Why did Google cripple the Google Nexus S ?

Sometimes I just can’t figure out why big companies (well mainly Microsoft lately) do stupid things. This week, it’s Google’s turn to take the cake with the Google Nexus S. As you probably already know, the Nexus S is nothing more than a Google branded Samsung Galaxy S with an added NFC chip and 16GB of on-board NAND flash memory. So what’s the big deal? Well the geniuses in Mountain View decided to strip the device from one of the Galaxy S’s best feature: 720P video capture (you can check out several Galaxy S HD samples and comparisons videos I shot in my YouTube Channel here). When the device’s specifications were first announced a few days ago I thought that maybe there was a typo and things were going to be corrected but unfortunately it turned out to be true and the Nexus S can only shoot videos at a max resolution of 720×480. Can anybody tell me why Google would do this? Seriously? The hardware can shoot 720P video with a 12Mbps bit-rate without breaking a sweat so what’s up with that? There’s nothing logical behind this decision. Everybody’s making a big fuss about the lack of micro-sd slot (so Google is now ”copying” Microsoft and Apple, right? ;) ) but strangely I’m not seeing  lot of drama about the crippling of the camera. All in all I don’t see why anybody should get a Nexus S instead of one of the Galaxy S variant currently on the market (besides the need for the currently useless NFC chip). I’m sure that Samsung will release an Android 2.3 rom later next year anyway (or you can count on xda-devs for that…).

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  • http://twitter.com/Rapido3011 Jon Koops

    Being captain obvious here, IT’S A DEVELOPERS PHONE!
    Google has no intention of letting this device compete with the Galaxy S.

  • Tony Fleming

    I agree the lack of an SD card is a major departure for standard Android specs. But with 16 GB of storage it isn’t that big of a deal. And the 720P video was probably taken out because of the lack of a SD card. Would be very easy for someone to fill their memory up by leaving the camera on.

    Would I rather have the option to have a SD card slot, of course. But with air sync options coming out android I am hoping that will fill the gap for quick access to additional storage. Wifi direct would be good to since the Galaxy S phones do have that cor quick access to printers and external storage in the future. Had you heard if Google left that in?

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Well developer phone or not..there are still selling it to the end user so it’s competing with the Galaxy S devices anyway. And shouldn’t a dev phone have all the features of the “regular retail” phones? As I said: I don’t see the logic behind this decision. :(

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting, allot of this is happening lately. Consider the North American version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab inexplicably missing the “Calling” features (European Versions include this – and a Hack can get it back)….

    I think, at the very least, the lack of features needs to be explained or clearly included in marketing materials.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Well all WP7 devices now have 720P video capture and no micro-sd slots so I don’t if the lack of memroy expansion is related to the camera crippling. But cloud syncing is definitely the future (as seen with the Skydrive and Sharepoint integration in WP7) and Google has a major role to play here.
    Don’t know if the Nexus S retained the same software features as the Galaxy S (also remember that all Galaxy S don’t have the same software pre-installed thanks to the carriers…) But yeah I don’t know if the DLNA (Samsung Allshare) media hub is still included in the Nexus. Would be a shame if it isn’t IMO.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Yup now that more and more potential users have access to this kind of info (thanks to the web) Manufactures should really pay attention to what they do and clearly list the features specs of thire products or just explain why something is missing even thought the same product in a different country has more (or less) functionality.

  • http://twitter.com/Rapido3011 Jon Koops

    I understand what you’re saying.
    I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have liked to see a Micro-SD slot or a 720p camera.
    Hell if where calling the shots, I would have let this device be made by HTC and I would have waited for the Tegra 2 processor (Of course I would have gone Amoled for the screen).
    But Google thought this was the best way to go, and as a Developer I don’t have a choice do I?

  • paul

    The Camera app on the galaxy s is a samsung app not a google app

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Yeah, obviously if you want to develop for Android 2.3 and plan on getting in the NFC train the Nexus S is your only solution right now. But for the normal “Joe” a regular Galaxy S is still a better option IMO. As a matter of fact I just remembered the Google did/is doing the same thing with the Nexus One. The Nexus One is essentially a Google branded HTC Desire and HTC actually enabled 720P video capture on it 5 months after its release but Google has never enabled this same feature on the Nexus One and is apparently never going to do it. Weird…

  • Tim

    big companies do stupid things, well lately Apple again- being lock down, close. Like in the desktop with Windows versus Mac, this time with Android versus iPhone, and Apple again, eventually fighting for its life, as a niche player, in mobile

  • http://ashn.myopenid.com/ Ash

    They will never make a perfect phone, they want you to always want more, buy more, upgrade, upgrade…..upgrade!!

    For me, HD2 is the closest to a perfect phone ( At least for now :P ).

  • Anonymous

    Don’t worry. Probably an “unlock hack” will appear soon enough :)

  • http://www.surveymoneymachines.com Hazel

    The iPhone 4 is nice, but it is a “one size fits all” device. Android is a platform. There are all sorts of variations for different types of users. This is why the Android platform is going to take most of the smart phone market share, just like PC vs Mac.
    Also, it is pretty clear that you are trolling with a statement like: “Google is a search and advertising company, not known for its design ability — and with no history of designing great hardware.”

    First, Google has some of the most talented people in the industry designing some amazing software. Second, Samsung designed this hardware and it is excellent. Part of the advantage of the Android platform is that many different hardware makers get to compete to produce the best designs.

  • No

    The 720p video is just interpolated anyway, noone wants that crap.

  • Glen

    Theres a lot of whining about the lack of 720P, but as far as im concerned anything below 1080P is unforgivable! From this point in time on that is. Some already have it. (The LG optimus 2x is tempting)
    I was realy looking forward to this phone, but there probably going to miss my business due to this crippling.
    Im guessing the followup phone will be the goods, But my contract is almost up and a new phone choice must be made.

  • http://profiles.google.com/gates.bd Bruce Gates

     Love the phone but Google why did you cripple it, Cannot find allshare for it, you have disable sync with Facebook, removed the sd slot and this business about the camera. I really though Google had introduced the phone to wow people but instead you issued a stripped down cripple version. Plus no manual at all leaves people floundering to find out how to have music and photis