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[BIG FAQ] Nexus S General [Start Here before Clicking New Thread!] ** OUTDATED **

OP unremarked

21st December 2010, 11:49 PM   |  #1  
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EDIT: EXTREMELY OUTDATED. I have not had this device for some time and will not be updating this post.


Please report all bugs encounter or search for and star the ones mentioned on these forums here: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/list ; This is the official bug report forum of Google and the best way to let them know of the problems you are having. Don't post "Me too"s on known issues, simply star and cross your fingers!

Because people seem to be incapable of using the wonderful "Search" function built into these forums, I'm putting together a list of questions that keep popping up in new threads every other day.

Q: How's the Battery Life?
Officially, the Nexus S is rated for 6hrs of talk time and 427 of standby time. How much battery life you get will entirely depend on what you use the device for and how much. On my first real non-vacation day, my Nexus S lasted a little over 16hrs on one charge through what I would consider heavy usage (flashing roms/backups, emails, texting, web browsing, long phone calls, etc). Your mileage may vary. Fellow poster @Luxferro managed to get 2days, 14hrs, and 13minutes out of his phone on a single battery charge. Discussed here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=875809

Q: Does your GPS work?
Most people have reported their GPS to be functioning just fine, though there have been quite a bit of variation on lock times.

Q: Will this work on AT&T?
Yes, but you will not get 3G service. This is due to the different frequencies that T-Mobile and AT&T's 3G runs on.

Q: But it says it supports GSM band 850mhz!
GSM is 2G. UMTS is 3G.

Q: But Joe Bob/Dude down the street/My cousin's brother's nephew's wife said...
Stop it. It is likely that Google will release a version of the Nexus S with support for AT&T's 3G some months down the road, just like they did with the Nexus One but for right now, if you want 3G service, T-Mobile is the only way to go.

Q: Is tethering free?
So after having the phone for a bit of time now and tethering unimpended, I'm going to have to agree with @nxt that T-Mobile is not charging for or redirecting for tethering on this device. At least, for now. However, like in the original version of this answer, T-Mobile did announce that they were going to be charging for tethering but I've tethered every day for various amounts of time (including torrenting nearly a gig to my netbook) without so much as a hiccup. Source: http://bit.ly/d1NS9o

Q: Will TZones/Web2go/grandfathered web program work on this phone?
No, or at least, it doesn't appear to anymore due to T-Mobile locking down the IMEIs. When the phone was first released, people were reporting that it worked fine, then after a few days it became sporadic, before finally not functioning at all. See the discussion here for more information: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=864843

Q: I unplugged my phone, and my battery dropped from 100% to 95% immediately, or it won't/takes along time to charge past 99%, what gives?
This is by design. Your phone will slow down and eventually stop pulling charge at or slightly greater than ~95% regardless of what your battery indicator says. This is to extend the overall life of the battery, as constant 100% to 0% charge/discharge cycles will cause it to fail prematurely. If you're interested in really pushing it to 100%, you can use a technique that is called "bump charging" and is better detailed here: http://bit.ly/f6xiZ0

Q: When I reboot my phone while it's charging, the battery jumps from X% to Y%, what gives?
I'm honestly not sure what causes this, but sometimes Android/Gingerbread gets confused on how much exact charge is in your battery if you reboot it while it's charging. However, from personal observation, it's just a display issue. Android/GB will eventually start showing the correct percentages once the battery has "caught up" with what it thinks it is at. Also wiping the battery stats(root only) seems to help alleviate this issue. Either way, it's not a large concern.

Q: Can we port SenseUI/Galaxy S apps to the Nexus S?
Most likely, no. Those apps typically require the Rosie/Touchwiz framework in order to function. You can have those apps when and if a developer decides to port those ROMs in their entirety.

Q: How do I root/unroot the Nexus S?
Check the development section links below for more detail, but you gain root on the Nexus S by booting the phone into fastboot mode and typing "fastboot oem unlock." This will wipe your phone and it's SD card partition. To unroot it, again boot into fastboot mode and type "fastboot oem lock."

Follow the root guide stickied at the top of this forum: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=895545

In the event you want to return to stock, simply flash the NAND backup found here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=884093 . This will restore everything, including the stock recovery image. Then as mentioned above go into the bootloader/fastboot mode and enter "fastboot oem lock" in ADB.
(All credit goes to the original author(s) of the linked thread!)

Q: Linpack/Quadrant Scores?
Linpack doesn't play very nicely with the Galaxy S lineup generating very low numbers in comparison to HTC devices. This is because the processors that are powering these devices operate in different ways. Does this mean the Nexus S processors are slower? Not really, just different. As for Quadrant, it doesn't currently work very well with Gingerbread and needs to be updated. The scores folks have been seeing though put it in the 1600 range without a modified kernel.

