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Install Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4.0 on Samsung Nexus S GSM

March 27, 2012

Samsung Nexus S users may just get a chance to try Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4.0 on their displays, thanks to XDA Developers senior member swamp goblin. This ROM was ported from the latest HTC Endeavour RUU leak and was rebased from the Sensation port. For comparison, the HTC Endeavour is a quad-core Tegra 3 phone, with a 720p (HD) display, so the ROM may take some work before it can completely function on the Nexus S.

The ROM is still in its pre-alpha stage of development, as most parts of this ROM are not yet functional. Though the ROM may boot, and a few HTC apps may work, it’s still far from being useful for daily use.

Despite this, it’s possibly one of the first HTC Sense 4.0 ports ever, so don’t let bugs discourage you from experiencing HTC Sense 4.0. Compared to its predecessor (HTC Sense 3.5) HTC Sense 4.0 is absolutely stunning and a whole lot less bloated. The developer is hard at work fixing the bugs, so we should see a lot of improvements in future releases. At the moment, the developer’s main priorities are the radio, sound, and stopping random reboots and launcher problems.


If you’re curious to see how HTC Sense 4.0 looks and runs on your Nexus S, you’ll need a few things:

  • Rooted Nexus S (GSM) with ClockworkMod Recovery installed. (See our guide on how to root your Samsung Nexus S.)
  • Make sure your Nexus S has a fully charged battery. This will prevent the phone from shutting off in the middle of the installation process.
  • Flashing this ROM may delete data on your phone, so make a backup of any important phone data.
  • Nexus Sense 4.0 dev preview ZIP (Nexus Sense 4.0 GSM developer, 466.6 MB)


Here are the steps for installing ICS 4.0.3 and HTC Sense 4.0 on your Samsung Nexus S:

  1. Download the Nexus Sense 4.0 dev preview ROM package to your computer.
  2. Copy the ROM package into /sdcard on your Nexus S.
  3. Turn off your Nexus S.
  4. Boot your Nexus S into Recovery Mode. You can do this by pressing and holding down both the Volume Up button and the Power button.
  5. Once in Recovery, make a Nandroid Backup. This will allow you to revert to your previous ROM should something not work out with the ROM.  Create the backup through Backup and restore > Backup.
  6. Return to the main recovery menu.
  7. Select “Wipe Data/Factory Reset” and confirm the operation on the next screen.
  8. Select “Wipe Cache Partition” and confirm the operation on the next screen.
  9. From the Advanced Menu, select “Wipe Dalvik Cache” and confirm the operation on the next screen.
  10. Navigate to “Install Zip from SD Card” and choose the ROM package to begin flashing.
  11. After flashing is complete, select “Go Back.”
  12. Finally, select “Reboot System Now.”

Once your phone reboots, you’ll now have Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4.0 on your Samsung Nexus S. Congratulations and enjoy.