Talk about adding insult to injury - in addition to the news of the upcoming Google Nexus S missing any kind of external memory slots (microSD, etc), we’ve just found out that this supposed Nexus One successor is also missing LED notifications. What other essential system function is it going to lose next – a phone speaker?

I am excited about Gingerbread, especially everything it is bringing under-the-hood, but the whole Nexus S situation is turning out to be a disaster. Even Reto Meier, the Android engineer who confirmed the absence of any LED notification, is saddened by it:


We'll update you as we know more.

Update: Some of you have suggested using the NoLed app, which uses the phone's screen for notifications, as a partial workaround. Nothing will replace the notification LED, but it's a decent compromise.

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://mindmirror007.blogspot.com alchemist007

    I guess they wanted to copy iPhone design as many of Samsung phones somehow resemble iPhone at least a bit.

  • Mike

    After seeing whats this phone is missing, I've decided, I'm not going to buy this phone. I'd rather get the original nexus, be it ,its been out for a while now.

    • JOn

      man.. Nexus S. is not missing anything you can live without and it has way more extras than you need.. The best phone so far. And google didnt let sprint pre-load their useless apps... The battery life is way better than Nexus one and I like it better than my hero 200 and HTC evo... its slim and perfect size..

      • Mike

        Don't matter now,i got a mytouch4g rooted with s-off an running streamlined cm7. Now I'm looking forward to the new nexus or the G2x, maybe the sensation

  • TareX

    Make it stop... make it stop!

    Olympus cannot come any sooner.... hopefully with Gingerbread, and not a Moto-mutilated Froyo.

  • Chris

    Given all this, I would honestly now say the Nexus S is a step backward from the Nexus One:

    -Larger screen
    -Near field communication
    -Forward-facing camera
    -Anti-fingerprint display coating(?)

    -No SD card slot
    -No LED notifications
    -Limited internal storage
    -No HSPA+ (despite the fact that T-Mobile is the launch carrier)
    -Same other specs as Galaxy S, a phone launched more than six months ago

    (I don't include Android 2.3 in the "Pro" column since it will be OTA'd to existing Nexus Ones within the next few weeks, assuming things stick to schedule.)

    Samsung seems to be putting all of its eggs into the Galaxy S basket, which initially was not a bad idea given the phone's great specs at launch. But it's now six months later, an eternity in the mobile world, and they're still peddling the same equipment but with a new name.

    Say what you will about HTC and their propensity to throw out a bewildering array of devices, but it has to be noted that they innovate more than any other mobile manufacturer save Apple. Specs-wise I would still call the Evo 4G the king of the Android kingdom, while in terms of openness of platform, the Nexus S is no different than the Nexus One.

    • Paul

      The problem isn't that they're putting all their "eggs into the Galaxy S basket", which is still a very fine and very high end platform (possibly even the top one in some respects) even all these interminable six months later. The problem is that they can't even tend to their high end baby, only just now rolling out Froyo to the SGS in SOME parts of the world, moments before Gingerbread was about to be released. It seems that as good as Samsung are with hardware, as bad they are with software support of that hardware. To sum up the Nexus S, it's an SGS with NFC and no SD card slot. Shame on them!

      • Chris

        At least Google should be handling OTA updates for the Nexus S, although given the spate of bad news, I would not be surprised to find that this is not in fact the case. Still, due to a lack of noteworthy features or improvement and the step backward in some respects, I'll be holding onto my Nexus One.

  • Cesar

    This has be some kind of sick joke. No hspa+, no sd card slot, now no led Notifications? Wtf? Google? As this day goes by it's just more reasons why not to get a Nexus S. Are you trying to to loose faithfull customers? At leasr explain why these changes have been made. Don't just leave it out there in the unknown. This feels like an episode of the twilight zone.... How can you go from a Nexus One to this? I really hope that there is a a good reason or replacement for all these features you excluded from the Nexus S....

  • level380

    It's also missing the fm radio that the galaxy s has. The list keeps getting bigger

    • Cesar

      What? Why? Nothing makes sense.. There has to be something missing here. Something they are hiding...

  • Will Nelson
    • Cesar

      Lmao!!! Hilarious....

  • Bateluer

    Hmm, probably best no one purchases this phone, lest other handset makers get the wrong idea.

  • behelit

    It seems more like they don't want to outshine the galaxy S so they have specifically left features out.
    This would indicate they expect people to buy this phone simply because it has gingerbread and it probably will sell well but not as well as the galaxy S IMO.

  • Simon

    -No SD card slot
    -No LED notifications
    -Limited internal storage
    -No HSPA+ (despite the fact that T-Mobile is the launch carrier)

    -No FM radio
    -No 720p recording

    • Michael

      I think it does have 720p recording, just like the galaxy s phones.

      • Chris

        The announcement post elsewhere on this site said it only has 480p video recording. It doesn't have any of the Samsung additions, just the stock Google apps. Although given the fact that it should be very easy to root, 720p recording via ROMs should be possible.

