Samsung launches Google Nexus S

Wow, it's like nerd Christmas - there is a second Google phone, Samsung's making it, and it's going to run on the Gingerbread version of the Android OS. The only downside? It's kinda pricey.


The Google Nexus S was officially unveiled today after Google CEO Eric Schmidt showed it off a couple of weeks ago without disclosing any specs or even the manufacturer.


Well, now we know all, and it's packing some mighty specs. The four-inch WVGA capacitive touch-screen will feature a Super AMOLED screen as well as something called a 'Contour Display' with a curved, apparently more ergnomic design.


There's a 1GHz Hummingbird processor to power that 'true multitasking' that arrived with Android 2.2, while a graphics chip supports better 3D graphics. Android 2.3 also supports Near Field Communication (NFC), which will allow your phone to exchange info with other NFC-enabled objects - for example, you could get info from a movie poster about its showtimes or trailer, though the most interesting application is probably contactless payments.


A five-megapixel camera allows 30fps video recording (what, no HD?), and comes with autofocus plus a few different modes like action sho, smile shot and panorama shot. Surprisingly, the video player doesn't support DivX like Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy S, though it does support the standard MPEG4, H.264 and H2.63.


Other features include 16GB onboard memory plus a microSD slot, ability to act as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, support for video calling, a gyroscope for motion sensitive gaming and Google Navigation (which includes voice directions for drivers). Wi-Fi and HSDPA are a given, while the full HTML browser supports both Flash and HTML5 for online video.


And if you're put off by Samsung's TouchWiz interface, seen in just about every phone it's made, fret not - Google phones are always 'pure Google', so expect no nasty interface sitting on top. Bonus: When the next update arrives, the Nexus S will also be the first device able to pick it up.


Carphone Warehouse has managed to snag an exclusive on the phone, so you'll only be able to get it from there, or its subsidiary, Best Buy. It's available SIM-free for £549.95 or free for £35/month from any operator. There will be a limited release from December 20, but if you're itching to get your hands on some pure Android Gingerbread goodness, preorder one now

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