Well, it looks like the venerable Nexus One has finally reached the end of its software cycle – officially, at least. When asked whether or not the original Nexus would be seeing an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google responded that the phone’s hardware was simply too old to handle the update. The oldest developer phone to get Ice Cream Sandwich will be the Nexus S, released twelve months after the original Nexus One.

Of course, Google itself is hardly the last word when it comes to Android. Versions of Ice Cream Sandwich have already appeared on the Nexus One via the recently-released SDK, and while this isn’t an ideal solution, it’s a pretty good indication that running the software on comparable hardware is far from impossible. Once the official Ice Cream Sandwich source code is released (currently expected a few weeks after the November launch of the Galaxy Nexus) you can bet that a multitude of ROM developers will have Android 4.0 running on the Nexus One in a jiffy.

The more disturbing implication of Google’s announcement is the basic hardware requirement for Ice Cream Sandwich, which has yet to be outlined. Recent mid-range phones like the HTC Rhyme run on hardware that’s almost identical to the original Nexus and HTC Desire, and there’s plenty of low-end phones being introduced on even less powerful hardware. What of these devices, some of which are only weeks old on the market?  Will customers who bought a $200 phone this summer be denied an official update just a few months later? Motorola and HTC have committed to bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to current phones, but in most cases have not outlined which precise models will be updated.

Check out our hands-on looks at the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich below:

Galaxy Nexus Hands-on

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Ice Cream Sandwich Hands-on

[vms 4b1be110b7bf70c8362d]

[device id=79]

[via SlashGear]


  1. My guess is that the limiting factor is not the screen or camera or processor, but the memory. Not many phones are shipping with just 512MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM these days. A more common config is at least 1GB of ROM and usually beefed up RAM as well, even on “low end” models. Makes sense that the new OS would require more storage space for the OS as well as more RAM. Just my speculation of course.

  2. pwnicholson i doubt RAM is the problem since nexus S also has 512MB. In fact mid range phones that were released the last 5-6months usually are 512mb RAM. Maybe the GPU is a problem (  adreno 200 is really slow )

  3. I don’t know if it’s limiting factor is ram, memory, cpu, or even the gpu. We know it runs. The optimization sdk will run on the nexus one.

    I think the biggest issue for the nexus one is development time. There’s a handful of them. A lot of people who bought the phone have already moved on… I mean look at who bought them. It was targeting the developer community.

    There’s no point for google to officially release ICS to such a small community… Not to mention it’s a community that will port it themselves.

  4. Just to let you know that I am going to buy a new smartphone to replace my Nexus One, since I will not be able to upgrade it to ICS. 
    Replacement?   iPhone.
    Thanks, Google. Based on my experience with Android, I’m now an iOS user.


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