back to article Why is Google's new Nexus S like no other smartphone?

Google and Samsung have jointly announced the Nexus S, but the new flagship Android handset has more wireless than previously seen with Near Field Communications built in. Google isn't trying to change the distribution model this time; the Nexus S will be sold in Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy stores, and will be available in …


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  1. sleepy_chicken

    You haven't seen it?

    Google homepage, surely!?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton


      My homepage is

  2. Jamie Kitson


    > The Nexus S features a slightly curved screen – to better fit in the hand and against the face – which will either be annoying or a revelation: we won't know until we see it.

    I've seen it, and it's neither, it's barely noticeable.

  3. Gizzit101
    Thumb Down


    ..what perplexes me is the justification for this to cost £550 in the UK, and 530 dollars in the US. Even buying one from the US and paying carriage, import duty and VAT would work out substantially cheaper

    Not a vast improvement over my Nexus One anyway - so I reckon I'll pass for mow.

    1. Uplink


      Sounds like an Apple pricing strategy to me. Did Steve Jobs jump ship to Google and the Reg missed it?

    2. Neil_


      No import duty on phones.

      And 'a few day' carriage is about £30 - £35.

      So yes, Rip Off Britain at it again.

      1. PaulR79

        No import duty on phones?

        Where is this information?! I never knew about this.

        1. Neil_

          @PaulR79, RE No import duty on phones?

          It's actually very difficult to find out!

          I bought the Nexus One when it came out so I tried to find out. Lots of roaming around the HMRC site, it mentions a huge list of item types several times but I couldn't find the list at all. Eventually I found a page that said to search the list you need to phone them.

          So I did and a helpful chap looked it up and told me that it's classed as a 'computer item' (or some words like that) and there's no import duty on those.

          There was VAT though, DHL sent the bill for that a couple of weeks after the phone arrived.

          FAIL for HMRC website. Might be fixed now though, maybe...

    3. Colin Miller

      sales tax / VAT

      Is that before US sales tax, but after UK VAT?

      IIRC, most shops in the US & Canada show prices pre-sales tax, but UK bricks-n-mortar show them post VAT.

  4. Andy Blackburn


    of native storage... no expandable or removable storage. As much as 16GB is plenty, surely this is a bit of a negative for the Nexus S?


    1. LaeMing

      I imagine... are supposed to use the cloud for bulk storage.

      At least until it rains.

    2. mego


      The exact reason I'll be giving this a pass. Brings back memories of famous fail sayings like "640kb should be enough for everybody!"...

      Though I suspect this is more a google fail than a Samsung fail - the phone is speced to their design after all.

  5. Bilgepipe


    Store my credit card details on a mobile phone..... a mobile phone running Android apps...... apps with, let's call it a "lackadaisical" view of security...

    No.... no, I think I'll pass, thanks.

  6. Thomas 4

    Not a quantum leap in phone design

    ...but looks like a tasty bit of kit all the same.

  7. AndrueC Silver badge

    Another month, another phone...

    ..and a different version of Android that won't run on any previous phone?

    Just asking :)

    1. hugh

      its running (albeit needs work) already on the desire

      the Nexus One

      the Droids

      even the the HD2

    2. T-Unit

      New versions of android run on older phones

      Even those that aren't officially upgraded can easily be run with something like CyanogenMod which is prted to all kinds of devices. At the moment you can even run 2.2 on a G1!

  8. Neil 7

    Symbian has more innovations than Android

    I'm surprised the latest Android OS lacks Bluetooth 3 and USB-on-the-Go... but it has a gyroscope, whoopee.

  9. Patorian
    Paris Hilton

    honestly ...

    " The use of induction means the tag can be read when the phone's battery is dead "

    so how would that work ? You read the tag and then ......

    1. famousringo
      Big Brother

      It's not so your phone can read tags,

      It's so that other systems can read your phone. So you won't have to charge up your dead phone to pay for that meal or transit ride.

      It also means that simply turning off your device won't prevent the Illuminati from tracking your every move.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        And El Reg hyping this phone up

        I've been suspecting for some time now that The Register is a neocon front: the attacks on climate science, the smearing of wikileaks and now the number of astroturf Android infomercials disguised as articles reaching suspicious levels... Interestinto see if this post will be moderated out!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And El Reg hyping this phone up

          That's a new one...

          What does Android have to do with Neo-Conservatism?

          How are we smearing Wikileaks?

