Google likes to introduce major advancements in the Android platform with a special device — their “launch device”. They started the tradition with the T-Mobile G1, then later the Nexus One, Nexus S, and more recently the Galaxy Nexus.
Let’s take a look at the three phones in the Nexus family and see how the Google’s flagship device has improved over the years.
The Nexus One, the first in the family, was the collaboration of Google and HTC and released January 5, 2010. Google tried to challenge the way phones were distributed by selling it directly to customers on “all US carriers” via Google’s phone store. While phones came to T-Mobile, AT&T, and other GSM carriers around the world, promised versions for Sprint and Verizon never materialized.
The Nexus One came with a 1 GHz Qualcomm QSD 8250 Snapdragon ARM CPU, Adreno 200 GPU, 512MB RAM, 512MB Storage (190MB available for apps), and a roller ball that doubled as a multi-color notification LED.
The second phone in the Nexus line was built by Samsung. The GSM version of the phone was offered for sale December 16, 2010 in the US, and a few days later in the UK. A CDMA version for Sprint was released in May 2011.
The Nexus S came with a 1 GHz Samsung Exynos 3110 ARM Cortex A8 CPU, PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, 512MB RAM, and 16GB internal storage. The roller ball and notification LED went away, and the buttons on the front of the phone frustrated many because they’d “hide” until pressed. Also, the phone did not come with an sdcard slot.
The Galaxy Nexus is the latest arrival in the family. The GSM version of the phone was offered for sale November 17, 2011 in the UK and later in Canada. The LTE version of the phone for the Verizon network in the US is expected to be released sometime in December 2011.
The Galaxy Nexus comes with dual core 1.2 GHz TI OMAP 4460 ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, 384 MHz PowerVR SGX540 GPU, 1GB RAM, and either 16GB or 32GB internal storage (no sdcard slot). Although the roller ball isn’t present, the multi-color notification LED has made its triumphant return!