x PhoneArena is looking for new authors! To view all available positions, click here.

Google Nexus S 4G Review

Posted: , by Brian K.

Tags:

Go to page
Interface and Software:

Again, nothing here has changed from the original Nexus S. The Nexus S 4G runs an unadulterated version of Gingerbread 2.3.4 which includes the net Google Talk video chat. The service works well enough. Though the concept may be similar to offerings from Tango, Skype and Fring, Google of course pulls it off nearly seamlessly and intuitively. Video quality could be better, but it was more than acceptable and was better than the other services we’ve used. In addition, the Sprint Nexus 4G is the  first Google Voice integrated handset, as part of the carrier's recent initiative to offer Google Voice on most of its phones. What this gives you is access to plenty of smart features, related to calling and messaging. The beauty of it is that you can seamlessly set your Sprint number to be your Google Voice number, without the need of porting. And since you can link many lines to your single Google Voice account, this allows you to give just this single GV number to your contacts, and have calls redirected to either your personal phone, or office one, etc.

The homescreen - The Google Nexus S 4G runs Android Gingerbread - Google Nexus S 4G Review
The main menu - The Google Nexus S 4G runs Android Gingerbread - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Contacts - The Google Nexus S 4G runs Android Gingerbread - Google Nexus S 4G Review
The Google Nexus S 4G runs Android Gingerbread - Google Nexus S 4G Review

The homescreen

The main menu

Contacts

 

The Google Nexus S 4G runs Android Gingerbread


Google Talk - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Google Talk video chat - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Google Nexus S 4G Review

Google Talk

Google Talk video chat

 


There is no third party software loaded on the Nexus S 4G, including carrier apps such as Sprint TV or Sprint Football Live. Texting NASCAR or NFL to 7777, the usual way to download these Sprint apps, got us a response and website, but when we tried to download the items weren’t actually there. For those looking for the Sprint services look elsewhere.

Perhaps because of this lack of UI customizations, the Nexus S 4G was blindingly fast. When we signed into our account, all 58 apps we have on our EVO restored to the Nexus (ahh, the beauty of ASOP) but we did not notice a speed difference at all. The Nexus S 4G flies through everything we’ve thrown at it, then asks for more.


Internet and Connectivity:

With the addition of 4G data speeds the Nexus S seemingly gets better, but we actually encountered issues. Despite getting normal upload speeds of about 1Mbps, our download speeds were only running about 650-700kbps. We verified this with another Nexus S 4G unit to make sure we did not have a defective phone and go the same results. Speed tests over 3G were actually about 50% faster on the down link, getting around 1Mbps and Wi-Fi speed results were normal as well. For comparison, we ran tests with our EVO concurrently and regularly achieved down speeds of 6.5-8.5Mbps, ruling out any network issues.  Still, the stock browser is smooth and fluid, and there are many other options in the Market if it doesn't suit you for some reason.

Surfing the web with the Google Nexus S 4G - Google Nexus S 4G Review

Surfing the web with the Google Nexus S 4G


Of course the Nexus S 4G is CDMA device, so it lacks the worldwide roaming capabilities of the GSM Nexus S, and being a Sprint device 4G runs over their WiMAX network. The phone also has Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and like the Nexus S the 4G has a NFC chip incorporated into the battery door.


Camera and Multimedia:

Our images made with the Google Nexus S 4G turned out well for the most part. We even liked them more than what we got out of the Nexus S, but we guess the better weather conditions were responsible for this.   Pictures turned out with plenty of detail and accurate color reproduction (although slightly oversaturated), though the flash performance was pretty weak. Videos can still only be recorded at 720x480 (DVD quality) which is quite strange for a phone with an otherwise stellar spec sheet.

