Just a few hours ago, Best Buy inadvertently confirmed the existence of a Google Nexus S made by Samsung. The leak on Best Buy’s site was quickly followed by a render of the phone in Best Buy’s In Store web-based flier. Before that story had the time to go cold, hands-on pictures have leaked.
So yes, it certainly appears that the Samsung/Google Nexus S is plenty real. It will sport the model number GT-i9020, which, as previous leaks had it, suggests that spec-wise, this device won’t be a great departure from Samsung’s Galaxy S line.
Furthermore, pictures posted on Flickr and Picasa that were taken with a device identifying itself as Nexus S are all 5 megapixels – so that may lead us to the conclusion that this is the camera’s resolution. Unlike the international version of the Galaxy S though, as you can see from the pictures, the Nexus S will have a LED flash. The smartphone also seems to have a front-facing camera.
The model number has also been indirectly confirmed by the fact that the people posting photos taken with the Nexus S on Flickr and Picasa had pictures taken with a GT-i9020 just before they started posting pictures taken with the Nexus S. This suggests that a recent firmware update changed the EXIF data from the model number to the commercial brand.
The GT-i9020 has passed through the FCC recently and had 3G bands for T-Mobile. Since the earlier Best Buy leak claimed the Nexus S was made for T-Mobile, this is yet another indirect confirmation that these devices are in fact one and the same, and that it will be compatible with T-Mobile’s network, as the Nexus One was before it.
Anyway, Google still hasn’t officially released Android 2.3 Gingerbread. So perhaps they should finally do that at some point. Which is probably when this phone is also going to get announced. Rumor has it that it will run an untouched-by-Samsung version of the OS, which is always good news. One big questions remains, though: who will handle software updates? Google or Samsung? If it’s the former, this phone will clearly become the next darling of any self-respecting Android power user. If it’s the latter, well, then, it will have to be pretty different spec-wise from the Galaxy S to make any long-lasting impression in the marketplace. We’ll see.
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