Samsung's hot new Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the first to run Android 4.0, went on sale Thursday in the U.K. and is expected to be available in the U.S. on Verizon Wireless by the end of the month.

On Friday, Samsung and Google launched a new 60-second video ad that shows actors using the device and its new Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" features, including voice-activated typing, Face Unlock (using facial recognition software), Android Beam (for contactless transfer of data over Near-Field Communication) , Google+ with Hangouts for easy social networking, and a camera with a panorama view.

Verizon Wireless still had not announced a release data for the Galaxy Nexus early Friday, but a wide range of reports have said the release would occur by the end of the month.

Computerworld blogger JR Raphael got hands-on time with an HSPA+ version of the device from Google, connected to T-Mobile USA's network, which will be the version of the Galaxy Nexus sold globally. Verizon is expected to sell an LTE version, and Google says that will happen "sometime in November."

Raphael said the Galaxy Nexus, with its 4.65-in. display, is related to the size and shape of the Samsung Galaxy S II from Sprint. He said the new HD Super AMOLED display technology produced crisp and bright images and found the Ice Cream Sandwich, with its on-screen button, easy to use.

While Google advertises the Galaxy Nexus as "pure Google," which presumably means it was not altered by the manufacturer's or carrier's software, one reviewer at Ubergizmo found Verizon "bloatware" apps for My Verizon Mobile and Backup Assistant on a version of the device.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

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