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Google Nexus S Review

Google Nexus S

Posted: , posted by John V.



Google Nexus S Review
To our delight, the Google Nexus S excels in the calling quality department as voices on both ends of the line sound natural and distinctive – ultimately making for some good conversations. And even using the speakerphone, it doesn't fluctuate in output seeing that voices have an audible tone to them. However, our only concern is just the less than average level of volume emitted by the phone's earpiece. Aside from that, you can't go wrong using the handset to place voice phone calls.

Signal strength remained steady in the high coverage area we tested out the handset. In addition, we didn't experience any abrupt changes in signal bars or any dropped calls in the greater Philadelphia region.

In our testing, the 1,500 mAh battery provides for a reasonable amount of time using the smartphone as it felt a bit on the above average side. Managing our open applications more than anything and setting brightness to automatic, we managed to get out close to 1 ½ days before requiring a recharge on normal usage. Naturally, light users will get a bit more while heavy users should get close to a solid day of use. Compared to other smartphones on the market, the battery life on this handset appears to be a bit more above average. The manufacturer has it rated for 6 hours of talk and 427 hours of standby time.


Developers will especially want to gravitate towards the Google Nexus S as it tucks away many new hardware technologies that will increasingly becoming prominent amongst smartphones – like its NFC chip and built-in gyroscope. Moreover, those users who want only the latest in terms of software will also adore it seeing that it'll more than likely be treated to the latest and greatest Android version updates before other devices. In essence, the Google Nexus S builds upon some of the characteristics found on the Nexus One as being a prominent device in the developer community.

However, from a design and specifications point of view, there's nothing blatantly superior about this handset compared to some of the existing titans in the Android space. In fact, we can't classify it as being a true powerhouse smartphone since it omits somewhat expected features like 720p video recording or HSPA+ connectivity. Naturally, existing owners of any Samsung Galaxy S variant shouldn't be too upset about its arrival seeing that it shares many commonalities that have been around for a good while now. We'd even go as far to say that the Samsung Epic 4G would still reign supreme over this because it manages to pack a convenient keyboard and 4G speeds.

Rather than looking at its design or hardware, the biggest thing about the Google Nexus S is its prestigious title of being the very first Android 2.3 Gingerbread device on the market. On the surface, it might not be considered a monumental leap over Froyo, but it manages to employ some minor new aesthetics with the platform to truly make it a refreshing experience. And it is these small things that manage to deliver a delightful experience that caters to the needs of even the most stringent users out there. It might not be the best looking on the block right now, nor does it boast drastically better specs, but it has enough new hardware under the hood and an untouched stock Android experience to provide a sensual experience that's sure to live up to its Nexus moniker. 

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 2.3, build: GRH55, baseband: I9020XXJK8

Google Nexus S Video Review:


  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Brilliant Super AMOLED display
  • Above average battery life
  • NFC chip
  • Great calling quality


  • Same old Samsung Galaxy S design
  • Below average photos & video recording
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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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