Verizon Galaxy Nexus announced for sale [UPDATE: Off-contract pricing included]

The device known as the Galaxy Nexus has been formally announced for sale this week via Verizon Wireless, this device being the first LTE smartphone running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and indeed the first Android device running that newest version on the market. We've been waiting for this release since the first announcement of the device in its international form back in Hong Kong a few weeks ago, and starting this month we'll be able to pick the device up here in the United States at our local Verizon store for $299.99 connected to a 2-year contract – starting tomorrow, the 15th of December, 2011.

This version of the device is slightly thicker than its GSM HSPA+ international cousin already on the market, this because of not only its LTE radio inside, but because of its slightly larger battery (1850mAh) as well. You'll also have a slightly darker paneling around the edges and the back, the back panel also sporting the first Verizon branding a Nexus device has ever had – unless of course you count the Motorola XOOM which was essentially the hero device for Android 3.0 Honeycomb, in other words Nexus once again. In this device comes the first Android operating system optimized for both the handset and the tablet-sized screen, Ice Cream Sandwich to sandwich it all.

Double-data is also in effect, per Verizon:

For a limited time, when customers subscribe to a 4G smartphone data plan, they will receive double the amount of data for the same monthly fee. The promotion applies to new contract customers purchasing Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphones which would include upgrades. A person getting the 2GB for $30 a month will receive 4GB of data for $30. This promotion is available through the holidays so customers purchasing the Galaxy Nexus will have the chance to take advantage of this.

UPDATE: Galaxy Nexus LTE full retail price OFF contract will be $649, also per Verizon.

You'll notice that this device has a couple of Verizon applications pre-loaded on it, this again a first for a Nexus-branded device, as previous Nexus devices have been 100% vanilla (without carrier modifications) and free of 3rd party apps. That said, you can disable any app you wish with Ice Cream Sandwich's built-in ability to do so. For those of you wishing to get a better look at the Galaxy Nexus as it exists today, head back to our hands-on review of the Galaxy Nexus international edition now. You can also check out our review of Ice Cream Sandwich if you dare as well, and take a big bite – it's tasty!