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Google Nexus S Review

Google Nexus S

Posted: , by John V.



Sure the design of the Google Nexus S isn't particularly its most appealing factor, but being the first device to flaunt Android 2.3 Gingerbread will clearly be its main attraction. It's not to say that the latest version of the platform is leaps and bounds ahead of the stock Android 2.2 Froyo experience, but there are some noticeable refreshing aesthetic redesigns that give it a personalized look. And much like other Samsung Galaxy S variants, the Nexus S is powered by a 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor and 512MB of RAM that enable it to move ever so swimmingly without much evidence or sluggishness. Even with a live wallpaper loaded, we managed to navigate around its 5 homescreens fluidly and without much effort. Developers and hackers all around will especially like the vanilla experience seeing that it'll more than likely receive the latest Android updates faster than most others.

At its core, the interface running on the Nexus S is largely unchanged as you'll have the pick of the litter to personalize its homescreens with various shortcuts, widgets, and folders. However, you'll instantly see that there is more of a green theme going on which is evident with the green colored icons of the dialer and web browser on the home screen. Additionally, the Android-green color is seen being used in the notification area with the battery indicator icon, signal strength bars, and icon for the 3G symbol. And when you scroll a long list, say for example your contacts, there is a green glow that activates whenever you reach the top or end of a list – which indicates that you can't scroll any further. Finally, there's an eye catching animation that runs whenever you press the dedicated power button to turn off the display. Basically, it emulates the look of an old tube television turning off with everything on screen shrinking down to a single beam of light until it's completely dark.

The look and feel of the app tray remains intact as it exhibits a 3D cube Rolodex which displays a grid like view for your available apps. Scrolling through the listing is effortlessly accomplished as it's accompanied with some fluidity that's quick to respond to every touch of the finger.

You can personalize the homescreens of the Google Nexus S with various shortcuts, widgets, and folders - Google Nexus S Review
You can personalize the homescreens of the Google Nexus S with various shortcuts, widgets, and folders - Google Nexus S Review
You can personalize the homescreens of the Google Nexus S with various shortcuts, widgets, and folders - Google Nexus S Review
3D cube Rolodex - You can personalize the homescreens of the Google Nexus S with various shortcuts, widgets, and folders - Google Nexus S Review

3D cube Rolodex

You can personalize the homescreens of the Google Nexus S with various shortcuts, widgets, and folders

All in all, there's nothing particularly dramatic about the Android 2.3 Gingerbread interface from previous iterations. From a cellular level, it pretty much relies on implementing the customary functionality and personality you'd expect from the open platform, but it does throw on a dash of spice in the form of some minor color changes and animations. Still, there's no denying that this version is by far the peppiest we've seen just yet.

NFC - Google Nexus S Review


Some other notable items include the handset's ability to share its data connection with other devices via Wi-Fi or USB. Since this functionality is directly built into the platform, you're not going to be required to sign on with an additional monthly service from your wireless provider. In essence, you can simply go to the Wireless & Network settings and enable it to quickly share your 3G speeds with other devices – which is naturally a sweet deal all around.

Although it's mostly limited in use here in the US, the Google Nexus S has the convenience of offering an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip that provides a contact-less payment solution. In reality, it's much like what you find with some services that charge you for your purchases by simply waving or placing your credit card at a contact-less terminal. Naturally, there are some other implementations for this technology, and as developers grasp it, we'll see its use being branched out to other aspects.


The phonebook is unchanged as you'll be presented with the usual array of information that you can associate with each contact. From phone numbers to email addresses and everything else imaginable in between, there's going to be plenty of details that can be inputted to give you all the pertinent information about each person in your address book. Moreover, it manages to integrate with some social networking services as it displays the most recent status update on Facebook or Twitter posts within the contacts app. Finally, you won't have to ever be concerned about losing contacts since it'll automatically sync with Gmail – plus not to mention it'll also include Facebook or Twitter friends as well.

