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Free phones and wearable gadgets make Android as accessible as ever

by Kristen Nicole

Once again, there's been some interesting announcements of upcoming Android phones this week, including the smart new XPERIA Arc from Sony Ericsson, and the Photon from Motorola. Also, a new company wants to bring Android apps to jewelry and gadgets, and if you were lucky, you might have latched onto a great deal for the Nexus S 4G.

Nexus S 4G - Best Buy, Sprint, Amazon Wireless

Google’s just giving away its Android devices, looking to rustle up as many buyers as possible before the rumored iPhone 5 hits stores in the coming weeks. Sprint and Best Buy are the lucky retailers to team up with Google on this one-day promotion, making the Nexus S 4G available for free with a two-year contact. Amazon Wireless has the phone for nearly free, charging just 1 cent for the same lock-in period. The Nexus S 4G is the only 4G-branded Google phone featuring the 1GHz Hummingbird chipset. It has a curved S-LCD display, a 5-megapixel rear-shooter, 16GB of internal memory and 3G, 4G and W-Fi support. Hopefully you got in on this deal early, because it ended at 1 am Thursday morning.

Wimm Labs - white label Android software for wearable devices

Inspector Gadget had the coolest watch of the 1980s, but you could have an even cooler one very soon. Wimm Labs, a stealth company that launched this week, is customizing Android software to be used in wearable gadgets. That includes watches, belts or jewelry, to name a few potential ideas. Right now Wimm is conceptualizing around a wearable watch that has a touchscreen to pull up a number of apps for weather, your calendar or text messages. It’s just the beginning of the road for Wimm, as it’s licensing its software for white-label use. Pretty soon we’ll have digital watches that sync with our favorite Android health app, task managers and more.

Motorola Photon 4G for Sprint

Motorola’s bringing a dual-core Android phone to Sprint, marking a first for both the manufacturer and the carrier. The Photon 4G Motorola’s first dual-core Android smartphone, and Sprint’s first Tegra 2 device in its broadening lineup. Available now, the Photon 4G runs Android Gingerbread 2.3, sporting an 8-megapixel rear camera with support for Sprint’s LTE network. The price tag is $199.99 with a two-year contract, and looks to be one of Motorola’s best devices to launch this summer. The handset maker is targeting gamers with its powerful processor, and Sprint’s promoting the Photon 4G as the “gaming guru’s weapon of choice.”

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc (unknown carrier)

Another gamer phone is the upcoming Xperia Arc, which Sony Ericsson is prepping for a U.S. launch this month. Packing Android Gingerbread 2.3 and a 4.2 inch Reality Display with the Mobile Bravia Engine, the Xperia Arc also comes with an 8-megapixel camera with Sony Exmor R mobile sensor for low-light image capture. It’s a super slim phone, designed for aesthetics and ergonomics. With support for AT&T’s 3G carrier bands, it’s expected that the Xperia Arc will be available on the AT&T network. But nothing’s been confirmed, including the exact launch date. You’ll have to cough-up nearly $600 for the unlocked device, as no carrier support details have been given.