Outdoor samples made with the Google Nexus S 4G - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Outdoor samples made with the Google Nexus S 4G - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Outdoor samples made with the Google Nexus S 4G - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Outdoor samples made with the Google Nexus S 4G - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Outdoor samples made with the Google Nexus S 4G - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Outdoor samples made with the Google Nexus S 4G - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Outdoor samples made with the Google Nexus S 4G - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Outdoor samples made with the Google Nexus S 4G - Google Nexus S 4G Review

Outdoor samples made with the Google Nexus S 4G


High - Indoor samples - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Medium - Indoor samples - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Low light - Indoor samples - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Darkness with flash - Indoor samples - Google Nexus S 4G Review

High

Medium

Low light

Darkness with flash

Indoor samples



Google Nexus S 4G Sample Video:



Multimedia on the Nexus S 4G runs through the stock players which work quite well, but for those looking for more file support, a different UI or just something different there are of course many options available in the market. Google’s new Music Beta service will help out with the lack of expandable memory on the Nexus S 4G.

8 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 16 May 2011, 08:17 1

1. remixfa (Posts: 14148; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


need a standardized point review system that isnt so subjective to the reviewer.

Que people mad about the score.

posted on 16 May 2011, 08:32 2

2. kristianm6000 (unregistered)


wow. potential 4g issues. The best selling point for me and its failing at it. Looks like I'm sticking with my EVO until the EVO 3D is released. Only thing missing from the EVO's is samsungs AMOLED screens. The htc incredible is by far the best phone i had hands down. The amoled screen was a main contributor to that.

posted on 16 May 2011, 09:10 1

3. Daemon (Posts: 19; Member since: 07 Mar 2011)


My biggest gripe about this phone is that it does not have a status LED. I have to turn on the phone constantly to check and see if I have any messages. Unlike most phones the Nexus S does NOT come with a carrying case, screen protector or phone dock. In fact, if you want the phone dock for the Nexus S you have to purchase it through Samsung for $39.99 + S&H. Despite the fact that the Nexus S has been released on T-mobile since last year accessories for this phone are few and far between to come by and few or any are sold at the authorized retail outlets of Best Buy, Sprint and T-Mobile. You can purchase an after-market dock but unlike the Samsung dock the after-market dock is a portrait style dock.

Despite my rants the Nexus S is by far the best phone I have used to date. I just wish the Sprint and T-Mobile networks were more since this phone is data reliant and in order to use the integrated Google services you MUST have a data connection.

posted on 16 May 2011, 10:02

4. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Just blah...I have a buddy who wanted an upgrade from his year-old Epic 4G...He tried the Nexus S 4G for a week and was unimpressed. The lack of expandable memory and performance gain made him reach back to his Epic 4G. This phone just seems late to the game...or needs to come with a price that reflects its tardiness.

posted on 17 May 2011, 13:26

5. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


so to phonearena/brian. how does this get 8.5 and the galaxy s2 get 9...are you seriously saying that a dual core 1.2 ghz, epandable memory, bigger battery, samoled plus screen means its only 0.5 point better lol this seriously shows problems in phonearena score system...just to compare the cons of the two phones shows how hard they tried to bring the galaxy s2 score down

posted on 23 Jun 2011, 21:26

7. greenstone (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


Yes it is only a single core and lacks an indicator light, but after rooting, custom rom, and kernel I scored 2806 on AnTutu and just over 4000 on Quadrant. It feels like silk in the hand and ever thing flows amazingly. I just works great! Plus, I could really give a rip about 3D.

posted on 01 Aug 2011, 04:42

8. venki (unregistered)


what is the main difference between google nexus s and google nexus s 4g and wch one is better to buy?

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 10:00

9. Sammyb (unregistered)


had this phone a week and really like it--however it's reception is poor--especially 4G--which is a deal breaker. Returning it.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Google Nexus S 4G

Google Nexus S 4G

OS: Android 4.1 2.3.7 2.3
view full specs
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (233 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 3, Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
512 MB RAM
Size4.88 x 2.48 x 0.44 inches
(124 x 63 x 11 mm)
4.60 oz  (130 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 6 hours talk time

Latest stories