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Google Nexus Prime: What we know so far

The iPhone 4S is out of the bag now, all officially announced and everything. Yes it looks pretty nice, blah blah. We’ll be honest though, our enthusiasm for the 4S might be greater were we not awaiting next Tuesday’s Samsung/Google event with bated breath.

Samsung’s ‘Google Episode’ is due to kick off at 11:00AM PST (7:00PM here in the UK) on the 11th of October.

Thought to be a joint unveiling of Ice Cream Sandwich, the next big thing for Android and the Google Nexus Prime, the event looks to be just as important (if not more so) than any iPhone launch event.

We really won’t know for sure what Samsung and Google have in store for us. But there are a few tidbits and morsels we’ve heard from the Internet Rumour Machine that give us some idea of what’s in store.

Google Nexus Prime and the Nexus range

Google started the Nexus range as a way of raising the Android bar and providing an example of what an Android smartphone could be. The Nexus One, made by HTC, was the first phone in the line-up and it was followed by the Nexus S, made by Samsung.

The Nexus One set a precedent for what passed for high-end in the Android world in 2010, so much so that the successful HTC Desire’s specs virtually mirrored those of the Nexus. It was the first phone to get Android 2.2 Froyo from Google, the version of the OS which most Android phones still run on today.

The Nexus S followed later, arriving in December 2010 and it notably sported an NFC chip and a fancy curved touchscreen. Curved screens didn’t take off but NFC looks set to be a big part of the future of mobile, with live trials of Google Wallet occurring right now.

The Nexus Prime then will be the next showcase phone for Google’s Android OS. It’s thought to be the flagship phone for Ice Cream Sandwich, the next generation of Android, which will unite the Android phone and tablet experience and hopefully make the overall user experience less ‘fragmented’.


Google Nexus Prime specifications

There are plenty of rumours doing the rounds on the Google Nexus Prime. Despite this there’s no official indication, aside from leaked information and a Bluetooth profile that the phone will even be called the Nexus Prime.

However, with a pinch of salt in hand, we’ve heard that the ‘Nexus Prime’ may or may not feature the following specifications:

  • A big screen, Super AMOLED HD, possibly 4.5-inches in size with a resolution of 1280 x 720 (720p) or 800 x 480 (WVGA).
  • A 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4460 dual-core processor.

We’ve not heard much on anything else regarding specs for the Nexus Prime.

While we’ve no reason to doubt that there’ll be a dual-core chip, we’d imagine, given that Nvidia has taken the wraps off its Tegra 3/Kal-El quad/penta-core system, that Samsung might be squeezing something extra under the hood here. Then again, Samsung might pop in its own Exynos-brand processor in.

Likewise we’ve heard nothing about the camera of the Prime. But if that screen res does clock in at 1280 x 720, you’d hope that there would be a camera that would take pictures and shoot video at that size. Something around 16-megapixels perhaps?

We of course would also expect a front-facing camera of some description and, like the Nexus S and Galaxy S2 before it, a healthy dose of internal memory.

Google Nexus Prime design

We’ve seen no official front-facing press shots of the Nexus Prime. But this teaser video posted by Samsung yesterday gave us the first glimpse of a phone which could be the Prime.

From the side, it very much looks like its following the curved, convex shape of the Nexus S. There’s a power button visible on the side, again similar to the Nexus S and a Samsung design stable for that matter. There’s also what looks like three copper connections and a raised area on the underside where a camera unit would live.

It looks like the Nexus Prime could dock into a larger device from this still on the video.

Michael Crider over on Android Community points to the three connection dots and a theory that the darker shape above the phone is actually a tablet body that the phone slots in to, similar to Asus’ Padphone.

This would also fit in with the Ice Cream Sandwich ethos of one single OS that works on Android smartphones and tablets.

The Samsung Unpacked 2011 app

Though there’s nothing to be gleaned from the official Android app for the event (spoilsports) the Samsung Unpacked 2011 is worth downloading on your Android phone. As well as having a map of the San Diego venue (so you can pretend that you’re there if you’ve not been invited). It looks set to be stocked with all kinds of content post the 11th of October launch; there’s icons for a press release, new product info and an ‘Unpacked Live’ icon, which will presumably livestream the event which Google’s Andy Rubin is supposedly attending.

The Samsung Unpacked 2011 app is free to download from the Android Market now.