Nexus S - why it's still the phone to get
This is a discussion on Nexus S - why it's still the phone to get within the Nexus S forums, part of the Google Phones category; I'm a Nexus One user and will be upgrading to the Nexus S. The Nexus One is the best phone I've ever used, and prior ...
Nexus S - why it's still the phone to get
I'm a Nexus One user and will be upgrading to the Nexus S. The Nexus One is the best phone I've ever used, and prior to the Nexus One I used an iPhone 3GS. Like most of you, I was disappointed with the announced specs of the Nexus S because the hype prior to the announcement seemed to promise more than what was finally announced. However, I still believe this is the phone to get for the upcoming year and here are the reasons why.
1. No HSPA+ (or T-Mobile "4G") - As of a month ago I wouldn't have even considered getting a new phone without "4G". However, 2 weeks ago I had a chance to do a speed test using my Nexus One against my friend's HTC G2 (which has HSPA+), and I was surprised to find that the difference wasn't as great as I had expected. Whenever he had 4G I also had 3G, and the differences in speed was usually something like I was getting 3mb/s and he was getting 4.5mb/s, which isn't a big deal. A lot of times he did not have HSPA+, and in those scenarios for some reason my phone was actually faster. In fact, at one point in time he was getting EDGE while I had 3G. I can't explain these results, but that's what I witnessed.
Anyhow, my point is HSPA+ is not as big a deal as T-Mobile makes it out to be. Off of the top of my head I think HSPA is advertised to do 7mb/s on the Nexus S and HSPA+ is something like 21mb/s for the G2. In reality it's more like 3mb/s in most places with 3G for both phones while occasionally the G2 will get HSPA+ and get 4.5mb/s. Obviously this varies based upon your location, but HSPA+ has a much higher theoretical throughput speed, but in reality the difference isn't huge. I am disappointed that the Nexus S doesn't include this feature, but it's not a deal-breaker for me.
2. No expandable memory through microSD card. This was the first thing I noticed when glancing through the Nexus S specs the first time. It sucks but again it's not a deal breaker. I have a 16GB card in my Nexus One and never have I removed it once. What's extremely important to me is that the Nexus S has a lot of internal memory. I can finally download as many apps as I want without having to worry if the developer enabled the save to SD feature or not. That was the #1 issue I had with the Nexus One, which had an internal storage amount measured in megabytes, not gigabytes.
I've read some comments asking how this may affect apps which require external storage. The answer is there's some type of partition software included in the Nexus S which will create a virtual sd card partition for those purposes.
One downside to not having microSD card for me is when setting up the phone I have to search for apps not available from the market one by one again from the internet. However, I only have to do this once so it's not a big deal.
3. No dual-core processor. Not an issue at all. If the Nexus S doesn't have a dual-core processor and it's the official developer's phone, you can be sure any upcoming apps this coming year will not require a dual-core processor. Dual core processors may succeed in setting high benchmark numbers, but the bottom line for users should simply be "speed". Whether the speed comes from hardware power or software optimization shouldn't matter. From what I've seen on video, the Nexus S is fast.
4. No HDMI output. I'm not certain about this, but there may be an accessory that will connect the micro usb port to hdmi. The Samsung Galaxy has a cable that can do this, search on Google. However, this is not a function I think I will use... I imagine it will use up battery quickly and heat up the phone (just my guess).
5. The phone feels "plasticky". Yeah, that's a bummer... but what are you going to do when Samsung's making the phone? Well, I do believe there is hope. If you look at the Nexus S, the front is completely covered with glass while the back is a single plastic cover. As long as any 3rd party manufacturer can make a metallic cover then we'll have our metal phone.
6. It doesn't shoot HD video in either 720p or 1080p, and the camera is only 5mp. This shouldn't matter. The camera sensors in cellphones are too small to take any high quality photos or videos, and therefore should only be used for quick/convenient purposes. Shooting in 720p or 1080p will actually be less convenient because your video sizes will be too large to send to friends without file conversion. 5mp vs 8mp shouldn't matter either. In fact, a 5mp camera sensor should have less noise than a 8mp camera sensor.
