updated 01:20 pm EST, Thu November 11, 2010
Google Nexus S shows in Best Buy teaser
(Update: photo) Google's rumored second Nexus phone has been confirmed today through a teaser (since pulled) on Best Buy's site. An ad promoting the Nexus S appeared touting the "Pure Google" device coming during the holidays. While an image link that would have identified the phone was broken, its alternate text identified it as belonging to T-Mobile, which has usually been the home of stock Android phones like the first-wave Nexus One, G1 and G2.
The discovery has effectively caught Samsung in a lie, as it flatly denied making any such device for Google. Multiple sources have associated it with a reference Android phone that would take up the mantle of the Nexus One but would avoid the mistake of limiting sales to Google's website. The Nexus S would most likely be sold in retail stores and follow a traditional subsidized model instead of focusing mostly on unlocked models.
Most of the rumors surrounding the phone have made it a slimmer, more advanced version of the Galaxy S that would run the yet-to-be-announced Android 2.3, Gingerbread, and use it to offer video chat through a new front camera.
The new flagship would be considered a halo device for Google, which failed to create a direct iPhone rival with the Nexus One, and a possible remedy for growing complaints about platform fragmentation and limitations. Customers have faced mounting carrier- or OEM-imposed limitations that in some cases have left devices equally or more restricted than an iPhone, such as an inability to use Google search apps on some Verizon models and AT&T's decision to ban non-Market app installs.
Google has defended its willingness to let carriers disable features as preserving the open nature of the OS, but users have complained that the OS is no more open than others since they're often prevented from making changes.
Update: Best Buy's in-store flyer has posted a photo of the Nexus S. The design noticed by Engadget resembles descriptions of a more refined Galaxy S. It also shows the front camera and the presence of Gingerbread, given away by the green icons at the bottom (gray on Android 2.2) and the black menu bar. [via Phandroid]