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Samsung Nexus S by Google (I9020 / I9023)

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 Samsung Nexus S Available December 2010 (US & UK), Q1/Q2 2011 (Worldwide)
6th December 2010

One of the very last handset announcements of 2010, the Samsung Nexus S by Google is a high-end Android 2.3 smartphone that should be available by Christmas in the US and the UK.

The Nexus S is a joint effort between Samsung and Google, and it follows on from the original (and not hugely successful) Google Nexus One. The hardware on the Nexus S is very similar to the Samsung I9000 Galaxy S, so probably the biggest difference between the Galaxy and Nexus S is the software.

Android 2.3 (also known as "Gingerbread") features several improvements over previous versions, and perhaps the most important improvement is more aggressive power management by the operating system. Other improvements include faster graphics rendering, more sound features, a better camera interface, more codecs for video playback and a number of other improvements. And because this handset is developed in partnership with Google, then you can expect to see the latest software updates being available for the Nexus S before any phones.

The hardware specifications of the Nexus S are impressive. There's a large 4.0" 480 x 800 pixel AMOLED display, a 5 megapixel camera on the rear and a front-facing VGA resolution camera for video calling and application use, 16GB of internal Flash memory (but there is no memory slot), 3.5G support, WiFi (including 802.11n) and GPS plus a digital compass. Inside is a 1GHz Hummingbird CPU which should provide plenty of processing power.

 Samsung Nexus S Some novel features on the Samsung Nexus S include a gyroscope sensor for gaming and built-in NFC support, but perhaps most noticeable will be the slightly curved display which is designed to make the handset easier to hold up to your face.

Video recording is 720 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second, not HD quality but good enough for YouTube, the stills camera has autofocus and an LED flash, although this isn't really a high-end camera phone. Multimedia playback on the Nexus S is much more impressive with the relatively large display and improved playback support, and Samsung's AMOLED displays are very well regarded when it comes to clarity.

Inside the Nexus S is a large 1500 mAh battery, and it's a fairly big device at 124 x 63 x 11mm and 129 grams, although that is mostly down to the large display. Talktime is quoted as being up to 6.7 hours on 3G with 18 days standby time.. but as Android users know, those applications can sometimes be very power hungry.

If you live in the UK or US, then the Samsung Nexus S will be available just in time for Christmas, on December 20th at £550 SIM-free from the Carphone Warehouse in the UK, and it will also be available from Best Buy stores in the US from December 16th (although the price is not known at the moment). Contract options are available, and other markets will follow early next year.

This phone will probably appeal to people who already have an Android handset and are looking to upgrade.. non-Android users might not understand the fuss about having the latest operating system, and there's no doubt that this is a somewhat expensive device. However, it is certainly an impressive piece of kit and it does look like Google might have their strategy right the second time around.

Samsung Nexus S by Google at a glance


Q4 2010 (US & UK), Q1/Q2 (worldwide)


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +

UMTS 900 / 1700 / 2100




4.0" 480 x 800 pixels


5 megapixels


Medium-large tablet
124 x 63 x 11mm / 129 grams



Memory card:











Android 2.3

Battery life:

6 hours talk / 18 days standby (3G)
14 hours talk / 30 days standby (GSM)

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