Nexus S Spy Shots Emerge, Phone Revealed to be the GT-i9020



The flood gates have opened. After a little nudge from the emergence of a couple of Best Buy leaks, some brave soul has taken it upon themselves to forward some hands-on shots of the handset to Engadget. The photos are apparently about a month old and don’t do much to show off arguably the biggest selling point of the Nexus S, Android Gingerbread, but notice the branding on the back of the handset is very similar to the Nexus One. Just “Google” instead of “with Google” and the Samsung logo. No mention of Galaxy S or Nexus S to be found.


In terms of appearance, you won’t see much other than a slightly tweaked Galaxy S design. It certainly isn’t anything to go ga-ga over on sight alone, but we will hold out hope that internals and Gingerbread will make this thing worthwhile.

Also uncovered via some clever sleuthing is the model number of the Nexus S, the Samsung GT-i9020, which stays in the same numbering scheme of previous GT-i9000 Galaxy S devices. It would seem some Google employees and those close to them have been uploading photos to Flickr via a device with that model number, which at the very least seems to reveal a 5MP camera. FCC and Wi-Fi Alliance filings pin it with single-band 802.11 b/g/n and T-Mobile-friendly AWS 3G.


While it would be easy to mistake for a standard Galaxy S from a distance, these things are indeed in the wild. If you find yourself near Google’s campus keep your peepers popped.

[via Engadget 1, 2]

Kevin Krause
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  1. Well…I’m disappointed. Guess I’ll be waiting for the dual core phones in January

  2. I want once this gets onto the AT&T/Rogers bands. Plain vanilla android galaxy S more or less. Exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

  3. you can see in the reflection the pic was taken with a droid x

  4. why did they switch the Search button with the Home button? i dont want my home button to be on the right :/

  5. Either that guy has Dwarf hands…. or that is that largest screen on a Samsung. My guess, AMOLED, 4.3″

    Would you upgrade your Nexus One? Im not sure I would….

  6. @Dev1359: +1
    I’ll hang on to my Nexus One a little longer. How would Google allow such an iclone looking device to exist, I thought they had some control of what was going on with it and such?

  7. The Google branding is missing the “TM” so I call BS

  8. Sucks ass……!!!!!!!
    Why Google why!!!!!
    Why can phone designers get it..
    The iPhone is dead why make a phone resemble the stupid phone ..
    its the same effen phone (galaxy s)
    Just with a different back cover and running vanilla……

  9. This is the first thing I’m buying with my first paycheck! Regardless of service :D

  10. it’s really kind of sad… i spent countless hours watching every bit of google’s efforts on youtube, watching the nexus one emerge into an amazing game changer! this is just pathetic!! slap on google and hope samsung’s good fortune rubs off on the nexus name!! this is the beginning of the end, it seems..,

  11. yep, like that other dude said, dissapointed. Waiting for dual core phones in January

  12. @gp no hes holding it in his fingertips so we can see the whole thing, not in his palm. i did this with my g2 and the perspective makes it seem big. wont be larger than 4.0 inches

  13. Well, I am going to wait and see what the internals are like before I pass judgement. As it stands I still think the Nexus 1 had a more inspiring look.

  14. um….not really that impressed…looks like any other galaxy phone and not unique at all like N1 was. I’m guess I’ll wait for something groundbreaking like N1.

  15. Yes, that phone looks very big. I am holding my galaxy s in the same way and it is much tinier

  16. Bring this to verizon :(

  17. The “Google” looks kinda weird, in terms of color.

  18. Hi hope this phone either :

    1. Raise the hardware bar higher (1280×760, 1.2 GHz or better, 1GB RAM)

    2. Is like a Galaxy S so that I can flash its ROM on my Galaxy S.

    What I would hate would be an other 1GHz 512MB 800×480 phone that differ enough from the Galaxy S so that its ROM is not compatible at all.

  19. It looks plasticky.
    If it’s not dual core then it is not like the first Nexus which gave a big leap in terms of hardware specs.

  20. @gp: No, I wasn’t really tempted by the rumor of this phone, and I’m definitely no tempted now because I didn’t care for the Samsung Vibrant at all.

    Frankly, I’m planning to keep using my N1 for at least another year. It’d take an Android release that doesn’t support the N1 before I would consider replacing it.

  21. 3G or 3.5G, this will be very disappointing on the T-Mobile side. They cannot be a grown up carrier and keep introducing phones without the ability to take advantage of their full network. Sprint has a Samsung WiMax phone, which makes me wonder why T-Mobile can’t seem to come up with a Samsung 3.5G phone.

