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White Samsung Nexus S Hands-on and Gallery, Boy Does Stock Android Feel Good

Stepping out of our Verizon realm for a second, I wanted to show everyone the newest edition to the DL lineup of phones, the white Samsung Nexus S.  While it feels really weird (like a cheating girlfriend) even holding this phone since I had to activate it on AT&T in order to get 3G and data, the point of this is to let you all know that there are still stock Google Experience devices out there and they are a breath of fresh air.  I’ve only had the device for 2 days now and haven’t been able to put it down.  It constantly brings back memories of the original DROID and all its stock goodness.  I just keep asking, “Why can’t we get this Verizon?  Why?”

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I really like HTC’s Sense, but if two devices were set in front of me and one was stock, it wouldn’t matter what that other phone was because I know that the stock phone gives me freedom and would choose it instantly.  There are rumors that the Nexus S will one day land on Verizon, but unfortunately those rumors seem to be dying off as we get closer to the summer.  There are also murmurs of carriers offering up a couple of special “developer” devices each year, but as the year goes on and we have no official word on that, it’s hard to know if that will ever happen.  With more and more manufacturers jumping on the locked-down bandwagon, we may only see one per year – phones like the one pictured above.

So instead of rambling on for pages and pages which I could easily do on this subject, I’ll instead just leave you all with a couple of questions as we like to do from time to time.  When was the last time you held a truly stock Android phone?  We’re all fans of Big Red at this site, but would you be willing to switch carriers just for a stock experience?

*Note – Just so we’re clear, I don’t want anyone to think I’m cheating on them and going blue.  The Thunderbolt and other Verizon devices are still my daily drivers.  This was a purchase for the site, so that we can bring you detailed coverage of the newest Android OS releases when they come out.  Something we’ve lacked in the past.

Pics and a quick video of the device after the break. 


  • So, the nexus S is on Tmobile, Sprint, and AT&T…. wtf Verizon!! get with the times and offer a Nexus phone! It would blow away all others.

    Maybe Verizon will get the next Nexus with LTE. 🙂

  • Marquell1

    I want the nexus s on verizon. I would buy it today if they had it.

  • NSuser

    i don’t get it. what difference does the color of the case make? if you slap on an outer case, you can’t see what color it is. is it cooler to have a white phone over black now?

  • Why does the screen surrounding still have to be black? {{-_-}}

  • So, I’ll be switching from the OG Droid to the Nexus S on Sprint. It’s more than just wanting timely updates, it’s the fact that the Droid is super slow. It’s great without any apps on it. As soon as I install anything, it turns into mush. It’s also that I never use the hardware keyboard and the Nexus is kind of the only other stock option besides the G2, which still has a hardware keyboard. No, I don’t want to root it, but oh well. Worth it, in my opinion, especially since you love it.

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  • Anonymous

    So where can you buy on of these?

  • Anonymous

    So where can you buy on of these?

  • Stock OG droid here. I would and am in fact seriously considering a switch to TMobile for stock android. Down with bloatware!

  • Anonymous

    Ive been here awhile, but dont understand. A Sammy Nexus? Who makes what?

    • Anonymous

      google official devices can be made by anyone since google doesnt actually make hardware. more than likely it will continue to rotate thru the manufacturers.

  • wasserbauch

    Which weather/clock widget is that?

  • Spill

    Eh, problem is, and I know for some it’s not a big deal, but only a 5mp camera, no 720p video, and no HDMI port, top it all off no Verizon. Compared to the Droid X the only benifit is the Nexus S has vanilla Gingerbread and a front facing camera and I don’t need either. However I really wish my Droid X had vanilla Gingerbread. Pure Google needs to be a requirement.

  • That phone is beautiful. I am switching to sprint for the nexus s. It looks like sprint wont have a white option though. 🙁

  • Cb2000a

    Still using the OG Droid. Nothing out there catches my eye at the moment. I can upgrade, but to what? Might drop Verizon at the end of contract.

    • Cb2000a

      Hmmm….that G2x on T-Mobile looks pretty sweet.

  • Topshooter

    I’ve been using the Nexus S as my main phone since late December. I tossed my Galaxy S, gave up my part time use of a Droid, and just returned a Motorola Atrix before the 15 day window was up. Keep your dual cores and custom whatever, this Nexus S is stil blazing fast and I love stock android and getting the newest updates long before anone else is very desirable. Pure Google is the way to go!!

  • Every day I use my OG Droid and still love it to this day. Sure my friends have phones that are much snappier, but I still love that stock Google experience.

    The Nexus S over on Sprint does look real tempting.

