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Verizon Wireless began selling Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone for $299.99 on contract online and in its retail stores Dec. 15, allowing Android fans awaiting the coveted gadget to exhale.

Android phone fans have craved the Galaxy Nexus since Samsung introduced the 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) smartphone powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor at a launch event in Hong Kong in October.

The Galaxy Nexus, the first device based on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, launched in the U.K. in November, sporting a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display.

Gadget geeks have been since raving about the device, which has software navigation buttons, better multitasking capabilities, an Android Beam app to let two phones exchange information and facial recognition software that lets users unlock their phones.

Verizon was supposed to begin selling the Galaxy Nexus in the United States Dec. 9, but the launch was reportedly delayed due to sticky negotiations over Google’s Wallet app, which Verizon asked Google to omit on the Nexus.

Verizon took issue with the app’s ability to secure user data. Google countered that Wallet, which stores data on an NFC chip, was plenty secure. Some eager Android fans were lucky enough to score Galaxy Nexus devices last week from Verizon retail stores and Best Buy, which accidentally sold them.

Wallet was not included on the Galaxy Nexus launching today, but will provide 4G LTE network speeds in over 190 markets in the United States.

The handset includes a new, 5-megapixel camera with a panorama mode and zero shutter lag, and 1080p video capture. There is also a 1.3MP camera on the phone’s front for video chats via Google Talk, Qik and other chat apps.

A people app lets users browse photo profiles of friends, family and coworkers, and check their latest status updates from social networks such as Facebook and Google+. In a strategic move designed to drive more users to Google+, Google has designed the phone so that users who aren’t already on Google+ may create an account right from the phone.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Sale Now for $299.99: Verizon