Q: There's no LED Indicator? What are those two circles next to the speaker?
Correct, like all Samsung devices(minus the Epic 4G on Sprint) thus far, there is no LED indicator light. There are apps, such as NoLED, on the marketplace which work great on the Nexus S and provide more or less the same functionality. There's another app called BLN which will blink the capacitive touch keys to let you know you have a notification, but it requires a custom kernel to support it. Those two circles are the Proximity Sensor and Ambient Light sensor.

Q: I can't zoom in and out on the camera app!
Correct, the digital zoom feature seems to be missing.

Q: Can the Nexus S do 720p?
No, at least, not right now and not on the stock ROM. It is possible that eventually our wonderful developer community will come up with a software hack for custom ROMs to allow 720p video recording, but at a reduced framerate than if it had a true 720p chip similiar to what they did with the Nexus One. Until then, the answer is no.

Q: But that one guy in Italy says the Italian version can do 720p recording!
No, he says that it can do 720x480 which isn't the same thing. The 720p "name" comes from the last numbers in the resolution, so in this case, it would be 1280x720(which the other Galaxy S phones are rated to shoot at).

Q: How do I video chat?
Google, unfortunately, did not develop a native app to support video chat and so we must rely on some from the marketplace. Right now, as far as I'm aware, Tango is the only one that has been updated to support video chatting on the Nexus S.

Q: My toys are better than your toys! Hahahaha!
Stop it and grow up. Different strokes for different folks. People spend their money on what they want to spend it on regardless of your agreement on their choice. Not to mention that this kind of behavior goes against the spirit of this community.

Q: I'm rooted with Clockwork and can't install the OTA! I updated to 2.3.1 and lost root! What gives?
most of the time, official OTAs will not install through custom recoveries because of their tendency to break root or restore things like the stock recovery. Also if you've made any modifications to the system files such as replacing the default Mms.apk(messaging) with the custom Black Mms.apk found in the Themes & Apps section, or deleted any .odex files from the system partition, it will not install. The easiest way to update to 2.3.1 is to flash a custom rom such as one of the custom ROMs or use the 2.3.1 Stock NANDROID backup found in the development section. And yes, 2.3.1 "broke root." To regain it, simply follow the steps in this thread: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=884499 (All credit goes to the original author(s) of the linked thread!). The aforementioned procedure is only needed on the Stock Nandroid Backup, not any of the custom ROMs.

Q: Clockworkmod says I'm not set up for OTAs! What gives?
That's not for official OTA updates from Google. Some custom ROM developers set up their roms to receive custom OTA updates or at least notifications of said update specifically for that ROM.

Q: Why have my Wifi/3G/Signal bars switched from green to white?
A green set of bars typically means that you are connected to and syncing with the Google Account servers. White means that this is not happening for whatever reason, usually something like a bad signal or low coverage area. Also the WiFi connection is set by default to turn itself off(aka sleep mode) when the screen is off, this can be adjusted under Settings > Wireless & Networks > Wi-Fi Settings > Menu Key > Advanced > Wi-Fi Sleep Policy. Don't panic, though, it's nothing too major.
(Suggested by mmas0n, thanks!)

Q: How do I restore the stock recovery?
Right now, it is NOT possible to flash the stock recovery over Clockwork Recovery at all. The only way to restore it is by NAND restoring the Stock 2.3.1 backup in the development section.

Q: Does the Nexus S have Gorilla Glass?
No, it does not. Take care of your device.

Q: The Nexus S only gets 3G? Omg, I only see a 3G icon!
The Nexus S gets UMTS and HSDPA, which are both technically 3G. Your phone idles on UMTS 3G, and when it starts downloading/uploading, it'll flip to HSDPA after a few moments. You can see this by typing *#*#4636#*#* into your Dialer, going to Phone Info, and looking at Network Type while downloading something. The ability to switch the icons on the notification bar is something that was added in custom ROMS, and is not supported by the stock ROM. Furthermore, the icon is not always an indicator of what kind of data connection you have. If I were so inclined(and I'm not) and/or had the technical skills(which I don't) to modify the framework, I could make it say OVER9000g when connected to anything. Rest assured, if you are on a network that uses the 3G bands the Nexus S supports, then you are recieving HSDPA regardless of what icon you see.

As suggested by Gogol(thanks!), now adding a...
Possible Known Issues(Reported by some users but not all):
Lag in the Web Browser
Back button is not responsive or doesn't light up
Pink / white / yellow tint on the screen
Weak WiFi signal
Weak cell signal (not necessarily specific to the Nexus S; T-Mobile's frequencies typically have bad building penetration)
Some apps running wild consuming battery
Missing apps in market (until Google updates to recognize 2.3.1 buildprint)
Accelerometer becomes "locked" after using Google Sky Maps requiring a reboot to free
Ringtones changing on their own following reboot/USB plugin (Push the .mp3 to /system/media/audio/ringtones to stop this *requires rooting*)
Stock launcher has home screen/scrolling lag issues (not present on market launchers like ADW/LauncherPro)
Home screen icons on stock launcher randomly disappear, disappear after move, or show up in folders they weren't moved to. (not present on market launchers like ADW/LauncherPro)

Please report all bugs encounter or search for and star the ones mentioned on these forums here: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/list ; This is the official bug report forum of Google and the best way to let them know of the problems you are having. Don't post "Me too"s on known issues, simply star and cross your fingers!

