Expected around Thanksgiving, the next Pure Google handset should be another significant step forward for Android.
Google and Samsung could be teaming up once again and this time for the first Android 4.0 handset. According to sources close to Boy Genius Report, this latest collaboration bears the code name of Prime and could ultimately arrive as the Nexus Prime when it debuts late in the year. The handset should significantly improve upon its predecessor Nexus devices on multiple fronts, including processor speed and display resolution.
Keeping with other Pure Google experience smartphones, the Nexus Prime is expected to be devoid of any carrier customization or preloaded applications. Rumors also have been swirling that the first Ice Cream Sandwich handset would also be notable for another absence, physical buttons. And given that the next iteration of Android blends parts of Honeycomb and Gingerbread, it's very possible that any 4.0+ devices could operate without hard keys.
The "monster-size" screen will be branded as a "Super AMOLED HD" display, matching up with previous reports of a 720p resolution. For the sake of comparison, today's top Android smart phones feature qHD screens that operate at 960x540-pixel resolution, whereas midrange devices now typically run with 800x480-pixel resolution.
BGR's source advises that the processor speed for the Nexus Prime is a next-generation dual-core CPU, in either 1.2GHz or 1.5GHz speeds. As for as the chipset, the most likely candidate will be Texas Instruments' OMAP 4460 or Qualcomm's latest (Krait) Snapdragon.
In other hardware, the camera will be 5 megapixels, but the sensor will be improved for higher quality images and better low-light conditions. Like many Android handsets on the market, the Nexus Prime will offer a front-facing (1-megapxiel) camera for video chat.
Rounding out the details, BGR advises we can expect 4G LTE support and at least 1GB of RAM. While these specifications are anything but official, we've put together a list of features we'd like to see in the next Nexus.
One rumor that I'd love to hear more about is that Google is working with multiple carriers and handset makers to release its own "exclusive" devices with Ice Cream Sandwich. What's more, these would be in addition to the Nexus Prime.
It's worth pointing out that Google has not identified Ice Cream Sandwich as being on in the same as Android 4.0. It's possible, but perhaps unlikely, that ICS could arrive as a 3.X release.