Samsung Nexus S
Samsung Nexus S running Android 2.3
BrandGoogle / Samsung
SeriesGoogle Nexus
Compatible networksGSM/GPRS/EDGE Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz)
AWS WCDMA/HSPA Tri-band (900, 1700, and 2100 MHz) OR UMTS WCDMA/HSPA Tri-band (850, 1900, and 2100 MHz)
HSDPA 7.2 Mbit/s
HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s
CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev.A + Mobile WiMAX (Sprint Network)
First releasedUnited States December 16, 2010; 13 years ago (2010-12-16) T-Mobile USA
Availability by regionSouth Korea August 10, 2010; 13 years ago (2010-08-10)

Korea Telecom

UK December 22, 2010; 13 years ago (2010-12-22) (Vodafone & Unlocked)
Canada April 7, 2011; 12 years ago (2011-04-07) Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, Telus, Koodo Mobile & Rogers Wireless
Serbia April 4, 2011; 12 years ago (2011-04-04)
Thailand April 1, 2011; 12 years ago (2011-04-01) AIS
PredecessorNexus One
SuccessorGalaxy Nexus
RelatedSamsung Galaxy S
Form factorSlate
Dimensions123.9 mm (4.88 in) H
63.0 mm (2.48 in) W
10.8 mm (0.43 in) D
Mass129.0 g (4.55 oz) (AMOLED-Version)
140.0 g (4.94 oz) (Super-Clear-LCD-Version)
Operating systemOriginal: Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"
Last: Android 4.1.2 "Jelly Bean"
ChromiumOS (supported device by Google)[1]
System-on-chipSamsung Exynos 3 Single[2]
CPUGHz single-core ARM Cortex-A8
GPU200 MHz PowerVR SGX 540 GPU
Memory512 MB RAM (split 128MB GPU / 384MB OS)
Storage16 GB iNAND (partitioned 1 GB internal storage,
15 GB USB storage)
Battery1,500 mAh
internal user-replaceable rechargeable Li-ion
Display800×480 px (0.37 megapixels),
4.0 in (10 cm) diagonal
(2.06×3.43 in), 233 ppi,
WVGA Super AMOLED PenTile[3] or Super Clear LCD display (GT-i9023)
Rear cameramegapixel (2,560×1,920) auto focus
LED flash
Front cameraVGA (640×480)
Connectivity3.5 mm TRRS
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Micro USB 2.0
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Data inputs3-axis gyroscope
Ambient light sensor
Capacitive touch-sensitive buttons
Digital compass
Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
Proximity sensor
Push buttons
OtherWi-Fi hotspot
USB tethering
Oleophobic display coating
SARHead: 0.51 W/kg 1 g
Body: 0.78 W/kg 1 g
Hotspot: -[4]
Hearing aid compatibilityM4[5]

The Nexus S is a smartphone co-developed by Google and Samsung and manufactured by Samsung Electronics for release in 2010. It was the first smartphone to use the Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" operating system, and the first Android device to support Near Field Communication (NFC) in both hardware and software.[10]

This was the fourth time that Google worked with a manufacturer to produce a phone, the previous being the Google G1, myTouch and the Nexus One, all three by HTC. Following the Nexus S, the next Android Developer phone was the Galaxy Nexus, released the following year.

Nexus S is the first commercial smartphone certified by NASA to fly on the space shuttle and to be used on the International Space Station, as part of the SPHERES experiment.[11]

History and availability

The Nexus S was demonstrated by Google CEO Eric Schmidt on November 15, 2010, at the Web 2.0 Summit.[12] Google officially announced the phone on their blog on December 6, 2010. The phone became available for purchase on December 16 in the United States and on December 22 in the United Kingdom.

The Super AMOLED version of the phone is the GT-I9020 and it is based on the Samsung Galaxy S hardware, the principal hardware differences being the absence of support for an SD card and the addition of a near field chip. The alternate SC-LCD (Super Clear LCD) version of the phone is the GT-I9023 which is meant for the European (non-UK) market.

