Samsung Nexus S

Basic Specs

Thickness 0.43 inches
Weight 0.28 pounds
Form factor Slab
Screen size (diagonal) 4 inches, 4 inches
Carriers T-Mobile, AT&T
Operating system Android
Launch OS version 2.3

Recent News

No recent news about Samsung Nexus S.

Recent Discussions

No recent discussions about Samsung Nexus S.

Tech Specs

Also Known As...

Alias GT-i9023, i9023, GT-i9020a, i9020a, GT-i9020t, i9020t
FCC ID A3LGTI9020A, A3LGTI9020T, A3LGTI9020

Hardware

Height 4.88 inches
Width 2.48 inches
Thickness 0.43 inches
Weight 0.28 pounds
Form factor Slab
Color Black, Black / White
Noise cancellation Software

Display

Screen size (diagonal) 4 inches, 4 inches
Technology Super LCD, Super AMOLED
Pixel arrangement RGB
Resolution (Y) 800 px, 800 px
Resolution (X) 480 px, 480 px
PPI 233, 233
Touchscreen type Capacitive, Capacitive

Connectivity

Carriers T-Mobile, AT&T
GSM Yes
GSM frequencies supported 1900, 1800, 900, 850
UMTS / HSPA Yes
UMTS frequencies supported 900, 2100, 1700, 1900, 850
Max WWAN downlink speed 7.2 Mbps
Max WWAN uplink speed 5.76 Mbps
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b
802.11n frequencies 2.4GHz
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
NFC support Yes
Tethering / mobile hotspot Yes

Processor

Manufacturer Samsung
Brand / family Hummingbird
Clock speed 1 GHz

Memory

RAM size 512 MB

Storage

Internal size 16 GB
External No

Front Camera

Resolution 0.3 megapixels

Rear Camera

Resolution 5 megapixels
Flash LED
Focus type Autofocus
Video resolution 720p

Software

Operating system Android
Launch OS version 2.3
Notable apps Tags

Interface

Headphone jack 3.5mm
Other ports Micro USB

Sensors

Sensors Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer

Battery

Capacity 1500 mAh
Removable Yes

Recent News

No recent news about Samsung Nexus S.

Recent Discussions

No recent discussions about Samsung Nexus S.

8.2

Average User Review

of 10 total reviews
  • 1
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  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Design 8
  • Display 8
  • Camera(s) 6
  • Reception / call quality 8
  • Performance 8
  • Software 9
  • Battery life 8
  • Ecosystem 8

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  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by cuckfupertino (Previously owned)

    I owned the Nexus S for about four months. Before I owned it, I had an HTC Desire HD (Inspire 4g). I chose to "upgrade" to the Nexus because of the Inspire's atrocious battery life and lackluster screen. From a hardware perspective, the HTC was superior, but much less practical. The Nexus S was a great phone, and firmly cemented my opinion that Samsung is the best manufacturer of Android phones. I also owned a Captivate at one point, so the Nexus S was very familiar. I love putting custom ROMs on my phones, but generally find myself reverting to the most "vanilla" ROM available. I can't stand manufacturer/carrier ROMs. If you hate Sense/TouchWiz/Motoblur/etc., then the Nexus S is a great choice. First, it is the easiest to modify since it comes unlocked and is easily rooted. Second, if you don't want to modify the phone in anyway (i.e. custom ROMs), then the Nexus S comes with vanilla Android! Also, it was recently updated to ICS, which makes it arguably one of the best phones on the market from a software perspective. The hardware itself is certainly 'last generation,' with the 1ghz processor/5mp camera/4" SAMOLED screen, but the combo is still pretty effective. The size of the phone is great, and the "curve" is really cool and makes the phone stand out among all the black slates. I'd say from a design standpoint, it is on par with the iPhone 4, albeit made of cheaper materials. That issue really isn't a problem, unless you're constantly handling a friend's iPhone 4, in which case your Nexus S will feel quite plasticky. After the Nexus S I moved to a Galaxy S2, which is very much a better phone. However, I really miss the simplicity of the Nexus S, as well as its curved screen. I may switch to a Galaxy Nexus because of its physical similarity to the Nexus S. Drawbacks? SAMOLED is a bit outdated, and will seem very over-saturated when compared to the Retina or SAMOLED Plus. The phone feels a bit chunky compared to some of the thinner phones on the market now. Single-core 1ghz processor is "slow" by today's standards, and will not perform well/play many of the graphics-heavy 3d games out now. The camera is also garbage, but was comparable at the time this phone came out. If you're not worried about the camera you'll be fine. However, it really lags behind the current crop of 8mp+ beasts which can replace point-and-shoots. Highlights? Design. Samsung's best looking phones are without a doubt the Nexus phones. I wish its Galaxy line would take some clues from the simplicity/innovation of the Nexus phones.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 7
    • Camera(s) 5
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 7
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by kwudude (Currently owns)

    At current prices, the Nexus S is an absolute steal.Shopping around, prices of under $300 off contract are easily found.