If you need to place a phone call, you'll always need to go back to the homescreen seeing that the dialer icon is prominently found there – and that's the only way! Once you've got the dialer up, there are additional tabs that will give you access to the call log, your contacts, and favorites. As for the numeric keypad itself, the keys are finger-friendly sized to accommodate even the largest of fingers out there – which essentially nixes out any mistaken presses.

Dialer - The phonebook 
of the Google Nexus S is unchanged - Google Nexus S Review
The phonebook 
of the Google Nexus S is unchanged - Google Nexus S Review
The phonebook 
of the Google Nexus S is unchanged - Google Nexus S Review
The phonebook 
of the Google Nexus S is unchanged - Google Nexus S Review



The phonebook of the Google Nexus S is unchanged

  • Options

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 09:34 2

1. Awesome14Axel (Posts: 3; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)

they forgot to put no HSPA+
No SD card slot
no camera button
no HD video recording
and isn't revolutionary

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 11:30 7

2. gomets15217 (Posts: 38; Member since: 13 Jul 2008)

-nobody cares about HSPA+
-they mentioned no sd card
-thats relatively unimportant.
-they mentioned that as well
-and it is, just not a game changer.

they ignored the fact that the curved glass screen was implemented because 'research' showed that it made the phone easier to use. it wasnt for aesthetics or to make it look pretty.

they ignored the new gyroscope sensors.

they didnt discuss the nfc chip at all besides the fact that, well its there.

basically, they talked about it from the point of view of someone who just wants the newest, most 'high end' phone so they can shoot of tech stats to their friends who dont know what the words mean either. these reviews are really getting pathetic. =/

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 13:44 1

3. kristoferallen (Posts: 99; Member since: 23 Jun 2010)

There were many reasons they went with a curved display but it definitely wasn't for looks like you said. It also keeps the screen from getting scratched when placed on its face.

I actually like the fact that there isn't an sd card and its all just internal. I have always hated sd cards although I guess there are a few who need more then 16 gb, I have no idea who.

The biggest thing I am excited about with this phone is the development. That makes the opportunity for games a lot more exciting. I think 2011 is going to be where Android sets itself as a competitor in the handheld gaming and this phone is going to help.

posted on 27 Oct 2011, 06:29

19. XrandomdroidX (Posts: 11; Member since: 03 Jul 2011)

i reread this in 2011 right now and what u said was true :D the number of apps is slowly but surely going to beat the number of apps in ios furthermore, theres the nexus prime to look forward too...

posted on 22 Aug 2012, 03:47

20. eyad_996 (Posts: 29; Member since: 10 Jul 2012)

You were right about that NFC chip back in 2010, i don't think it had many uses back then, now, 2012, it's changing everything, you should become a reviewer man, you've got something!

posted on 17 Feb 2011, 13:07

13. Tucknoloji (unregistered)

Nexus S with Stock Gingerbread, does not have the Zoom option..... can anyone ported latest version of Android???

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 19:06

4. McFoster (unregistered)

This phone has down right pissed me the hell off. I was fine with the battery taking 8 hours to charge from nearly 0 to full. I was fine with the fact that it has no HD recording. I was fine with the fact that the call volume was pretty low. The straw that broke the camels back was that picture messaging on the phone isn't working at all and no one on any customer service end has a reason why. Samsung told me to piss off after being on hold for 45 minutes. Those god damn Indians at T-Mobile told me to piss off and call Samsung. Google really must have wanted this phone to fail in terms of sales if they went with Samsung.

posted on 21 Dec 2010, 00:41

5. kristoferallen (Posts: 99; Member since: 23 Jun 2010)

Picture messaging works perfect. I have had 5 pictures since the phone came out. If picture messaging doesn't work though then have them email it to you. If they don't have a phone with email then its probably not that great of a picture lol, jk. But I haven't had any problems so reset your phone and make sure your data is on. It is not a phone issue so it must be something that isn't turned on or some other of the many things it could be.

posted on 01 Feb 2011, 04:41

11. johnConor (unregistered)

Somebody give dis guy a dumb kitchen sink phone..Nexus S is probably smarter than u,stop usin it..n i thought ignorance is bliss..apparently it ain't

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 04:33

15. HB (unregistered)

If the goddamn Indians told you to piss off they probably thought that you are as dumb as you look. No need to be racist simply cos your phone isnt working, which is most probably because you don't have the brains to use it

posted on 23 Dec 2010, 05:37 1

6. jomonsosjoseph (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Dec 2010)

Hello all.

