Sprint will begin selling Samsung's Galaxy Nexus on Sunday for $199.99 with a two-year contract, making it $100 cheaper than the Verizon Wireless version.
Sprint also offers the Galaxy Nexus with access to Google Wallet for mobile payments, something not available on Verizon's version.
Of course, the biggest downside with Sprint is that the 4G LTE device -- the first with Android 4.0 -- already works over Verizon's LTE network in more than 200 cities; Sprint won't begin rolling out LTE until mid-2012, and then, in just six cities to start.
Sprint users will have to rely on Sprint's slower 3G data speeds in the meantime, the same way as when a Verizon user wanders outside of a Verizon LTE network and the device reverts to 3G.
Pre-orders of Sprint's Galaxy Nexus started today at www.sprint.com/nexus. Sprint will continue offering unlimited data on the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which means the monthly cost for voice, data and texting starts at $80.
The Google Wallet feature is software that uses the phone's Near Field Communication chip, and will work at 100,000 participating retailers. A user who activates Google Wallet within a week of activating the phone will receive a $10 instant credit on the Google Wallet prepaid card and another $40 credit within three weeks, Sprint said.
Sprint and Google launched Google Wallet on The Nexus S last September, but the feature has been slow to catch on. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile all support a different mobile payment system in a consortium called Isis that is slated to begin using the NFC technology this summer.
Part of what makes the Galaxy Nexus attractive to users is a pure Google experience, minus interface add-ons from Samsung or Sprint. It has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4.65-in. Super Amoled contoured display and dual cameras, with 5-megapixels in the rear and 1.3 megapixels in front.
While the Galaxy Nexus matches many features in today's popular smartphones, HTC and other makers are heading to quad-core processors and 12-megapixel cameras.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.