          Why do articles questioning climate science = neo-con front?

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Point by point

            1. According to the number of scientists that accept anthropogenic climate change and the number that don't there should be 9 articles explaining it per article denying it, but El Reg is not even balanced in the 50/50 sense.

            2. Initially El Reg published a number of articles minimizing the importance of wikileaks, now it's publishing articles calling Assange narcissistic and the organisation in it for the money.

            3. Android is not Neocon OS per se, but it is well known that Google have a very close working relationship with the US intelligence services. And calling the Nexus a phone like no other in the titile of an article supposedly informative is beyond ridiculous, especially when every article about iPhone/iPad is at least coloured by sarcasm. I have nothing against sarcasm and nothing for the iPhone but to be fair I'd expect the same sarcasm on articles about the Tab or the Nexus.

  10. DrXym

    NFC solution in search of a problem

    I can't think of many reasons to wish NFC except perhaps for pairing a headset to a device, or possibly for syncing. I certainly wouldn't want to whip out an expensive phone to use as an oyster card, or make payments through it.

    At best NFC seems like a minor convenience, alleviating the hassle of pairing or exchanging call cards but really not something that would ever compel me to buy a phone with it.

    I would be more interested in credit cards in conjunction with NFC which is marginally more useful if it allowed users to wave a card to complete transactions under some nominal amount. That's assuming it didn't also allow card skimmers to grab money off people simply by being close to them on the tube or similar.

    1. DannyAston
      Thumb Up


      I think Oyster on your phone would be awesome (Although I doubt it will ever come to light as they are cancelling Oyster)

      Also, you don't need to whip the phone out, you can just grip it in your hand and swipe your hand, NFC will still work.

      1. Cliff

        Cancelling Oyster?

        Cancelling Oyster? Really?

        1. ThomH


          No, they're not cancelling it. One of Boris' first moves was to cancel the existing contracts, but TfL have subsequently put new agreements in place at least up until 2013. It's all a Blairite public private partnership, so the messages about lifespan and cancellation tend to be a bit confused and never completely definite.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Nexus S?

    Is that S as in Six? How did that lawsuit workout anyways?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: honestly

    erm...arent they trying to make the point that if you're using your phone to as a means of payment, you can still do so even with a flat battery?

    1. Patorian

      re: honestly

      so that means that if they nick your phone while out for a beer, you can no longer go home as well ?

      Great .. I'll add my centurion card details on there as well then ....


    SGS 9000 user

    Think of NFC as a test for early adopters. Eventually all el cheapo 'phone will have one.

    Even my ancient Sony Vaio has a Felica chip in the palm rest. Not that I have ever used it, because there were no drivers for Linux available back in 2005.

  14. Rick Brasche

    this might be a big seller in San Francisco

    if they get an app that allows the phone to interface with the Clipper card system.

    course the way that system works (credits stored on the card not on a server) allows for some nasty hack potential

  15. Anonymous Coward


    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. [pause] Unless my NFC worked properly, of course [paraphrasing here, OK]

  16. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    It's still a dormant interface...

    ... and one which Nokia C7 owners have had since October, incidentally.

    Having a Java API to NFC for small developers to play with isn't going to make much difference to NFC rollout. The software in the handset is the smallest part of the puzzle. Think of it like an XML library - it gets the basic stuff done, but doesn't help you figure out *what* to send or how to understand the results.

    Incidentally, a quick look at NFC Forum's members shows one particular absentee. So, I wonder was this Samsung's software development budget being given away by Google, or Google's?

  17. jbelkin

    Google Going All Out MS

    Google realizes they cannot hope to compete with Apple on UI, OS or software so like MS, they figure if they throw a bunch of hardware features at the clueless, they will get some traction but like all android phones, after a few weeks of sales at full price, it quickly drops into the BOGO or $.01 bucket - so yea, another fine bargin hunters delight phone but no iphone.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      "...but no iphone"

      And thank $DEITY for that! I don't know why people think Apple are so good at UI design but every Apple device I've used, both OSX and iOS, have been annoying as hell. Their shiny plastic interface is for art majors who would faint if asked to handle a piece of real technology.

      Yes I know, I'm feeding the troll, but I'm really tired of seeing art & design nerds orgasm over Apple's prettiness without having any understanding of the underlying technology because they've been insulated from it all by the interface.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        "Yes I know, I'm being a troll" TFTFY...

