Galaxy Nexus smartphone on sale in Canada, but still no U.S. release date
The Galaxy Nexus and Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich have finally arrived in North America -- but not in the U.S.
On Thursday, Android fans in our neighbor up north were able to buy Samsung's new Galaxy Nexus smartphone as it launched on Canadian carriers Bell for $159.95 and Virgin Mobile for $159.99, along with each company's respective data plan.
But the Galaxy Nexus, which is the first device to run on the highly anticipated Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, still has no U.S. release date or price.
Making things a bit more painful for Google gadget lovers in the U.S.: The Galaxy Nexus has been on sale in Britain for weeks and is launching across Europe over the next few days.
Whenever the Galaxy Nexus hits the States, it'll be available on Verizon's 4G LTE network (something we've known since mid-October), sporting a massive 4.65-inch touch screen with a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, a 1.2-gigahertz dual-core processor and 1 gigabyte of RAM.
The new handset will also have a 5-megapixel rear camera capable of shooting 1080p video and a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front for video chatting, and no physical buttons on the curved face of the device. The back of the Galaxy Nexus looks, well, a lot like the Galaxy S II and the LG Nitro HD.
All of that measures up with other top-of-the-line smartphones out there -- so nothing groundbreaking hardware-wise, but nearly all you'd want out of a current smartphone is included, on paper anyway.
So what makes the Galaxy Nexus remotely special? Again, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Google's first operating system designed for both smartphones and tablets.
Ice Cream Sandwich is the version of Android that Google hopes will get hardware makers on the same page. In the past, many handset makers have failed to issue software updates for older phones when newer versions of Android are released.
Will Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich be any good? We'll have a full review of the Galaxy Nexus shortly after we get our hands on it. Stay tuned.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Andy Rubin, left, Google's vice president in charge of Android, and Samsung President J.K. Shin unveil the Galaxy Nexus smartphone in China on Oct. 19. Credit: Bobby Yip / Reuters