Google pleasantly surprised us this morning with a new offer to pick up an unlocked Galaxy Nexus for $399 through Google Play (previously available via third parties for $430). The device is for use on any GSM network, including T-Mobile and AT&T in the U.S., and it currently ships within one to two business days. The page noted there is a limit of five per customer, which could sell quickly given the $399 price tag is just $100 more than the phone offered through Verizon as of last week and only $200 more than what Verizon and Sprint currently offer on contract.

We started shipping Nexus phones more than two years ago to give you a pure Google experience and access to the latest Android updates. Today, we’ve started selling Galaxy Nexus (HSPA+) from a new Devices section in the Google Play web store, so you can quickly and easily purchase an unlocked version of the phone. We want to give you a place to purchase Nexus devices that work really well with your digital entertainment.

Google originally sold the first pure Google smartphone, the original Nexus One, through its website before cancelling those plans and partnering with others for more traditional distribution. Offering the Galaxy Nexus through the Google Play store marks Google’s return to offering its flagship Android devices direct to customers. With reports in recent months that Google is prepping an online store to sell Google-branded tablets, today’s announcement is a hint that a store will likely be integrated with Google Play.

Examining the $399 offer further, we know T-Mobile provides its $30 monthly prepaid plan with unlimited data (2GB uncapped), so those who pick up a Nexus through Google could quickly recoup their costs within months.

You can get your Galaxy Nexus directly from Google here.

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