By Lisa Carlin

Google and Samsung have launched the Galaxy Nexus, the latest Android smartphone running the latest operating system from the Google stable, Android 4.0, affectionately nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich. First you could talk on your phones. All that changed when Apple launched the iPhone 4S with Siri, Apple’s version of the talking ghost in the machine (or digital assistant, if you prefer to have it that way). With Siri, not only do you talk on the phone, but the phone talks back to you, and going by the Internet stories and videos, Siri is quite the smart mouth. With the Galaxy nexus, you will have to presumably start grinning at the phone. Better not try this at crowded elevators for the time being.

 

Quick look at some of the specs

Look: The Galaxy Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich phones feature a face unlock, which lets you unlock your phone by clicking switching it on, and looking at the camera. A smile is expected, but not really required.

And Touch: The phones are NFC-capable, which means you can transfer data (contacts, apps, maps, videos, directions, porn) by just touching it with another NFC-capable device by using the Android Beam, touch-to-beam functionality.

Talk Now: The Galaxy Nexus phones can make text appear instantly on the screen at the speed of speech using voice typing.

Group video chat:Google+ is integrated with the phone, and using Hangouts in Google+ lets you carry on a video conversation with up to nine people right from the phone.

Single-motion panoramic camera:  The Galaxy Nexus comes with a camera with zero shutter-lag, automatic focus, low-light performance camera.This camera lets you take panoramic pictures at one sweep, no stitching necessary.

World’s first phone with a 4.65″ high-definition sAMOLED display: AMOLED stands for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode. Active-matrix OLED displays provide higher refresh rates than their passive-matrix OLED counterparts, and they consume significantly less power. The Galaxy Nexus makes content look richer and crisper, and consumes less power doing it.

Thick and thin: The Galaxy Nexus is 8.84 mm thick and with a minimal 4.29 mm bezel.

The Galaxy Nexus will start hitting the shelves in November. In the United States, Verizon will carry the models.

(Lisa Carlin writes on gadgets and geeky things for techtaffy.com. She can be reached at [email protected])