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Google Nexus S 4G Review

Google Nexus S 4G

Posted: , by Brian K.


Google Nexus S 4G Review

Building on the mystique of the “pure Google” Nexus One, the Nexus S made its debut back in December bringing Gingerbread to the market. Whereas the HTC Nexus One had a mystique to it and differentiated itself from the market with hardware, the Nexus S was basically a slightly redesigned Samsung Galaxy S without the TouchWiz UI. Although the Nexus S might not sport all the latest goodies found on some of the most recent Android phones, it undoubtedly still has some more life left in it. What comes to prove this is that Sprint has now decided to release the Google Nexus S, but improving it by bringing a 4G compatible version to market, the aptly-named Nexus S 4G. Specs remain otherwise unchanged, so in this day of dual core phones let’s see how the Nexus S 4G stacks up.

Included with the Nexus S 4G you’ll get stereo headphones, a microUSB cable and AC adapter along with the standard users manuals and quick start guides.


Design-wise, the Google Nexus S 4G remains unchanged from the Nexus S, and since there is no carrier branding on either, you cannot distinguish the two without removing the battery cover. The phone is similar in feel to any of the original Galaxy S phones, such as the Fascinate or Vibrant. That means that the phone is light and thin, thanks to extensive use of plastic by Samsung. It does not have the heft of the quality feel that the Nexus One had, but that is not to say that the Nexus S is poorly constructed. It slips nicely into your pocket and is thin enough that you forget it’s there. The contour of the phone makes it comfortable both to hold and have it against your face. The front face has a contoured curve to it, which enhances its aesthetics and comfort. That said, the 4” Super AMOLED display is amazingly bright and vibrant. It can be read in almost all lighting conditions and from almost all angles.

The Google Nexus S 4G is comfortable both to hold and have it against your face - Google Nexus S 4G Review
The Google Nexus S 4G is comfortable both to hold and have it against your face - Google Nexus S 4G Review
The Google Nexus S 4G is comfortable both to hold and have it against your face - Google Nexus S 4G Review

The Google Nexus S 4G is comfortable both to hold and have it against your face

Google Nexus S 4G Review

You can compare the Google Nexus S 4G with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The Google Nexus S 4G has 4 inch Super AMOLED display - Google Nexus S 4G Review
Google Nexus S 4G Review
Under the back cover - Google Nexus S 4G Review
The 5MP camera on the back - Google Nexus S 4G Review

The Google Nexus S 4G has 4 inch Super AMOLED display


Under the back cover

The 5MP camera on the back

There is one main gripe we have with the design of the Google Nexus S 4G. It is related to the navigation button placement: Back, Menu, Search, Home. While we’ve seen some variation between devices, the Nexus S deviates greatly and it takes a while to get used to it.

Google Nexus S 4G 360-degrees View:

  • Options

posted on 16 May 2011, 08:17 1

1. remixfa (Posts: 14605; 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.

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Google Nexus S 4G

Google Nexus S 4G

OS: Android 4.1 2.3.7 2.3
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (233 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Samsung Exynos 3, Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
0.5 GB 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

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