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Tuesday September 20, 2011 1:48 pm

Sprint Nexus S 4G gets big discount alongside Google Wallet launch


Google Nexus S 4G Wallet NFC

Sprint has announced that its Nexus S 4G smartphone will now be $49.99 after rebate, the highlight of the company's Google Wallet launch.

Customers can visit Sprint.com and order the Nexus S 4G for $49.99 with a new two-year contract or upgrade, Sprint said in a press release, after a $50 American Express gift certificate. However, on the Web site Sprint is currently charging new customers $29.99 for the Nexus 4G, and makes no mention of the gift card.

It can be a bit difficult to tell how often a phone like the Nexus S is offered for free; Best Buy has offered the phone for free after rebate on two occasions, most recently in August. Last December, it launched at $199, or $599 unlocked.

We havn't reviewed the Sprint version of the Nexus S 4G, although it uses the same body as T-Mobile's version, which debuted last December. At 4.9 by 2.5 by 0.4 inches and 4.5 ounces, the Nexus S is a black slab phone that's noticeably smaller than the recent round of devices with 4.3-inch displays. The Nexus looks elegant because it uses more rounded corners and a black bezel, rather than cheaper-looking chromed plastic.


More importantly, the Nexus S 4G is currently the only phone that can tap into the Google Wallet, the Google pay-by-phone technology that officially launched as a public trial on Monday. That's because the Nexus S is the only publicly announced phone to include a near-field-communcations (NFC) antenna built in, that can communicate with either Visa PayWave or Mastercard PayPass wireless terminals. It works, but suffers from a dearth of available payment locations.

"Sprint is thrilled to be the first U.S. carrier to offer Google Wallet," said Fared Adib, vice president of product at Sprint, in a statement. "Nexus S 4G is the first to receive new versions of Android software, and today's upgrade puts the near-field communications, or NFC, chip in the phone to work so customers can have a secure virtual wallet on their phone. NFC capabilities on smartphones open the door to a new level of convenience and security."

There's only one catch to the deal: after six months, American Express will assess a $3.00/month fee against the remaining balance; in other words, you'd better use that gift certificate in six months, or watch that balance slowly disappear.

This article, written by Mark Hachman, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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