Google's Nexus One is now available for pre-order from

The handset, which runs version 2.1 of Google's own Android platform, is sim-free and will be available from February 16 but costs whopping £599.99.

Powered by a Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon processor, which Google says is ideal for running multiple apps at the same time, the 11.5mm thick handset also features a 3.7in 480x800-pixel AMOLED screen.

Until now, Brits wanting to get their hands on the HTC-manufactured handset have had to purchase the phone through Google's own hosted webstore and have it shipped into the UK.

The handset is priced at $529 (£339) in the US. Even when purchased with the $19 (£12.18) UK charger and adding on the $29.65 (£19) delivery charge and the £62.11 VAT, which UK users have to pay when importing mobile phones into the country, this works out at £413.15 - not quite as much as Play is charging.

However, it might not be long before the handset is available on a contract from one of the UK's mobile networks. At the handset's launch, Google said Vodafone would offer the mobile phone in the UK in Spring 2010.

Meanwhile T-Mobile revealed last week it is in discussion with the search engine over also offering the Nexus One in the UK.

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See also: Google Nexus One update will fix 3G problem