The Google Nexus S has already received its first over the air upgrade - we'll break the news to you now: it's not Android Honeycomb.

The new file from Google apparently updates bugs and upgrades to the latest version of maps - although we're not sure how much it changes if you already have the new fancy Google Maps for Android version 5 already downloaded.

Looking through the internal changes over on EDA Developers Forum, it seems the only changes are to the framework and Maps programs, so this isn't going to be a massive overhaul - although early indications show a slight lag in the browser appears to have been fixed.

posted on 25 Dec 2010, 08:03 3

7. celldude (unregistered)

its better 2 have ne Galaxy S with 2.3 update

posted on 28 Dec 2010, 16:12

8. Oliver (unregistered)

Was the sample video taken at Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrenceville, NJ? If not, there's an imposter mall out there!

posted on 05 Jan 2011, 22:32

10. ThatHarlemKat (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)

I lost my Nexus One in a cab while visiting family in NYC during the Christmas holiday (Engraved Garry J Murray on back) Anyway, I figured to make the most of my misfortune by replacing it with a Nexus S "upgrade" I went into Best Buy and had my first up close, hands on with the device and changed my mind. It is a light, plastic, cheap feeling phone. No HSPA+ (4G), NO SD memory, No deal!. It just reminded me of my sister's galaxy S. I instead went to T-mobile and picked up the finely designed, well crafted HTC G2. A beautiful phone that more closely resembles the Nexus One than the Nexus S does. Feature rich, wi-fi calling, mobile hotspot, 4G, physical keyboard, can expand to 32 GB. Best decision I could have made. I really WANTED to like the Nexus S, it just fell short in my opinion.

posted on 02 May 2011, 21:05 1

16. larry56 (unregistered)

Seems you really wanted something like N1 which a great phone. I returned my T-Mobile G2 back to T-Mobile after one month of pain. Yes, quality materials, beautiful gadget. Good to play with...but horrible as a phone. Loudspeaker i is terrible , people laugh when they hear it. It is almost completely not usable outside. Background abient noises, voices and static noise of most incoming calls are awful. Overexposed, static sound is very high and you can hear all kinds of noises coming from the earpiece, expecially when the connection is not very good and phone tries to compensate by increasing the background noises. Do not recommend for conference calls . I called HTC and they admitted the problem, received 2 replacement phones from T-Mobile but they have the same issue. On the other hand Nexus S has excellent call quality and loudspeaker but cheap plastic exterior. My Nexus S crashed because of incompatible applications with new Gingerbread. I had to return the phone to BestBuy for replacement because Samsung coudn't help me to fix it over the phone. It looks like all new models are released not fully tested just to get a grip over the competition and attract new customers by highly advertised new features and later on they try to fix them after months of complains ONLY if the model sells good. My advice , buy 1 or 2 old phone model and you wan't regret it. And read the complains before that....

posted on 20 Sep 2011, 06:36

17. ROB KEVIN (unregistered)

Hi Folks,

Bought a brand new Google Nexus s a week ago and yesterday refunded it. With that price not recommended to buy this phone. Battery life is not good and every time you have to be worried about charging it. Sometimes battery doesn't like to charge up to 100 % and keeps on sitting at 97 % despite charging for even 8 hours. Not recommended till the time Google puts in some effort to make the battery life more. You have to turn off multiple features to save battery but whats the fun for buying this phone if you can not run / use the applications.

posted on 15 Oct 2011, 07:28

18. Sachin Dev (unregistered)

Apparently Google Nexus S is gone out of sale right now in India...???
Do yo ppl have any clue about it?

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Google Nexus S

Google Nexus S

OS: Android 4.1.2 4.1.1 4.0.4 4.0.3 4.0.2 2.3.6 2.3.3 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 0.43 inches
(123.9 x 63 x 10.88 mm)
4.55 oz  (129 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 14 hours talk time

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