Nexus S vs. Nexus One and other current Android Devices

December 6, 2010

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The Nexus S has been officially revealed and if you're sitting with a Nexus One or Samsung Galaxy S device, you are probably wondering if it's worth the upgrade. Well we have you covered with some comparing and contrasting of the devices (along with other Android devices) to help you make the decision.

First off the Samsung Nexus S will be available exclusively on T-Mobile, if you're an owner of a Nexus One you've probably grown to accept this and it may not be a major factor in the decision making process. However, if you're a Samsung Galaxy S or any other Android phone owner this may be a factor in your final decision.

The Nexus One has been a very favorable device, although its sales were less than impressive it still is one of the most powerful and productive phones on the market. However, with the Nexus S hitting the scene the new official "Google Phone" title has been taken and along with it, much of our focus on the Nexus One will shift to the Nexus S.

The internals of the devices are pretty similar both featuring a 1GHz processor. The Nexus S features a 1GHz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor while the Nexus One features a 1 GHz Qualcomm QSD 8250 Snapdragon. The difference is there and somewhat noticeable but not exactly a deal breaker here.

When it comes to storage the Nexus S is limited. Shipping with 16GB internal memory and no microSD card slot you're options are slim when it comes to expansion. The Nexus One has a microSD card slot for additional memory, something that we are wondering why it was left out in the Samsung Nexus S.

The rear-facing camera on the Nexus S is a 5.0 megapixel camera with flash, compared to the Nexus One which is also a 5.0 megapixel camera with flash. However, the Nexus S does have an additional camera on the front for video chat.

Other than that the devices are incredibly similar, the Nexus S just took what the Nexus One did right and does them all in a better, and faster way - making this the optimal Android handset on T-Mobile US.

Have another device? Check out our full comparisons to the Samsung Vibrant, Samsung Epic 4G, Samsung Captivate, Samsung Fascinate, and unlocked Galaxy S devices over at SlashGear!

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  • Steven G

    The Nexus S doesn’t have a microSD card slot. The Nexus One does.

  • Anthony R

    The Nexus One also has dual microphones, external contacts for docking, and a multi-color trackball.

    Also how can Google select the S as their next phone when it doesn’t support HPSA+?

  • Ronnie

    I like the fact that the interface looks like stock android, without the proprietary touch wiz skin which to me looks too much like iOS.

  • aberkae

    upgrade? you mean downgrade! the Lg star will launch in a few weeks/month and will come with dual core A9 1ghz chips with Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chips and will be able to record in 1080p and output via hdmi in 1080p, 8mp cameras and front facing camera, now thats an upgrade!

  • TooBad

    No SD card slot and no HSPA+, oh and it’s on TMobile with its limited network and 5GB cap at which point you will be reminded of the meaning of “slow” for the rest of the month.

    Feb/March 2011 is a short wait for better things to come I think.

  • flart

    Why has nobody focused on the fact that the Nexus S is Samsung and not HTC? Samsung GPS hardware doesn’t even compare to the HTC GPS hardware — and the Galaxy S is one of the most sold phones and STILL doesn’t have the ROM community love. Because it’s Samsung.

  • Paladin

    I agree, it’s not much of an upgrade.

    I have a Nexus One, and i’ll be waiting for a phone with more memory and maybe a dual processor.

    The slightly better processor and slightly bigger display on the Nexus S don’t make up for the fact that it’s Samsung build and the lack of SD slot.

    Also, why not quad band HSPA?

  • Name: Mark

    Epic still hasn’t received an OFFICIAL froyo release and now gingerbread going out in a few weeks. Will us epic owners ever see gingerbread? Hahahaha only at a bakery lol. Btw nexus s will FAIL just like the nexus one, why because its only on ONE CARRIER. You’ll see.

  • MuadDib

    These are very disappointing specs for a phone released so late in 2010. The specs are really pathetic and who would buy a phone what will be outdated in a couple of months when dual core processors with 8 mega pixel cam is going to be the standard. I not getting near this phone with a ten foot pole, hopefully Galaxy 2 will deliver.

  • orama

    so dessapointed!!!
    The only good thing about this pice of shiny crap is that gingerbread sttufing. in fact is more like a toy for developers than a cell for regular customers.
    so im sticking with my unloked N1,utill coming up the smartphones with dual core SD card and ginger preinstalled or the tablets/phones with dual core and honeycomb

  • I thought the Nexus S wasn’t limited to a particular carrier. Certainly here in the UK they are saying that it’s arriving unlocked (although available with contracts, but with a stock install).

  • hello

    i think it looks a bit like a galaxy s and samsung corby… The specs also aren’t stunning, or even good for a smartphone released at this time of the year. It doesn’t even support hd video. I think it’s a downgrade from the nexus one

  • Dusk

    The S is highly disappointing and doesn’t live up to the Nexus One. The N1 was a revolutionary leap in hardware over any Android phone available at the time, the S is only a minor upgrade (for some it’s not even that).

