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Monday, December 06, 2010, 12:40 pm PT (03:40 pm ET)

Google announces Nexus S smartphone with 'Gingerbread' Android

Google on Monday unveiled the Nexus S smartphone from Samsung, its second flagship Android device it hopes will take on Apple's iPhone, with a unique curved screen and integrated near-field communications technology.

The Nexus S features a 4-inch AMOLED screen with a 480-by-800-pixel display on a unique "contour display," with curved glass. It also has forward- and back-facing cameras, a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, and 16GB of flash memory.

As was previously rumored, the Nexus S will also include an integrated near-field communications chip, which allows for short-range wireless data transmission for activities like an "e-wallet."

"Nexus S is the lead device for the Gingerbread/Android 2.3 release; it’s the first Android device to ship with the new version of the Android platform," said Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google. "We co-developed this product with Samsung—ensuring tight integration of hardware and software to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform.

"As part of the Nexus brand, Nexus S delivers what we call a 'pure Google' experience: unlocked, unfiltered access to the best Google mobile services and the latest and greatest Android releases and updates."

The Nexus S will be available unlocked for $529, or $199 with a two-year T-Mobile service plan in the U.S. It will be sold in Best Buy stores across America after Dec. 16, and Carphone Warehouse stores in the U.K. after Dec. 20.



Early this year, Google released the Nexus One smartphone, a device branded by Google and manufactured by HTC. The device was eventually canceled,in April, citing "amazing innovation" in competing smartphones that run the Android mobile operating system.

The Nexus One was also cited in Apple's lawsuit against HTC. It, along with other Android phones like the myTouch 3G and Droid Eris, were accused of violating Apple's patents related to the iPhone.