    The curved screen design doesn't seem to offer any real usability benefit but it's so damn cool that everyone wants to touch it. And don't let the "plastic" casing fool you...it does feel like a quality device in your hands, albeit not quite HTC-aluminum-monocoque quality.

    Super AMOLED is, in short, amazing. Blacks that look like they're part of the bezel! I dock off a point for Pentile and the average resolution.

    The 1GHz Exynos inside seems lacking by today's standards but is easily overclocked to 1.3GHz+. Snappy menus, snappy browser...everything is in fine but not blazing working order.

    Camera is lackluster. Yes, it is 5MP and yes, it can shoot decent photos, but it's a step down from the likes of many other 5MP sensors, ex. iPhone 4

    Software is where the SNS really excels. Ice cream sandwich, an update many high end phones can't even dream of, is already available here.

    Overall, incredible for the price.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 8
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by rahulp (Currently owns)

    This review is based on the ICS update recently released for this phone. Since the update is being pushed over the air, anyone who buys this phone now should have no problem getting it.

    The design of this phone is great, the curved contour display gives it a unique look, and it feels great in the hand. At 4" the screen is an excellent size, not too big for small hands, and sufficient screen real estate.

    Likewise, the display is good, not great. Interestingly, the display seems to have been improved by the update, colors look much better ever since the update.

    The camera has also gotten better with ICS. Picture quality looks good to my eyes (note, I am *not* a photographer), what really has improved is the shutter lag, which is almost non-existent, and the panoramic mode which works fantastically.

    T-mobile's service is not so great where I live, considering I live in a rural area I guess that's to be expected with any phone on T-mobile. I'm really hoping this improves with their new spectrum acquisitions and roaming deal from AT&T. If I lived in a major city, this probably wouldn't be an issue.

    ICS is amazing! Everything said about ICS in the Galaxy Nexus review can be said about ICS on the Nexus S.

    Battery life seems fairly good, I've been getting about 20 hours of use on a charge, but it's only been a couple days.

    Android has tons of apps available, and being able to browse the market from my computer and install them to my devices wirelessly works perfectly and comes in handy often. Also, the market has improved over the last year to better highlight high quality and popular apps. I think there's still room for improvement in this area, more work can be done to promote quality apps.

    In conclusion, this is an amazing phone and I recommend it to everyone I know who is looking for a budget option. Best Buy has this phone free for T-mobile, $50 for AT&T, and $100 for the Sprint Nexus S 4G all on contract. Unlocked phones can be had on Ebay for $200-300 with no contract. At that price point, there's no phone that can even come close. As long as you're not a Verizon customer, this is the best phone you can get for the price. Even if you're not on a budget, the Nexus S holds it's own against the top smartphones available today.

    Please note, I gave a bonus point to the Final Score because of the low price.

    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by bersany (Currently owns)

    This is a review of the Nexus S with ICS:
    The Android 4.0 update changed this phone completely, its like you have a smaller brother of the Galaxy Nexus.
    The "hardware" buttons work like a charm on ICS. Since most apps are not yet optimized for the new button order introduced with the GN, I think the 4 hardware buttons solution is better.

    Obviously, what didnt change is the hardware, which is one year old but is still pretty good.
    Ice cream sandwich feels almost as fast as on the Galaxy Nexus, though there are some drawbacks:
    1. Browser: way faster than on Gingerbread, not as fast as on the GN though,
    2. Unlock: No face unlock in the 4.0.3 release
    3. Camera: a little bit too slugish, and the video-effects that change your face form is almost unusable

    You can read about the other advantages of Android 4.0 elsewhere, so I'm going to skip this part.
    The phone itself:
    -Weight and size are great, the back cover is slippy and plasticky, a decent back cover and this phone would look much better
    -Camera is good at daylight, sucks at night
    -Battery life: Its ok, though it doesnt last all day with full usage...

    td;lr

    Smaller brother of the Galaxy Nexus, cheaper and still on the edge of the Android experience!
    BTW: The Nexus S is out of stock in Germany at all major stores, or much higher priced than pre-ICS...

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 8
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 9
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by KiwiC (Currently owns)

    i got this as my first smartphone and it has been awesome, I debated between this and the iPhone 4 - the Nexus S won out with a bigger screen (I find 3.5" a bit cramped), and Android just seemed more exciting. Design wise, I like the shape and the feel in hand, and the curved screen I have found to be somewhat helpful in outdoor use (deflects the light different to a flat screen). My biggest issue is the plastic - its not really poor quality but some metal or Nokia style material would be nice.
    As for software, Gingerbread was good, though not as polished as iOS - but I have updated to ICS and it is fantastic. The new OS is smooth (I had concerns the processor wouldnt be up to it), with tweaks and touch ups to the stuff that did work, and overhaul of what didnt - i'm thoroughly impressed. Battery life also doesnt seem to have suffered, I still get a solid 48hrs of fairly constant use (I, don't game much however).
    The only thing that dissapoints is the camera, bit slow and not particularly good quality.
    The Nexus S is a great phone, and i'll be sticking with Android as long as Google keeps putting out updates to the Nexus line.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 7
    • Display 7
    • Camera(s) 5
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 8
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by spin (Currently owns)

    Disclaimer: 10/10 => perfect product, not to be replaced. Ergo I don't give 10 with the exception of Software, as it's pure-Google Android.