    I thought T-Mobile finally learned as they have recently come up with the MyTouch and G2, with their new attack adds, but apparently they have not learned enough. I will never again purchase a phone with just 3G when there are so many versions of 3G Plus coming to the market.

    Call me spoiled but I expect that my next phone will be with these minimum specs, should I decide to stay with T-Mobile
    – 3.5G (or WiMax or LTE, should I decide to switch…sorry AT&T, just not satisfied with your network, nor Android line up)
    – Dual Core
    – 16MB onboard minimum, with external memory slot
    – Android 2.3
    – 4/4.3 inch screen, w/super high resolution
    – 8 Megapixel with auto focus,LED flash and a front-facing camera
    – improved RAM/ROM over current Android phones

    Think I will sit this one out and wait for the XMAS rush

  22. so they want me to shell out $500 for a galaxy S phone with GingerBread my phone line up currently is G1,nexus1, G2, and not this unless they bring some MAJOR secs to the table since its already having hardware issuse

  23. The iPhone is not dead. Nor will it ever be. Yes I love my android more than my old iPhone, but the truth is the iPhone is just easier to use for people that arent “technically savvy”. Grandma can pick up the iphone and will be much easier to use than any android. Also the fact that the Galaxy S phone was overclocked to 1.6ghz and benchmarks blew away any other hack to date on any phone should be sign that these phones are incredible capable and we havent begun to push them yet. So who cares about dual core cpus in phones, no app is even close to pushing these phones to their potential. Maybe this nexus S will come stock at 1.6 ghz ? Galaxy S have the best looking display of any phone out, why would google choose anything else? Sex sells, and the super amoled screen is sexier than any other phones screen.


  25. Does indeed look plasticky. Maybe I’m spoiled after owning a N1 and now a G2, both feel like solid devices and the different shades of metal look awesome. If this is indeed the replacement for the N1, it better be packing some serious hardware, or at the least be stock Android. Specs aren’t confirmed yet but why not just buy a Galaxy S if you’re looking at this?

  26. hope its a dual core…because the last nexus had the latest and greatest

  27. I call shenanigans. I don’t think this is real.

  28. Looks like a desperate attempt at an iPhone. 2.3 will be nice, but if its the same 1 GHZ Processor and they’re gonna try and market this as revolutionary or something (not saying they are) then I don’t think its worth it.


  30. I can agree with you the that the Iphones are big into the user experience, from their years of making computers, where Google comes from years of making the web plain and simple to just do what you need it to do. I am currently not sure why so many Android users are so concerned over why Google does not have an Itunes like system. Itunes was one of the things that turned me off of the IPOD/Iphone to with the Apple my way or the highway attitude, not to mention, how Apple tries to constantly suck your wallet clean. Just give me the application and let me do what I want with it which is more of the google style (while advertising to you…which Apple does also, so they get paid twice). When Google Music does come out, you will be able to use it from any platform that is web enabled, not forcing you to buy other Android devices…I LIKE THIS

    As far as making the phones more powerful, and the comment that there is no need because they are powerful enough. This is only true if you plan on standing still. This is the same type of comments back when we went from 386 to 486 to Pentium computers. Try using your old 486 computer today and see how far it gets you. The more powerful the phone, the more speedy the connection, the more user rich experience developers will be able to provide to you and I the end users.

  31. I’ll wait until an official announcement from Google saying this is a new nexus phone.

  32. Shouldn’t there be a “TM” next to the Google label also? Maybe it’s just because of it being a prototype model or something.

  33. what’s with the stupid speaker (more like a squeaker) placement? wtf is wrong with Android devices and where they put the speaker…. ????

  34. Is it just me or does the Google not look right?
    it almost looks fake.. I can’t really tell though as I’m reading from my phone

  35. @Aeires: Assuming this is a “Nexus” phone and further assuming it’s true replacement for the Nexus One, the reason one might choose this over a stock Galaxy S is that Google would be in charge of the software, not Samsung.

    You would be getting updates almost a soon as Google release them.


  36. @cdogg ….I totally agree. Google made a wise decision to go with a SuperAmoled screen. @MW I agree the timing of this release seems premature with U.S. carriers starting to rolling 4g, LTE. Google should have waited and released this in Jan like the first Nexus.

  37. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.. cry it up.

    I’m gonna wait until Google starts announcing and confirming shit.

  38. wonder why none of the images have carrier branding on it? Can it be for all carriers?

  39. Looks cheap and plasticky, lacks the solid build of the nexus one. Nexus galaxy?

  40. Any phone that carries the Nexus name needs to be above and beyond all other Android phones in terms of specs. With what we know so far about this phone it seems too similar to the Galaxy S phones. Nice, but not nice enough.

