Mobile telco VHA this morning revealed Google’s flagship self-branded handset, the Nexus S, would launch to existing customers through its Vodafone brand in Australia this Friday the 9th of March, with general availability to new customers on the 16th of March.
The handset — manufactured by Samsung — will be available in black or white and on a number of plans across 12 and 24 month contracts as detailed in the table below — ranging from $29 capped plans right through to Vodafone’s $100 “Infinite” plans. The monthly handset component of the cost will range from zero dollars through to $35 a month on the minimum plans.
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.
“We are excited to be bringing the Nexus S, the first Samsung-Google co-developed device, to market with Vodafone in Australia,” said Tyler McGee, vice president, telecommunications, Samsung Electronics Australia. “This partnership gives Vodafone customers access to the most innovative hardware solutions from Samsung coupled with the pure Google experience of Android 2.3.”
“As the first operator to launch the highly anticipated Nexus S, we can offer customers the fastest version of Android yet,” said VHA director of marketing John Casey.
Image credits: Google