  • Michael

    The only reason I see to get this phone is gingerbread and that's it, and that's not saying much because some current generation phones will eventually get gingerbread.

    • George

      gingerbread, yes. but honeycomb? i will have to wait over a year for it, if i buy a samsung.

      • http://robert.aitchison.org Robert Aitchison

        Unlike most Samsung phones this one should have a decent (better than most) update schedule. It won't have a customized UI (which is death to the very notion of frequent updates.) and most importantly the updates should be controlled by Google.

  • Cos

    isn't there a way to possibly make the soft-buttons (menu, back etc.) lid as LED-Notification replacement ?

    could also help on the galaxy s ;)

    now you know why there is a samsung continuum :-D

  • Álmos

    Seriously, who cares about LED notifications..?

    • Westy

      lol kind of thinking the same thing here. Sure its a nice to have my phone glow when i missed a call or something but it really isnt a deal breaker. About the missing SD card slot ehh that bothered me a little bit but i had planned only getting a 16GB SD card anyways to max me out on my N1. It would have been nice to be able to expand it beyond that but Still not a deal breaker.

      Plus I am only about to have this phone for about a year before i sell it and upgrade again. lol i know im an addict

  • Dr.Cochambre

    I have a SGS, and the missing notification led is no big deal. Remember that it's screen is indeed a big led matrix. So I installed an app and notifications now show in the middle of the screen, leaving the rest of the screen turned off. I think this is the evolution of the notification led, since it shows different icons and colors for different information, and energy drain should by about the same (remember these super-amoled leds are much smaller and use newer technology than big old leds).

  • http://luhit.com Manas

    One reason I moved from Blackberry is the notification LED. I am glad the Nexus S designers did not include the LED. This LED is very distracting in off business hours.

  • NameE

    Guys... just wait bevore judging about this phone. I mean c'mon!!

    You get Samoled, 16gb internal, a google phone (get every update), ..., 1500mAH battery, 4", a 1GHZ Cpu (you dont know which GPU they actually included!) and much much more.

    There is -always- missing something in a phone. Otherwise no-one needed to buy a new one after some time. If we get new dual-core cpus, phone will have bad battery until they fix that problem after some months - when, of course, new hardware will be released again.

    So i see this as the most perfect android phone until date. It got -almost- everything.

    • Chris

      It is very likely the same GPU as in the standard Galaxy S models. The CPU has already been confirmed to be the same 1GHz Hummingbird. If there were any improvement in this area, you can bet they would have trumpeted it at the announcement as a major feature.

      There is indeed always something missing in a phone and no phone (not even the iPhone, despite what Uncle Steve claims) is perfect, but usually those things aren't features people still use (like LED notifications) and consider very important if not essential (like SD card slots). And they usually come with a host of new features as well, especially if they're released as far apart as the Nexus One and Nexus S.

  • Altr-Ego

    We've all seen the new keyboard and yea its kwl and what not but, Will the Nexus S atleast feature swype?

    • JasonX

      Swype does not belong to Goggle.

      just install it. is it that hard to do?

  • ricethief

    Very disappointed in this phone so far. Maybe there will be something special about it that will separate it from everything else out there(other than the Google updates). I am hoping this stuff gets ported to the Galaxy S line easily. I am just wondering if dual core phones are being overhyped. Why did they go single core processor? Was it just to late in development to use dual cores or was the gain of using one not worth it?

    • Chris

      It may be the result of Samsung's own closed-loop supply system. There isn't as much information out about Samsung's mobile CPU development path as there is about Qualcomm's. But so far, all of the Galaxy S phones have been built with as many Samsung components as possible, understandably of course.

      According to the Qualcomm Snapdragon roadmap, dual-core 1.2 GHz processors are "available" as of Q3 2010, with beefier 1.5 GHz processors due in 2011. HTC, Motorola, and others will probably be jumping for these for their new flagship phones (or possibly the rival Nvidia Tegra), but Samsung is both helped and hindered by its reliance on in-house development.

      • ricethief

        I thought the same thing, but then I remembered Samsung has their own dual core already. The Samsung Orion is supposed to be pretty powerful too. I would have figured this would have been the perfect phone to showcase it. They said these would be available to some vendors by the end of this year. I am guessing it was just too late in the game to use them in the Nexus S. It is Samsung though, so who knows.

  • iNo

    Dammit Samsung Mobile, why don't you do anything right?!

  • Keith

    Bought the Nexus S yesterday (in spite of the naysayers) and have to say I like the phone. Loaded NoLED (as a now former BB user that has become all too dependent on it) and the app crashes pretty frequently. Hopefully they will update it soon to reflect any subtle changes required from the Gingerbread OS improvement...

  • http://none Dan

    I do miss the LED notifications of my obsolete Pre (now have a Nexus S). But in response to a former Blackberry owner who switched because of the annoyance of the LED notifications: you could not disable them? I was able to do so on my PRE.