Google, Samsung announce Nexus S smartphone

Smartphone includes NFC capabilities for such things as mobile payments

Samsung Electronics and Google on Monday announced the Nexus S smartphone, which will come with Android 2.3, the latest version of Google's OS, also code-named Gingerbread.

The smartphone will come with a 4-inch AMOLED multitouch display and include NFC (Near Field Communications) capabilities, which will allow users to read information from objects like stickers and posters with embedded NFC capabilities.

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The Nexus S phone from Google and Samsung

Nexus S will also include two cameras -- a 5-megapixel camera on the back, and a front-facing camera. The device will be able to shoot 720p high-definition video at 30 frames per second.

The device runs on a 1GHz Arm processor made by Samsung. It will also include 16GB of internal memory, and a gyroscope that will allow users to tilt the device to provide a better gaming experience.

The handset is a followup to Google's Nexus One, which was designed by HTC and announced in January. Nexus S will be the first smartphone based on Android 2.3, which will replace the current version, Android 2.2, code-named Froyo.

Android 2.3 is the fastest version of Android yet, Google and Samsung said in a joint statement. It has a new interface and an improved keyboard with multitouch support. It includes support for NFC support and VOIP calling. It also includes current Google applications that were found in previous versions of Android.

The device will include support for communication over HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) and HSUPA (high-speed uplink packet access) mobile broadband networks.

The device will be available for purchase from Best Buy retailers in the U.S. starting Dec. 16, and from Carphone Warehouse retailers in the U.K. after Dec. 20, the companies said.

The Nexus S is priced at $529, and for $199 with a two-year contract with T-Mobile, retailer Best Buy said in a statement.

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