Nexus Prime Demo’d at ARIA Hotel in Las Vegas

September 15, 2011
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A person allegedly employed by Samsung showed the Nexus Prime to a few people at the ARIA Resort and Casino yesterday. According to the Samsung employee, the Nexus Prime has a dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP processor, an 8-megapixel primary camera, a 2-megapixel camera, Near Field Communication (NFC) capability, MHL, and HDMI.

“The Droid Guy,” who writes for Android blog The Droid Guy, saw the device himself after persuading the said Samsung employee. “The Droid Guy” was with an unspecified number of companions at the Verizon Developers Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, where they stumbled upon the Samsung employee toying around with a curious Android smartphone that they have never seen before.

Concept design of "Google Nexus Third Generation" by Federico Ciccarese

According to the report by “The Droid Guy,” the Samsung employee confirmed that the phone they were seeing was indeed the Nexus Prime and that Verizon Wireless may call it the DROID Prime. The Samsung employee also reportedly said that GSM- and CDMA-capable versions are also being manufactured.

Hands-on Experience with the Nexus Prime

“The Droid Guy” also described the unit as a little taller and a little thicker (presumably for the LTE radio) than the earlier Google phone, the Google Nexus S (also made by Samsung). He also saw one “‘Home’-like button” at the bottom, which he described as similar to the button on the Samsung Galaxy Note. The unit also had a power button and a volume rocker.

The handset that “The Droid Guy” saw in Las Vegas was running Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. The Nexus Prime is expected to run Android 2.4/4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). The Samsung employee explained that ICS is not yet ready, that’s why Android 2.3.4 was used on the demo unit.

The Samsung employee, apparently, didn’t want “The Droid Guy” and companions to take photos of the device. The Samsung employee brought “The Droid Guy” and his companions to a side office in the hotel where they were shown and allowed to play with the demo unit after removing their backpacks and hats. They were also told to keep their phones away.

Possible Launch Date and Release Date for the Nexus Prime

The report from “The Droid Guy” also mentioned that the Nexus Prime is expected to come out in “late October or early November on Verizon” and that other carriers will be launching it shortly after Verizon does. It is not clear whether this info was from the Samsung employee himself or from “The Droid Guy.”

As of today, no official pronouncements have been issued by Google or its partner manufacturer regarding the release or launch of the Nexus Prime, or even of ICS.

Most People’s Eyes Locked On the Nexus Prime

The report has caused mixed reactions among readers. Some are disappointed at the presence of a “Home” button and are worried that Apple might complain about it. Although, since the demo unit presumably is still a development unit, it is possible for the “Home” button to disappear in the Nexus Prime’s final form. But, then again, no one knows for certain for now.

Others are skeptical about the report because it lacked more details that someone who has had first-hand exposure to the phone could have provided. Some have declared the report as a fake, owing to the technical inconsistency of having both MHL and HDMI at the same time in one device–although, it is possible that the Samsung employee may not have the technical knowledge about that aspect. Some have expressed strong disappointment over the “fact” that Verizon Wireless is going to get the Nexus Prime first, ahead of the other major carriers.

Meanwhile, we are curious to know whether the “Nexus Prime” that the Samsung employee was brandishing was the Samsung SCH-I515 that has been rumored to arrive on Verizon as the Samsung DROID Prime or the Samsung GT-I9250 which was rumored earlier to be the Nexus Prime but was later rumored to be called the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

What questions are on your mind right now as regards the Nexus Prime?

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