Google unveiled the Nexus One smartphone on Tuesday and showed off its many features during a press event, and unveiled its new Web store which will sell the device directly to customers. 

The Google Nexus comes unlocked to consumers who wish to purchase it online for $529, or $179 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.

Verizon Wireless and Vodafone will join T-Mobile in selling the device this spring, a significant development to broaden the reach of the smartphone many reviewers are claiming most closely approximates the satisfying experience of Apple's popular iPhone.

Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe will join T-Mobile in selling the device this spring, said Mario Queiroz, Google's vice president of product management, during the Nexus One launch at the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.

This is an important development as it broadens the smartphone market, which many reviewers are claiming that the Google Nexus will offer a highly competitive edge against Apple's popular iPhone.

The Nexus One phone was designed by HTC, with input from Google's engineers. In terms of specs, much of the speculation prior to the phone's official release today, was correct.

• Android 2.1 operating system
• 3.7-inch display
• 1GHz Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm (very fast!)
• 480 x 800 OLED display (for brilliant colors and deep contrast)
• 5-megapixel camera with LED flash
• Audio stereo Bluetooth
• Active noise cancellation using two microphones
• Live-action wallpaper that responds to your touch
• Google Maps navigation
• Improved Facebook integration

Visit Google.com/phone for more information on the Google Nexus One.