    Well, I bought the phone *after* the Galaxy Nexus' announcement. While the GN is superior in nearly all aspects, it's EUR 300 more and arrived a month later.
    The Nexus S is a very nice phone, even though it doesn't have the best camera or a dual-core CPU. ICS runs flawless, the design is very smooth and the whole experience is very pleasant. It's way better than the HTC Desire I owned previously.
    It should be noted that the back is prone to scratches and that various docking stations are available.

    At a pricing point below EUR 240, this is an excellent choice.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 8
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by Ashutosh (Currently owns)

    The Nexus S is my first ever smartphone, so naturally I love it.

    The good:
    Gingerbread was pretty good, and ICS is awesome (they have finally nailed swiping).
    Camera takes good pictures outside/in bright light.
    Performance is mostly zippy.
    Nice screen (even though I have the version with the Super LCD screen, it's still pretty good).
    Battery life is really good compared to most Android phones, I easily get a day out of moderate 3G and Wi-Fi usage, a few calls, tons of texting, and a little gaming.

    The bad:
    Build quality. Plastic feels cheap and is very slippery, so I have to put a condom-like phone cover.
    ICS has been using more memory than Gingerbread. Since the 512MB memory is shared b/w the processor and GPU, hence there is always a chance of me running out of memory.
    Scrolling is still pretty jerky.
    The power and volume buttons are very flimsy.
    Camera is not as good as the ones on 2011 Android phones.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 7
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 8
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 7.0
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    Reviewed by zeagus (Currently owns)

    The Nexus S was one of the best handsets of its time and continued to be a popular choice for Android users who wanted to ditch the carrier and manufacturer customizations and just enjoy the stock experience that Google intended. Its downright beautiful industrial design and overall solid feel allowed one to overlook the plasticky feel. The Super AMOLED "Contour Display" was curved, bright (sometimes overly so) and vivid. Truly an example of hardware and software closely intermingled realizing something larger than the sum of its parts.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 7
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 6
    • Performance 7
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by joecox (Currently owns)

    Note: Recently updated from Gingerbread 2.3 to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.

    Let me start by saying that the plasticky back and supposed inferior build quality that so many reviewers complained about when this phone was first released have not been real negative factors. I have dropped the Nexus S countless times and it has not gotten so much as a scratch. Maybe it feels like cheap material, but it's practical. Also, the contour display makes this phone curvaceous and frankly, pretty sexy.

    The 4-inch screen is brilliant. It's standard AMOLED fare from Samsung; nothing super special like what is on the new Galaxy Nexus. However, coming from the tiny, low-res screen of the G1, it is downright jaw-dropping. Very bright, decent ppi, and very responsive.

    The camera is the real knock to this phone's overall impression. It is slow to focus, slow to take a picture, has horrible low-light performance, and has bad overall quality due to a bad sensor, a fact that Samsung and Google tried to hide by advertising the 5 MP resolution (which isn't even very notable to begin with).

    The reception/call quality is excellent, even on T-Mobile.

    The performance and software go hand-in-hand on this phone. With Gingerbread, there were many areas where the performance was obviously lacking and at times was frustrating. The performance of the single core processor occasionally had me annoyed that I hadn't waited about a month for one of the new dual-core phones. However, with a recent update to ICS, the performance is zippy, scrolling is buttery-smooth, and all the animations are fluid. ICS has given new life into the phone. (Note: Before ICS update, "Performance" would have gotten a 7.)

    Software and updates are important considerations when getting a new phone. One of the reasons I got this phone, even with dual-core phones on the horizon was because I knew it was a Nexus phone, a pure Google experience and that it would receive updates likely before any other phone. While my friend with a Droid Charge just got updated to Gingerbread and about 35% of phones are still running Froyo, I'm flying high with ICS. (Note: Before ICS update, "Software" would have gotten an 8.)

    The battery holds a charge for a normal day of medium-to-heavy use.

    The Android app ecosystem improves every day, but never feels great like iOS's does. Back when I used my 1st gen iPod touch all the time, I was amazed week in and week out by the new apps flooding into the App Store. With the Android Market, even now, I feel like I find an app worth downloading an average of every other week. Developers know, after all, that the App Store is still where the big bucks are to be made. As long as the App Store offers more economic benefit, it'll be number one.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 7
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 8
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 7.0
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    Reviewed by malstrom (Previously owned)

    A great overall phone. I bought one when it first came out, however I decided that I couldn't live without Apple's ecosystem and sold it and bought an iPhone 4. It was, without a doubt, the best Android phone on the market at it's time and is still the second best Android phone. Gingerbread wis great, but I'm sure this phone is even better with Ice Cream Sandwich.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 5
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 8
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 4
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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