Samsung Nexus S: The New Official Google Phone

The new Google Phone is here: The Nexus S. Built by Samsung, it's got a 4-inch Super AMOLED "Contour Display," 1GHz Hummingbird processor, NFC support, and most importantly, it's running a completely clean version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Why do Android nerds need a Nexus phone? Google makes it pretty clear: "With this device, users will also be the first to receive software upgrades and new Google mobile apps as soon as they become available."

Samsung Nexus S: The New Official Google Phone

The new Google phone has 16GB of internal storage and 512MB of RAM, as well as a gyroscope and VoIP support. It's got a 1GHz Cortex A8-based Hummingbird and 4-inch 800x480 Super AMOLED screen, just like the Samsung's Galaxy Seseseses, which are available on every carrier. So it's not a tremendous leap forward in terms of specs, but it's still an attractive option for those looking for a pure, Google-approved Android experience. It'll be available unlocked or on T-Mobile, though according to Google's product page it doesn't support T-Mo's 4G-ish HSPA+ network.

There's a 5MP camera on its back and a VGA camera on the front, and, maybe most uniquely, its 4-inch "Contour Display" is curved to better cradle your face when you're chatting someone up, just like we noticed during our hands on back in October. Also interesting, listed in the features at the bottom of the specs page: "Internet Calling support (VoIP/SIP)." It's not something you'll see on any of the other Galaxy S Android phone pages.

TechCrunch got their hands on one and generally had positive things to say:

The bottom line is this. If you are an iPhone user this isn't going to make you switch. If you're an Android user you will want this phone more than any other. If you're currently neither, we recommend that you go with the Nexus S. It is better than the iPhone in most ways. What you lose with the slightly less impressive screen and iOS's slightly slicker user experience you will more than make up for with the Nexus S's ability to actually make phone calls that don't drop and Google's exceptional Navigation and voice input applications.

But they also noted that "the case also feels somewhat cheap, unlike the solid feel of the iPhone and some previous Android phones."

You'll be able to get your hands on a Nexus S on December 16, unlocked for $529 or with a 2 year T-Mobile plan for $199, at Best Buy locations or directly through Google. [Nexus S]