In May 2011 Sprint introduced its Nexus S in the US. Unlike the GSM version, the Sprint Nexus runs on its WiMax network and uses CDMA instead of GSM.

Also in March 2011 Vodafone released a white version of the phone on its web store in the UK.[13]

In the United Kingdom, the Nexus S is sold at Carphone Warehouse and is available on the Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile, 3 and Orange networks.

In France, it is available through SFR and Bouygues Telecom.

In India, Samsung officially announced sale of the unlocked version with Super AMOLED screen i9023, which will support all GSM-based carriers throughout the country.

In Canada, the Nexus S became available at most carriers in April 2011 in two versions, one for Telus, Bell, and Rogers with 3G frequencies of 850/1900/2100 MHz, and the other for Wind/Mobilicity/Vidéotron, using 3G frequencies 900/1700/2100.

In Australia, the Nexus S became available in both black and white. It is available on Vodafone and its virtual provider Crazy John's.



The Nexus S has the Samsung Exynos 3110 processor. This processor combines a 45 nm 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 based CPU core with a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU. The CPU core, code-named "Hummingbird", was co-developed by Samsung and Intrinsity.[14] The GPU, designed by Imagination Technologies, supports OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 and is capable of up to 20 million triangles per second.[15][16]



The Nexus S is the first device to use a 4.0-inch (100 mm) slightly curved glass touchscreen, described by Google as a "Contour Display",[6] with a Super AMOLED 800 x 480 WVGA PenTile matrix display manufactured by Samsung. In markets outside Canada, US, and UK, a Super LCD is supplied instead.


Main article: Android Gingerbread

The phone shipped with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and was the first device to ship with the updated OS. On December 19, 2011, Google released Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for the Nexus S.[19] The automatic update was suspended, allegedly due to poor battery performance.[20] The UMTS/GSM variants was among the first to receive Android 4.0.4 in March 2012.[21] The Nexus S 4G[22](aka Samsung SPH-D720), I9020A, and M200, while taking longer than the GSM variant, received the Android 4.0.4 update. Several devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S II, have or will receive updates before these variants.[23]

On June 27, 2012, at the Google I/O conference, it was announced that the Nexus S would be one of the first devices to receive an upgrade to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), along with the Motorola Xoom and Galaxy Nexus, began on July 26, 2012.[24]

In October 2012, the Jelly Bean 4.1.2 OTA update was released, and is the last official OS released for these devices.[25]

On November 13, 2012, it was announced that the Nexus S would not be updated to Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).[26] It is still supported by independent developers, though, and Android 4.2.2-based as well as 4.3-, 4.4-, 5.1- and 6.0-based alternative software can be installed.[27][28]



Model number Notable differences
GT-I9020 or GT-I9020T 900 / 1700 / 2100 MHz UMTS, Super AMOLED
GT-I9020A 850 / 1900 / 2100 MHz UMTS, Super AMOLED
GT-I9023 900 / 1700 / 2100 MHz UMTS, Super Clear LCD
SPH-D720 CDMA2000, 4G WiMAX, Super AMOLED
SHW-M200S/M200K 900 / 1700 / 2100 MHz UMTS, Super AMOLED


See also: Rooting (Android)

The Nexus S cannot be sim locked and has an unlockable bootloader,[30] allowing users to install custom ROMs.

Critical reception

Joshua Topolsky, writing for Engadget review praised the devices's hardware and software, concluding "the truth is, it really is the best Android device available right now".[31]

The review by The Register gave the Nexus S an 85% rating and summarized it as a "cool, innovative device with an eye to snatch Apple’s smartphone crown."[32]

An AnandTech review praised the display, NFC tag reader, and Android Gingerbread operating system, but noted the lack of 720p video recording, HSPA+ baseband, and external storage support.[33][34] A TechRadar review praised the Nexus S for fixing the GPS problems experienced with the Samsung Galaxy S: "The good news for those looking to upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy S – the GPS issues have been resolved, in that you can actually now get a signal with no problem."[35]