  • Anonymous

    @ Kellex, well i hope a nexus in lte flavor comes to big red, but….you know….maybe this summer, but i do love my tbolt 4g. I love sense though so…like i hate every other skin…lol

  • WhizCaLeafAhhh

    So its also interesting, there is a Nexus device on Boost now running (I believe) stock 2.2 … it will most likely never be updated, but at $50 a month I’m heavily considering switching to that or whatever Android phone they are offering when my Verizon contract runs out in September. Whatever the weather, VZW is losing a customer.

  • Stryker323

    Do that many people pay full price for their phones? I mean i got the OG Droid still and am locking in for another 9 months on contract. How is it that so many people have moved past without paying full price?

  • Djstar2k2

    damn the only reason i didnt go back cuz to tmo is cuz of the hardware limitations. no kb,no sd card slot and no notification led. and tmo doresnt work well in my apt call wise this was b4 wifi calling. but to ans ur question hell yes to stay vanilla im willing to switch carriers. i did it for the moto droid 1

  • guest.

    damnnn this phone looks good in white!

  • Shanklin07

    It is pretty crazy to think that the last stock Google phone on Verizon was the OG Droid. It blows my mind to think that 95% of Android users do not know what true Android feels like. They deserve a choice out of the box, we all deserve that option imo. But who am I kidding? We all grow up and realize everything in this world is fu*ked and everything is about money and control. Sorry, just sick and tired of this world created before me…

  • What weather and clock app are you using? And what live wallpaper is that?

  • What live wallpaper are you using and what kind of weather and clock app is that? Please let me know 🙂

    • Anonymous

      im pretty sure thats beautiful widgets and thats the honeycomb background you can find on here if you search for it in past articles….or ill post it later..

  • Stephen D

    The Nexus S is still my favorite phone. The awesome and superior hardware(OLED screen, Hummingbird) from Samsung, but it’s Google’s software and support. Verizon needs a Nexus device. But of course they have to bloat up everything, except the iPhone, and Google won’t let that happen.

  • My mom would love this phone! (cause you know, its white)

  • cowdog

    Give me hardware like the SGS2 in a Nexus phone on Verizon, and I’ll pay full price for it. If lived in a place where I could get T-Mobile, I would have happily gone with an unsubsidized Nexus or Nexus S. But I live where I live and can’t ever imagine a Nexus Phone for control freak Verizon.

  • Markopolo1022

    can i get that live wallpaper on for my droid x??????

  • ilovechi23

    yo kellex im curious … how many android phones do you own….

  • Actngrezy

    Well I had sprint/nextel for 4 years before switching to verizon and the only reason I switched was cause with sprint i have crappy service in my house (my mom and sisiter still do) and I drive alot for work and vzw had the best service. I never lose a call or anything. If sprint had better service I would for sure leave vze for a stock android device. Im ready for my upgrade and I’ve been waiting patiently but if a stock android device does not happen so I will be leaving. I still rock the droid and with a rom and kernel it extends the life well beyond what a phone can do so if a new phone with todays hardware is a stock android device it can last for a very long time.

  • Silksmooth12

    Oh man that stock gingerbread is a beauty! Running Pete’s GPA14 on OG Droid right now and it runs fast and smooth with 26 hours battery, but heavier tasks take their toll on the aging OMAP 🙁 I would absolutely positively love a phone on Verizon that ran a stock experience. For the love of God, just give us a rootable phone to run stock with!!

  • Waldo

    Still rockin OG Droid as well. Waiting patiently for another VZW vanilla phone. I’ll go to CM7 before I go to a locked phone

  • Bigsike

    I would punch my mother in the face for a phone with vanilla android :p

    • I did that to my mom, but sadly i didn’t get a phone with vanilla Android.

    • bambam8

      Me too

    • Ih8u

      I would punch your mother in the face for creating you.

  • Anonymous

    You could have at least got an Atrix. lol

    I’m kidding I got an Atrix and I find it to suite me better than the Nexus s. Anyhow I use my OG droid for the Vanilla experiance.

    I hope you enjoy the Nexus S.

    I wish that the Nexus 3 is a Motorola Device.

  • Johnny

    This is why I still rock my original Droid (which I rooted and overclocked before this blog even existed), and have no plans to give it up when I come due for my (last) new-every-two in September. Unless something awesome comes along on Verizon with stock Android and a physical keyboard, I’m keeping the one that started it all.

    • Angelrod111

      The overclock didn’t get released until after this blog was created!!!

