Google back in the smartphone sales game: unlocked Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ (GSM) available for $399

Hang on to your kneecaps, folks. Google's just announced that it's making the Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ available in its Play web store for $399 contract-free. That's right: the unlocked, unbranded, pure Google, 16GB GSM version everyone's been importing from foreign lands far and near is now officially available in the US -- booyah! The handset ships with Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and comes with Google Wallet pre-installed (including a $10 credit to get you started with the company's mobile payment service).

As a refresher, it's not Google's first time in the smartphone sales game. The company made the Nexus One available on its own website in 2010 before pulling the plug and then partnering with Best Buy to sell the Nexus S later that year. One of the problems with the Nexus One was support -- or lack thereof. Google's assured us things will be different this time and it will be offering proper support for its Nexus flagship. We sure hope so.

The Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ is on sale now for $399 (plus taxes and two-day shipping) in the new Devices section of the Play web store. It's a phenomenal deal for one of the best Android phones on the market today -- especially when you consider it provides 21Mbps HSPA+ with great battery life (unlike the "fake" Nexus) and no commitment on your choice of AT&T or T-Mobile. So go ahead, stick it to the carriers and get a taste of dumb-pipe utopia -- delicious, isn't it?