Sprint’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will arrive in stores and online on April 22 for $199 with two-year contract. Similar to the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, the Sprint model will support LTE, although the carrier hasn’t yet officially launched the 4G service. When Sprint lights up its LTE network in a handful of cities, expected by mid-year, Galaxy Nexus owners will be able to tap into the fast mobile broadband on the new Galaxy Nexus.
The $199 price tag is currently $100 less than Verizon’s model and Sprint is sweetening the deal even further, thanks to its support for the Google Wallet mobile payment service. New Galaxy Nexus owners who activate a Google Wallet account within a week of phone activation get a $10 Wallet credit. That’s standard fare for all Google Wallet owners, but Sprint will add an additional $40 credit within three weeks. Here’s a short video to show my first Google Wallet purchase worked on the Nexus.
Aside from the native Google Wallet support thanks to Google’s software and the integrated NFC, or near-field communications chip, Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus feature set and hardware looks to be the same as Verizon’s: 1.2 GHz dual-core chip, 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED display, 5 megapixel camera and Android 4.0 in a “Pure Google” experience. There won’t be custom interface or skin on the handset as a result.
I bought a GSM Galaxy Nexus overseas in November and it’s still my everyday Android handset. Sure there are phones with bigger or higher resolution displays, not to mention quad-core handsets on the way, but I keep turning back to the Galaxy Nexus for that pure Google experience. It’s vastly improved from smartphones that run Android 2.3 and with $50 in credits, I suspect Sprint will sell a good number of these new handsets.