Oct 04 AT 11:37 AM Anthony Domanico 76 Comments

Is this a screenshot of the Nexus Prime?


Just hours before Apple is set to unveil the iPhone 4S/5, GSM Arena has gotten their hands on what very well might be the first live shot of the upcoming Nexus Prime. The Nexus Prime is rumored to be unveiled one week from today at Samsung Mobile’s Unpacked event at the 2011 CTIA conference.

The image confirms that the Nexus Prime will indeed launch with an HD screen. The Nexus Prime will feature a 4.6-inch 720p display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720.

Perhaps more importantly, the leak gives us a first glimpse into what an Android device will look like without the physical or capacitive buttons we’ve come to expect. Instead, Google has built soft buttons into the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android (either 2.4 or 4.0), similar to what we’ve seen on tablets running Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

The soft buttons will be one of the bigger differentiating factors that set the Nexus Prime apart from previous Android devices. Though an argument could be made that the on-screen buttons take up precious screen real estate, we believe manufacturers will increase the screen size of their devices to offset the screen taken up by the soft buttons.

As someone who has used multiple Honeycomb tablets, I personally am looking forward to the use of soft buttons instead of the more traditional physical/capacitive buttons. Based on the image below, Google has made sure that the soft buttons flow well with the rest of the operating system.

What do you guys think? Do you embrace the move toward soft buttons that are built into the OS? Or do you prefer the more traditional capacitive/physical buttons? What do you think of the Aluminum bezel?

Source: GSM Arena

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • lucas

    if this is indeed the nexus prime i will be a very, very happy man. looks outstanding!

    • Mariano Rivera, NY City

      I wanna cry.
      I sold my iPhone 4 in anticipation of iPhone 5.
      Apple dropped the FREAKIN BALL with 4Same!!!
      Im switching to Android, im sick of no LTE and still 3.5inch screen.

      Im still stunned by this epic apple blunder…

      • hand89

        CLOSING the door on apple, Mariano?

  • Josh Phillips

    This looks pretty sick to me. Looks like it might be nice and thin too…

  • http://www.nightshadelabs.com David Shellabarger

    I think it’s real.
    I’ve very curious about the line under the Back button. Perhaps it indicates if back is in the same application or something. It could be very useful.

  • Jonathan

    I hope the nexus prime comes to the Netherlands.
    I want a google phone!

    • Jack1995

      wut is netherlands

  • SliestDragon

    I’ll take software buttons any day if that means that manufacturers will keep away from wasted space. Phones like the G2x were horrible with the 6″ of space at the bottom.

    From what I see, the phone looks good. Don’t see anything weird. Wind be able to fully comment on the looks till we see the whole thing in a week.

  • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

    I really, really, like the idea of soft buttons. They work well on Honeycomb, so ICS should be able to get it right.

    • Dharmabhum

      I haven’t tried any Honeycomb devices but I still love my capacitive buttons on the Nexus One. Those combined with the trackball are amazing interfaces and I’d gladly use them again.

      That being said, I’ll try out something new :)

      • http://NathanBrauer.com Nathan J. Brauer

        You use the trackball?

  • Nate B.

    Seems like to much bezel at the bottom. I know they news space for the Michael and all..but Idk. We will have to see it in the works. I wonder if you’ll have an option to turbot off. I’m also sure the other 90 pixels are used for the touch screen keys.

    I’m not an Apple guy but I love mobile period. I’m excited for today and will be even more excited next week. Awesome.

    • Nate B.

      Clearly auto correct jacked up my post. I meant to say it looks like to much Bezel at the bottom if it has on screen buttons only. I do understand they need room for the mic as well. I’m also sure the other 90 pixels left out judging from numbers are used for the touch screen buttons. I guess we will wait and see next week.

      I’m all for android but as a mobile lover I am excited for for Apple today and if Sprint really does get the iPhone, I’ll be excited for my carrier. I will stick to an Android phone, specifically the Nexus Line. Next week will be awesome.

      Android and me, you need an edit button for comments.

      • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

        Actually, the 90ish pixels are used on the soft buttons. The test measures area sans buttons, according to GSMarena..

      • Angie Strickland

        Seems like a good idea, but it creates more confusion that you would think. Lots of times people respond to a comment, and then if the original comment is edited, then the thread no longer makes sense. That’s just one issue.

        • Panatella

          There should be a line inserted “edited by USER on TIME-DATE”
          maybe one could fold out the original message with a little, almost unnoticeble plus sign next to this text.

  • http://keridel.blogspot.com keridel

    i dont understand the need for the thick bottom bezel..

    if you dont have capacitive buttons why do you need a big bezel?

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      How about a mic that doesn’t get interference by putting it away from the display.

      • http://keridel.blogspot.com keridel

        thats a good point. didnt think of that :)

        • fderjani

          Have you tried playing, for example, landscape games that make use of the accelerometer? Where would you put your thumbs?

          I just feel like having to rest my thumbs on the edge of the device rather than on its face seems awkward.

          As aesthetically pleasing as little to no bezel would be, let’s not forget that some functionality would be sacrificed.