EDIT: EXTREMELY OUTDATED. I have not had this device for some time and will not be updating this post.
Last edited by unremarked; 11th November 2014 at 07:00 AM.
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22nd December 2010, 12:01 AM   |  #2  
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Sti-cky! Sti-cky! Sti-cky!

Thanks for taking the time to make this list. Should be the first thing newbies read when they join the forum
22nd December 2010, 12:11 AM   |  #3  
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Stuck due to the usefulness of this thread
22nd December 2010, 12:14 AM   |  #4  
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Great FAQ thread man. Thanks a lot.

And lol @

But Joe Bob/Dude down the street/My cousin's brother's nephew's wife said...
22nd December 2010, 07:19 AM   |  #5  
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Great FAQ, but it would be much better to add the list below, because there are many threads opened and will be more and more ...

Possible known issues:

1. Web browsing lag

2. Back button is not responsive

3. Cannot zoom when taking photo or video

4. Pink / white / yellow tint on the screen

....
22nd December 2010, 08:00 AM   |  #6  
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Quote:

Q: There's no LED Indicator? What are those two circles next to the speaker?
Correct, like all Samsung devices thus far, there is no LED indicator light.

Actually not true, the Galaxy S Epic 4G does have a LED notification light.
22nd December 2010, 08:42 AM   |  #7  
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Quote:

Q: Is tethering free?
No, tethering is not free. T-Mobile charges for this service. That being said, people have and still do tether without paying for the service with little to no consequence. T-Mobile seems to track the User Agent of the browser you're using on their network, and it is possible to mimic the Android browser's user agent on a desktop PC and tether undetected. In the event that T-Mobile discovers you tethering, you will receive a text message and all internet traffic on their network that doesn't contain the Android UA string will be redirected to an official T-Mobile site encouraging you to sign up for their tethering service.

This is wrong.
Tethering is free and included with the Nexus S as long as you have a normal data plan with T-Mobile (not any $5.99 or $10.00 T-Zone hacks/etc.). There is NOT an extra special $10 add-on tethering free.
22nd December 2010, 04:37 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jblparisi

Actually not true, the Galaxy S Epic 4G does have a LED notification light.

Thanks! This has been corrected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nxt

This is wrong.
Tethering is free and included with the Nexus S as long as you have a normal data plan with T-Mobile (not any $5.99 or $10.00 T-Zone hacks/etc.). There is NOT an extra special $10 add-on tethering free.

Negative. As of 11/03, T-Mobile has begun charging for this service.

Source: http://www.tmonews.com/2010/10/t-mob...-november-3rd/

Android 2.2 introduced the ability to hotspot tether regardless of a paid service on nearly any device(and before that, this was available through some market apps). I believe some have had this ability "disabled," in the sense that it doesn't show up in the Wireless & Networks menu(such as the G2, though this was corrected in an update) but through apps such as AnyCut you can still activate the service and tether.

So, once more, you CAN tether without paying for it, however, T-Mobile may start redirecting your web traffic that doesn't contain the Android UA string to their website. They've been super inconsistent in their enforcement (a good thing, if you ask me!).

EDIT: After looking through the "services" options on my T-Mobile account, I don't see anything about a tethering plan. If other folks could take a peek and let me know, I'll revise that section and make the correction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gogol

Great FAQ, but it would be much better to add the list below, because there are many threads opened and will be more and more ...

Possible known issues:

1. Web browsing lag

2. Back button is not responsive

3. Cannot zoom when taking photo or video

4. Pink / white / yellow tint on the screen

....

Thats a great idea, I'll definitely start try to start collecting known issues.
Last edited by unremarked; 22nd December 2010 at 05:55 PM.
22nd December 2010, 06:34 PM   |  #9  
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Understand that the development section for more detail on rooting / unrooting, but would greatly appreciate if you could post specific links in your FAQ to threads that you would use to root / unroot.

Am a newbie and since I see more than a couple of threads on the subject in the development section, I would greatly appreciate it if you can give links here based on your order of preference (after all its your thread) if there are more than one ways.

Point is a link in the FAQs would give more greater confidence
22nd December 2010, 07:00 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparasee

Understand that the development section for more detail on rooting / unrooting, but would greatly appreciate if you could post specific links in your FAQ to threads that you would use to root / unroot.

Am a newbie and since I see more than a couple of threads on the subject in the development section, I would greatly appreciate it if you can give links here based on your order of preference (after all its your thread) if there are more than one ways.

Point is a link in the FAQs would give more greater confidence

Updated to include links to two threads in the development section which should get you on your way.

The first one will help you setup ADB and the relevant drivers needed to input commands to the phone from your PC. The second is the actual rooting method and custom recovery installation.

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