Google’s Nexus S 4G, the high profile NFC-enabled smartphone, is now available for free in the US. According to Techcrunch, the handset can be picked up by customers for no upfront cost at Best Buy, as long as they are prepared to take out a two-year contract with US mobile operator Sprint Nextel. The same operator started offering the handset, which is manufactured by Samsung, back in May for US$200, plus a two-year contract. The handset was first launched in the US via T-Mobile in December 2010 (also with a US$200 price tag and two-year contract).

Then last month the handset went on sale with rival US operator AT&T which halved the upfront cost to US$100 (plus two-year contract), also from Best Buy as well as online from the operator.

However, bargain hunters in the UK should not get too excited. Research by Mobile Money Live can reveal the same handset has experienced no great price reduction in the UK market. It was launched back in December by Carphone Warehouse and although the handset was free, users had to sign up to a two year contract costing £35 (US$57) per month. The cheapest price now from the retailer is £31 per month (with Vodafone), although most of the retailer's packages with other operators are identical to the launch price.