06
Dec
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As we've all been following the Nexus S over the last few months, inhaling every bit of news regarding its specs, nobody could have foreseen or even considered the fact that the next Nexus, announced earlier today by Google, will be lacking the microSD card slot. The absence of HSPA+, a dual-core processor, HDMI, an 8MP camera, or Bluetooth 3.0 - sure, these are unfortunate, but understandable.

However, not being able to change out one SD card for another, faster one, is beyond mind boggling. Given that the Nexus S comes with 16GB of built-in storage, I personally probably won't suffer too much from this, but I imagine there are some of you who would want to upgrade to a larger card (to store more music) or to swap out your existing cards between multiple phones. Was the decision guided by the complications behind the physical device design? So far, we don't know, but I hope Google will explain in the near future.

In response to our question, the confirmations came from Romain Guy and Reto Meier, who are both Google Android engineers:

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Update: the official Google phone comparison tool shows "None" in the Removable storage field, yet again confirming the above.

Interesting move, Google. Now, how many of you will really miss the SD card slot?

Is the absence of an SD card slot a deal-breaker for you?

View Results

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Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://www.zomgitscj.com Aatif

    Why companies make stupid decisions like this is beyond me. How much of an effort would it have taken to just let the SD card slot be? We all know its just a Galaxy S clone anway, there isnt any need to make stupid differences to have us believe otherwise

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Quite a beefed up clone nonetheless. But now you can't have 16+32=48GB of space on your phone because one little slot is missing. Stuck with 16GB forever.

      • orama

        so dessapointed!!!
        The only good thing about this pice of shiny crap is that gingerbread sttafing. in fact is more like a toy for developers than a cell for regular custumers.
        so , i would recommend safe you money and wait for the first quarterof 2011 for the real smartphones that comming up, running 1.3gigahertz or more,whit dual core,hdmi recordinng 1020 full hd whith gingerbrad preinstalled and SD card too. untill this hapens im sticking with my N1 unloked waiting the gingerbread OTA.

  • Adam

    Another great design by Shitty Samsung..

  • Chris

    I can live without that, its the lack HSPA+ that really is the most disappointing.

    • Cesar

      I agree with you on that. The sd card slot won't affect me but no hspa+? Why the f not? C'mon Google what are you thinking?

      • Rick

        I think no HSPA+ might be Samsung blame.

  • Álmos

    Well, if iPhone users can live with this..

  • CodeMonkey

    so you want me to downgrade from my N1 + 32gb card?

    *facepalm*

  • Ratnok

    It's not just an issue of unlimited storage space. I could live with 16 GB of storage for music, photos, and files (movies are another issue). The real killer for me is physical backup of app data. Very few apps can be backed up to the cloud through Backup Pro. All other apps backup data to the SD Card. So if my phone breaks, or crashes, I can just pull out my SD card on my Nexus One and load my individual app settings into a new phone or back onto my wiped Nexus. Easy! That was a major coup over Apple that is gone with the Nexus S.

  • Tijl

    Developer documentation shows this means the phone will have a virtual filesystem representing an SDCard. (So apps will still think you have an SD card, unless they use the new API to query whether it's removable or not).

    My question would be if this virtual card can still be mounted over USB or not..

  • Falken

    That might not be so bad. SD cards aren't likely to go away but here are 2 reasons why temporarily removing the SDcard could actually help improve Android.

    1) There are still many companies who are reluctant to create mobile games because of the ease of piracy with SDcards. So it might help convert them. (I bet the PSP-phone will remove the SDcard too for this reason)

    2) The size of iPhone apps are huge whereas most Android apps are stuck within 10MB and unlikely to grow bigger unless there is more internal ram to be relied upon.

  • Mike

    This isn't a deal breaker for me but, it simply doesn't make any sense to me. What was the point of app2sd in froyo? I assume its in gingerbread also, so why nix the SD card slot? Just doesn't make much sense to me. All the older Samsung s line phones have a ton of internal memory and an SD card slot so why not this one?

