Dec 16 AT 3:44 PM Taylor Wimberly 63 Comments

Nexus S unboxing video and gallery

Let’s get right to the point. The Nexus S is a Galaxy S that has Anroid 2.3 loaded on it. There are some new hardware features like a front-facing camera and near field communications (NFC) support, but both of those are mostly useless at the moment, so the phones are pretty competitive.

If you want to go out and buy a new Android phone today, the Nexus S would be my top recommendation. It’s one of the best overall smartphones on the market and it’s the only device with Android 2.3. This means Google will be supplying all future software upgrades, so there is no worry of waiting over 6 months for updates (like Samsung has done with the Galaxy S).

We all know that Tegra 2 phones are coming in a matter of weeks at CES, so if you are a hardware geek (like me) then you might want to pass on the Nexus S. However, there is still a large group of people that could care less about dual-core processors and just want an Android phone that will always get updates in a timely manner.

I’m really impressed with the overall build quality so far, but I need to spend some more quality time using the phone and testing it out before I post my detailed impressions. If you have any questions about the Nexus S or Android 2.3, please leave a comment and we will do our best to answer them.

Source: Flickr

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website uzunoff

    How is the GPS chip in comparison to G2?
    I compared my Nexus One to a T-mo Galaxy and Nexus One’s chip acquired satellite faster and never lost it… Not like the Galaxy.
    So I am wondering if they used the same chip?

    How is the 3G radio compared to Nexus One or any other HTC 3G phone?

    I wonder if the reason why they didn’t release a 4G version is because Samsung doesn’t have the technology developed yet?

    I guess I am still stuck on the lack of 4G support. Major fail in my opinion

  • http://Website Mike

    I generally like most of your comments. But to pass up on the Nexus S is a mistake in my opinion. Dual core is not going to provide much on the mobile platform for a while. The only case it will help in is when you are running many background applications and do not want to have your foreground application studder (such as a game, or movie) if some heavy background processing is being done.

    I could see some cool stuff happening when the OS has built in support for controlling CPU affinity. For example 1 core is for background apps and is running in a low power state. And the second core is always used for the foreground application. As todays applications even on the PC are not coded in such a way to even take advantage of having multiple processors.

    Anyway, I was a hatter of the Nexus S, read more about it, got one and now I am in love with it. It is the best phone I have owned EVER. And I switch ones 2 to 3 times a year. I really don’t see my self switching again until google releases another phone like the Nexus S.


    • http://Website jdog25

      Yeah I think it is pretty funny that everyone wants a dual core phone but only Honeycomb will support dual cores. Also if only Honeycomb will fully support dual cores imagine if you buy a new dual core phone next month, you will probably have to wait 6 months after Honeycomb comes out to get the update because almost all new Android phones have skins on top. That means if Honeycomb comes out in March you will have to wait until September to finally see the full potential of your phone. I think that manufacturers are rushing out dual core phones and will make them look bad just like they are doing with most Android tablets that have a version of Android that does not support tablets, they bit off more then they could chew. I foresee a lot of angry comments from customers in the future. If everyone had a Nexus device then the Android world would be a better place.

      • http://Website Usman

        We don’t know that yet. There’s a chance that Gingerbread could get an update for dual core processors. But I don’t care about the lack of a dual core processor either. My biggest gripes are lack of the same docking capability as the N1 and MT4G (sans USB plug), no notification light, no microSD, and no HSPA+. These are all really big deals for me. I may not even need more than 16gb… but I can’t be sure. To not include something so menial.. that would have added a whole $2 to Samsung’s cost, is unforgivable.

        • http://Website Usman

          Forgot to mention… I’m not crazy about the build quality either. They didn’t need to go the same as the N1, with a unibody aluminum (though it would have been nice and luxurious)… but at least go with a rubberized plastic with teflon coating on it!

          • Snafu77

            That’s what I’m really interested in hearing about – build quality. I’ve read that it feels cheap. I can’t go from my N1 back to a virtual Palm Pre.

