Aussies eager to get their hands on new Android smartphones will be pleased to know that two of the big releases for early 2011 have been confirmed, with Vodafone to launch the Samsung Nexus S on 16 March and Sony Ericsson to follow with the Xperia Arc on Vodafone and Optus in "early April".
The Nexus S represents a collaboration between Google and Samsung, and will be the first handset in Australia to make use of Google's Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) platform. Vodafone will offer the Nexus S for $0 upfront on a AU$79 cap, an AU$85 Infinite plan or a AU$100 Infinite Combo.
Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc also runs on the Gingerbread OS and is amongst the slimmest phones announced to date with its slightest depth measuring 8.7mm. The Arc also incorporates features common to other products in Sony's portfolio, including an Exmor-R image sensor in its camera and a Bravia Engine rendering algorithm for clear image rendering in the gallery and video player. Pricing for the Xperia Arc will be announced closer to its release.
Vodafone has been pushing hard with Android releases over the last six months, scoring an exclusive with the HTC Desire HD at the end of 2010 and committing to partnering again with HTC with the global launch of the 7-inch Flyer tablet due mid-year. With the additions of the Nexus S, Xperia Arc and upcoming HTC Desire Z, Vodafone's Android range will soon be a total of 11 handsets. Optus will also range 11 Android phones including its recent acquisition of the Motorola Defy.