I have heard lots of times that the Nexus S is a "developer phone". What exactly does it mean?

2 Answers 2


It primarily means that the boot loader is unlocked so it is much easier to upload ROM's for testing. Additionally the default installation will be the original AOSP version of the code and include root access to the phone's software.

It does not mean that the hardware is a "test" model. It's a fully developed phone. What it doesn't have is more important than what it does have. What it doesn't have is the additional locks and proprietary junk that a carrier modified phone normally has.

  • Thanks for clarification, that is what i thought,but how do i know if i have root access to phones software. i tried changing few files in system and it does not allow me to do so... Sorry i am new to Android. trying to learn stuff.
    – rsapru
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 9:12
  • You probably didn't remount the file system in rw mode, or were running at a user shell instead of the root shell using su.
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 9:15
  • I am getting a permission denied error while trying to remount the file system. Also I am not able to gain SU access gives me the same error of permission denied, any suggestions?
    – rsapru
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 17:40

It does mean that you'll have a stock AOSP android on it, and you will not have to do any tricks to get root access on your phone.

  • Does that mean, the phone is already rooted legally?
    – balki
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 13:07
  • Yes, that's what i meant. You'll have full root access on any developer phone, like the android developer phone 1 and the nexus series.
    – mru
    Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 7:06

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