Belated hands on with AT&T's Google Nexus S

By on August 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM.

Belated hands on with AT&T's Google Nexus S

AT&T finally got its dose of Nexus S late last month, and we suppose it is somewhat appropriate that we’re late with our hands-on since the device itself took so long to launch. The sleek smartphone was first unveiled in early December 2010, and it launched later that month on T-Mobile’s network. Then Sprint introduced its WiMAX-enabled Nexus S 4G in early May, and it went on to become one of Sprint’s most popular smartphones. As the expression goes, better late than never — and that’s certainly the case with AT&T’s Nexus S. Read on for some quick thoughts on this latest version of the Samsung-built pure Google phone, and don’t forget to check out our hands-on photo gallery.

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Every version of Google's Nexus S is free today only from Best Buy

By on August 3, 2011 at 8:18 AM.

Every version of Google's Nexus S is free today only from Best Buy

Best Buy has announced a special one-day sale that will put any of the three versions of Google’s latest own-branded smartphone in your pocket for free. The T-Mobile Nexus S, Sprint’s Nexus S 4G and the new AT&T version of the Google Nexus S can all be had for zero dollars from now through midnight tonight, Central Time. Of course a two-year contract will need to be signed in order to take advantage of Best Buy’s 100% subsidy, and with new Nexus phones looming on the horizon, that could be a tricky proposition. Those willing to roll the dice for sexy pure Google handset likely won’t be disappointed, however. Google’s Nexus S smartphone features Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 16GB of internal storage, dual cameras, a 4-inch WVGA display and an integrated NFC chip. In the case of Sprint’s version, the sleek handset also features a 4G WiMAX radio. Best Buy’s full press release follows below. More →

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Skype for Android updated with video calling support [video]

By on July 1, 2011 at 1:00 AM.

Skype for Android updated with video calling support [video]

Skype announced on Wednesday that its Android application now supports video calling on select devices. The application is particularly attractive because it allows mobile users to connect with other users on Mac, Windows, TV, iOS, or other Android devices. Skype says the app was built with a complete new redesign, too, which includes a new main menu, easier contact navigation, quick access to your profile, and more. There’s even a new “mood” message box that allows you to show what you’re up to or how you’re feeling. Skype for Android requires Android 2.3 and above, as well as a front-facing camera for video chat. It currently supports the HTC Desire S, the Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, the Sony Ericsson Xperia pro, and the Google Nexus S. Skype says it also has plans to roll out support for additional handsets in the near future. Hit the jump for a video demo of the new client in action. More →

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Google to test NFC mobile payment system in New York, San Francisco

By on March 15, 2011 at 9:59 AM.

Google to test NFC mobile payment system in New York, San Francisco

Leaving your credit card at the bar may soon be a thing of the past — that is, if you live in San Francisco or New York City. Bloomberg is reporting that Google is planning to trial its new Near Field Communications (NFC) mobile-payment system in both cities. The trial, which could begin in as little as four months, would allow users to make purchases using their smartphones at participating retailers. Presumably, Google will run the trial with the NFC-equipped Nexus S, and it is working with VeriFone to outfit merchants with special cash registers. It’s unclear who will be able to participate in the trial, or which merchants are on board. More →

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New Android API eliminates Bluetooth pairing using NFC

By on February 19, 2011 at 8:00 AM.

New Android API eliminates Bluetooth pairing using NFC

Google made its software development kit (SDK) available for version 2.3.3 of the Android OS earlier this month, and Stanford University’s MobiSocial News uncovered a nifty feature that hasn’t gotten much coverage. The new SDK features an API for “insecure Bluetooth socket connections” on both the client and server sides. Coupled with Gingerbread’s widely publicized NFC capabilities, this will allow developers to enable a tap-to-connect feature that lets NFC-equipped Android phones forgo the Bluetooth pairing process. Similar to the functionality HP showed off with its TouchPad tablet and Pre 3 smartphone at the Think Beyond event last week, devices running Android 2.3.3 or later can be connected to each other with a simple tap that will automatically initiate data transfers. Apple is rumored to be cooking up a unique twist for the NFC functionality coming to its next-generation iPhone, so smart functionality beyond mobile payments such as tap-to-share will certainly help Android’s case in the meantime. More →

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New report reaffirms Google’s NFC plans

By on January 5, 2011 at 4:20 AM.

New report reaffirms Google’s NFC plans

In a new report on Tuesday, Bloomberg Businessweek reaffirms that Google has big plans for NFC. The report cites two people familiar with Google’s plans in claiming that the Internet giant is building a service that will combine mobile payments and advertising. As Google tries to spread its net wider and make money on both sides of the retail equation — take a piece when companies advertise a product, then take another piece when customers purchase the product — a solid mobile payment product is an absolute necessity. Google acquired stealth mobile payment startup Zetawire last year, and the inclusion of NFC capabilities in the Google Nexus S and other upcoming Android devices is very telling. The key is getting retailers on board; smartphone payment systems are gaining traction in some markets but key regions like the U.S. are not yet making significant progress in the area. With Google behind the new push, however, smartphone payment systems have a much better chance of being more widely adopted. More →

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Google Nexus S overclocked to 1.2GHz

By on January 3, 2011 at 8:01 PM.

Google Nexus S overclocked to 1.2GHz

With no more than a few weeks left to hold the arbitrary title of “world’s best Android phone,” Google’s Nexus S is sweating. In a last-ditch effort to make waves ahead of the dual-core Android phone onslaught set to hit CES on Thursday, the Nexus S is making headlines one last time. Courtesy of the fine folks over at the xda-developers forum, the Nexus S’ Hummingbird processor has been successfully overclocked to 1.2GHz, up from its factory rating of 1GHz. The already silky smooth(ish) UX on the Nexus S is further elevated by the bump in processing power, of course, and those with a need for mobile speed can finally have their hack-appetite sated. Typical you-might-bust-your-gear-and-void-your-warranty warnings aside, intrepid Nexus S owners should hit the read link below if they have any interest in overclocking their kit. More →

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Nexus S U.K. launch delayed; price drop confirmed

By on December 20, 2010 at 7:02 PM.