  • TareX

    Another nail in the coffin.... it's too bad Samsung can get away with it bec their phones have that gorgeous Super AMOLED (now curved) display....

    Such a shame..

    Cheap plastic casing, and I don't like the bump.
    No SD card slot
    No Orion (DEALBREAKER)
    No 720p recording (in 2011, seriously?)
    No Gmail video call
    No UI GPU acceleration

    Now, I'll just wait for the Tegra 2 Olympus, and hope its screen is at least comparable to that of the Nexus S.

  • Evan

    Deal Killer. An SDcard is the differentiator with Apple. It gives the consumer the choice of storage size and at the price and time that you so choose to buy more storage. This had better not be the start of a trend. You take away my sdcard and what's next? A proprietary connector? Charging $150 for the 32gb version? Sealing the battery in? I chose Android over Apple for a reason and I'm choosing to stick with the G2/DesireZ over this NexusS for those same reasons.

    An SDcard doesn't make a hill of beans difference with piracy when you can use ADB and drop a custom rom on the phone.

    • Pachi

      At least 32gb is enough space for alot of music and apps. And next year they will offer 64gb.

  • http://www.ifonlythen.com adf

    Have you guys heard of cloud picker? its some sort of online storage from google. its not official but I think this may be why there is no micro sd slot, or maybe not.. just a guess

  • TheStyleGent

    This is why we should know when we've found the phone that works for us and be satisfied. We get our hopes up for the latest and greatest, and are dissapointed every time. They are never going to put everything we would want in one phone
    Save your money...
    I'm sticking with my N1.

  • Doug

    No micro SD...pass. I can live without the HSPDA+ as Regular HSPDA is fast enough. But no micro SD? Really? I think all my old Palm devices have SD slots.

    Google Nexus S = EPIC FAIL

  • SiliconAddict

    Ummm 16GB isn't all that much. You add a few dozen artists in a music directory. transfer most of your apps over, have your caches for browsing and the like on there. Add a photo directory and then add a few full length movie and right now I'm sitting at around 800MB left in free space on the thing. With a few more Nandroid backups and its going to be REALLY tight.

    This is the most retarded move I've ever seen a company make since SCO sued the world.

  • J

    I'm quite disappointed. I thought the Galaxy S were sexy, but finding out each carrier's S are different, I was baffled. My friend has the Vibrant and it doesn't have a camera flash & no front camera... WTF is that? Also, Gingerbread is about to be released and these phones still dont even have Froyo.

    and now for the Nexus S, no external SD card? Wow Samsung... It's such a shame this phone has the name "Nexus"

  • Michael

    Wow, Samsung got everything right but this, something so simple. This could have been the perfect device, but now it too has a flaw that could influence if someone buys it or not.

  • DroidXcon

    Why are you all saying its Samsungs fault, i'm pretty sure that Google had say in what was going into Their phone. They just told Samsung what they wanted and Samsung delivered.

    Why would google say, hey Samsung make a phone and we will call it Nexus. Come on think you guys......

  • orama

    the only good thing about this pice of shiny crap is that gingerbread sttafing. in fact is more a toy for developers than a cell for regular custumers.
    so , i would recommend safe you money and wait for the first quarterof 2011 for the real smartphones that comming up, running 1.3gigahertz or more,whit dual core,hdmi recordinng 1020 full hd whith gingerbrad and SD card too. untill this hapens im sticking with my N1 unloked waiting the gingerbread OTA.

  • ravidavi

    For people talking about lack of HSPA+: are you kidding me? T-Mobile has a 5GB data cap ... at full HSPA+ speeds (21Mbps), you'd burn through your entire data cap in 30 minutes! Or even at half that speed, in 1 hour! Then what are you going to do for the rest of your billing cycle, surf at EDGE speeds?

