Nov 11 AT 5:11 PM Clark Wimberly 95 Comments

Why are the Engadget Nexus S pics Photoshopped? UPDATE

Ok, ok, so I can’t say that as fact, only the person that shot/saved these photos knows for sure, but let me say this: the Google logo on the back of that Nexus S shot posted on Engadget sure does look sketchy.

An astute reader in the comments on a previous post noticed, “The Google Logo looks like it was photoshopped. Is it really written on the phone? Zoom into the photo. It looks strange.”

So I looked. And he’s right. Something fishy is going on. See for yourself below:

Click to see the full size image

I’m not trying to call out Engadget or start any drama, for all we know these pictures were edited when they were submitted. I’m just saying it realllly looks like that logo was added in Photoshop and I want to know why. We know the phone is real and we know it’s a Google Experience device, so why the photo manipulation?

When you zoom in on the logo, you can see a definite noise pattern around the type that is inconsistent with anything in the image surrounding it. I guess the noise could be due to horrible JPG artifacting, but the way it hugs the type isn’t something I’m used to seeing. And I’ve been doing this for a long time. At first glance it looked like a ‘shop, at further glance it really looked like a ‘shop, and when I hollered to Angie across the office, she even thought it looked like a ‘shop from a distance.

One of our favorite things about running a site this size is the epically-knowledgeable user-base. You guys are sharp and like to do some digging. Am I wrong here? Are the things I’ve noticed just the insane ramblings of a conspiracy fanboy? Or are these pictures edited?

UPDATE A lot of you guys are calling compression, I guess I could be wrong. But Chavez pointed out something interesting in the comments, “I think the first clue was that the logo didn’t say “With Google”.

I was about to hop on that train until I spun my Nexus over and noticed it just said Google, not With Google.

BUT THEN I noticed that the Google logo on my phone has a trademark. And so does the one on the Tab. And the phone in this shot doesn’t. I know we might not be looking at a final production model but accidentally leaving off the TM of a logo would be a mighty odd slip-up (and something that would be more likely to happen when pasting logos in Photoshop, not calling proper logo files for production).

Final statement: If someone can show me ANY other phone with a Google logo not accompanied by either “with” or a “TM”, I’d like to see it.

Source: Engadget

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • http://Website Ciaran

    It’s called compression.

    • Clark Wimberly

      How often is compression so far out of line with the rest of the image? I’ve not seen it happen to this degree.

      • http://Website Eric

        Because the surrounding area offers very little entropy you won’t see the effects of JPEG compression there. The text has high entropy which is why it is surrounded by JPEG artifacts.

        This is normal. What is not realistic might be the pixel perfect horizontal orientation, and lettering. But JPEG artifacts surrounding high entropy elements is not a sign of photoshopping.

    • http://Website Adam

      Yep definitely compression. I deal with web compressed images all day.

    • http://Website Wonil

      Might still be the Nexus Two. Look at the korean in the pictures: — they said it is “Nexus 2″

      Probably still Nexus S… like Best Buy had it.

      • Sturoid

        I personally don’t think this phone should have the Nexus moniker attached to it and if they do decide to go with that I think a cool mash-up of calling it the Nexus S/2 would be to have the number 2 backwards representing an S :)

  • http://Website Rick

    What I think it is, that If you notice the reflection it will show the guys face, so he had to black out his face but wanted to still show Google, so he tried to closely come close to the actually text.

  • http://Website Fredrik W

    That looks like regular JPEG compression artifacts for text.

  • http://Website nightshadex101

    Is it me, or the Samsung logo has the same noise? (to a lesser degree)

    Maybe they are like stickers and not etched to the surface. The noise then could be just some glue…

  • Christopher Chavez

    I think the first clue was that the logo didn’t say “With Google”

    Now this…. Like gee, Scoob! Lets round up the gang and solve this mystery!

    To the Mystery Machine! =D

    • Lemon

      The Nex1 doesn’t say “with” on it either.

