You've been able to pre-order the Sprint-ified version of the Nexus S for a good while now, but it's always good to add a concrete date for the end of the anticipation and the beginning of the Android 2.3 fun. That date has now been officially marked as May 8th. That's when your Pure Google device will be ready for use and abuse, though you'll have to accept the usual two-year commitment with Sprint and pay up the typical $200 entry fee. Intriguingly, the Nexus S 4G's release date matches up with a roadmap leak we saw recently, which also featured the Motorola Xoom launching on Sprint in "early May." Can't be long before that goes official as well now. Jump past the break for Sprint's PR regarding today's news.
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Nexus S 4G from Google and Samsung with Android 2.3 for a Pure Google Experience Available to Sprint Customers in the U.S. on May 8 for $199.99

The highly anticipated Nexus S™ 4G1 from Google™ goes on sale in all Sprint channels, including www.sprint.com, on Sunday, May 8, for $199.99 (plus tax) with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement. Extending the company's 4G device leadership yet again, it is the fourth 4G phone available and 20th 4G device announced from Sprint.

Manufactured by Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), a leading global mobile phone provider and the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the United States2, Nexus S 4G is the only Nexus S phone with 4G and provides a pure Google experience with Android™ 2.3, Gingerbread, the fastest version of Android available for smartphones. With its pure Google experience, Sprint Nexus S 4G customers will be among the first to receive Android software upgrades and new Google mobile apps, and in many cases, the device will get the updates and new apps as soon as they are available.

Critics praise Nexus S 4G:

"Whether you're an Android fanboy (or girl) or not, it's tough to avoid drooling over the Nexus S 4G. The device has similar specs to its T-Mobile counterpart – the Nexus S – but it will take advantage of Sprint's super fast 4G data network." – MSNBC Technology
"It's probably our pick of Android phones now on Sprint – the Evo is nearly a year old, and the major advantage of the Nexus S is that it'll be on the bleeding edge of Android updates." – Gizmodo
"So, what makes the (Nexus S) 4G different? WiMAX 4G. – IntoMobile

It is powered by a 1GHz Samsung application processor that produces rich 3D-like graphics, faster upload and download times and supports HD-like multimedia content along with a dedicated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to make playing mobile games, browsing the Web and watching videos a fast, fluid and smooth experience.

Designed with Samsung's brilliant Super AMOLED™ touchscreen technology, Nexus S 4G's 4-inch Contour Display features a curved design for a more comfortable look and feel in the user's hand or along the side of the face. Its higher color contrast means colors are incredibly vibrant and text is crisp at any size and produces less glare than on other smartphone displays when outdoors, so videos, pictures and games look their best and the sun won't wash them out.

Nexus S 4G features a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and camcorder and front-facing VGA camera. In addition, Nexus S 4G features a gyroscope sensor to provide a smooth, fluid gaming experience when the user tilts the device up or down or pans the phone to the left or right.

Additional key features include:

3G/4G Mobile Hotspot capability, supporting up to six Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
Android Market™ for access to more than 150,000 applications, widgets and games available for download to customize the experience
Google mobile services such as Google Search™, Gmail™, Google Maps™ with Navigation, syncing with Google Calendar™, Voice Actions and YouTube™
Corporate email (Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync®), personal (POP & IMAP) email and instant messaging
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows the device to read information from everyday objects, like stickers and posters embedded with NFC chips
16GB Internal Memory (ROM)/512MB (RAM)
Wi-Fi® – 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR
Integrated GPS
1500 mAh Lithium-ion battery

Nexus S 4G from Google will be available from Sprint for $199.99 with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement (taxes not included) in all Sprint retail channels, including the Web (www.sprint.com), Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and Best Buy.

Nexus S 4G requires activation on one of Sprint's Everything Data plans, plus a required $10 Premium Data add-on charge for smartphones. Sprint's Everything Data plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM includes unlimited Web, texting and calling to and from any mobile in America while on the Sprint Network, starting at just $69.99 per month plus required $10 Premium Data add-on charge – a savings of $39.99 per month versus Verizon's comparable plan with unlimited talk, text and Web (excluding Verizon's Southern California plan; pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).