    Seriously, having HSPA+ with a 5GB data cap is like buying a Lamborghini to drive to the supermarket.

    To those complaining about lack of SD card support: yeah I agree there. It's not a dealbreaker (for me), but it is a very odd decision considering SD cards are practically in EVERYTHING. Sadly, we'll probably never know the reason unless someone gets a hold of a google/samsung product manager for an interview.

  • jason

    no hspa+ is a bigger disappointment. no sd card slot probably won't be an issue for me, but it could be greatly helped by offering 32gb model too.

  • Chris

    Lack of HSPA+ is real the deal-killer for me. I don't use my phone as a hotspot very often, but when I do I would certainly appreciate greater speed, especially since T-Mobile has already rolled out HSPA+ in all the cities I normally frequent.

    Controlling bandwidth usage isn't too difficult either. Just be conservative with YouTube and other high-bandwidth sites. Facebook and Gmail don't take up that much bandwidth.

    Plus, HSPA+ is free if you already have a data plan, so it's more like getting a Lamborghini for free; no matter how you use it, it's still nice to have.

    The SD card slot is a nice-to-have, but not a necessity. But I still see no reason to remove it, for all of the reasons mentioned above. It does prevent the Nexus S from being a "catch-all" device to replace a full iPod-size music library, much to Apple's delight.

  • pachi

    They could of at least put in 32gb of memory without SD slot..My god WTF was Sammy/Google thinking..? And if apple can put 32gb/64gb on their products why can't Sammy?

    • Chris

      Although it is worth noting that Apple only puts 32GB at most in their iPhones for some inexplicable reason. Probably so they can sell iPod Touches or Classics to people who need more space.

      • Pachi

        Next year apple will put 64gb or 128gb on their iPhone 5.

  • Oalhndi

    Very sad that the SD and Sim card are not included. Google needs to think about people who travel international. Sim cards allow one to change to a temporary sim when overseas. Google should get out of the box and look into having these features. No savings in not having them. 16Gb is not a whole a lot. Why not 60, 80 or even 120 GB to allow more storage and music.

    • Devfrost

      Hei, the post say nothing about no sim card, in fact it's listed as one of the features

      Out of the box, Nexus S is unlocked, so it will work with any GSM carrier.

      That's from its own website
      http://www.google.com/nexus/#!/features

      In case you don't know what that mean, it meant that it is not locked to one sim card. You can swap sim cards as often as you want.

  • Tim

    I need a MicroSD not for music but movies, sending files from my camera and copying data from computer and backup.

  • pitkin79

    NFC payment will sell Nexus S and the lack of microSD will make it secure.

    • Artem

      Actually, if you read the article we posted this morning, you will see that the Nexus S does not have NFC payment support.

  • Ed Poz

    I was just about to order one but No SD Card slot kills that for me and also I am not happy with no HSPA+ .

    Google has some people there that clearly don't understand what users want. They failed to SELL the first Nexus in large numbers because it was not innovative enough and now they are doing the same thing by killing the Nexus S with NO SD card and NO Hspa+.

    Google you are one dumb Company.
    *take note*... watch what happens when the Next Samsung or other phone company's come out with there version phones like the nexus but with more MORE options like , HSPA,NFC,and SD Card slot. Stay tuned Google and learn.
    I am one of those people with Money in hand that now will wait.

    • trob

      It seems as if google is FOOLISHLY making a move to mimic apple by selling a limited device by taking away memory so they can charge consumers extra for the same device with more memory. I have the original droid & used up the 16gig sd so I simply swapped the card for another! I didn't have to delete any of my files & it sure beats buying another phone just for memory! So the lack of an sd slot is DEFINATELY a deal-breaker for me.

  • vladd

    i want the card slot, so what should i buy instead ?

  • Angélarose F

    I found out after buying it.... *sigh*

  • Dawnmarie

    Hi is there anyway they can fix the problem that Samsung Google nexus s don't have a sd card slot