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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The Google Nexus S, the follow-up to the Google Nexus One, has revealed its wonders to the world on Google's website.

The phone's most noticeable feature is its 4-inch curved screen, which Google is calling a 'contour display'. It's supposed to be more comfortable to hold the curved phone against your face, which sounds oddly plausible.

The screen is the Super AMOLED kind, which you can only get on Samsung phones. That's because the phone is built by Samsung, unlike the Nexus One, which was HTC's baby and the twin to the HTC Desire.

Super AMOLED is bright and vivid, while being less reflective in sunlight compared to the AMOLED type that's on the Nexus One. There's also a bit of a bum on the back of the phone, like the Samsung Galaxy S, but we're not saying baby got back. The phone is only 10.9mm thick and weighs in at 129g.

Packed into this curvaceous case is the latest version of Google's Android software, 2.3 Gingerbread. It brings a refreshed on-screen keyboard and some barely noticable tweaks to the user interface, such as a black notification bar instead of a grey one. 

Improvements to copying and pasting should help with the fiddly facts of editing on-screen text, which is why many Android phones have trackballs or optical trackpads. The Nexus S has neither, sticking with the four Android buttons for back, home search and menu.

Google is also plugging some of the features familiar from phones running Andoid 2.2 Froyo, such as voice searching and the ability to use the phone as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot for your laptop.

The Nexus S has VoIP calling built in, so you can make calls over the Internet without installing a VoIP app from the Android Market. Google says this will let you dial VoIP calls straight from your address book or the phone's dialler. And the good news is this doesn't require Google Voice, Google's own VoIP service, which isn't available in the UK yet.

The Nexus S is powered by an ARM Cortex A8 processor, nicknamed 'Hummingbird', which is the same type that's in the Nokia N900. It also has a specialised graphics processing unit that takes the strain of cranking out 3D graphics off the main processor, which could motivate games-makers that have been focusing on the iPhone for ambitious titles such as Infinity Blade.

The phone will have 16GB of memory on board, as well as a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash, and a front-facing VGA camera for video calls.

Google has ditched its experiment in running its own mobile phone store, which failed to catch fire when it tried it with the Nexus One back in November 2008. Instead, it's selling the Nexus S exclusively through Carphone Warehouse and its conjoined twin, Best Buy UK.

We don't know which networks the Nexus S contract deals will be with, but Google says the phone will come unlocked by default, so it can be used on any network.

You'll be able to buy the phone from free on a £35 per month contract or outright for £549.99.

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