Nexus S gets first-day discount

The Carphone Warehouse has risked the ire of its customers by lopping a massive £120 from the cost of a Google Nexus S smartphone on its first day on sale - but why?

The smartphone, manufactured by Samsung and the first to market with Google's Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' operating system, was available for pre-order on the company's website and in-store for a wallet-busting £549.95 SIM-free or free on £35 a month 24-month contracts - a significant premium over its closest competitor, the Android 2.2-powered Samsung Galaxy S.

There's no denying that the Nexus S offers some significant improvements over its predecessor: a curved display offers, Google claims, a significantly enhanced touch experience, while integral support for Near Field Communications makes the device a cutting-edge accessory ready for a future of contactless micro-payments.

What has yet to be clear, however, is whether the Nexus S offers enough of an improvement over existing Android handsets to justify an RRP that makes the device around £135 more expensive than its nearest competitor.

Although The Carphone Warehouse hasn't revealed precisely how many pre-orders it received at the original price, it's easy to guess that sales haven't exactly been brisk: the company has officially launched the handset today, and simultaneously dropped the price by a massive £120.

The Nexus S now costs £430 SIM-free, or free on £30 per month contracts from O2 and Vodafone - a significant saving over its pre-order price, and one that could see contract customers £120 better off over the 24-month contract period. At just £15 more than the Galaxy S, it makes the Nexus S a viable option for many smartphone customers - and a must-have for those that want to be at the bleeding edge.

Sadly, it leaves those unlucky few that did bite at the pre-order price feeling justifiably hard done by. Thus far, The Carphone Warehouse hasn't made any move to offer rebates or better contract deals to those who had made a pre-order and who will be receiving their shiny new handset today.

With Google's original own-brand smartphone, the HTC-manufactured Nexus One, having failed to set the world aflame, only time will tell if early price cuts spell a similar fate for the Nexus S.