Nexus S U.K. launch delayed; price drop confirmed

Following the great news that Google’s unlocked Nexus S would be £429.99 at launch in the U.K. instead of £549.99 as it was initially announced, Carphone Warehouse has confirmed that the smartphone’s launch will be delayed. Fortunately, our friends across the pond only have a few days to wait — the Nexus S will now become available exclusively through Carphone Warehouse on Wednesday, December 22nd, for free on contract or the aforementioned £429.99 contract-free. We reviewed the Google Nexus S recently and found it to be our favorite Android phone on the market at this time, in spite of its cheap-feeling high-gloss plastic body. Hit the break for the full press note from Carphone Warehouse. More →

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Google Nexus S now available from Best Buy

By on December 16, 2010 at 8:21 AM.

Google Nexus S now available from Best Buy

The hour is upon us. Eager Android fans are finally able to get their mits on the latest and greatest Android smartphone (for now, at least) — Google’s Nexus S. The Nexus S is the first Android-powered device to ship with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which means it’s also the first Android phone with NFC onboard. While it is highly unlikely that anything truly interesting will materialize with NFC in the U.S. during this particular phone’s lifetime, the technology is something we should look forward to seeing in all Android devices down the road. Google has made it pretty clear that NFC is a big part of its strategy as the company looks for new revenue streams from its mobile business. Beyond NFC, the Nexus S features a 4-inch Super-AMOLED display, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, a 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing secondary camera for video chat and plenty more. It became available online and in Best Buy stores starting at 8:00am Eastern this morning for $529.99 unlocked or $199.99 with a two-year T-Mobile service contract. More →

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Best Buy lays out Nexus S launch plan

By on December 14, 2010 at 7:01 PM.

Best Buy lays out Nexus S launch plan

Best Buy has announced its launch plan for the upcoming Nexus S, Google’s second foray into self-branded smartphones. Starting Thursday at 8:00am Eastern, the Nexus S will become available for purchase online, at Best Buy Stores and at Best Buy Mobile specialty locations across the country. Inventory will vary by location and sales will be limited to two per person. The device will be $529 unlocked for, $199 with a two-year T-Mobile contract and qualifying voice and data plans, or $249.99 as an add-a-line activation. The Google Nexus S features a 4-inch Super-AMOLED display, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video capture capability, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor and the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system. Best Buy is Google’s exclusive retail partner for the Nexus S in the U.S. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Nexus S appears on Google website; launches December 16th, starts at $199 [Updated]

By on December 6, 2010 at 10:58 AM.

Nexus S appears on Google website; launches December 16th, starts at $199 [Updated]


We’re still waiting on a formal announcement, but considering the Nexus S has already been shown off by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, why not just put it up on the site? Google’s much rumored Nexus One sequel is now live on the company’s site, along with complete specs that include Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) — which also hasn’t yet been formally announced. T-Mobile is listed as the device’s carrier, and integrated VoIP/SIP support is listed as well. Other notable specs include a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 16GB of internal storage, a 4-inch WVGA touchscreen, a 5-megapixel camera, a secondary front-facing VGA camera for video chat, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, software-based noise cancellation, NFC support and an anti-fingerprint coating on the display. While the Nexus One helped usher in the next generation of Android devices when it launched earlier this year, the Nexus S features specs that are anything but impressive considering the coming onslaught of dual-core devices.

UPDATE: The Nexus S is now official — it launches in the U.S. online and at Best Buy on December 16th, and in the U.K. at Carphone Warehouse on December 20th. Pricing is set at $199 with a two-year T-Mobile contract or $529 unlocked. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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New images of Google’s Nexus S emerge

By on November 25, 2010 at 9:00 AM.

New images of Google’s Nexus S emerge

Someone dropped a little rum into this morning’s mug of warm apple cider and had some trouble holding the camera still. Regardless, today is all about being thankful, and we’re thankful to xda’s anonymous source for reaffirming the Nexus S’ imminent launch. Of course when Google’s CEO shows off an unreleased device while on stage at a conference, an announcement probably isn’t very far off. But you know the game — the higher the volume of leaks, the closer we are to launch. As a quick refresher, Google’s Nexus S will be the company’s sequel to what some might call the failed Nexus One experiment. It will reportedly feature a 4-inch Super-AMOLED display, dual cameras, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), 720p video recording capability and support for NFC. Google is expected to make the Nexus S official before the end of the year, so we’re now looking at a five-week window. Google’s Nexus One set the standard for Android devices in 2010, so look for the Nexus S to do the same in 2011. More →

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Eric Schmidt handles Nexus S on video

By on November 16, 2010 at 12:35 PM.

Eric Schmidt handles Nexus S on video

Seeing an image or two is one thing, but there’s nothing like seeing an unannounced, highly anticipated smartphone star in a crystal clear video — especially when the CEO of the company behind the phone is the one showing it off. Eric Schmidt decided to bring a shiny new Samsung-built Nexus S on stage with him at the Web 2.0 summit yesterday, and O’Reilly Media managed to capture the whole affair on film. The unreleased Gingerbread phone is looking awfully sexy, though plasticky, as Schmidt fondles it while discussing NFC. Hit the jump for the video and get ready for a formal unveiling Google’s Nexus S, which will take place in the next few weeks. More →

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