  • REX

    I hope that’s a metal casing. Or at least something of much higher quality than the Nexus S

  • irishrally

    It’s looks like a larger Nexus S, which I’m entirely fine with/happy about.

    The thing that looks a bit strange is that the W, X, Y seem to render on top of the side bezel a little bit.

    Could be some clever photoshop with the capacitive buttons on a Nexus S blacked out. That would explain the seemingly large bottom bezel.

    I hope it’s real!

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      Could be fake, but that problem you mentioned could just be “pixel-bleeding”. The picture is low-res and can’t capture all the details. Imagine a low-res camera is trying to capturing a high-res image. The high-res image has 10 “conceptual pixels”, 2 black, 8 white, and the camera has to capture them into 1 pixel. The 2 black pixels will be overpowered by the 8 white pixels, and you will end up having a very bright pixel in your low-res image.

      • http://www.nexsoftware.net Justin Shapcott

        I dunno, all of the text at the bottom looks ‘off’ to me.

        • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

          You’re such a skeptic, Justin.

          • http://www.nexsoftware.net Justin Shapcott

            I know. Someone’s got to be.

  • Interpol91

    I like the implementation of soft buttons. One of my capacitive buttons has become so unresponsive I have to press hard to use it. At least this way it will eliminate that kind of issue. I just can’t wait to see it in all its glory!

  • Dev1359

    The soft buttons are very reminiscent of Honeycomb and I know ICS is supposed to be a blend of that and Gingerbread…looks legit to me. I like what I see :)


    to me it depends on how much of the screen it takes up

    • David

      I agree.. soft buttons work well with Honeycomb because the screen is so big. I’m not totally convinced this will be an “improvement” over capacitive. If your typing a text message or email and the back buttons are still active, theres going to be a lot of people exiting out of things when they don’t intend to.

      • Dragonithe

        The back icon will probably be replaced by a close keyboard icon.
        But for the other 2/3 buttons, we’ll have to see.

  • adib

    the bezel kind of looks like the one on the blackberry 9900. Looks very refined

  • Richard Yarrell

    Just like anything else in life I guess an adjustment to buttonless will be fine. This just proves that 5 inch screens are on the way and that is exactly what I want. Much applause to google and ice cream sandwich

  • http://www.healthytiger.com Healthy

    I don’t get why the background behind the text is that grey color, when (if they are real) the on screen buttons can go super dark with the blacks.

    looking forward to it regardless. when we actually know we are seeing it for real.

  • nexus

    Very happy this rumor has panned out! Another differentiating factor that makes it well worth spending the money and not just flashing a new rom.

  • Bon

    It doesn’t look like software button is going keep the size of the phone from getting bigger than let’s say 4.3 inch screen phone with buttons as many people insisted. The phone in the picture has just as much bezel as the ones with buttons. So, the screen and phone get larger, but you don’t gain much from larger screen cause software buttons take some away. You just got a larger phone without buttons. What’s the point of software buttons if they are not giving you any benefit other than being software button?? What happened to the claims we used to make that android is better than iOS cause we have the buttons that don’t waste the screen real estate?

  • Shawn shawn

    Well apple just said were scared of the nexus prime so were just gonna give a 4S this year. Interesting, prime will kill this year….. Apple iPhone 4S needs to removed like a virgining tumor deep inside the colon

    • irishrally

      I can’t believe the “new” iPhone STILL has a 3.5″ screen. Impressive internal upgrades though, but man, seems like they’re slipping a bit.

      I hope Android adds some sort of voice command feature soon. /sarcasm.

      /Off topic.

  • bidbadmofo

    Please bo aluminumy, chromey, flashy bezel… :(

    Just makebit look like the Nexus S, the vest looking Android phone to date. And make it on Verizon.


  • 3dski

    Best part of the news was no iphone 5 so suck it evry apple fan boy

    • Dharmabhum

      They still released a powerful iPhone 4S; A5 is a nice chip. I have no grounds for comparison so don’t freak out on me or anything, and I’m also Android since the early morning of the G1 launch so please no fanboi talk. I’m just happy they’re putting out a nice fast version of the iPhone to keep the arms race climbing!

  • Omar

    Looks to be the leaked picture of the chromed out device we saw a while back. If it is that one, and it comes to Sprint then I will be one happy camper.

  • Theli

    If the buttons at the bottom are soft keys, then why is the area above them so much brighter?
    It looks kind of like backlighting bleeding through an LCD display. But as this is using AMOLED, there shouldn’t be any backlight. So where is that light coming from? It can’t be a reflection, it’s too straight.

    • Panatella

      Good point there mate! Lets presume both the mainscreen and the softbutton part of the screen use black as the backgroundcolour. While the black background on the softbutton part is as dark as black velvet wrapped in emo, the maun

      • Panatella

        Curse my auto-correct suggestions next to the “post comment” button! (Also my big fingers)

        Good point there mate! Lets presume both the mainscreen and the softbutton part of the screen use black as the backgroundcolour. While the black background on the softbutton part is as dark as black velvet wrapped in emo, the main screen looks as black as my overly washed black socks.