      • http://Website Anthony Tracy

        The Nexus One may not have said “With Google” but it, like every other Google branded phone, has the trademark logo at the end of it.

    • David Shellabarger

      Nexus One simply says Google. Not “with Google”.

      • http://Website Luke T.

        The original droid says “with google”.

  • Anonymous T-Mobile Employee

    It’s real.

    It exists in the wild being tested by a small group of people.

  • jdkoreclipse

    Looks like a shop, even if it was protecting his face

  • http://Website Cam

    The “Samsung” text looks the same

  • http://Website Wolfe

    You don’t think its maybe from the watermarks they add?

  • http://Website Jose_casero

    Is strange that volume buttons are on the opposite side than another android phone…

  • http://Website topal

    This site is getting worse by the day.

  • http://Website Tito!

    Why does it matter?
    We know it exists. Just wait
    God, Android has sure taken over your guys life.
    pathetic (:

    • http://Website Yeah

      As an Android lover… I agree. Some people take it way too far. Pathetic indeed.

  • Uncemister

    It looks fine to me. Im working towards a graphic design degree and see this all the time.

    • Angie Strickland

      I have a degree and I definitely think it looks like the work of Photoshop to me.

      • http://Website nexuscrazii

        i have my degree as well in graphic design, and thats for sure photoshopped its so plain to see to the naked eye. the nexus is the only phone that says google and that obviously cuz google had everything thing to do with it. we all know that samsung is crap.

      • http://Website JeffDenver

        I have a degree in Whale biology, and I have to agree, it looks photoshopped.

  • http://Website Nick Overstreet

    Look at the back of a Nexus One. Now look at the Engadget picture.
    Notice anything missing?
    Exactly… the Google logo is missing the TM!!!!!!!
    I am calling definite shop on this one.

    • Canterrain

      Look at the Nexus 1. Now back at the potential Nexus S. The phone you wish your phone could be. I’m on a horse.

  • http://Website Jimmy

    I don’t know about all this. Sounds like someone is just a bit hurt that they have tried to have this ‘rumour’ be their baby and get in all the scoops of info and then the actual pictures of the device get leaked to another site.

    • http://Website person

      Bingo. This blog has become too sensationalist for its own good. First it was the Terminator. Then nobody cared about that. Then it was the whole stupid “4G wars” that no one cared about and everyone corrected them on. Now, it’s the Nexus S, and they’re butthurt about spreading rumors but then not getting the big scoop that everyone talks about. Boo hoo.

    • David Shellabarger

      I was thinking just the opposite. This could poor cold water on the Nexus S rumor all together. Kudos to Android And Me for posting info that doesn’t support their own theories.

      • http://Website person

        they’d never do that and they aren’t doing that. they’re merely discrediting engadget and trying to take the attention away from them and back to this site. because they’re whores.

        • David Shellabarger

          They even link to the original Engadget post.
          Lay off the hate.

  • http://Website person

    Oh, come on. For the past few months you guys have gotten more and more stuck up, insisting that you guys know everything with little to no evidence. You always try to one-up the other blogs out there, instead of being nice members of the community. Earlier today, even, when engadget released the photos of the nexus s, you just had to add how you were “the first blog to write about it”. And then you post an article later with an almost empty claim about how you think the photos were photoshopped. Completely unprofessional. I already know i’ll be downranked into oblivion for this, but I don’t care because it needs to be said. You guys are way too stuck up and just need to shut the fuck up for once.

    • jayzeroeee

      I think most of the blogs like to point out “the story that we broke first”. Including Engadget.

      • http://Website person

        Engadget’s bad too, no question there. But this site has really ramped up in recent months with desperately trying to get attention. see my other post for more examples. the terminator, the 4g wars bullshit, they just want attention so badly it’s pathetic and makes for crummy journalism.

    • Lemon

      If you read, I mean ACTUALLY read, Taylors latest rumours posts you’ll notcie he’s actually going out of his way to NOT be stuck up.