    Compared against the N1 it has an equivalent camera, slightly faster CPU, more onboard memory, slightly nicer screen, NFC, and a front facing camera. It also has no SD card slot (how can you omit this?), and inferior build quality (look at any of the reviews, they all say it feels cheaper). We can surmise based on the GPS performance of the Galaxy S line that the GPS will also be inferior.

    For arriving one year later and carrying the Nexus name this phone should easily blow the N1 and other current Android handsets out of the water. Instead an argument must be made whether it’s even a true upgrade over its predecessor. (For me it’s not, my N1 has AT&T 3g bands and SD card support, neither of which I’m going without)

  • The Dark Lord

    Listen to all of you complaining. Wine, wine, wine … The cell phone industry is moving very fast and they keep improving all components of these phones … so you are waiting for 2-3 month for the next phone … Guess what, in 2-3 month you will see the rumor for the next phone, but also the rumor for the next one again … you end up wining and never buy a phone. You know what, I got used to buy myself a new phone every 6-8 month, just because I want to have the latest stuff … Now I can look positive at things and not be a complainer like all of you guys … If you cannot afford it, maybe you should invest some energy to get yourself some income that will help instead of complaining here …

  • tony

    For fkkks sakes… ITS WHINE…And WHINING…
    jesus h christ.

  • TooBad

    RE: The Dark Lord “buy myself a new phone every 6-8 month”.

    As per your use of personal income, I would consider “investing” in new cell phones every seven months a remarkably poor way to get the maximum return from one’s money.

    Go ahead and buy this phone, and then get what the rest of us will be getting in three months. The difference will be you will have paid twice as much to get what we had the good sense to be patient enough to wait for.

  • Gary Lavin

    The N1 is the best phone I’ve ever had. I’ve had it since launch date and I am itching to get a replacement. However so far I don’t see anything I consider an upgrade, I was really hoping the Nexus S would be it, bummer.

  • The lack of microSD isn’t a dealbreaker for me. I have never filled the 4GB mSD I have in my Nexus One.

    The Nexus One does however run out of internal (512MB) space on a weekly basis, and having to pick and choose between apps installed is a complete pain for me… The 16GB internal space is most welcome.

  • The Nexus One only has 180MB for app storage. Plus the GPU is crap. I play games so I need more storage and a better GPU. That’s why I gave the Nexus One to my wife and got the Galaxy S for myself.

    If I was looking to get a new phone I would pick the Nexus S hands down.

  • to Flart

    The Nexus S uses a different GPS chip than the Galaxy S so I wouldn’t worry about that.

    Plus there is tonnes of development for the Galaxy S, at least the GTI9000 stock model. I’m sure their are not much on all the US one of models. But I’m using the Bell Galaxy S and it is identical to the European models. I can run all the European ROM’s and I have lots of choice.

    If you really prefer HTC than get the Nexus One and you will get Gingerbread in the next few weeks.

    Why does everyone hate on someone else getting the stock Android treatment. The more the merrier. I hope they release a Motorola Nexus M as well.

    Android is all about choice. Stop bitching.

  • mike

    I have to agree, the improvements are a bit disappointing. I think it doesn’t make much sense for me to upgrade to nexus s from nexus one at this time

  • Robert

    This comparison shows the obvious specs, but what about no status indicating LED trackball? Infact, there is no way to know that you have a SMS, Email, or voicemail waiting if you missed the phone while say in the shower…
    One of the cool Nexus One features was mutiple microphones for noise cancelation – the Nexus S does not have this either.
    Can the Nexus S charge in a dock the way the Nexus One can?

    You leave out the screen resolution, curved glass, and everything else that actually make this phone different.

  • TCooper

    Why do all the comparisons show no AT&T for the N1? I’ve been using the N1 since launch and only on AT&T, absolutely brilliant phone. If the S was a new HTC model, I would look much harder at the upgrade. Ready for 2.3 on my N1.

  • iceman

    Many of you are too funny. How many of you have seen the phone in person? Don’t make a judgement based on a spec sheet alone. I would have liked HSPA+ but even then the areas for that are limited and its another 10.00 per month for data. This is an evolutionary device not a revolutionary device like the Nexus 1 was. I have a Nexus 1 and its horrible at holding a cell signal in borderline areas and there are many of them with T-mobile. I have to use a bluetooth headset just to talk on the phone. I also am tired of having to delete apps as many can’t be moved over to the SD card. I have had the phone in my hand and have used one. It is much faster than my Nexus 1. It also has a better camera and more space for apps. I never finished filling up a 8GB card and I have a ton of photos, videos & music stored on it. The screen is larger and battery life is better.

    I’m going to upgrade and see how I like it. When the next best device comes out in another 3 or 4 months I will just sell this device and put the proceeds toward the new one. Don’t make it out to be more difficult than what it is.

  • true kiwi

    ihave used both the phones Samsung and HTC, I preffer HTC as it looks leaner and performs almost the same as samsung and doesn’t look cheaper, and comfy to hold the HTC when compared to Samsung…my opinion…