  • kye

    if that is a pentile display, it sure looks crisp.

    Oh god im excited. I am truly a gadget nerd.

  • Nathan

    Can’t wait to see it next week I am saving up regardless of specs I just want an awesome phone with ics :)

    • Nathan

      Plus a metal body with soft buttons at a high Res doesnt sound to bad :D

  • user X

    Soft buttons : Just one more excuse why I ran a young child over while trying to hit the “BACK” button from my phone not registering the “PHONE” button, and instead opening a web browser for me.

    yeah, soft buttons for everyone! population control at its finest!
    hurraahhhh! – next thing you know android phones will come preloaded with AIDS.

    No, not really, However the Verizon only idea, and all soft buttons, make this phone DOA for me. I’ll stick with my loved NS4G.

  • user X

    PS. None of these “phones” hold a candle to my Dunder Mifflin / Sabre Pyramid PDA with extra extended memory pack.


    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Just you wait to see what Google Announces next week. Pyramid 2 running Ice Cream Sandwich!

  • kwills88

    Seeing this just feels like a girl just showed me one nipple and then told me I gotta wait to see more, Oct 11 can’t get here any faster.

    • Chingy.

      turns out it was a tranny

  • elyfant422

    If true about the software button, I hope you can customize the location of each, i.e. put Back in the first spot, home in third and whatnot. It would be real nice to have any phone be able to be customized to the user.

    • http://www.nexsoftware.net Justin Shapcott

      That’s really the only benefit to a soft-key solution, in my opinion.

      • Kevinthebox

        HTC’s hard buttons tend to get “sticky” and unresponsive after awhile, I don’t see that happening on a soft button. But that clicky feeling, there’s just nothin’ like it :p

        • Dharmabhum

          I never cared for the hard keys like on the Droid (original Droid at least, I stopped paying attention to Verizon’s Android phones after that).

          I never had a problem with the capacitive buttons on the Nexus One though, and I love HTC for the design of that phone.

  • ghost5

    I say it’s a fake.

    As already mentioned why does the button part of the screen have a deeper black than the rest of the screen.

    Also the text isn’t lined up properly to the casing
    Look at the top text and the bottom text, it seems that the text at the top is ever so slightly out of line with the bottom.
    And also at the bottom the W in width and Y in ydpi seem to overlap onto the casing

    Finally there is a dead pixcel in the center of the screen – why would you accept a prototype that is obviously not working correctly

    • http://www.nexsoftware.net Justin Shapcott

      Not to mention the text on the bottom half is brighter, more crisp, doesn’t have any halo, is larger, and seems at a slightly different angle than the text at the top.

  • Wunako

    what a tease!!! as everyone else im anxious to see the final Product, with the disappointing iPhone 4S announcement, the ball is in Google’s corner they could potentially dent Apple here..

    as far as the Nexus Prime/3 it will come down to the Form, im hoping for a metal casing as the rumors are going, but i would be let down if its basically a updated Nexus S, which im reluctant to say it just might be.

  • CJ84

    I dont care too much but i lean further towards capacative buttons. Of course this minor thing cannot ruin such a thing of perfection.

  • xsynth

    So if they managed to take a picture of the lower corner, why not zoom out a little to show the whole thing?

    • xsynth

      However I’m more than happy with software buttons. Though a smaller bezel would be nice

  • Mark

    That is it, man. It’s the real deal. I can just feel it in my bones. It’s it. The ONE phone to RULE them all. The Nexus Prime. Come to papa.

  • PaulB

    Well lets hope its bigger then 4.3in. Verizon skipped the SGII for this phone so it better rock. I was hoping it would have a 4.5 like the SGII

    • Nathan

      suppose to be a 4.65 inch super amoled hd screen (well as rumor anyways)

  • teecruz

    those capacitive touch soft buttons are fucking sexy.
    to die for. I am dying.
    Cannot wait! (:

  • abi

    yep its fake. just like others said. i didn’t pay close attention to the w x and y the tips of the letters are going off the screen right on top of the black part of the phone. wow i was so excited. right when the iphone 4sux is reviled someone quickly Photoshop a nexus prime :(

  • sandeep

    I’d still prefer ONE hardware home button somewhere…. always feels good to have physical control over a device that gets smarter by the hour.

  • Alex

    I do really like soft buttons, but *please* make it 4, not just three. The search button is so useful and I use it all the time!

  • raudi

    +1 for physical buttons!

    i want to *feel* that i press a button
    i want to know without looking that my finger is on the button ready to press it!
    yeah i see the need for lager screens (this is marketing calling here)
    so put them buttons on the side on the bottom and *on the back* (yeah i got this patented alright) i don’t care
    but give us buttons to press!

  • 5n4r35

    As long as the buttons don’t cover-up any of the content I’d love it. On my Galaxy Tab some games appear behind the status bar. You can’t hide it becuase of the buttons and it covers up buttons to use in the game. As long as that problem is fixed It’s the way to go.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/shieloue shaider

    and you guys mock the apple fans!
    you act even worse!