Following months of speculation, Google finally unveiled its follow-up to the Nexus One yesterday evening, showing off the Samsung-built Nexus S and revealing it will be available here in the UK from December 20 - and running Gingerbread out of the box.
You can now pre-order the device through the Carphone Warehouse and it will cost you from nothing up to £549.99 for the Sim-free model. The Nexus S will be available on the Vodafone network for free on a £35 or £40-a-month plan. It will hit shelves in the States four days earlier, on December 16.
The Nexus S will be the flagship device for Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread, which was also unveiled for the first time yesterday following months of rumour and speculation regarding what will be included on the update and what it would be called. Google co-developed this product with Samsung, “ensuring tight integration of hardware and software to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform,” according to Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering at Google. The Nexus S will run a pure version of the Android 2.3 OS without any additional software layer from third party manufacturers or carriers to dilute the experience.
The Nexus S will have a 4in Contour Display, which is designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. The Super AMOLED touchscreen has a resolution of 480×800, which is slightly less than the Retina Display on the iPhone 4.
The Nexus S, which looks very fast in the nauseating, top-down video released by Google to show off its device(see below), is powered by a 1GHz Hummingbird processor. This will disappoint some as it had been rumoured that the Nexus S would be running a dual-core processor, which would make a large leap forward in mobile processing ability.
The phone has both a rear facing 5-megapixel camera, with a flash, as well as a VGA front-facing camera. The phone also has a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, haptic feedback and a light sensor. It comes with 16 GB of internal flash memory but there is no expansion slot. The Nexus S is also equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which Gingerbread adds support for.
NFC will become a major deal in the coming year or two and could eventually replace your credit cards and Oyster card; allow you to receive information from a large range of items or easily and quickly swap information with other phones. The addition of NFC won’t add much to the phone now but Google are future-proofing the Nexus S which is always a good idea. As well as NFC support, Android 2.3 adds a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.
The full list of specs for the Nexus S can be seen in the picture below or you can see them online here. A gallery of further images of the Nexus S with a couple of more videos can also be accessed here.
Google has obviously been working closely with Samsung on this device and following on from the Nexus One are pointing the way for other manufacturers who will be rolling out Gingerbread-running units in coming months. Google has, though, changed its policy on selling directly to the consumer which is probably a good thing given the short shelf life of the Nexus One. We will, of course, be looking at the Nexus S in a lot more depth when we get our hands on a review copy and you’ll be the first to hear our views on the phone.