    • http://Website Richard

      You have to be kidding me right Mike….They sucked you in too??…Why Google would change from HTC is crazy.. ok may other manufractors need a chance to but nothing was wrong with HTC and the nexus one so fail here…No 4G support or that fake HSPA PLUS T-MOBILE SUPPORT FAIL HERE ALSO….No support for front facing camera that two is a DUD…Actually what’s left leave it to Samsung to abandon all there other galaxy customers just to produce this device that’s all this is a galaxy phone from SAMSUNG WHICH IS NOT NO HTC EVO 4G OR HTC MYTOUCH 4G…THOSE HTC DEVICES ARE THE BEST ON THE MARKET TODAY….NOT THIS NEXUS S OR ANYTHING FROM SAMSUNG

      • http://Website CJ

        You are aware that “non” of the US carriers have or will have “True” 4G right?

      • http://Website UMA Fan

        Not only that but by 2013 T-Mobile will have a network faster by far than ANYONE, the way the industry is moving right now and according to this article:

        So if a 650mbps connection that is backwards compatible to even existing 3G devices now like the Nexus S isn’t enough for you, than I don’t know what is. Current ’3G phones’ on t-mobile have 7mbps down max and current ’4G phones’ have 14mbps down max. To get these speeds out of HSPA is the better option for fast mobile broadband than anything else because it uses the existing 3G radio your phone already has. Unlike Sprint Wimax and Verizon LTE where you need a separate radio on your device for 3G and Wimax/LTE… it will KILL your battery. It’s my own personal opinion that by 2013 T-Mobile will be seen as the carrier being the fastest and having the best coverage for high speed mobile broadband with devices having the best battery life.

  • http://Website Rahul

    It look okay.. Not what I expected from google.

  • http://Website Joe

    Does the unlocked version work with AT&T, both for calls and for 3G? I believe two versions of the Nexus One were necessary because the T-Mobile version couldn’t access AT&Ts 3G for data.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Yes this version works on AT&T for voice and 2G data, but it does not have the 850 & 1900 MHz bands for AT&T 3G.

      • qhartman

        According to the specs page here: It does have those frequencies.

        • Taylor Wimberly

          GSM is for voice. HSPA is for data. Nexus S supports Tri-band HSPA: 900, 2100, 1700. AT&T uses HSPA bands 850 and 1900. AT&T 3G is not supported.

          • http://Website androidftw!…UnhappyiPhone4owner

            Wouldnt it be cool if they actually used the radio found in the vibrant that supports att 3g bands too?

  • http://Website jdog25

    I got one question does it fit in the pouch that came with the Nexus One?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I just tried and it fits ok, but also sticks out of the top a little.

      • http://Website jdog25

        Thank you sir, I will be getting this phone. Hopefully taking it in and out of the pouch will help wipe the fingerprints off.

        • Clark Wimberly

          It is so so so hard to find a solid pouch that isn’t cheap and looks nice. The original included Nexus One pouch was almost perfection.

          I miss it…

          • KaiserJay

            I know it’s heresy to mention it’s name, but it’s a shame the Nexus S is about 1cm longer than the 3GS, because there are sooooooo many cases for the 3GS, you could pick up a good quality one dirt cheap.

            Going to check it out with a friend’s case when I get my Nexus S and see if it’s a good enough fit.

  • http://Website maison

    did any of u Guys got the new update of the android market yet. I think Google is rolling it out. I just got mines.

  • http://Website Weylin

    Wondering how the curved screen is to use. Haven’t heard any reactions to that design element. Its a great looking phone, just wish it was a bit more cutting edge hardware wise. Seems more incremental.

    • Clark Wimberly

      You can barely notice the curve. If I didn’t know any better I’d say its a marketing gimmick but I’m still waiting to use the phone a bit more before I render my final judgment.

  • geekster

    @Joe….This model will work on ATT but only on 2g. No ATT 3g radio bands in this model. (yet)

    I bought mine this morning too and all in all I’m impressed. Seems to me like this is what I wanted my Vibrant to be.

  • geekster

    quick question Taylor..

    How does your GPS work? Mine seems ok..but definitely not as good as it is on my G2. (better than the vibrant though)

    **disregard @Joe. didn’t refresh browser in time to see Taylors answer**

    • Taylor Wimberly

      GPS works, but not as accurate as my G2 in initial testing.

