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Google Nexus S Lands Running Gingerbread

David Gilbert by

Google Nexus S Lands Running Gingerbread

Following months of speculation, Google finally unveiled its follow-up to the Nexus One yesterday evening, showing off the Samsung-built Nexus S and revealing it will be available here in the UK from December 20 - and running Gingerbread out of the box.

You can now pre-order the device through the Carphone Warehouse and it will cost you from nothing up to £549.99 for the Sim-free model. The Nexus S will be available on the Vodafone network for free on a £35 or £40-a-month plan. It will hit shelves in the States four days earlier, on December 16.

The Nexus S will be the flagship device for Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread, which was also unveiled for the first time yesterday following months of rumour and speculation regarding what will be included on the update and what it would be called. Google co-developed this product with Samsung, “ensuring tight integration of hardware and software to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform,” according to Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering at Google. The Nexus S will run a pure version of the Android 2.3 OS without any additional software layer from third party manufacturers or carriers to dilute the experience.

The Nexus S will have a 4in Contour Display, which is designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. The Super AMOLED touchscreen has a resolution of 480×800, which is slightly less than the Retina Display on the iPhone 4.

The Nexus S, which looks very fast in the nauseating, top-down video released by Google to show off its device(see below), is powered by a 1GHz Hummingbird processor. This will disappoint some as it had been rumoured that the Nexus S would be running a dual-core processor, which would make a large leap forward in mobile processing ability.

The phone has both a rear facing 5-megapixel camera, with a flash, as well as a VGA front-facing camera. The phone also has a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, haptic feedback and a light sensor. It comes with 16 GB of internal flash memory but there is no expansion slot. The Nexus S is also equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which Gingerbread adds support for.

NFC will become a major deal in the coming year or two and could eventually replace your credit cards and Oyster card; allow you to receive information from a large range of items or easily and quickly swap information with other phones. The addition of NFC won’t add much to the phone now but Google are future-proofing the Nexus S which is always a good idea. As well as NFC support, Android 2.3 adds a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

The full list of specs for the Nexus S can be seen in the picture below or you can see them online here. A gallery of further images of the Nexus S with a couple of more videos can also be accessed here.

Google has obviously been working closely with Samsung on this device and following on from the Nexus One are pointing the way for other manufacturers who will be rolling out Gingerbread-running units in coming months. Google has, though, changed its policy on selling directly to the consumer which is probably a good thing given the short shelf life of the Nexus One. We will, of course, be looking at the Nexus S in a lot more depth when we get our hands on a review copy and you’ll be the first to hear our views on the phone.

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December 7, 2010, 1:14 pm

How dissappointing the Nexus S is. No expandable memory is a deal breaker for me but even ignoring that the phone is hardly setting any new bars is it? Oh and the price!? I paid $549 dollars for my nexus one, which worked out about £415 (after the £60 import tax). The direct dollar to pound conversion makes this a total waste of time.

My opinion, overpriced and underspecced. Roll on the "True" next gen smartphones in the first quarter of the new year. Shame getting a google branded one may not be possible. They only have themselves to blame.


December 7, 2010, 1:29 pm

Looks OK. It will be interesting to see if Gingerbread sorts out Android´s deal breaking battery issues or not.


December 7, 2010, 2:15 pm

From the tech specs: 720 x 480 video resolution, i.e. Standard Definition, sounds not good for a 2011 flagship smartphone...


December 7, 2010, 2:37 pm

So it's effectively a Galaxy S in a slightly different case with NFC and Gingerbread?


December 7, 2010, 2:51 pm

Sleeper, not sure why you think the battery's an issue for Android. I have an HTC Desire running the stock 2.2 version of Android. I can use the phone for listening to music on the commute, emails and calls and notifications of tweets etc during the day and still have 30% battery left when I get home. Use the handset only as a phone and it will easily have over 50% left when I get home.

Similar to my iphone using colleagues. Whilst I think we would all like batteries to last longer, I don't think Android has any worse battery issues than any other smartphone platform out there.

Interesting to note though, that that battery time improved significantly over the first month or so of owning the phone.


December 7, 2010, 3:19 pm

@Bluepork - I think the battery issues are more related to the HTC Desire HD - which comes shipped with a 1230 mAh battery.

My DHD used to last ~6 hours when it first came out of the box till I switched off the data connections leaving only the phone, and sms messaging active increasing life to 48+ hours.

I have a 1600mAh coming from HK which I hope should increase it's lifespan moer similar to my iphone4 friends.

Brian ONeill

December 7, 2010, 5:00 pm

A pricey little fellow indeed.

I was looking at this guy:


Only £260. Any plans for a review TR?

I currently have a 1st gen iphone, but the slow data speeds are annoying me a bit, just not sure I am ready to give up all the lovely ipone apps.


December 7, 2010, 6:16 pm

I wonder if they have sorted out the GPS problems with Nexus S, that the Galaxy S suffers with?

Would be good to see this covered in the TR Review? Will it be Ed reviewing? If so, I will give the TR review a miss, after the shocking Galaxy Samsung S review - after looking at ALL the latest smartphones, I still don't see any justification for the comment 'if you think you'll be using your phone a lot for browsing the web then we'd recommend you steer clear of the Galaxy S' - completely ridiculous over the top comment!!!

Sorry Ed, but I just can't trust your review style.


December 7, 2010, 6:24 pm

BTW, congratulations for making probably the most beautiful language in the world just that annoying.

My deep reservations about Android notwithstanding (including its thousand heads are better than one/too many cooks spoil the broth, fragmentation issue) I'm pretty simple when it comes to specs. I look at that price tag and alarm bells ring when I note that it's locked to 16GB when the still lacking 32gig iPhone is only about 50 quid more. And the worrying consequence of that low storage is that it does nothing to encourage Apple to upgrade iPhone 5 to 64gig or the Touch to 128 - those are the magic numbers I'm looking for to be in the realm of practicality when it comes to storing video.


December 7, 2010, 6:44 pm

I'd rather have a Nexus One.


December 7, 2010, 6:52 pm

if I were to be brutally blunt I think I would go desire HD with cyanogenmod, it would at least be cheaper.


December 8, 2010, 1:51 am


That's my point. You get a working day, maybe a full day if your lucky. If you want more you need to cripple its functionality. That's simply not good enough.

I don't always remember to charge my phone so this is a problem and why every Android set I've tried is useless to me no matter how pretty it is.


December 8, 2010, 2:28 pm

@Sleeper That's my point. You get a working day, maybe a full day if your lucky. If you want more you need to cripple its functionality. That's simply not good enough.

Then get a spare battery or two.


December 8, 2010, 7:07 pm

@LetsGo: Then get a spare battery or two.

Very elegant solution there. Maybe then they could overclock GPU/CPU and only get 60mins, not a problem just order more spare batteries. I can see the market now for a special carry case that holds 12 spare batteries for the hardcore Droidboy.


December 10, 2010, 3:54 pm

@Keith Very elegant solution there. Maybe then they could overclock GPU/CPU and only get 60mins, not a problem just order more spare batteries. I can see the market now for a special carry case that holds 12 spare batteries for the hardcore Droidboy.

more elegant than



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