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Google Nexus S Review

Google Nexus S

Posted: , by John V.



For any casual Android users out there, you'll quickly find yourself at home with the usual set of organizer apps. The look and feel of the Calendar is untouched as you'll have the ability to see it in either a month, week, or day view – not to mention Agenda view as well which lists your upcoming events in chronological order. When setting a calendar event, there are a myriad of details that you can put in – such as a description, location, or reminders. And as always, it'll synchronize to the clouds so you'll always have a consistent and up-to-date calendar wherever you view it.

The look and feel of the Calendar is untouched - Google Nexus S Review
The look and feel of the Calendar is untouched - Google Nexus S Review
The look and feel of the Calendar is untouched - Google Nexus S Review

The look and feel of the Calendar is untouched

With the clock app, it provides quick access to some of the common functions of the phone – like setting up an alarm, playing a slide show, and listening to music. Additionally, it'll display a small picture indicating the current weather condition at your location; plus the current temperature as well. So if you plan on keeping the Nexus S at your bedside, you can press the dim button within the clock app to properly adjust its brightness so it'll be less straining to the eyes in the dark.

Look at that! But there's absolutely nothing different with the calculator app with this Android 2.3 powered device. Sure you can process some simple calculations with it, but there is the “advanced panel” which provides for some more complex functions to be executed.

The clock app - Google Nexus S Review
The calculator app - Google Nexus S Review

The clock app

The calculator app


In another revealing twist, we find a brand spanking new facelift to the stock Android keyboard seen on just about every Android phone out there. We're now introduced to quick access to numbers which are now part of the first row of the new keyboard layout to lessen the amount of time needed to type. Typically, you can now easily input a number by essentially performing a long press on the respective button – which easily beats having to press the dedicated special character button. Now even though buttons might appear to be small in size, the well endowed real estate of the Nexus S makes for a reasonably satisfying experience in speed typing without mistakes. Not only does its responsiveness aid in typing, but its options for predictive text and auto-correct makes for a blistering experience. And finally, switching to landscape only makes its usability more far reaching as we casually typed up a long message without much fault.

We find a brand spanking new facelift to the stock Android keyboard on the Google Nexus S - Google Nexus S Review
We find a brand spanking new facelift to the stock Android keyboard on the Google Nexus S - Google Nexus S Review

We find a brand spanking new facelift to the stock Android keyboard on the Google Nexus S

Both the Gmail and regular email apps haven't undergone any major reconstructive surgeries as they're exactly the same as we find on all Android smartphones. Setting email up is such a breeze since it basically only requires an email address and password to automatically set up. Even though it's able to do it on its own nine out of ten times, there are times when you'll be required to provide additional pieces of information, like server addresses and ports, to correctly set up. And just like what you experience with Gmail on a desktop, it offers just about all the common functionality you'd expect – like threaded view and the ability to search your emails.

Sure there is Google Talk on board to instantly get you in touch with close friends, but there isn't a dedicated instant messaging client on board with the Google Nexus S. However, that can easily be remedied by signing onto the Android Market to download your instant messaging client of choice. From AIM to Yahoo Messenger, there are an abundant choice of first and third part offerings at your disposal.

Connectivity & Data:

Generally, you can't go wrong with picking up the unlocked model of the Google Nexus S with its quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and tri-band UMTS (850/1700/2100MHz) radios in tow – which is perfect for the international traveler. That means you can have your fun using it on T-Mobile's 3G network domestically, but sadly, it doesn't boast the HSPA+ speeds seen on other comparable devices like the T-Mobile G2 and myTouch 4G. And if you happen to find yourself at a standstill with less than stellar data speeds, you can always resort to switching on its 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi for faster speeds. And finally, the Nexus S boasts Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR to enable a variety of wireless devices to connect with it.

Positioned to be a high-end Android smartphone, it's only fitting to find the Nexus S in the elite top when it comes down to web browsing. Android 2.2 Froyo introduced handset owners to the full Flash 10.1 experience, which provided that desktop like feel, but there's nothing majorly new with the one on Gingerbread. However, you can gauge that it's a bit more responsive in the speed department as it loaded up complex web sites like ours very quickly – and not to mention rendering it exactly like what you see on a computer. Scrolling is buttery smooth of course, while multi-touch pinch gestures will enable you to view specific portions of a web site more easily. In the end, did you really think that a device like the Nexus S wouldn't excel in this specific category?

Web browsing with the Google Nexus S - Google Nexus S Review
Web browsing with the Google Nexus S - Google Nexus S Review
Web browsing with the Google Nexus S - Google Nexus S Review
Web browsing with the Google Nexus S - Google Nexus S Review

Web browsing with the Google Nexus S

  • 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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