Around midday yesterday, I received my review kit for the Transformer Prime, complete with dock, wireless gamepad, and HDMI cable - meaning I'm well equipped to take a deep dive into the hottest new tablet to hit stores. But to be completely honest, an in-depth review on a product this brand-spanking-new requires more hands-on time than can be had in two days. The full review will be up on Friday, but in the interim, enjoy the initial impressions and gadget porn below.
One of the most prominent new features on the Galaxy Nexus, and Ice Cream Sandwich, is that the soft-keys are displayed right on the screen. While the notion is a sound one, there will always be those who miss some of the legacy features left behind. In this case, those would be the Menu and Search keys, stalwarts of Android's interface paradigm since its release with the G1. What was once four buttons - Home, Menu, Back, Search* - has been whittled down to just Home and Back, along with the introduction of the new multitasking-purposed App Switcher button.
Update: Things have gone from "Looks like a weird software bug" to "Damn, this could well be a serious hardware issue". As some users had been suggesting, the problem does indeed link to use of 2G. However, it turns out that the issue can be replicated by the use of 2G even on another, proximate phone. As you can see in the video demonstration by kongzs7 below, the volume rocker keys' sensors are set off even when the phone is only at the bootloader.
At this point, it's pretty clear that we've all been knee deep in Ice Cream Sandwich goodies all week long. We've already given you the Music 4.0.1, Google+ 2.0, and ICS Clock widget APKs, but that's not all - now we have some details regarding the CDMA Verizon Nexus Prime. At least that's what we thought it was called before Google and Samsung decided on the Galaxy Nexus as the final name, according to our reliable source who goes by Geek Vundotra (remember the leaked apps above?).
The next Nexus device, at least unofficially dubbed the Prime, has been very highly anticipated, especially as the scheduled reveal (originally October 11th) neared. Unfortunately, the announcement has been postponed due to the passing of Steve Jobs, and is now reportedly scheduled for October 27.
The Prime is rumored to pack some serious power, packing anything from a 1.2 - 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU, a high-end 5MP-8MP camera, 1GB of RAM, a fairly large (4.3" - 4.65") screen packing a 1280x720 resolution, and perhaps most notably, will usher in the next iteration of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).
The Prime leaks are rolling out in full force now, and we're really starting to get a good look at what Ice Cream Sandwich is all about. While Google and Samsung decided to cancel the Unpacked event -- originally set for October 11th -- where the Prime and ICS were to be announced, at least we have something to look at while we wait for the date to be rescheduled.
First off, the crew over at MyDroidWorld have gotten their hands on the Prime boot animation, threw it on a Droid Bionic, and shot a video for all to see.
We've been hearing about the Nexus Prime for months now, but things have really been heating up in the past week or so: first, Samsung released an official teaser trailer about the event and gave us a glimpse of the device's side profile. And yesterday, we had two conflictingsets of specs "leak out" (though obviously neither was confirmed). Finally, the official AndroidDevelopers YouTube account put up a video called "Android ICS Launch," set to stream during the Samsung Unpacked event in which the Prime and ICS were set to be revealed.
Oh, snap -- things are starting to get real now. This morning, BGR broke some exclusive info on the Nexus Prime that they obtained from a "trusted source." Now, GSMarena is reporting that they also have exclusive info on the upcoming device, but there's one problem: the latter strongly disagrees with the former. In fact, about the only thing the two sources are in agreeance about is the display --a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD running at 1280x720.
It's apparent that the Nexus Prime/Galaxy Nexus announcement is getting closer, as new information is starting to surface almost daily. Today, the hardware specs have been revealed by a "trusted source" in BGR's camp -- so let's have a look:
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Note: we're still not sure of the version number for ICS, so take that with a grain of salt)
4.65-inch 1280 x 720-pixel Super AMOLED HD with curved glass
TI OMAP 4460 dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz
1GB of RAM
32GB of built-in storage
5-megapixel camera on the back, 1.3-megapixel in the front
1080p HD video capture support
LTE/HSPA depending on carrier
1,750 mAh battery
After reading through the specs, it's clear that there are a couple of things that may come off a bit...