The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the third in the Nexus family, which have always been the first handsets, for three generations, to carry the latest mobile OS that Google has to offer.
The Nexus One came with Froyo, the follow up with Gingerbread, and the Galaxy Nexus with Ice Cream Sandwich.
While the software was always cutting-edge, the hardware often wasn't. The Nexus One was good but not spectacular, the Nexus S was below our expectations when it came to value for money, and the Galaxy Nexus tries to strike a balance between being on the bleeding edge and stability.
The truth is, that both Google and Samsung have had to sacrifice being the top dog when it comes to hardware in order to be able to deliver a device that is stable enough to be more than just a development platform.
This is probably why, for example, there's no quad core chipset onboard (like the Nvidia Tegra 3 or an even a faster chipset).
As for potential improvements; Samsung could have chosen to up the onboard memory to 1.5GB or 2GB to make sure that it will be competitive with next year's top of the range handsets.
A smaller display may have helped with portability and allowed the phone to pip the iPhone 4/4S when it comes to pixel density.
A microSD card reader would have been nice as well given that the device comes with 16GB as it stands.
We were rather disappointed to see a five megapixel snapper on the Nexus (although we appreciate that pixels are not all that counts - it is unfortunately still a flawed and simplistic comparator); having said that, five megapixels is quickly becoming the pixel count for entry level smartphones and we'd have preferred an eight megapixel model instead.