      • geekster


  • Michael

    Seems to be a great phone but having bought the Samsung Vibrant less than 4 months ago I don’t see any reason why I would need this phone. That and the fact I’m sure some great Android devs will have a lot of 2.3 Gingerbread ported over to Galaxy S variety of phones I’ll pass. Great unboxing vid tho.

    • http://Website RD

      Hi Michael: which devs are porting gingerbread 2.3 to Galaxy S: I don’t see 2.3 coming to Galaxy S anytime soon…. if they could get 2.3 to Galaxy S, I would rather buy the Galaxy S.

  • http://Website Nick

    In your review, PLEASE comment on if the BACK, HOME, MENU, SEARCH touch-sensitive buttons require you to mash your finger around to “find” the sensitive spot, as we have to do on the Galaxy S / Captivate.


  • http://Website Nick Overstreet

    Does it have the neat screen off animation leaked in youtube videos?

  • AhynesG1

    Hey Taylor just watched your unboxing and I have one question… does the GPS work well on this phone? I know that’s a silly question to ask but its from Samsung and I had the vibrant and well yeah… you know the story lol. Planning on picking it up tomorrow and that was the one thing I wondered.

    • AhynesG1

      Nvm my question, didn’t see it answered above.

  • http://Website Noone

    Can we see the sip client ?

  • http://Website revs

    i realllyyyyyy dont see the big deal with this phone
    yay stock android 2.3??? big diffrence???
    no 4g
    no hd video
    no sd?

    just supped up galaxy s with curves


  • http://Website bigmerf

    I git mines at 8 am this morning before I began my drive from orlando to nyc.. I used the navigation along with my in car navigation and my nexus s followed me the whole way.. I am now in NC in a hotel and it finds me with no issues

  • bigmexican

    Quit hating cuz y’all stuck for two years with a phone that is supposedly faster but its almost the same they run on the same network and there is no HSPA + everywhere … in Dallas we have it and believe me I own a G2 a Nexus one and a Nexus S and the download speeds are almost identical even when the G2 says H on the status bar …

    • http://Website swazedahustla

      LOL, well if thats the case, TMO is really lying to its customers. 4G my a$$….they cant even get 3G right.

    • http://Website DaveC

      So what kind of speeds did you get in Dallas? When I was in San Antonio this past summer, I was getting 5mb downloads on my N1.

  • http://Website 42

    !!!such a terrible phone!!!

  • http://Website ♦♦♦♦

    its tooo uggly

  • http://Website CJ

    No HD Recording = Epic Fail!
    No HSPA+ = Epic Fail!
    No Expandable Memory = Epic Fail!

  • bigmexican

    well earlier when i was debating on wether or not i should buy it i went inside a t-mobile store at the mall and compared the download speeds between a mt4g and my n1 and they were 4.4 for the n1 and 4.7 for the mytouch

  • http://Website Me

    Man I’m not sure which one to buy: my touch 4g or nexus s?

    • http://Website Talking to myself


    • Kleptine

      Depends on what you want.

      The Nexus S will probably run heavy games just slightly smoother than the myTouch, and it also has an amazing screen.

      The 4g, however, has 4G (obviously) and has a removable sd card if you’ll need more than 16gb.

      There are other differences too, but those are the main ones I see, besides the obvious fact that the Nexus S will be at the top of the stack for receiving software updates in the future.

      • http://Website sax m

        MT4G also has HD video recording

  • http://Website icecrush

    To me, the fact that it receive the updates on time is considered a feature.

  • http://Website troyg

    Got mine at 8am yesterday and I Love it. I was a bit skeptical at first with all of the oversites by Samsung and Google. But overall I am very very impressed. This phone runs a lot smoother than my nexus 1 and the screen is waaaay crisper. Build quality is also good unlike other reports. It does feel a little light but light doesn’t mean cheap. And although it has a 1 ghz processor like the nexus 1 the hummingbird seems to be 2x as fast. No regrets here!!

