaby, Kirschtorte, Liquorice, etc.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            and before that.....

            Cupcake

  6. Rick Eastwood
    Thumb Up

    Ooooft !!!

    is all I need to say

  7. Displacement Activity
    Paris Hilton

    Well?

    Pull your socks up, Reg. Wired already has a review, of sorts, at http://www.wired.co.uk/reviews/mobile-phones/2011-10/samsung-galaxy-nexus-mobile-phone-review.

  8. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Source?

    Will we get the source for this yet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Guess not

      They only mentioned the SDK.

      Must have been "cutting corners" again.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Remind me

        Is there a clause in the GPL that lets you withhold the source if you cut corners?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Google does release the source for the GPL bits they use, even for Honeycomb.

          However most of Android itself is (was?) Apache licensed, so no issues with withholding if they want to.

          But at least they're not calling it open anymore anywhere on their webpage.

  9. HP Cynic

    Hmm I was actually excited in the build up to this launch but the end result is not as impressive as I'd hoped.

    Facelock - unless it's really fast will be disabled by most.

    I'm not that bothered about the camera but with 8mp being fairly standard now I'm surprised they settled for 5mp.

    The CPUs while a lot faster than the iPhone (1.2 v 0.8) are not the 1.5s rumoured and "Texas Instruments" brings with it negative connotations for me.

    Early reviews are saying that the battery is drained relatively fast by that amazing, huge screen.

    Worst of all some early reviews are saying it handles Android with less aplomb than existing phones.

    Good points: Siri-like voice, proper navigation, wonderful screen.

    Declaration: I STILL don't have any kind of SmartPhone or any devices of any kind running Android or iOS.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Not fair comparisons

      Does it really still need saying that CPU megahertz isn't a good measure of system speed? Modern computing systems, including mobile phones, distribute a lot of work to the GPU (another component with a megahertz number attached, although no more relevantly) and are heavily dependent on RAM and secondary storage bandwidth, including network bandwidth for most user experience purposes. You should benchmark this phone against other Androids and, if you care, the iPhone before making a judgment.

      Similarly, 5mp often looks better than 8mp since the real determiner once pixels are small enough is the optics system and, all other things being equal, cramming an 8mp sensor into the same physical space as a 5mp sensor just makes it proportionally harder to expose each pixel to enough light. You usually end up with exactly the same sharpness when you zoom in but each little soft portion of image has e.g. 64 pixels in it instead of 25.

      No review or article I've seen suggests anything Siri-like is included. Siri is an artificial intelligence project that happens to have a voice interface. Both Android (first of the two by a considerable margin, I think) and iOS have had basic command-based voice recognition for a long time.

      My feeling is that the screen on this one is just plain too large. The 4" on the Nexus S is a lot more sensible.

  10. hexx

    over at engadget they have comparison photos with iPhone. this Nexus is huuuugeeee, will they sell it with a man purse?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    iPhone 4s owners feeling sick right now...

    You betcha....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      You got the icon wrong. Here use mine.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Why?

      A phone with an inferior camera and with a gigantic screen that makes you look Dom Jolly in trigger happy.

      If I wanted to waste my life dicking about with an Android phone then I would own one.

    3. robin thakur 1
      FAIL

      Nope

      The GPU and CPU's in this are dated, and won't be enough to power that screen properly. Not that there are any decent games on Android yet (everyone I see is playing puzzle games on their swanky G2 phones!) Nice curved design, but it doesn't begin to make up for the lack of quality apps which still afflicts Android, so I'll be getting a 4S thanks. Would be interested to see the battery life on this one also.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Umm..

      Nope. Still very happy thankyouverymuch! :)

  12. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Bah

    "LTE or 21Mb/s download, 5.8Mb/s upload HSPA+ connectivity"

    That'll come in really handy here in the UK where you spend most of your time struggling with GPRS/Edge.

  13. DrXym Silver badge

    Looks lovely

    I'm scared to ask how much it will cost though.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Skip this one....

    Samsung always keeps the best phone developments for itself. It will have a S3 running Droid V4 before long.

    Also HTC with their sense ui will probably make a better fist of Ice Cream Sandwich possibilities than this handset.

    my 2 pence

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this it?

    Really, seriously, is this it? The flag ship original Android phone. Wow ground breaking stuff, not.

    ROFLMAO

    1. Boothy Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Not a flag-ship

      Nexus phones are not built to be flag-ship designs, they are built as reference models.

      i.e. The lowest (or close to lowest) spec needed to run the new version of Android. One of the main reasons being these will get bought by developers, so they have a reference Android 4.0 device to develop and test with.

      Expect far batter phones to come out very quickly, including from Samsung themselves.

      1. BigG
        Paris Hilton

        Nice basic spec

        Similarly looking forward to seeing what the other manufacturers come up with based on this reference spec.

        Declaring my interest. HTC Hero owner for 2 years, never rooted, broken, not a comp. sci. Would like a better camera in low light to help me rebuild whole story from the night before the morning after.

        Paris because if I'd wanted something rooted.....

        1. IsJustabloke
          Thumb Up

          I CHOOSE to enoble a simple forum post!

          yep.... very happy with my Hero, had it just about 18 months and have been very pleased with it, like you I*really* miss the camera from my renoir but thats the only thing I'd change... oh I'd like to have had a flash as well.

          have just started to look at phones for my forthcoming upgrade.

  16. The Taft Hotel
    Thumb Up

    Price

    What will it be phone only sim free?

    Is there any other route to purchase other than through a network? I don't need a new contract, just the phone at a decent price!

    :)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no storage expansion slot, no sale.

    1. Sam Liddicott

      always

      always some blot that stops me wishing I could afford to buy it - I can't believe there is no card slot!

    2. Paul Shirley

      the SD card isn't dumb storage or meant for swapping

      The way Android handles SD makes swapping cards a theoretical possibility that no-one would ever actually except for SD size or phone upgrades. So much app data ends up on the card your phone breaks without it, syncing between swaps is time consuming and almost impossible on the road.

      Right now the SD card is not dumb storage expansion. That could be changed for devices with large onboard flash but don't hold your breath - or choose a device with a slot and hack it yourself.

  18. Adam T

    And I can't believe it's not butter!

    Thing is, real butter will always be around. Storage expansion slots, on the other hand, are going the way of the floppy disk.

    1. BorkedAgain
      Meh

      In the sense that Apple don't support them, you're right.

      On the other hand, most users on most other platforms seem to find them useful, on the whole. Leaving them out of something like a handset smacks of a plan to charge a tenner a gigabyte for upgrades...

      Nice reference model. I'll wait for the production versions, I think. Without butter.

  19. KroSha
    Joke

    Doesn't it look kind of like an iPhone 3GS?

  20. bep

    Battery life?

    Everyone talks about screen sizes and GPU speeds and megapixels, but no one cares about battery life. Put me down as one who cares about that above all the other minor considerations.

  21. cloudgazer
    Devil

    The best thing about this phone

    Is it makes the iPhone 4S look like good value for money

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