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David Zax

A View from David Zax

The First Ice Cream Sandwich Phone?

It’s a rumor, but a good one: the first phone running Android 4.0 might be the Samsung “Nexus Prime.”

  • June 30, 2011

Boy Genius Report, which tends not to cry wolf when dishing rumors, claims to have the scoop on the first Ice Cream Sandwich phone–that is, the first phone that will run Android’s forthcoming operating system, 4.0.

BGR has reason to believe that this “world’s most anticipated Android phone” will be manufactured by Samsung, and that it might be called “Nexus Prime.” The phone will reportedly have a 720p-resolution display, and will likely use an OMAP 4460 chipset from Texas Instruments (or possibly, says CNET, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon). BGR also thinks purchasers of the phone will have 4G LTE support and a gigabyte of RAM or more. The phone is expected to feature a 5-megapixel camera with an improved sensor that can still churn out quality images in low light. And of course, as is typical with many Android phones already, we can probably expect a lower-quality front-facing camera for video chat (TR previously reported that Ice Cream Sandwich would “bring some impressive software that can track a person’s head and eyes using a webcam, making it possible to create a 3D experience”). Lastly, and perhaps most intriguingly, the first Ice Cream Sandwich phone might break with tradition and do away with any physical menu keys.

Need a refresher on what Ice Cream Sandwich is exactly, and why it matters? Announced at the Google I/O conference in May, Ice Cream Sandwich is being billed as a merger of sorts between Honeycomb (Android 3.0, which powers Android-based tablets) and Gingerbread (Android 2.3, which today powers Android-based smartphones). “Our goal with Ice Cream Sandwich is to deliver one operating system that works everywhere, regardless of device,” Google explained at the time. “Ice Cream Sandwich will bring everything you love about Honeycomb on your tablet to your phone, including the holographic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets.” Mobile and desktop OS may be merging, taking the long view; but to get there, we first need all our mobile operating systems–for tablets and phones–to be in agreement, and Google knows it.

“One OS, everywhere,” became the motto of the I/O announcement. And “everywhere” might just begin with a Samsung headset called Nexus Prime, due out–goes the rumor–sometime later this year.

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