        "...I'm really tired of seeing art & design nerds orgasm over Apple's prettiness without having any understanding of the underlying technology because they've been insulated from it all by the interface." What a silly statement! Why does a typical user need to have " any understanding of the underlying technology " at all? Like a car, all a typical technology user need to be able to do is 'drive' the device. In truth you are upset that technology is being made available for all. Apple, along with Google and in fairness Microsoft, should be applauded for making computing as accessible as it has become. I'm tired of nerds with no inter-personal skills trying to keep computing a 'dark art' to justify their ridiculous salaries for 'turning it ofandonagain'. Gimp.

        1. Wake up befor you sleep thru windows last crash...

          You nailed it!

          We all are pretty techy, or we wouldn't be here on el Reg. But the TRUTH is that technology is for making people's lives easier. It all depends on who the customer is though. For MSFT the customer has always been the geek, and they are all about the free scones.

          But the average person? Sorry guys, but the've caught on now! This is why Mac sales have quintupled in the past 2 years, why iPhones are selling extremely well despite all the idiotic nerd objections that literally NO ONE cares about, and also why the iPod and iPad are so PHENOMENALLY popular.

          Hate to break it to you! There is still time for you though, just get about learning Objective C. Then you can code for all the good devices. ;-)

    2. JC 2

      @ Google Going All Out

      ... and that's exactly why iPhone has no hope whatsoever to keep its market share. In this day and age the mobile phone is ubiquitous, feature sets will become more and more standardized, UI more polished, and the only major differentiation worth mentioning in single-digit # of years will be the iMarketing. Does it make you feel hip to pay Steve Jobs more for less? Really?

      Hate to mention it but the same will soon happen to iPod, but rest assured MS is doing such a *bang up* job with windows that Apple has a safety net for awhile at least.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @JC 2

        "Google Going All Out" By basically copying what Apple have done with the iPhone! Here's a radical though for you--there is enough room and profit in the market place for all these devices. I hate to point this out, but the Nexus S is more expensive off-contract than the iPhone 4 in the UK too. The whole "Apple is more expensive for the same" is generally a sign that you actually don't know what you are talking about...

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Buy one, get one?

      The Galaxy S is still selling for £400, and the Nexus S is the better device.

      You're speaking nonsense fella...

  18. Mark Zip
    Thumb Down

    Sticking with my N1

    No HSPA+ for US T-Mobile.

    No external storage? None? The Nexus 1 does not have enough memory on board, but at least we can expand it to 32g via the card.

    Headphone jack on the bottom is not great for me, as I use the Square for charging customers. Also, I put the phone in my breast pocket when using headphones and I really don't mind that I have to turn it around when I take it out.

    I know it's not too popular, but I *like* the trackball!

    *Still* only a 5mp main camera?

    They are hyping the fact that it will be released with 2.3, but we know that regular Nexus 1's will get that too.

    Let's face it, it's only a small evolution. Larger screen and front facing camera are not enough of an advance. Hell, I have front facing cameras on my N95 and my N97 and I probably used them a maximum of 10 times.

    Nope, I won't be giving up my N1 for the Nexus S

  19. Dark_rain

    1.0Ghz, 512MB

    ...So the same as the one-year-old HD2 then? Just with NFC hardware and made by a significantly inferior company (have you seen some of Samsung's branded ROMs? Jeeesus!). Yawn. I think I'll pass.

    By the time NFC for payment has come into proper use (rather than just with a few companies), there'll be something better anyway.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Because it's their last desperate attempt before iPhone goes to VZ

    Google knows it's running out of time. It's not making any money, just barely able to say they have some profit (we have to take their word for that as it's not at all clear they are even breaking even).

    iPhone is about to ROLL OVER Roids in the US. Very very few people would accept an Android over the iPhone. So far, for many US consumers, Roid has been the only choice as there is no iPhone on Verizon. But that advantage is about to evaporate.

    Finally, they have a real pricing problem. They want about as much for these iPhone KNOCK OFFS as the real iPhone costs. And the biggest problem? Tons of incompatibilites, security is an afterthought, they aren't 'cool' like the iPhone (it's never cool to copy the other kids!) and a near TOTAL LACK OF SOFTWARE compared to iPhone.

    Vast quantities of applications is ALL that Windows ever had. It did well despite a general lack of quality.

    iPhone has BOTH QUALITY AND QUANTITY. Android is doomed as a result.

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