Google launches Nexus S

December 7, 2010 | 17:35

Tags: #android #gingerbread #nfc #smartphone

Companies: #google #samsung

Google has finally confirmed the rumours and unveiled the Samsung-manufactured Nexus S smartphone - and, at the same time, launched Android 2.3 'Gingerbread.'

Unlike the company's previous own-brand Nexus One smartphone, which was manufactured by HTC, the Nexus S is a Samsun at heart - but, as you might expect from a Google-branded device, runs a stock install of Android 2.3.

Featuring a 4in WVGA display which is slightly curved - the first smartphone to do such a thing, Google claims - the Nexus S includes a 1GHz Cortex-A8 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of integral storage.

Additional sensors above and beyond the accelerometers and magnetic compass of its predecessor have also been crammed into the svelte casing, including an iPhone 4 style gyroscope and a Near Field Communications (NFC) scanner.

The NFC scanner is an interesting addition: designed to interact with NFC chips embedded in advertising, products, and posters, the technology is a extension of the QR Code recognition that doesn't require the camera in order to work - and has been tipped to appear in the iPhone 5.

The Nexus S also includes two cameras, much like the iPhone 4: a high-resolution rear camera for photography, and a lower resolution front camera for video calling. The camera APIs in Android 2.3 have been updated accordingly, and are now capable of allowing software to automatically decide which camera is best suited to its requirements.

Like the Nexus One, the Nexus S doesn't include a physical keyboard - although improvements to the on-screen keyboard in Android 2.3 make that less of a pain. Other improvements to the OS include the addition of native VoIP support, major improvements to the frankly dire copy and paste functionality, and support for all the new sensors on the Nexus S.

The handset is due to launch at The Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy UK on the 20th of December, which doesn't leave much time for those hoping to buy it as a Christmas present for that special someone - and so far there's no clue as to pricing.

Are you impressed with Google's latest own-brand smartphone, or do you think that it has failed to show enough of an improvement over the Nexus One - which is slated to get an Android 2.3 upgrade soon - to make it worth the upgrade? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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