Google strengthens mobile payment development with Zetawire acquisition

By on December 14, 2010 at 11:59 PM.

Google strengthens mobile payment development with Zetawire acquisition

Ever since Google CEO Eric Schmidt first touted Android 2.3’s NFC capabilities at a recent conference, Google has made it clear that it plans to make a big play in the mobile payment space. Google’s play will star NFC, of course, and it certainly isn’t the only major player in the cell phone space looking to capitalize on the coming mobile payment boom — Nokia has already released NFC-equipped cell phones, RIM is known to be eying NFC and Apple is rumored to be testing the technology for future iPhone models. Today, The 451 Group revealed that Google recently acquired stealth mobile payment startup Zetawire. The Toronto-based company has less than five employees and no website, but it does have a patent application filed for “a payment system, an advertising system, and an identity management system” combined into a single offering. It’s hard to say exactly what Google has in mind with this acquisition, but it is probably safe to assume the company’s plans involve Android, NFC, ads and making money.

[Via Phone Scoop] 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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Best Buy posts Nexus S FAQ section

By on December 10, 2010 at 9:51 PM.

Best Buy posts Nexus S FAQ section

So you want to pick yourself up a Nexus S and live the pure Google life. You probably have questions, no? Recently, Best Buy Mobile posted an FAQ page that pertains specifically to the forthcoming Samsung Nexus S. The questions range from the benign — When will the Google Nexus S be available to purchase? — to the slighly less benign — If I’m unable to upgrade and renew my account, can I still add a new line to my plan and get the Nexus S for $199? If you plan on hitting up Best Buy Mobile on the 16th, hit the read link and check out Best Buy’s policies on the Sexy Nexy: Part II to make sure there are no surprises on game day. More →

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Google Nexus S hands-on

By on December 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM.

Google Nexus S hands-on

The nice folks in Mountain View, CA were kind enough to shoot us over a Google Nexus S, and we finally have it in our hands. Here are first impressions in addition to a boat load of photos below:

  • The Nexus S feels very solid and is extremely comfortable to hold and use in your hand. It’s the greatest Samsung Galaxy S handset to exist — we’re really loving the shape of the device including the “inverted chin” on the bottom of the phone as well as the contoured glass display. With Gingerbread’s slightly refreshed UI and Samsung’s deep, rich black levels on the display, it’s tough to tell where the screen starts at the top — the design works that well together. As far as the rear of the phone is concerned, well, it’s a high gloss black plastic — Fingerprint Productions, Inc.
  • This might be the fastest Android handset we’ve used — not necessarily because the hardware is so spectacular (it’s obviously top notch, just not mind-numbing), but because of the speed increases and optimizations Gingerbread brings paired with Google’s stock OS with no customizations — this bad boy flies.
  • Touch sensitivity and response on the display makes the phone that much more delightful to use, and again, the screen itself is sharp, vivid, and looks great.
  • The four Android keys beneath the display work well, are touch sensitive, and even light down when a key is selected in addition to giving you a mild haptic feedback buzz.
  • From our very quick speakerphone test, audio didn’t sound all that great, but audio from the ear speaker sounded fine.
  • The way the phone powers off — as rumored, it’s like an old tube TV — is so darn cool we shot a quick video of that and an ultra brief walk through.

Check back for our review of the device in the coming days, and in the meantime, peruse some visuals, why don’t you? We even brought out our Nexus One to meet its new friend. Photos and video after the break!

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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Google CEO shows off Nexus S, reveals NFC capabilities

By on November 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM.

Google CEO shows off Nexus S, reveals NFC capabilities

While the device’s logo was taped over, there’s no mistaking it — Google CEO Eric Schmidt just gave a live demo at the Web 2.0 summit with Google’s upcoming Nexus S smartphone. He called it an “unannounced phone” from an “announced manufacturer,” but the device used in Schmidt’s demos was outed last week and it is indeed none other than Google’s Nexus One successor. As for new info, there really isn’t anything to speak of at this point. Schmidt just mentioned that NFC technology, which is supported by Android 2.3 and included on the device he showed off at the summit, would eventually replace credit cards. He then joked that while he admits to having said Google will not be releasing a “Nexus Two,” he never said anything about the letter “S”. More →

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Words ‘Nexus S’ appear, disappear from Best Buy’s website; T-Mobile bound

By on November 11, 2010 at 11:22 AM.

Words ‘Nexus S’ appear, disappear from Best Buy’s website; T-Mobile bound

Remember that Nexus Two rumor? Well, Samsung publicly stated that the Nexus Two fodder was “simply not true,” but they didn’t say anything about the Nexus S! Earlier this morning, blog Phandroid noticed Best Buy’s website advertising the Nexus S handset; it has since been removed. The exact verbiage of the ad, which did not have an accompanying image, was:

The Nexus S. Available only at Best Buy this holiday season.

As you may also notice, the name of the missing image is “Nexus S for T Mobile.” Alright, let’s hear your best conspiracy theory. Will the Nexus S be a Galaxy S set with Android 2.3? Will it be T-Mobile only or will just the T-Mobile variant be a Best Buy exclusive? Pandora’s Box is officially open for business. Go nuts. More →

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