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Galaxy Nexus, Android 4 'Ice Cream Sandwich' revealed

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Kin Cheung/AP

(Read caption) A model displays the new Galaxy Nexus smartphone during a news conference in Hong Kong Oct. 19, 2011. South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on Wednesday unveiled its Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the first to use the latest version of Google's Android 4.0 operating system, known as 'Ice Cream Sandwich.'

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American tech enthusiasts had to stay up late on Tuesday night to catch Google and Samsung’s announcement at the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong, but those who did were well rewarded: Google revealed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” the highly anticipated fourth iteration of the Android operating system, and Samsung raised the curtain on the first smartphone to run Android 4.0: the Galaxy Nexus.

Let’s talk about the hardware first. The Galaxy Nexus sports a gargantuan 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display and a slightly curved body and face (unlike a certain other phone we could name, that recently debuted with a flat face in spite of rumors to the contrary). It packs a 1.3 megapixel front camera, 5-megapixel rear camera and flash, and according to Samsung's announcement, no shutter lag.

Under the hood, there’s a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 16 or 32GB of built-in storage space, and a near-field communication (NFC) module – more on that last feature in a second. We know from published leaks that the Galaxy Nexus will be available on Verizon in the United States; Samsung announced that the handset will be carried by NTT Docomo in Japan as well as Vodafone, O2, and a handful of others in Europe.

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