  • Phil

    so its available on AT&T too now? where did you purchase the phone? I’ll be switching at the end of my contract

  • Xhaxol

    button location and aux jack are just in the wrong places, just makes me kring

  • CaptainHowdy

    I’d switch to that in a heartbeat even if it meant possibly switching carriers (VZW has being angering me anyhow lately)

  • Andrew

    Looks pretty nice, only thing I can’t really get over the fact that it doesn’t have an SD slot (wtf?).
    I too like HTC sense as well. It’s nice to be able to switch between all kinds of sense and AOSP ROMs.

  • I’m still torn over whether or not to jump ship from VZW to Sprint when the Nexus S 4G comes out. I love my DX, but i want stock Android, and i want updates ASAP when new versions of Android are released. Plus i really like the NFC integration. What i don’t want, however, is to leave the best network, and also have to pay the fee for breaking my contract. Sigh….

    • Anonymous

      I’m in the same damn boat.

  • Gozo

    This has been my dilemma for the past two months…I’ve been with VZW since 2001…have never strayed…no late payments…made my big upgrade to a smartphone in mid 2009 with the then top of the line BB Tour…eff me when a few months later, the Droid came out…cutting to the chase…last month an OG Droid fell into my hands and I am in love BUT I soooo wish VZW would just offer up an upgraded stock experience…all I do is daydream about the Nexus S and the G2x…and I’d totally switch if it weren’t for that horribly timed AT&T takeover…toes crossed that gets shutdown by the FTC…still, here I am contemplating…SPRINT?!?! (for the Nexus S 4G)

    • WormDoes

      Yea, that FTC is tough to put one over on

  • Ron Paul 2012

    It’s beautiful, but to me it’s pointless since I cover my phone with a protection cover.

  • Let’s hope there’s an Verizon Android stock phone this year maybe?

  • Andrew

    What live wallpaper is that? Anyone have a link? I want that!

    • Oh, Merlin’s beard. It’s Light Grid Pro.

    • WormDoes

      Looks like Light Grid LWP

  • Anonymous

    Gah. This makes me want a Nexus on VZW so bad. Not just stock, but Nexus, so we’re first to get updates.

    Can we start a petition or something? Get a movement going?

    I’ll go find one of those petition websites and set it up myself if we think we can get enough votes.

    How many signatures would it take to make vzw notice? several thousand? More?

    • Anonymous

      well lets see, in an especially good quarter VZW, who has approximately 91 Million customers, has a quarterly churn rate of 1..06% or approximately 964,600 customers. (Mind you, that is a particularly good quarter, and unlike Sprint, they their net result is a gain, not a loss). So, you would need enough people signing that petition to make that number move significantly. “Several Thousand” is not going to do it.

      • 102.2 subscribers I believe…

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the hard numbers on that. Yeah it might be hard to get them to notice.

        Then again surely we don’t need to literally move that needle by that much. A petition is never signed by all the people who might agree with it. On top of that it could get a bit of a push by tech blogs which might put VZ on the spot just enough.

        The “unlock motorola bootloader” petition got 8000+ signatures and it seems Moto is at least aware of it.

        Heck we won’t know if we don’t try. I’ll look into it.

  • Jroc869

    man that is gorgeous

  • Can anybody tell me what the Clock Widget is, and if it is a different Widget then also what the Weather Widget is perhaps probably? And also the date widget if that’s a different Widget? Kthnxbye.

  • Kellex, just expand this site to cover more android news. I would love to hear your coverage on more than just verizon and as you guys look to grow I think you will eventually expand anyway….maybe go all CDMA to start?? Just a thought

  • Why isnt this in Android Life? That site is like never updated anymore.

    • Anonymous

      I think he should just combine both sites: android-life.com. Android has grown so much since the OG Droid. This way everything is streamlined in one place to cover all of Android.

  • Jchammer123

    I am already planning on leaving Verizon and going to Sprint!!! This is the phone I’m going to get. I still have the OG Droid, and don’t want to have a device that is so clogged up with crap, I just want the Android experience.

  • Nxus1ne

    been running my OG Droid only since it came out. waiting on a stock android verizon phone as my next upgrade…

  • +1 for Nexus S on Verizon

  • haimere

    Sweeetttttt 😀

  • Proprietary_Android

    Personally at this point I won’t even look at a non-stock Android handset. Just isn’t worth it–hardware has come a long ways and these devices will last a good while and I sure don’t want to be waiting on the OEM for updates/upgrades. Just wish Google would do more than one device at a time–would like to see one with a qwerty.

