Verizon to launch Samsung Galaxy Nexus with LTE

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) confirmed it will launch the LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first smartphone running the newest version of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich.

Verizon did not announce specific pricing or availability for the device. A Samsung spokeswoman confirmed to FierceWireless that Verizon will be the exclusive U.S. carrier for the device. When Google and Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Nexus last week they said that starting in November it would be available in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

The device is the third in a series of devices designed to highlight a pure Google Android experience and serve as a lead device for the latest version of the software. HTC made the original Nexus One, offered from T-Mobile USA, and Samsung produced the Nexus S, which Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) exclusively launched in the U.S.

The Galaxy Nexus sports high-end hardware in addition to its bleeding-edge software. The Galaxy Nexus runs a dual-core 1.2 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor, has a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen, 5-megapixel rear camera with zero shutter lag and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and Wi-Fi and support for Near Field Communications.

Despite the flashy hardware, the new software is the true heart of the Galaxy Nexus. Ice Cream Sandwich is designed to run on both smartphones and tablets and is intended to bridge the gap that was opened up with Android 3.0, or Honeycomb, which was specifically designed for tablets. The software includes an improved browser with the ability to sync users' bookmarks with Google's Chrome browser, a new keyboard, notifications that are more interactive and resizable widgets. There are also improvements to Gmail, the calendar application and a new People app, which combines high-resolution photos and updates from Google+ and other social networking services. Ice Cream Sandwich also supports a new service called Android Beam, which uses NFC to share webpages, YouTube videos, maps, directions and apps by simply tapping two phones together.

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