  41. I can’t do it. The Vibrant already feels as cheap as a $2 hooker. No metal back? Slick plastic? Can’t do it. I’d rather keep my Nexus One and wait for a better phone.

  42. Never ever Samsung !! … I have Galaxy S and .. it’s laggy (- for software), still no froyo(- for support) and no LED(- for design) !?

  43. a cheap looking 1000mah. battery that appears to be missing some digits…also im pretty sure any sent for testing would use a battery that would last and since a 1500mah is barely sufficient for the sgs im gonna label it like an airphone for iphone

  44. It just looks cheap, like every other samsung. Ill pass.

  45. Gotta be fake. The word Google is perfectly parallel to the upper and lower borders of the picture. Someone probably just inserted it by photoshop. Also, its perfectly parallel to the “Engadget” overlay. What are the chances that the photographer got lucky and took a perfectly square picture? Highly unlikely. I’d like to see a picture at an obtuse angle.

  46. @meme the software would be controlled by google thus not being as “laggy” more updates better software

  47. @meme, looks to me like this has an LED and an ambient light sensor on the left of the speaker, with the FFc on the right of the speaker.

  48. It appears to me those photos were leaked from someone @ Samsung.
    I can make out “Samsung Corporation” on the keyboard, and as I have not seen such marketed keyboards before, perhaps it is a company issued keyboard?
    Also I do not recognize the keyboard layout. The first key to the right of the space bar, which on some layouts is an “Alt Gr” key, has two things separated by a /
    Any ideas anyone?

  49. Anyone who doesn’t wait until January is a “ritard”

  50. hutchlarry2010

    why do you have 3 phones? are those concurrently? or is that the history of the phones you’ve had one at a time

  51. Solid build of the Nexus One? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That sentence is completely retarded. Nexus One had 3G issue and Touch Screen issues.

    Nexus One hardware issues as follows.

    1) 3G connectivity issue
    2) Touch Screen unresponsiveness/sensing incorrect input
    3) unresponsive trackball
    4) WIFI connectivity issue
    5) Lock button response issue
    6) Proximity sensor sensitivity issue
    7) Ambient light sensor issue
    8)bluetooth issues: fails to operate; inadequate volume; intermittent failure to accept commands
    9) speaker: horrible sound quality
    10) ringer: insufficient volume
    11) earpiece: insufficient volume
    12) headset connector: headphones cord activates pause or other functions
    13) manufacturer says phone cannot go in pocket
    14) missed call notification trackball does not flash

    source: goo.gl/Lrcw8

    Samsung Galaxy S hardware issues?

    1) GPS

    2) Reception

    source: goo.gl/v3ThM

    Nexus One has more Hardware issues than the Samsung Vibrant. Build quality what now? Yeah Samsung over HTC in terms of build quality.

  52. I hear a lot of complaints about the Galaxy S phones being cheap and plasticly. I ask some designer out there make a nice metal battery cover that will fit and that will make everyone happy. Then I am sure there can be different ones so it will make the phones more personal.

  53. 2FR35H above, thank you very much for that post. i have a Nexus one and love it because of its openness and custom roms dont get me wrong.

    But people seem to look through rose tinted glasses when it comes to HTC. The list of faults are all true. in particular the speaker is god damn awful! the touch screen/digitiser is cheap – you have to keep resetting the screen after a while to get it to register where you touch or while it’s in the dock. and i’ve played with a galaxy S. People are confusing build quality with taste. It’s built extremely solidly and feels nice and light. Whereas my nexus one feels heavy but feels like it wouldn’t stand up to a bump. (And it hasn’t).

    the only thing I will miss from my nexus one when i get this is the multicolour trackball. I love that :(

  54. Shopped. No trademark symbol at the end of Google like on other devices like my Incredible or the N1.

  55. Lets just hope every manufacturer is gonna bring a Nexus to the table. And as all have pointed, out it does look cheap.

  56. Samsung already sells products called “Nexus ##”. Nexus 50 XM radio for example. They can call it Nexus if they want to and not have to ask Google.

  57. LOL @ the HTC fanboys.

  58. It seems most people automatically draw this equation, Plastic=Cheap, and Metal=well-build? I personally don’t have a clue why that equation has been drawn.
    Samsung made the galaxy-S plastic to reduce its weight(they sell like hot cakes because of it’s light form factor, plus the omled screen of course), not because plastic is cheaper than metal, how much cost can plastic save over metal when the phone already cost like ~$500?
    I own a nexus one and I think the design is good, but not all that ‘well-built’ than Galaxy-S series. If you guys meant well-built as to use the phone for sword fighting, then maybe yes.

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