Rant: Sprint cans the Nexus S 4G, good riddance!

Well, I could’t say I didn’t see this one coming. Sprint has officially given the ax to the Nexus S 4G, according to The Verge. This suggest that The Now Network is clearing shelf space for the newer Galaxy Nexus that released on the carrier a few weeks ago. The Nexus S was a popular device to many, because of its unique form factor (people dug the chin), and its normal sized 4-inch AMOLED screen.

Although it was popular in its day, it left many Android users with heavy heartache filled with missed promises. Personally, the Nexus S 4G is the hand that pushed me over the edge to the iPhone 4S, after a faithful three or so years with Android. Why, you ask? Well, when I jumped into the phone September of last year (on a new two-year agreement by the way); I knew at the time, I was getting into a “dated” phone, especially with the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G rolling out. I didn’t think much of it then, as I was buying a Nexus device with the perceived notion of a “top notch” experience. Boy, was I wrong.

Google released the code for Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) to the masses sometime in late November (correct me if I’m wrong), after the international version of the Galaxy Nexus hit store shelves. Then Verizon finally launched its version of the Galaxy Nexus in mid-December, and after that, Android announced on its Google+ page that its rolling out Android 4.0 to all Nexus S (GSM version) devices “over the coming month.” To only then pull the update for “battery drain issues.”

Meanwhile, while all of this is going on, us Nexus S 4G owners were sparingly left in the cold, without explanation for when we should expect our piece of Ice Cream Sandwich. In what seemed like an eternity of waiting (especially for a Nexus device), the Android 4.0 update finally came to Sprint customers early April, a whole six months after it was released. Not nearly a Nexus experience.

I know, some of you out there are naive enough to let Google off the hook with the debacle that was the Nexus S 4G. Before you go to blaming Samsung or Sprint, you must realize first that this is a Nexus phone, and ultimately it is Google’s responsibility to come through on its flagship devices — stop promising a “pure Google experience” that’s also fragmented.

Did you have a similar experience with the Nexus S 4G?

  • Anonymous

    Any particular reason why you bought the phone on a two year contract? Did you get it for free? I bought mine in September as well but for 150 dollars on eBay, used but practically new. Still have my sprint upgrade…

    I also was running 4.0 in December thanks to the amazing developer community. The update was there on Google’s servers and everything worked great. I’ve been running 4.0 ever since. 

    Interesting you had such a poor experience with the Nexus on Sprint just because of the lack of an official Sprint OTA update. I’ve had the exact opposite experience. And I definitely would not have gone back to my iPhone because of the issues you pointed out.

    One last thing… the carriers are to blame for late official updates, not Google.  

    • Yes, updates are ultimately controlled by the carriers, as they get the final word on when or if devices receive the latest version software from Android. However, with Google’s Nexus line of phones that usually isn’t the case. Waiting 6 months for the newest official update to hit your Nexus phone is plain absurd. 

      • CDMA carriers though have compete control of what runs on their networks. That’s why the CDMA Nexi are no longer hosted on the AOSP page

  • Anonymous

    To each his own, but to jump to an Iphone over a late update tells me that you are an Apple guy anyway. My three children have Iphones and I find them terribly boring and I could never deal with a 3.5 inch screen. My daughters Iphone 4 power button broke after 6 months and now her replacement unit randomly stops playing music and goes through spells where only the speaker phone will work during calls which can be embarrassing depending where she is when she answers. My Galaxy S2 has been a great phone with zero problems.

  • What about the positives about the Nexus S? Smallest form factor in an Android. Who really wants to lug around a Galaxy mini tablet? Who really wants to want Netflix/movies all the time and who has the time given the sucky battery life? The display is absolutely gorgeous too. I’ve had and HTC on loan and compared to the HTC, the HTC was a piece of crap with bloatware. And the Nexus S has plenty of horsepower and memory for 99% of the buying pubic.. The upgrade for the 3 ICS we one was a piece of cake, no problems whatso ever and ICS is still only on about 5% of all Androids.. so stop complaining. You sound like a troll for the phone companies.. One other thing.. everyone complains about Sprint but I have been a very satisfied customer for over a decade and it’s the only carrier still with real unlimited contracts.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree with you, Charles. Good on you for pointing it out. Nexus is an enormous disappointment in living up to its promise of pure Android and early updates. Google bears a large portion of blame for several reasons, including its failure to hold its 4 license holders to the Nexus agreement. It’s especially pathetic that Google’s own Motorola contributes to bloatware. Verizon did its part to violate the Nexus terms it vied to win with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. In short, it’s a matter of Google’s not caring about its dev community.

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