      Really – this possible photoshop is a question you’d ask your mates, which is exactly what Clark has done.

      You haters need to either STFU, start your own blog, or just fuck off entirely.

      • http://Website person

        If you read, I mean ACTUALLY read, you’ll notice that the article asks not, “Are the Engadget Photos Shopped?”, but “Why are the Engadget Nexus S pics Photoshopped?” Incredibly presumptuous. He then tries to cover his ass in the article itself by saying “i’m not sure, but it sure SEEMS like it!”

        No better than fucking Glenn Beck, saying shit like “I’m not suggesting the President is a terrorist, but isn’t it suspicious that I’m asking these questions in the first place?”

        I’ve been reading this site since it launched and I have a right to criticize it. I’m not disagreeing with opinions or irrationally attacking them, I’m just complaining about what I consider to be pathetic and desperate cries for attention. And I already have found a better blog, e.g. droid-life. I suggest anyone who wants timely, well-reported news and a news team who’s actually supportive and loving of the community to head there pronto.

        • Clark Wimberly

          I can take the random heat for an article but to say we’re not “supportive and loving of the community” is a bit crooked.

          Anyway, enjoy you’re new home. We’ll always be here if you change your mind!

          • http://Website person

            When I say that, I mean you guys have become very standoffish, not engaging much with the readers and ridiculously milking attention out of sensationalist rumors. This article seems like you’re just angry at Engadget for getting the scoop, which is crude.

            When I say “not supportive,” I mean you guys are also fast turning into the arbiter of the android community. you throw down judgements for everything under the sun, such as huge rants against pirates (which, to be fair, is bad, but the way you’re so angry towards people who pirate and downrank proponents without hearing their side is ridiculous) and the unnecessary articles about why you think T-Mobile is 4G when everyone tells you it isn’t. Downranking people who disagree with you is mean enough, but also downranking “first” commenters is pretty childish. You guys were good starting out, and I really do hope you get better. I’ll still check in every once and a while.

            I’d also like to apologize for the mention of a different blog. That was too far and I realized that as soon as I hit submit. Whatever problem I have with you is one thing but saying that delegitimized the rest of my points, and I want to make it clear that I realize that.

          • Clark Wimberly

            How do I appear angry? All I’ve done is ask questions and explain what I noticed. I’m not attacking Engadget, I even said it’s possible they were shopped when they were delivered.

            And how are we standoffish? Every post we make we are asking for input from you guys (this one, for example).

            And of course you know we don’t personally downvote users into oblivion right? We each have one vote, the same of any other user. If someone ends up buried, it was the community doing it, not us. And on that note, “first” comments completely deserve to be downvoted. I’ll do it every time (with my single vote).

            And to anyone saying this story is over an ego: you guys know Taylor and I are two different people right? I haven’t posted a single thing about the Nexus S, didn’t plan to. I just noticed a clear photoshop and felt like pointing it out. This isn’t revenge, this isn’t crudeness, this is community blogging.

        • http://Website Charlotte

          LMAO at comparing an android blogger to Glenn Beck. Countdown to the inevitable Godwin.

  • http://Website Mark

    They will do anything to enforce their notions that the phone is real. Duh.

  • jayzeroeee

    I thought something else was weird. It’s not a big deal or anything, but don’t phones usually come with new and different wallpaper? Why would the Nexus S have the live wallpaper made famous by the Nexus One? Seems to me they would ship it with a new Nexus Two wallpaper.

    They may very well do that, and just haven’t put the finishing touches on the shipping OS. I guess I’m a conspiracy theorist too.

    • http://Website person

      tbh, that’s a fair point. much more so than the photoshop arg.

    • http://Website tN0

      Eclaire and Froyo had this Live Wallpaper. Why should they remove it with Gingerbread?

      • http://Website person

        no one expects them to remove it. a few would be angry if they did. he’s just wondering why there isn’t a new, flagship wallpaper for the new version of android. 2.0 had that droid concrete wall thing, older versions had the iceberg wallpaper, 2.1 had nexus, and 2.2 kind of unofficially had the nighttime grass wallpaper (at least, to me it did).

