Google and Samsung announced today the availability of Android's latest worst-kept secret, the Nexus S. Though not officially positioned as such, the Nexus S is an update to the now-retired HTC Nexus One. Like its predecessor, the Nexus S offers the "pure Google" experience without a disruptive manufacturer skin. That means you'll get direct access to a full set of Google applications, and both versions of the phone, whether you buy it for $529 or $199 with a two-year T-Mobile contract, will be unlocked. Google may be pursuing a quieter product release strategy this time around, but it's clear the company hasn't abandoned the basic Nexus concept despite the first handset's stumbles.
Yet, the Nexus S also stands apart from the Nexus One. It's the first handset with "Gingerbread," the next version of the Android operating system, and it offers a number of feature improvements like a Super AMOLED display with a contour design, an NFC chip, and a second camera. Not everything sounds promising--the Nexus S lacks a memory card slot and support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network--but we're excited to see it just the same. Look for a review this week. … Read more