Mobile telco VHA tonight confirmed it would be bringing Google’s Nexus S handset to Australia, although the date of the local launch and any pricing details remain under wraps for now.
“Vodafone can confirm the Nexus S will be available in Australia. Pricing and launch details to be announced soon,” the company said on its Vodafone blog late tonight. It noted that customers would be able to pre-register for interest in buying the Nexus S from 9am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. The revelation comes as Vodafone globally revealed the Nexus S would be launched in a total of 24 new countries worldwide.
Speculation has run rampant about whether the hyped handset would land in Australia since it was unveiled in early December last year. At the time, manufacturer Samsung would only say that it was excited at the prospect of bringing the device to Australia, and was reviewing its options on how to do so.
When it was first unveiled, the Google-branded Nexus S was hailed by global gadget blogs Gizmodo and Engadget as the current top model in Android phones. However, since that time, a flood of new models from up to a dozen manufacturers have been announced at the CES tradefair in the United States.
In addition, a plethora of new high-end devices — including phones that are destined to make their way to Australia — are expected to be unveiled next week at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. Telstra chief executive David Thodey is planning to attend the event, where the telco’s partnership with HTC to launch its flagship Desire handset was unveiled in 2010.
The Nexus S has similar specifications to other high-end Android handsets currently on the market, such as the HTC Desire HD, also sold by VHA in Australia. It comes with a 4″ WVGA, super AMOLED screen running at a resolution of 480×800 and using capacitive touch technology. It utilises a 1GHz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) CPU, and comes with 16GB of onboard memory, and a 5 megapixel back-facing camera, as well as a front-facing VGA camera for video calls.
However, unlike its competitors, the Nexus S runs the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system, which adds features such as an updated user interface, support for near field communication (the hardware in the Nexus S also supports this) used for mobile payment technology, and support for video calling and Google TV. It also features a slightly curved screen designed to fit to a users’ head in a more comfortable fashion than the traditional flat screens of other mobile devices.
There are already a number of Nexus S handsets in Australia, however. Local online retailer MobiCity has had the device on offer, unlocked to any network, for $799 outright for some time now.
In addition, some Google Australia staff are known to have received a free Nexus S handset as an employment perk. The company has made a global habit of handing out the latest Google-branded Android smartphones to staff, with a view to helping the device proliferate and boosting its development prospects.
Image credit: Google