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.
Look, we're as excited about the rapid adoption and potential of mobile NFC payments as anyone, Google, but can we ease up on the sales pitch a bit? If you sign up for Google Wallet, you get asked if you have a Nexus S, and a Citi MasterCard. If you say no, then you get a message saying that you should "consider" acquiring both. Since the Nexus S 4G is a Sprint device, that would mean that I would need to cancel my AT&T contract (or, I guess, have two contracts going) and also apply for a new credit card.
Now that Google Wallet has been announced (Google wallet video breakdown,) lets break down how you'll use this stuff. First, Google has a number of partners on board. Companies like Subway, Macy's, Toys 'R Us, Citibank, MasterCard, Walgreens, First Data, and Sprint. The nice thing about MasterCard is that the partnership means that Google Wallet is instantly compatible with all those PayPass NFC systems that you see in a bunch of places. Google Wallet trials are now live in San Francisco and New York City, and should be available nationwide sometime in the next few months.
As far as devices go, the Nexus S 4G is the only phone that will work out of the gate. However, other phone without NFC built-in can likely just use an NFC sticker, making them compatible as well. One pain here is that you must have a Citi MasterCard alongside a Nexus S 4G right now if you don't want anything else getting in the way. If you don't have a Citi MasterCard, and don't feel like applying for one, then you can set up a Google Prepaid Card, which you then have to fund from your other cards. Kind of a pain for now, but these are the necessary steps that need to be taken in order for us to get to the future, right?
The Samsung Nexus S 4G will be available from Sprint starting May 8, the carrier announced this morning.
Users can snap up the Android-based smartphone for $199.99 with a two-year contract in Sprint retails store, online, and at Best Buy.
Sprint and Samsung first announced plans for the Nexus S 4G in late March; it's Sprint's first pure-Google Android phone and the first stock Android phone with WiMAX.
The phone will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread and a 1-GHz processor. It features a 4-inch Super AMOLED 480-by-800 touch-screen display, a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with camcorder and flash, and a front-facing VGA camera. The Nexus S 4G is Bluetooth-enabled, has stereo speakers, and a media player with 3.5mm stereo headset jack.
Sprint said the phone features a curved design that provides "a more comfortable look and feel," as well as a screen that "produces less glare than on other smartphone displays when outdoors, so videos, pictures and games look their best and the sun won't wash them out."
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