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Google Nexus S 4G Review

Google Nexus S 4G

Posted: , by Brian K.


Performance and Conclusion:

Google Nexus S 4G Review
Call quality was quite good on the Nexus S 4G. Callers rated it an 8/10, saying that we sounded slightly distant but not finding much to complain about. On our end it was plenty loud with a good voice reproduction even as the other party was driving through the back country of Kentucky. The phone did get much warmer on our ear than we’re used to, but that’s not a major issue. Battery life was above average for a high end Android handset. The battery is rated for 6 hours of talk time, and with light usage we were able to go three days of use on Wi-Fi. 4G drained the battery faster, but not as noticeably as it does on our EVO 4G.

Overall, the Google Nexus S 4G is a very good phone, if not a little late. If it were any other device we’d probably chide Sprint more for taking so long to pick it up, but it’s more about what the Nexus S 4G represents than the actual handset itself. Having a second carrier offer a pure Google phone is only a good thing for consumers and for the Android platform. The smartphone itself is still pretty capable though. Although it relies on a single-core processor, it's still very speedy, while it also doesn't miss on any other crucial feature, except for HD video capture.

A pretty good Android alternative, which adds a physical QWERTY keyboard and comes at $50 less is the Samsung Epic 4G. Another pretty decent option is the WP7-sporting HTC Arrive, if you feel adventurous. Ultimately, the Google Nexus S 4G is a phone for the purists, like the next Nexus will be, and hopefully Sprint will play a bigger part in that phone’s launch.

Software version of the reviewed unit: 2.3.4 GRJ22

Google Nexus S 4G Video Review:


  • Very fast, unadulterated Android experience
  • Updates directly from Google
  • Amazing display
  • Good battery life and call quality


  • No expandable memory
  • Potential 4G issues
PhoneArena rating:
User rating:
8.37 Reviews

  • 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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