  • http://Website Steve N

    I keep hearing people say that the SGS doesn’t have a front facing camera, which really confuses me as mine does… Also I always get an option for a video call when I call anyone with it (not that I’ve tried it as no-one I call has the support at the other end.. The only use I have made of the camera is one blurry test picture of myself, although that may change soon as parents in law are getting a webcam..).

    To be honest the only things I can see on the Nexus S hardware side that the SGS doesn’t have and that I might use are the camera flash (p.s. my SGS camera records in 720p) and the better GPS antenna.

    Therefore all I’ve got to say to this is, please xda Gingerbread for SGS by Christmas, please.

  • http://Website Eccentric

    Is there any hint of a version coming out with more memory?

    I can’t get over the lack of sd slot. Having become addicted to carrying about 30gb of music around on my phone and using it as my main mp3 player, the 16gb limit would be a complete pain. Especially with apps, photos, videos, etc eating into it. Or just being able to have different stuff on different sd cards and swapping them in and out as needed.

    only 16GB? ..pain. ass. major.

  • http://Website Rol

    Well it looks kinda ok:)
    But I’m really surprised there is no SD slot?!
    Furthermore, its too bad that kick-ass hummingbird GPU “can render 3D games at 60 fps” seems not to be used to render the UI, every other modern mobile OS does this by now. I guess that leaves you pretty much with a Snapdragon experience unless you’re playing games. But of course we couldn’t really see much of the performance, so I’m looking forward to see that in the next movie, especially the browsing/scrolling experience.

  • http://Website A-Droid

    The Nexus One is just still too good to replace with this.
    ..and looks better than the NS in many ways.

  • http://Website jay

    another plastic peice crap wtf, no sd slot = google tards, sounds about right release it in america then wait a few weeks then hit us daft brits. i wont be trading in galaxy s for this whats point ill lose my sd slot, hd recording and hsdpa, at least the gps works on nexus s, pat on the back for that and a kick in the balls for making such draconian cuts to save what 3 dollars you twats!.

  • http://Website Zhi Hao

    Hi will you be doing a vid review of web browsing performance? I’m really interested in the Adobe Flash playback/ smoothness of Flash games :)

  • golfpedaler

    Nice…but not enough to compel me to move from a MyTouch 4G…

  • daniel horande

    I was waiting for over 3 weeks to get nexus s. I ended buying mytouch 4. I was afraid that after getting mytouch I would wanted to get nexus S.

    Now I’m extremely happy with this mytouch 4G. I was expecting a external keyboard, better design, dual core, SD card, 4G network.

    I don’t even know how everybody is making such a big deal about this phone. They even made a Twitter account! Roflamao.

    Complete failure.

  • http://Website phoebetech

    after getting a nexus s after owning a vibrant, i did not realize how my phone was either a) hampered down because of touchwiz or b) how froyo/gingerbread improves the speed. i mean, so many applications open and there was no lag on the phone at all! i am just in awe right now.

  • http://Website Asaad

    Is the Anroid 2.3 support Arabic language ?

  • http://Website Sushifiend

    Without wanting to sound like Charles Dance explaining the intricacies of double-crossing to his Sicilian crime boss, I have to point out that one can’t say:

    “A large group of people COULD care less” when wanting to say that people are ambivalent toward something.

    The correct expression is “COULDN’T care less”. The idea being that you have least possible regard toward something. If you COULD care less, then you still care about something more than other things. Hence the expression becomes meaningless.

    I’ve come across many instances of bagel-munching, excessive Z-using, “herb”-and-”route”-mispronouncing miscreants across the pond getting this one wrong this week alone.


    p.s. criticise has an S in it, herb has an H in it, and route rhyms with boot.

  • http://Website semajhan

    After seeing all these videos and unboxings with reviews, i’ve decided to keep my nexus one.
    They make the point clear, no need to get a nexus s if you already have a nexus one.

  • http://Website THE ULTIMATE MIND

    Hello guys And Merry Xmas Dudes Tell You What : i wana tell you guys what is the Meaning Of NEXUS S…. Well Are You Ready. here We go :
    N – Neat
    E – Extraordinary
    X – Xtreme (or Xenogenesis)
    U – Ultimate (or Some Say ULTRA)
    S – Slick & Slim

    S – Silky