Google selling unlocked Galaxy Nexus for $399 via Google Play Store

By on April 25, 2012, 9:30 AM

Google is once again trying to sell hardware directly to consumers by offering the Galaxy Nexus smartphone free of contract through the Google Play Store. The unlocked Samsung-built handset is available to residents in the US for $399.

Those in the market for a high-end phone should take this deal seriously. Not only is the price point very attractive but you will get the phone with a pure Google experience – no carrier-infused overlays that typically slow down Android. Instead you get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich just as Google intended it to be.

The direct-from-Google Nexus is essentially the same phone that’d you get through Sprint or Verizon under contract, albeit with a few minor changes. Users still get the same 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1280 x 720 resolution, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a 5MP rear-facing camera.

Google’s handset is similar to the Sprint version in that it supports Google Wallet for mobile payments. If you are unfamiliar, Google Wallet is an Android app that turns your smartphone into a mobile payment system. As an added benefit, Google is throwing in a $10 Google Wallet credit.

The key difference between the contract versions through carriers and the Google version is the amount of storage. The direct Nexus ships with 16GB of storage while other carriers ship with capacities up to 32GB. It seems that Google discontinued the 32GB GSM Nexus back in February.




User Comments: 10

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kiklion said:

If you bought this, how would you connect it to an account? having never bought a non-contract phone and not having looked into it much, I remember some stuff about sim cards but can anyone explain it like I'm 5?

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Kiklion - You buy the phone, and walk it into the carrier of your choice and have it activated to their network.

It's the same thing as buying a phone at the carrier, except you already own the phone.

You're basically making yourself eligible for a month to month contract with (potentially) no termination fees.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Is it possible to switch carriers then 9Nails?

Unlocked really does help too... I finally rooted my old HTC Evo and it's much faster than it was with all the sprint crap on there. Even get better 3G speeds now.

Would the carrier offer insurance? I bought my phone off ebay and I have insurance through sprint, so probably. Just wondering though.

Ultraman1966 said:

Even factoring in 20% VAT and 1.6 exchange rate, the price of 399USD is equivalent to 300 quid, which is 100 quid cheaper than the +400 pounds we get charged for an unlocked model. Can google open a shop here please?

Guest said:

Why not also 32GB!

Guest said:

Every day I hate Canada more. We're never in on any of these deals and the CTRC has zero interest in protecting consumers from all the greedy telecom corps that want us to sign away three years of our lives to get decent pricing on mobile devices.

AFAIK Canada is the only country where three year contracts are standard. Don't even get me started on broadband bandwidth caps.

Valimere said:

Carefull you can get the nexus from verizon, but on there page they claim:

"?The unlocked Galaxy Nexus requires GSM compatible service provider for voice calling. In the United States this includes AT&T and T-Mobile. Phones purchased from devices on Google Play are not compatible with Verizon or Sprint."

[link]

princeton princeton said:

Why not also 32GB!

Because Google doesn't even make a 32GB model any more.

Carefull you can get the nexus from verizon, but on there page they claim:

"?The unlocked Galaxy Nexus requires GSM compatible service provider for voice calling. In the United States this includes AT&T and T-Mobile. Phones purchased from devices on Google Play are not compatible with Verizon or Sprint."

[link]

I think everyone already knows that Sprint and Verizon still run primitive EvDo networks. Nobody on a CDMA carrier buys their phones off contract, it makes no sense.

Guest said:

Yes, but the article specifically names Verizon, and this phone can not be used on their network. So care should be taken.

Guest said:

Exactly. Our government regulatory agents are working for Big Corp not the people who elected then. What gives with that?

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