Google Galaxy Nexus

Galaxy Nexus face unlock capabilities further tested

The Galaxy Nexus Face Unlock is a nifty party trick to unlock your phone. While it looks state of the art, it is possible to fool it with a picture of the owner.

Singtel has done a couple of Face Unlock tests on its TGIS (Thank God It’s Singtel) show. This includes testing the Galaxy Nexus with identical twins, digital photo, heavy make up and funny faces. This video isn’t exactly new but it is still interesting to watch.

Recently Samsung has finally found a solution to the photo loophole by implementing blink detection to its Face Unlock feature. This will be rolled out together with Android 2.3 Value pack for Galaxy S.

Galaxy Nexus tear down by iFixit

To see what goes inside the Galaxy Nexus, we leave it to the professional guys at iFixit. This time they have given the Samsung Galaxy Nexus a nice little tear down treatment which reveals its innards and just how challenging it is to open up this nifty little gadget.

Overall, the components internally are easily replaceable but the main case which covers the motherboard was a challenge to open. iFixit had to pry the screen off using a couple of guitar picks. In addition, the glass is fused together with the Super AMOLED screen which means replacement could be costly.

Head after the break for step by step disassembly.

Read the full story

VIDEO: Galaxy Nexus screen gets keyed

It was earlier revealed that the Galaxy Nexus will not come with Corning’s Gorilla Glass protection. This was a shocker as most smart phones today will come with this strengthen glass which protects from daily abuses.

So what happens if a Galaxy Nexus meets with your bunch of keys in the pocket? Someone has put the Galaxy Nexus to the test, so watch the video above to see the results.

As mentioned before, it is unlikely for Samsung to omit strengthen glass and they might be using alternative glass like Dragontail. While it can’t be confirmed if it is indeed Dragontail, at least we now know there’s some form of toughen glass being used in the Galaxy Nexus.


Chief Android designer responds to Face Unlock issue

Matias Duarte, the chief Android designer was on the first episode of The Verge show. During the show, he was asked about ICS Face Unlock feature which recently was proven to be unlocked with a photo.

His answer? Face Unlock on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is optimised for “common use cases”. He added that if someone kidnaps you, takes your face off and puts it on like John Woo’s Face Off Movie, it also could defeat Face Unlock. Basically it is just a small security measure to buy time for you to deactive and perform a remote wipe on your phone. For us, we prefer sticking to pattern unlock as our method of phone locking.

For those still having doubts on our face unlock video, someone by the name of Andrew McSweeney has repeated our unlocking test. He used the exact same set up, with a Galaxy Nexus which was programmed using his face and then unlocking it with a photo of himself on a Samsung Galaxy Note. Watch it after the break.

Read the full story

Google’s Galaxy Nexus Twitter giveaway leaves out Malaysia

Google’s giving away 10 Galaxy Nexus over 10 days on Twitter and all you need to do is follow the @GoogleNexus official Twitter account and solve a series of puzzles and riddles presented via the Twitter account.

It’s a global contest and the prizes are from Google direct, not some operator or anything like that and all this is good but what sucks big time is that Malaysia — a country where Google, a few months back, just opened an office in — is left out. As usual, our gadget junky counterparts in Singapore are eligible to participate in this contest.

We’re all very, very, very disappointed with you Google.

In an case, this just means that the Galaxy Nexus is set to come to SEA before the end of this year. We’re looking forward to this.

Clarification on the Ice Cream Sandwich Face Unlock video

UPDATE: The person manning the camera is Aman Firdaus from He saw us doing the test a few times using the picture and face. He’s given permission for us to mention him here. Hopefully that will help clear some doubt. Thanks Aman!

UPDATE 2: Check out the response from Android Chief Designer Matias. Our Face unlock test was successfully repeated as well. Watch it here.

At the Samsung Galaxy Note regional launch in Jakarta last week, we had some hands on time with the yet to be released Google Galaxy Nexus and we got a question from @yauhui via Twitter asking if the Face Unlock feature in Ice Cream Sandwich can be tricked to recognise a picture of a face instead of an actual face. And so we went to test this out. We showed a Galaxy Nexus that has been setup to recognise an actual face. Then we showed the device a digital image of the same face but it was displayed on the screen of the Galaxy Note that we have on hand to see if we could trick Face Unlock to recognise the picture as well.

We took a video of this test and it went viral. We uploaded the video on November 9, and it currently has over 41,000 views and is featured on some of the most prominent tech sites in the world like TheNextWeb, Gizmodo, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, CNet, Phandroid, and Android and Me to name a few. The video was even featured on Yahoo! News globally. Our favourite is this one headline — “This Guy Just Exposed A Major Security Flaw In Ice Cream Sandwich”.

But the global coverage for our video is besides the point. What’s even more important is clarifying to everyone that the test — and the video — is not a trick. Some believed that we had programmed the Galaxy Note to recognise the picture and not the face. We must stress that this is not the case. The Galaxy Nexus in the video was the exact same unit we used to do our hands-on video where we originally set up the device to recognise a face and not a picture of a face.

Also, while we were doing the test, there were a few people watching including some of bloggers from the Malaysian contingent that went to Jakarta to with us for the regional launch of the Galaxy Note and a few reps from Samsung Malaysia and Samsung Indonesia. We did a couple of takes before deciding on the final video and those who were there saw that the phone recognised both the face and the picture of the face.

Read the full story

Galaxy Nexus coming to Malaysia

Click to enlarge

UPDATE: Samsung hints Galaxy Nexus coming in January 2012.

