Samsung announces the next Google phone, the Nexus S

December 6, 2010: 11:38 AM ET

One of the worst kept secrets of late, the Nexus S brings Android 2.3 to market and will be carried by Google online and at Best Buy starting on December 15th.

After months of speculation and teasing, it is now official: The Nexus S is the next "Google Phone."  Samsung today sent out a press release laying out the specs of the new device and its release window.

The Nexus S will be the first phone to sport Google's Android 2.3 OS and will include new features like Near Field Communications (NFC) radios and a curved front face "for a more ergonomic style and feel when held to the user's face".  Near Field Communication (NFC) technology allows users to read information off of everyday objects like stickers and posters that are embedded with NFC chips.

Most of the other specs are similar to Samsung's Galaxy S lineup in the U.S.  It has the same 4-inch Super AMOLED display and 1GHz Hummingbird processor.  It also has a front side camera as well as a 5 megapixel rear camera with a flash.

The Samsung Nexus S will be sold unlocked.  However, Best Buy leaked a relationship with T-Mobile last month, which means that the carrier will likely subsidize the handset.  T-Mobile was the only carrier that subsidized the Nexus One, which it carried for $179.99 with a two year plan.

Update: T-Mobile will subsidize the Nexus S at Best Buy for $199. In a statement, they revealed,

"T-Mobile was the first carrier to launch an Android™-powered phone and currently carries the largest selection of Android devices.  The number of Android phones on T-Mobile's network has grown at an impressive pace over the past year (137% since October of 2009), illustrating our customers' strong appetite for the innovative, rich experience Android offers.  We're excited to once again bring to our customers another breakthrough product with the Nexus S together with Google, Samsung and Best Buy."

More video and full press release follows:

SAMSUNG AND GOOGLE TO DELIVER NEXUS S, THE FIRST MOBILE PHONE IN THE WORLD POWERED BY ANDROID 2.3

Nexus S offers the latest version of the Android platform, Gingerbread, 4" Super AMOLED touch screen with curved design, Near Field Communication (NFC), front and rear-facing cameras and 1GHz application processor

SEOUL, Korea,  and DALLAS, US December 6, 2010 — Samsung Electronics,  a leading mobile phone provider and the  No. 1 mobile phone provider1 in the U.S., and Google™ today announced Nexus S™, the world's first handset to feature the latest version of Google's Android™ platform. Powered by Android 2.3, Samsung and Google have packed Nexus S with powerful technology and the latest in hardware features.

JK Shin, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, said, "Samsung and Google have worked together closely to deliver the best Android smart phone experience for consumers. It has been our ambition in working with Google to continue to push the Android platform forward and create a smart phone that has both superior functionality and a stunning user-experience. It is extremely satisfying to see this partnership again bear tremendous fruit."

"Samsung was thrilled to work with Google to create the first device featuring the much anticipated Android 2.3 OS. Nexus S is powerful proof of Samsung and Google's commitment to bringing technology firsts to market and launching products that utilize the open and innovative Android operating system," said Omar Khan, chief strategy officer of Samsung Telecommunications America. "Nexus S integrates Samsung's best-in-class hardware and technology with the exciting new features and upgrades of Android 2.3 Gingerbread to give consumers a breakthrough smartphone experience."

"Google is excited to co-develop Nexus S with Samsung, ensuring solid integration of hardware and software to deliver the lead device for the latest version of Android, Gingerbread," said Andy Rubin, Vice President of Engineering at Google.

Nexus S is designed with Samsung's brilliant Super AMOLED touch screen technology providing a premium viewing experience. The 4-inch Contour Display features a curved design for a more ergonomic style and feel when held to the user's face.  Nexus S also features Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which allows you to read information off of everyday objects like stickers and posters that are embedded with NFC chips. Powered by a 1 GHz Samsung application processor, Nexus S produces rich 3D graphics, faster upload and download times and supports HD-like multimedia content.

Nexus S is equipped with a 5 megapixel rear facing camera and camcorder, as well as a VGA front facing camera. In addition, Nexus S features a gyroscope sensor to provide a smooth, fluid gaming experience when the user is tilting the device up or down or panning the phone to the left or right. Nexus S also comes with 16 GB of internal memory.

Android 2.3, Gingerbread, is the fastest version of Android yet. It features support for Near Field Communication (NFC), a new and improved keyboard with multi-touch support, Internet calling (VoIP/SIP support), and a clean new user interface. Nexus S also includes popular Android features such as portable Wi-Fi hotspot, true multitasking, access to Google mobile services such as Google Search™, Gmail™, Google Maps™ with Navigation, Voice Actions, Google Voice™ and YouTube™, and access to over 100,000 apps and widgets on Android Market™.

Nexus S can be purchased (unlocked) online and in-store from Best Buy retailers in the U.S. starting after December 16 and at Carphone Warehouse retailers in the U.K. after December 20.

Nexus S specifications

Network 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE) : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz

3G (HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps) : 900 / 1700 / 2100 MHz

OS Android 2.3 / Gingerbread
Display 4.0" WVGA SUPER AMOLED (800x480)
Camera 5.0 mega-pixel Camera + VGA front Camera,  Auto Focus,

Self shot

Video HD(720p@30fps) video playing, Video recording D1 (720x480)@30fps

mpeg4, H.264, H.263

Audio MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, AMR-NB,
Value-added Features NFC (Near Field Communications) capability
Android Market for more applications and contents
A-GPS
Gyroscope Sensor, Accelerometer, Digital compass, Proximity, Light
Connectivity Bluetooth technology v 2.1 + EDR

USB v2.0 (High-Speed)

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Memory 16GB iNAND
Size 63 x 123.9 x 10.9 mm
Battery 1500 mAh

All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

1 Number one mobile phone provider in the U.S claim for Samsung Mobile based upon reported shipment data, according to Strategy Analytics, Q3 2010 U.S. Market Share Handset Shipments Reports.

Google, Nexus S, Android, Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Voice, YouTube, and Android Market are trademarks of Google, Inc.

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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