While the mobile OS race heats up down here on Earth, Google has taken its attack on the smartphone space to the final frontier — literally. In what can only be described as a stellar publicity stunt, Google launched seven Nexus S smartphones into near space. The devices were fixed to weather balloons and sent over 100,000 feet above the Earth’s surface. Luckily the phones had some company on their journey, as can be seen in the image above showing an Android that tagged along for the ride. The Nexus S phones were equipped with various sensors to see how they would perform on the journey, and they were each running different Google apps such as Google Maps, Google Sky Map and Latitude. In case you were curious, the Nexus S GPS unit managed to function up until about 60,000 feet and the phone remained operational to -50° C. Hit the break for some great HD video of the journey as well as the preparation involved with this mission.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.