Google has joined forces with Samsung to launch the Galaxy Nexus, the next in the search engine's range of branded smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus will be the first smartphone to run Google Android 4.0, the version of the mobile operating system also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, that features a redesigned user interface with improve multi-tasking, a Face Unlock feature which uses facial recognition to unlock the handset and support for near-field communications that among other things allow smartphone owners to pay for goods and services by simply tapping their device on a special pad. And even share web pages and apps by tapping two smartphones running the OS together.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65in super AMOLED display and a 1.2Ghz dual core processor. Users will also benefit from a 5Mp camera with facial recognition and the ability to capture HD video at 1080p. It also comes with either 16GB/ 32GB Internal memory

The device also features a rounded design that Samsung claims "fits perfectly within your palm" and software based-navigation button making the front on the device perfectly flush

"We're extremely excited about the Galaxy Nexus and the wide range of features it offers consumers. The collaboration with Google to launch the world's first smartphone featuring Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a 4.65in HD Super AMOLED display is evidence of Samsung's continuing passion for innovation within the market," said Simon Stanford, Head of Mobile, Samsung UK and Ireland.

Originally it was thought the handset, which is the successor to the Nexus One, a device that was manufactured by HTC, and the Nexus S, which like the Galaxy Nexus is manufactured by Samsung, would be called the Google Nexus Prime.

 The Samsung Galaxy Nexus will hit the UK in November.