  • Proprietary_Android

    Personally at this point I won’t even look at a non-stock Android handset. Just isn’t worth it–hardware has come a long ways and these devices will last a good while and I sure don’t want to be waiting on the OEM for updates/upgrades. Just wish Google would do more than one device at a time–would like to see one with a qwerty.

  • Anonymous

    I bet Apple fan-boys are pissed that they still don’t have a white phone.

  • I’ve had a Nexus S since launch (T-Mobile) and as much I like the looks of all the dual core phones coming out (especially the Sensation), nothing beats the stock Android experience. The phone is also practically indestructible! I have dropped it countless times on the sidewalk and (touch wood) it has been fine every time.

    • Anonymous

      I know just what you mean. I’m yet to feel the brunt of the dual core craze because my Nexus S is fast and buttery smooth, with minor hiccups here and there. It’s also nice to know that I’ll be getting dibs on Ice cream. 🙂

  • Djduquet

    I still use stock. OG Droid and I have no plans on giving it up until there is another stock option.

  • Meticode

    It sort of makes me upset because I currently have a Motorola Droid running on Peter’s Gingerbeard ROM. And as Kellex said we haven’t been fortunate through Verizon to be offered anything stock Android since then. I have my 2-year upgrade coming up in August and I’m not sure what phone I’m going to get. If there was something stock Android available then I’d be pretty sold on that.

    • Anonymous

      It’s frustrating. As I was writing this up and doing that vid, I couldn’t believe that it had been over a year since we’ve seen a stock device on Verizon.

      • angermeans

        I wonder if verizon not being part of open alliance has something to do with it. Hey, we could say that verizon does have a stock android device and developer device to boot in the Xoom. I am loving it and can’t wait for LTE upgrade. I know the industry has been hard on Motorola but I still have faith that we will habe a device that will get better and better.

      • xyzlene

        RULE THE AIR!!!!!!!!! – worst p.r. ad yet!

  • Anonymous

    android should be able to dual-boot between stock and htc sense. yeah, I didn’t mention blur.

    • Anonymous

      This would seriously solve everything.

      • Sean

        doesn’t Acer have something like that with their liquid skin thing? every manufacturer should this, seriously.

      • Op Enun Its+dip

        Even better than dual boot, just make Sense a damn app!!! With all of those launchers in the Market, it’s clearly possible.

        • Anonymous

          Yep thats actually what I was thinking

    • Kierra

      I wonder why alot of people like Sense. Blur, TouchWiz,Sense, all sit in the same boat.

      • Anonymous

        probably because htc spent more than 15 minutes to design it. 😛

      • Anonymous

        probably because htc spent more than 15 minutes to design it. 😛

      • Same here…I’ve seen the new updated version of MotoBlur on my Uncle’s phone, don’t know why everyone’s still complaining. In fact, it’d be nice if there was a ROM for the Droid that had it in there; I would totally go for that!

    • Anonymous

      i was thinking about this when cm7 came out i think i like the more polished looking sense but want cm

    • Anonymous

      A friend and I were talking about this not to long ago. Every Android Phone should come with Vanilla Android and then you can put Sense or Blur on there if you want to

      • Anonymous

        blur –> population of 1.

  • Mr.Joe




  • Anonymous

    Having the Nexus S on Verizon….would be nice doe.

    • angermeans

      Hey verizon has been a huge supporyer of LG and if the rumor of a LG nexus tegra 3 come true we may see one land of verizon. I still don’t know what to think bout LG and would prefer a nexus 2 built by HTC (thunderbolt with dual core, 1gb ram, and qhd stock android icecream, and of course LTE) but I would still be interested in seeing this phone.

      Nexus one is still the best android phone I have ever owned and i miss it everyday we really need a stock android dev phone running lte on verizon.

    • xyzlene

      nexus s on verizon? it will never happen. google will not allow it to be binged cannot blockbustered. The only way i could see the nexus s possibly lte branded, would be through best buy. Full retail price with a 2 year contract… without the bloatware apps there is no way verizon would make money – hence full retail price

      otherwise we all can dream…….

    • With LTE 😀

  • Josephjohnson61

    is there anyway to get that on sprint?

    • Anonymous

      nexus s 4g. it is actually FOR sprint. it is not out yet, but it is coming! you can google it and check it out. 😀

      • Anonymous

        Doubt it’ll be white though. 😛

        • Anonymous

          Yeah. The white is really, really nice. Makes the cheap ugly black say

        • Jet

          Can You give us the info on the live wallpaper you had installed during your review of the AT&T Nexus S as well as the weather and clock widget they both look great. Thanks

    • Root a Samsung Epic 4G and Install CM7 on it.