CNET's review was enthusiastic about the display, operating system, and performance. CNET noted the lack of 720p video recording, HDMI output and external (SD card) memory support. CNET also noted the "rather fragile" feel of the phone, the lack of LED notifications, and the few new features over the Nexus One.[36]

See also


  1. ^ "Samsung Nexus S - Mozilla Developer". Archived from the original on September 30, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  2. ^ Samsung Exynos Showcase
  3. ^ "Pentile vs Real-Stripe AMOLED Displays: What's Different? – Tested". Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  4. ^ Archived January 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, ID=1364391
  5. ^ "Sprint Relay Store". Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  6. ^ "Google Nexus S Mobile Phone GT-I9020T". Best Buy. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  7. ^ Gareth Beavis (December 20, 2010). "Google Nexus S release date pushed back to 22 December | News". TechRadar. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "Vip mobile | Samsung Nexus S powered by Android™". Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  9. ^ Hollister, Sean (November 15, 2010). "The Nexus S: a closer look". Engadget. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  10. ^ Hoover, Rachel (December 14, 2015). "NASA's Smartphone-Powered Satellite". NASA. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Patel, Nilay (November 15, 2010). "Eric Schmidt shows off a Nexus S at the Web 2.0 summit, says Gingerbread coming in 'next few weeks'". Engadget. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
  12. ^ "Google Nexus S White – Vodafone UK". Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  13. ^ Samsung (July 27, 2009). "SAMSUNG and Intrinsity Jointly Develop the World's Fastest ARM Cortex-A8 Processor Based Mobile Core in 45 Nanometer Low Power Process". Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Samsung. "SAMSUNG Exynos 3110 – ARM Cortex A8 based Mobile Application Processor". Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  15. ^ Imagination Technologies Ltd. "POWERVR Graphics". Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  16. ^ Brian Klug (December 14, 2010). "Nexus S and Android 2.3 Review: Gingerbread for the Holidays – Page 3". AnandTech. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
  17. ^ Greg Kumparak (December 6, 2010). "Surprise! The Nexus S has no microSD slot. Do you care?". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  18. ^ "Nexus S: Update auf Ice Cream Sandwich veröffentlicht (Update)" [Nexus S: Update on Ice Cream Sandwich released (Updated)] (in German). netzwelt. December 21, 2011.
  19. ^ "Google Said to be Suspending Nexus S ICS Update Due to High CPU Usage and Battery Life Bug". phandroid. December 20, 2011.
  20. ^ "Android 4.0.4 announcement". Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  21. ^ "Samsung Google Nexus S 4G - Full phone specifications".
  22. ^ "Samsung Starts Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich Rollout".
  23. ^ "Google announces Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with Project Butter visuals and new Search, mid-July". The NExt Web. June 27, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  24. ^ "Support Home | Official Samsung Support US |".
  25. ^ "Google: No Android 4.2 for Nexus S and Xoom owners - Crave - Mobile Phones - CNET Asia". Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  26. ^ "CyanogenMod 10.1 – M2 Release". Archived from the original on March 4, 2013. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  27. ^ Mihai, A. (November 11, 2015). "Unofficial Android 6.0 Marshmallow port now available for the Google Nexus S". PhoneArena. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  28. ^ "Samsung Nexus S - XDA-Developers". April 30, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  29. ^ How to unlock the Nexus S bootloader. "How to unlock the Nexus S bootloader". Android Central. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  30. ^ Topolsky, Joshua (December 10, 2010). "Nexus S review". Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  31. ^ David Phelan (January 12, 2011). "Google Nexus S Android smartphone". Reg Hardware, by The Register. Archived from the original on April 17, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  32. ^ Brian Klug (December 14, 2010). "Nexus S and Android 2.3 Review: Gingerbread for the Holidays". AnandTech. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
  33. ^ " "Nexus S receive Android 4.0 ICS". CPNW. March 16, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  34. ^ " "Google Nexus S review". TechRadar. December 16, 2010.
  35. ^ Kent German (December 9, 2010). "Samsung Nexus S review". CNET TV. Retrieved December 23, 2010.