  • Artem Russakovskii

    JPEG compression results in these artifacts, nothing more IMO.

  • http://Website jack

    Is it just me or is the google logo supposed to read “with Googleâ„¢”

    • David Shellabarger

      Sort of.
      Suppose to be “Googleâ„¢”
      Without the “with”

  • http://Website Guy

    Is it me, or does the logo look like it was angled, but been turned straight? The thinner bits on the ‘o’ are on the upper right side instead of the top and bottom.

    Maybe i just havent had enough sleep today, but it kinda looks like it was in italics or something.

  • http://Website watbetch

    So now it’s not real. Ok then.. if AAM strives for inconsistency in reporting, they’ve earned it.

    It’s not photoshopped, if it is they did a damn good job of photoshopping in a reflection.

  • Lemon

    The back of my Ideos read “with Google” but the Google logo DEF should have the “tm”

    This is a ‘shop.

  • PhineasJW

    So, now we know what the hardware problem was … they needed new back covers because someone left the trademark symbol off the Google logo. :-P

    That would explain why a “hardware problem” only pushed back the launch three days, from the 11th to the 14th.

    Hah. Theories!

  • Chris Ziegler!/zpower/statuses/2852567432298496

    zpower I can actually answer this question: they were photoshopped to add our watermark. (we weren’t approached for comment.)

    Chris Ziegler about 6m ago via Tweetie for Mac

    • PhineasJW


      Haha. Of course they were Photoshopped … Engadget added their logo!!

      Chris, next time save to PNG. ;)

  • nokiz

    Check this out, is not proof of anything, but it may be…

  • http://Website Tito!

    Way I see it:

    If it weren’t for engadget we wouldn’t have had these pictures. Thus, Taylor wouldn’t have been able to (copy)blog :)

    That than gives no right to disgrace another blog’s credibility (questioning these photos is insulting)
    & he is in the wrong also for following suit in the first place.
    for posting (his own self assumption) of these “shopped” photos.

    What he should have done, is spoke to engadget first as they were the source.
    before critisizing credibility.
    As for the “shopping”, it’s shopped .
    look closely, the man is using a slider phone w/camera
    if he were to have taken the picture with a lighter surface where the camera is located you would notice the same pattern surrounding Google.

    As for everyone defending Taylor, STFU :)
    you know nothing.

    You are what you eat,
    in this case,
    you are what you are a fan of, a robot.
    Android has literally overtaken your life (:

    Dont give into consumerism.

    • Clark Wimberly

      Did you happen to notice that Taylor had nothing to do with this post? There are a couple of us working here, even though at times it may not seem like it, haha.

      • David Shellabarger

        I agree with you but don’t distance yourself too far from your brother. You 2 run the same site you know…

  • http://Website Tito!

    The missing Trademark is a good arguement though :)

  • Techrocket9

    If you could wheedle some photos out of Engadget without the Engadget watermark, we could run them through JPEGSnoop for a definitive analysis.

    However, it does seem to pass an Image Error Level Analysis test:

    But that is not as definitive as a JPEGSnoop test.

  • Sturoid

    I think we can all pretty much agree that yes this photo has been photoshopped at least to put the Engadget logo on….having had a second look the Google logo does look a bit bright colour wise and could also have been ‘shopped on by someone before forwarding on to Engadget.

    I do feel this article shows a bit of ‘butthurt’ for not being first to break photos of ‘their baby’ and the title is attention seeking and wrong.
    Calling out another site in the title looks cheap, something more along the lines of ‘Could the Google logo have been photoshopped onto this device?’ would have been better.

    EITHER way, all this crap is taking away from the fact that ‘your baby’ has got some real proof that it is scuttling around in the wild.

  • Felix Akinyemi

    if you compare the whites, the Samsung logo on the bottom looks more authentic, the Google logo simply looks like an ad-on.

