Samsung's Nexus S can make payments at retailers

December 6, 2010 By DANA WOLLMAN , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- The new Nexus S smart phone can do something older Android devices can't: make payments.

Nexus S, from Co., is the first phone to run the latest version of Google's software and has a feature called Near Field Communication.

With it, someone can wave the phone near a bar code or sensor to make payments in much the same way people can already swipe a security card to enter a building. If enough vendors make it possible to pay for things this way, people could begin using their phone to pay instead pulling out a wallet with credit cards.

The software also has a new on-screen keyboard and makes it easy to place phone calls over the Internet, something people can already do from a PC using software programs such as Skype.

The phones will be available through Best Buy Co. Inc. stores starting Dec. 16. People can either sign up for a two-year contact with T-Mobile USA Inc. and pay $199 for the phone, or forgo a contact and pay $529 for just the device.

Carphone Warehouse retailers will sell the phone in the U.K. starting Dec. 20.

Following in the footsteps of other supersized announced this year, the S has a fast 1-gigahertz processor for relatively fast operating speeds and a large, 4-inch screen that claims vibrant colors and wide viewing angles. Other features include a 5-megapixel camera that also records high-definition movies, a GPS radio for navigating directions, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 16 gigabytes of internal memory for storing music, photos and apps.

About a year ago, unveiled another Nexus phone, dubbed the Nexus One, made by HTC Corp. This, too, was eligible for T-Mobile's service plans and was the first to run what was then the latest version of Android: 2.1. What made that phone exemplary, though, was that it was the first phone for sale in Google's now defunct online phone store, through which Google sold a variety of Android smart phones.

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