Nexus S goes on sale at Best Buy for $199 on contract

December 16, 2010, 3:13 PM UTC

The new Google phone is now available to the general public.  Will it fare better than its predecessor, the Nexus One?

Select Best Buy stores (BBY) are opening their doors this morning ready to sell the Samsung Nexus S.  It is the first time U.S. shoppers will be able to see an official Google (GOOG) phone on display first hand.  The previous Google phone, the Nexus One, was only available for online purchase and its sales were lackluster, especially going up against Verizon’s Droid, which was enjoying plenty of marketing and shelf space in Verizon (VZ) stores.  Unlocked, the Nexus S will cost $529 but it will only be $199 with a two-year contract with T-Mobile.

So will the move to a physical distribution channel help the Nexus S?  All indications are that it will.  After a week of testing, it is my go-to Android phone.  It is svelte, quick, nimble, and the OS is clear of any carrier or manufacturer “crapware.”

I can’t find one publication that doesn’t agree that this is the Android phone to buy right now.  If T-Mobile has adequate signal coverage in your area, it would be hard to recommend any other Android phone (physical keyboard users may opt for the G2).

Hoping to take some of the wind out of Samsung’s sails, LG posted a press release last night on their next generation dual core 2X Android phone due in 2011.  Perhaps that may keep some customers on the fence; after all, there always seems to be a better Android phone waiting around the corner.

The Nexus S will operate on T-Mobile’s 3G network as well as AT&T’s EDGE network.  Strangely, the Nexus S doesn’t support AT&T’s 3G radio frequency even though it supports 3G in Europe and the other T-Mobile Galaxy S phone, the Vibrant, can be hacked to run on AT&T’s 3G Network.

Best Buy also sells the Nexus S online and has a helpful FAQS page.

Here’s probably the most interesting unboxing you’ll see.