    Also comparing them in photoshop, the angles of the Google logo is not parallel to the Samsung logo.

    • David Shellabarger

      Being a different color is typical but it is a little crooked. Very curious.

  • http://Website mkrmec

    Who cares what it is.. the whole phone looks like it’s photoshoped on some pics… we will see how will the phone look soon.. don’t be so hasty.

  • http://Website maax

    I’ll leave this hear if anybody wants to analyse it. I don’t have time though.

    • Sturoid

      That’s already been posted

  • http://Website tN0

    I think it may be a “3D” version of the logo with a bump texture, so that you can feel the logo. Therefore there is no “TM” beside the logo because it was not possible to create such small characters.

  • http://Website Evo2droidx

    My Droid X has with and a tm my MT3G has google tm can’t tell for sure with my evo cuz it doesn’t have its original back. But either way it should have at very least the trademark symbol

  • http://Website J240

    The Google looks funny, there’s no TM symbol, it’s brighter than the Samsung word. The home button appears to be on the wrong side. The “add” for it on Best Buy also looks fake/Photoshopped. Someone (or multiple people) out there are probably playing the best scam/hoax/joke ever. HAHA. All this speculation is just too much. All I can say is, if this really IS the new Samsung, i’m even HAPPIER with my new mytouch. :)

    • http://Website person

      only your first point is right. the home button thing is irrelevant, different phones have different placements, just look at the d1/n1 vs. d2/dx. the best buy pic is almost definitely real, and looks very similar to phandroid’s earlier super-blurry pic. The pic clark is talking about looks slightly shopped, though i really don’t think it is, but everything else is almost certainly real.

  • http://Website AndroidLove

    Engadget does this all the time. They grab a photo and stick a text on it to make it related to the topic. So what if its Photoshop? Its a Google phone.

  • http://Website Bnorus

    We clearly can see that the Google logo has been added on the picture (noise, color, quality, blur, no TM). My thought is that these prototype phone were tagged with the Samsung logo but not the usual Google one. They maybe wait for the final reveal product to tagged the trademark on the production unit, that’s usually done, all silk screen or label are done on mass production runs.

  • http://Website Jot

    I call “shop!” BUT maybe these phones are serial numberd and the leak wanted to avoid being identified by google or samsung…just my $0.02

  • http://Website In The Know

    I too am a Graphic Designer with extensive experience in image editing and after doing a few comparisons of my own in Photoshop, It would appear to me that the Google logo has in fact been super imposed over the image. I’ve done angular tests while taking other features of the phone as reference points and find that the Google logo is rotated but not by much. Taking all things into account I honestly don’t understand why this is such a big deal. We know the phone is real,
    Best Buy has an ad of the exact phone on one of their holiday advertisements so the issue is not why is the Google logo photoshopped in, what I don’t understand is why Androidandme would take such a strong stance on discrediting the image. The title of this post alone proves that someone was begging for some of the attention. All of that to say, I still really appreciate you guys and the work you do in bringing us Android news.

    • Lemon

      I don’t think Clark’s intention was anything other than “Huh, look at that. Wonder what’s going on.” Clearly AAM know/believe the NexS is a real device, they’ve been talking about it for a month.

      And I don’t think Clark was having a crack at Engadget here either. FTA: “I’m not trying to call out Engadget or start any drama, for all we know these pictures were edited when they were submitted.”

      I think it’s interesting to note the Google logo was clearly not on the device at the time the photo was taken, and SOMEONE has put it on there.

      • Lemon

        To add: at my first reading of this article, the point was not to discredit the image at all. Only to point out the logo looks like it doesn’t below and ask for feedback.

  • http://Website In The Know

    It would also be wise to take into consideration that Engadget said these photos were taken about a month ago which clearly leads me to believe this was nothing more than a prototype. Remember that the original Nexus One that was used for the Dogfooding didn’t have any logos on it whatsoever. If it wasn’t as distinct as it was we would of blown it off as a joke. It makes sense why if the Google logo didn’t already exist on the handset, someone would want to add it since Samsung phones tend to all look alike.

