Toward the end of last year, waves of rumors asserted the existence of Google's phone. Called Nexus One, it was speculated the phone was due for a January release. All of that became true today, with Google officially unveiling the phone during a morning press conference.

The so-called "super phone" is a combination of Google's Android and a new platform from HTC, intended to show off the features of Google's OS. With a fast ARM-based processor, 3.7" AMOLED touchscreen, a half gig of memory and 3D graphics, the phone is no lightweight when it comes to hardware, despite weighing less than the iPhone 3G.

It comes loaded with other hardware and software synergies, such as a GPS unit, a compass and Google Maps, a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and tons of Google software. Another feature worth noting is noise cancellation, a first for any Android platform.

The Nexus One will be available worldwide, with an unlocked model priced at $529. Only GSM varieties will be around initially, though CDMA variants are expected from Verizon down the road. Google is now competing with Apple, Microsoft, RIM and others for a slice of the smartphone market -- which will likely get very interesting this year.