From its excellent interface to its myriad features, Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich is worlds ahead of its predecessors.Though many phones and tablets are due to for an ICS upgrade sometime in the far-flung future, very few have the new operating system right now. Here's a list of the Android 4.0 devices available today.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
The Galaxy Nexusr was not only the first device to come packed with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, it was the first device designed specifically for ICS. Samsung and Google teamed to work on the 4.3-inch smartphone and debuted both at a joint press conference in October 2011. And despite some minor bugaboos we had with the phone, Google couldn't have asked for a better device to launch its newest operating system on.
Ainovo Novo7 Basic
You would think that the first tablet to launch with Ice Cream Sandwich would be as good, if not better than, the Galaxy Nexus. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The Ainovo Novo7 Basic suffered from a host of problems including, but not limited to a rickety chassis, fuzzy display and sluggish performance. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that it had no Google-based apps including Google's Android Market. But hey, it was the first Ice Cream Sandwich tablet and at $99 it's one of the least expensive tablets on the market.
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime
ASUS's $499 Eee Pad Transformer Prime was not only the first tablet to rock Nvidia's super-powered quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, it was also one of the first tablets to throw off the shackles of Android Honeycomb and get an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. Unfortunately, the upgrade wasn't exactly a step forward in all respects. The over-the-air update may have given users access to the operating system, just not all of its coolest features. Notable features left out of the update included Face Unlock, the favorites tray, and the ability to close browser tabs by swiping them away. Still, if you're looking for the most powerful tablet on the market with access to Ice Cream Sandwich, the Transformer Prime is it.
Acer Iconia Tab A-200
It didn't come loaded with Ice Cream Sandwich, but it sure felt like it did. Acer's iconia Tab A-200 was on the market for less than a month before getting an update to ICS. The tablet isn't exactly bleeding edge in terms of performance or features, but we appreciated the inclusion of a full-size USB 2.0 port, as well as its excellent 8-hour endurance. And at $349, this 10-inch tablet is $50 less than the Eee Pad Transformer TF101, and $150 less than Apple's iPad 2.
The Motorola Xoom hit the market with a thud thanks to near universal panning by most critics. And while we gave the 10-inch tablet three stars in our review, we also pointed to its buggy software, narrow viewing angles and sky-high $599 pricetag as reasons users may have wanted to avoid the Xoom. Despite those issues, the tablet got a second lease on life when it received an update to Android 4.0 late last year. One of the only 4G-capable Ice Cream Sandwich tablets on the market, a certified pre-owned Xoom can be had through Verizon with a 2-year 4G LTE contract for $299.