Galaxy Nexus Smartphone To Launch Dec. 9?

Signs point to a Friday release and $299.99 price for Verizon's Samsung Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone.
Verizon Wireless has yet to make any official announcements about the availability of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but the stars appear to be aligning for the device to (finally) arrive in stores on Friday, Dec. 9.

Monday, Verizon Wireless stores reported receiving shipments of the Galaxy Nexus, and enterprising store employees posted a few images of the phone and its retail packaging on the internet.

Also Monday, documentation about the phone was made available to indirect Verizon Wireless resellers. The PDFs contain tons of information about the Galaxy Nexus and the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

Now, an internal email purports to spill the beans on the actual release date. According to a screen shot provided to Engadget, the Motorola Droid 4 (a phone that hasn't actually been announced yet) will go on sale Thursday, Dec. 8. In the same email, it says that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will go on sale Friday Dec. 9.

[ Check out top features in Samsung's new smartphone. Read Galaxy Nexus: 5 Features That Are Ice Cream Cool. ]

Could it be? Possibly. As noted, there's still no official word from Verizon. Verizon likes to launch major new phones on Fridays, however, and it is running out of time this month to get the device on store shelves. (After all, there are only 18 shopping days left until Christmas.)

Whether or not it actually launches Friday, at least we (think we) know the price. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported the Galaxy Nexus will cost $299.99 with a new contract--the same as the 32-GB version of the iPhone. Verizon has priced its new Long Term Evolution smartphones at the same $299.99 price point at launch, so the Journal's report is likely accurate.

The Galaxy Nexus runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and it has a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD display that will be made of curved glass. (Cured glass displays are somehow on deck to be the next big thing in smartphones. Go figure.) The display has 1280 x 720 pixels, giving it the elusive HD moniker. That means some HD content can play back in its native resolution in the device.

The Galaxy Nexus is driven by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 dual-core Cortex A9 processor at 1.2 GHz. The processor will be accompanied by 1 GB of RAM and 32 GB of built-in storage for media, such as photos, music, and videos. All that space will be necessary, as the device will pack a 5-megapixel main camera that can capture 1080p HD video. HD video chews through storage at an alarming rate. The device will also have a 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera for video chats.

Early reviews of the device and the operating system have been positive.

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