The whole idea of Google's Nexus line of smartphones was to show off the Android operating system in all its glory without the security compromises, junk and fluff added by phone manufacturer and carriers. I have a Nexus S running on T-Mobile and it's a great phone that always gets quick access to new upgrades from Google. The GSM-based phone is fully unlocked and unblemished by carrier junk.
Among other benefits, the mere existence of the Nexus S puts pressure on the manufacturers and carriers to improve their offering. But the next Nexus incarnation, the Nexus Galaxy on Verizon, seems to be compromising a lot of the core principles, as Sascha Segan pointed out today.
Geeks are frothing, but it's worth remembering that "Nexus" nowadays just means "the first phone with a new OS." There will never be a true, unmodified "Google experience" phone on Verizon or Sprint because on CDMA systems, the carrier always gets the last word. The actual Nexus dream is long dead.
-PC Magazine, December 8, 2011