  • http://Website dakuten

    I can’t belive Google is so stupid to let Samsung out a Nexus !
    They don’t know how to make an Android, they prove it w/ the Galaxy S : lots of problemes w/ the GPS, the Froyo update is here just for non-carrier buyers, Orange & Vodafone/SFR clients may have to wait, their TouchWiz is crappy.
    Can’t belive that, this is gonna ruin the image of android !
    That will make android, at the eyes of people, a low-end OS w/ low capacities and lots of problems …

    • http://Website dakuten

      I Do want an HTC Nexus 2 (or not), but not a Samsung at all !
      Isn’t it a simple equation ?

    • http://Website Ronnie

      i dont think it will do all of that. but samsung androids are crappy. but if google takes full control like they did with the nexus one then it shouldnt be a “complete” disaster like the galaxy s and samsung behold 2

  • Reynaldo Trombetta

    I opened the pic in Photoshop, pulled the Fill Light slider all the way to the right, as well as the Contrast. And to be honest it does look photoshoped! There’s a bunch of pixels around the logo that are way different to the ones in the rest of the phone’s surface. I uploaded a capture here.

  • uzunoff

    I was talking with a T-mobile employee and I asked him if there were any new 4G phones coming out soon, he said one might be coming before the end of the month.
    When I asked about the Nexus he said that there were no new phones coming in this year. Then he admitted that they have a big event on the 20-th and possibly 24-th.
    That’s all he knew about it.
    But I still think that the Nexus will probably pop up before the end of the month.

  • http://Website TareX

    There’s no doubt the Google (missing the trademark) is ‘shopped. However, it’s also clear that it was done to hide the tester’s face, which would be clearly reflected by the plastic POS.

    • http://Website Chris

      It’s nowhere near their face – the large dark area is the reflection of the phone they’re taking the photo with (looks like some kind of portrait slider, reminds me of a 2-3 year-old Samsung dumbphone, U900-style), their face is up and to the right.

    • http://Website sookster54

      For the love of God look at the picture again, you can see that there’s a camera covering the person’s face yet the person made no effort to cover up their face because you can see the eye glasses and black hair behind the camera. Why would someone make no effort to blur out their face yet slap on a fake Google logo?

  • http://Website commenter

    Why does the Google logo have a different color from the SAMSUNG logo which looks much more realistic ?

  • http://Website Or
  • http://Website sookster54

    As I said in other Android related forums, there’s very little consistency in all these rumors and the picture of the back with the “Google” looked photoshopped as soon as I saw it and it seems I was right, as others pointed out there’s no “tm” that most phones has (my Desire says “with Google tm”) and the white stands out way too much on the rest of the phone’s surface.

    The other rumors about the Nexus S are pretty funny, suddenly scrapped for dual core? When dual cores was mentioned by Samsung well over 2 months ago? Someone likes spreading these crazy incoherent rumors.

  • http://Website sookster54

    Oh and I think that’s a girl, you can see the glasses and a bit of thick hair on the reflection, and the small hands gives it away.

  • http://Website VInay

    Um, I zoomed in on the Samsung logo as well, and there are noise patterns on that as well. So either it is the jpg issue or both logos were photoshopped on.

  • http://Website f2j

    I’ve been trying to get EXIF data contained in the image file(I used the Exif Viewer extension for Firefox), unfortunatly, the extension was not able to get the Exif data. It is explained by three possibilities: 1) Not all JPG pictures contain EXIF Data, so this picture might just not contain any EXIF Data. 2) Pictures that have been edited might not contain any Data, because most of the editing softwares erase exif data from pictures.
    3) Maybe the author of the picture did use a software to erase EXIF data (so that we can’t find him)

  • http://Website the new guy

    and here’s your proof, that it is in fact legitimate, one month later.
    herp derp.

  • mark

    I’m holding a nexus s in my hand without the “with” or TM”……