We are blogging live from the Samsung Galaxy Note regional event at Jakarta where they have just revealed some details of the Galaxy Nexus. For those that have been waiting out for the 4.65″ Galaxy Nexus in Malaysia, we got some good news for you as it is expected to be released by end of this year.

More details to come. For latest updates, please follow us on twitter at @soya_cincau.

Related posts
Galaxy Nexus specs compared with other smart phones
Galaxy Nexus sample video
Galaxy Nexus with Ice Cream Sandwich revealed

Corning says no Gorilla Glass on the Galaxy Nexus

If you’re wondering whether — or if you assumed that — the Galaxy Nexus comes standard with Corning’s Gorilla Glass then this should come as a shocker. The Galaxy Nexus — just like the Nexus S before it — does not come with Gorilla Glass.

Is this a big deal? Well to those who have the tendency to mix phone and keys in the same pocket, yes, this is a very big deal.

But this is not to say that Samsung omitted strengthened glass on the Galaxy Nexus altogether. There’s Dragontrail, which is an alternative to Gorilla Glass, so it is possible that Samsung just opted for a different supplier this time around.

Of course, this is pure speculation at the moment, but surely Samsung won’t just give consumer plain old unprotected glass in one of its high-end phone right?

[source, via]

Sample video taken using the Galaxy Nexus

Why 5MP when your competitors are running 8MP? That’s the biggest question everyone’s asking about the Galaxy Nexus, and its a legit question.

Camera performance will be a major deciding factor for those who are looking to purchase a next-generation smartphone. On the field at the moment we have the iPhone 4S, the Motorola RAZR and the Galaxy Nexus, and how good the camera is on each of these devices will make the difference between deal or no-deal for a lot of people.

Here’s a sample video taken using the 5MP sensor on the Galaxy Nexus. The same footage was shown at the Samsung Google event, you can view it now at your own time in all its 1080p glory.

If you’re wondering, yes, the video has been edited but the only processing done to the original footage was to speed it up in the first clip, and that shouldn’t affect the raw footage taken from the Galaxy Nexus much.

Its pretty impressive for a 5MP shooter don’t you think? For comparison, here’s a video sample taken using the iPhone 4S.


Updated: Estimated pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Motorola RAZR

Update: Slight revision on the pricing as we got the conversions mixed up. We used conversation rates based on Euros when the price is actually in Pounds (Thanks to Ramesh for pointing this out). Based on the right currency, we have a clearer picture of how much the devices would cost when they come to Malaysia. Considering that smartphone prices in UK is generally more expensive than they are here, you can expect that the Motorola RAZR and Galaxy Nexus to be priced fairly close to our RM2,200 estimate.

European online retailer Clove Technologies are now taking pre-orders for both the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Motorola RAZR. What’s interesting about this is that with the pre-orders, Clove have also released the outright pricing for the two devices.

The Motorola RAZR is expected to retail for £379 or about RM1,622 RM1,855, while the The Galaxy Nexus is expected to go on sale for £429 or about RM1,834 RM2,100.

Both these prices are well below our estimates which still stands at around the RM2,200 or below range for the two devices. As the Samsung Galaxy SII and the HTC Sensation XE are selling for RM1,899 and RM1,999 respectively, we don’t think that the RAZR and Galaxy Nexus will match the European pricing when the devices come to Malaysia, but hey, the cheaper the better.

If these two devices do get sold here for below RM2,000, that’s going to be amazing.

[source 1, source 2]

By the numbers: Galaxy Nexus & Motorola RAZR compared

UPDATE: Updated with upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note and NFC support comparison.
With 2 new devices – Motorola RAZR & Galaxy Nexus launched today, it is time for another round of smart phone comparison. Another update is the Galaxy Nexus does not come with expandable Micro SD slot which is a bummer.

Both the RAZR and Galaxy Nexus runs on dual-core 1.2GHz processors and 1GB of RAM. In the OS department, the Galaxy Nexus sets itself apart with the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich while the Motorola Razr runs on Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. That won’t be a difference in the next few months as Motorola is planning to offer Android 4.0 upgrades for the Razr.

In terms of screen, the Nexus has a bigger 4.65″ screen with higher resolution Super AMOLED that supports 1280×720 while the Motorola Razr offers a 4.3″ Super AMOLED Advanced with respectable qHD resolution of 960×540. In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy Nexus supports HSPA+ up to 21Mbps while the RAZR supports up to 14.4Mbps HSPA. This isn’t a big deal since U Mobile is the only one that commercially supports HSPA+.

While the Galaxy Nexus seems to trump RAZR in the screen and OS aspect, the RAZR offers a higher 8MP camera as oppose to the Nexus’s 5MP and it is juiced up with a large 1780mAh capacity battery. Unfortunately the high capacity battery on the RAZR is non removable which probably is a compromise to maintain its slimmest 7.1mm profile. In terms of weight, the RAZR is lighter than the Nexus at 127g but it is still heavier than Samsung Galaxy S II’s 116g weight.

Also worth mentioning is the Galaxy Nexus like its predecessor Nexus S, does not come with expandable microSD slot. This is a bummer for those that intend to store massive photos, music and movies while on the go, beyond its internal storage. For the Galaxy Nexus, there is a larger 32GB version but we’re not sure if they will bring both 16GB and 32GB models to Malaysia.

If both Galaxy Nexus & Motorola RAZR is priced the same, which one will you get? Let us know why in the comments section.