7. No FM radio. Would be nice if FM radio was included, or maybe even a FM transmitter as well. But it doesn't... o well.
So the 7 points above are what I consider to be the shortcomings of the Nexus S and how I justify or work around them. Below are what I consider to be strengths of the Nexus S and what I'm excited about.
1. Samsung's Super AMOLED screen is the best available. Samsung is the leading manufacturer in display panels, from TV panels to cell phones screens. Those of you who own a Nexus One knows it's impossible to see anything under sunlight. Super AMOLED corrects this problem. The touch screen should be more accurate as well, and will improve upon multi-touch functions. This was a big issue with Nexus One when it first came out. In fact, I returned my first Nexus One because the screen would go crazy at times, only to realize the second one had the same problem. Froyo (android 2.2) fixed most of my touchscreen issues, but having used iPhones before I'm still less pleased with my Nexus One's touchscreen than my iPhones/iPads. I'm hoping Samsung's display will be better in terms of touchscreen.
2. Battery life. My Nexus One's battery life isn't good. It's definitely a lot worse than my iPhone's. I'm always very conscious of how much battery I'm wasting, so as a result I leave my screen as dim as possible, turn off all unused antennas, and never use anything that wastes battery such as video wallpapers. A few months ago I started carrying a spare battery around... lol. I don't expect the Nexus S to improve on this too much, but early reviews indicates an improvement. I'll probably still carry a spare battery. Not a big issue as the battery is replaceable... a BIG PLUS over the iPhone.
3. Stock Android. This is the main reason to purchase this phone. If you go into the Android Market, pick a random app and read its reviews, you will inevitably find comments such as "this freezes on my Droid" "this is incompatible with Sense" or similar reviews. Due to the fragmentation of Android devices, I feel only the Nexus brand can be completely trusted. It is the official developer's phone, so almost all apps will not have issues with the phone. Because it's the official Google phone, there's also a larger community built around it. This forum is an example of this. After owning a Nexus One for a year, I'm so glad I got the phone because of its longevity thanks to its timely updates.
I was reading a T-Mobile My Touch 4G forum and users were discussing how to kill off processes initiated by crapware pre-loaded on their phone. I do not want that. Don't forget the Nexus phones create wifi hotspots for free as well.
4. Front-facing camera. This is very important for me as I webcam with my girlfriend a lot.
5. Full integration of VOIP into the phone menu. This is convenient and I hope Skype will eventually support this. However, I don't mind using the official Skype to call out either, or just use Skype-to-go. It's still a nice touch.
6. NFC technology. [*NFC makes me think of football... GO BEARS! NFC North] Anyhow, obviously this technology is useless at this point. However, should it become useful in the next year it'll be fantastic. I'd love to go out and not have to carry a wallet but just have my phone as an E-wallet. It will be nice if it works for public transportation (Anybody know if it's legal to take a picture of your Driver's license in your phone and use that instead... otherwise it's still necessary to carry an ID I guess.)
7. Minor improvements. A slightly larger screen, faster processor, thinner profile, curved screen, less bezel around the LCD are some minor improvements I look forward to. Combine it with the much better super amoled screen, improved battery life, nfc, front cam, voip integration, and it being the new "official" dev phone, it's enough for me to upgrade.
Anyhow, that's my take on the Nexus S and why I'll be getting two (one for my gf). Most of the comments I've read are just repeats of "no microSD card, no HSPA+, no dual core... fail, major fail". Well, I share the same sentiment, but what are we gonna do? This is the Nexus brand phone for this year, so if you choose to not upgrade then you're stuck with a Nexus One for another year (not a bad thing, but why?). I understand the Nexus S is purposely crippled in hardware specs, but it's still better than all the current available options out there. If I wait for the LG Star or whatever dual-core phones coming out next week there may be bigger software issues in regards to the user interface and more incompatibility with apps, not to mention a smaller community to support it and the eventual dreadful waiting for operating system updates. I'd rather use a clean android OS on a single-core phone than a Bada/Sense-skinned dual core phone. When Google feels multi-core is necessary than it will include it in the next Nexus phone.
A smartphone is a device most of us use everyday, not just as a phone but also as a web browser/mp3 player/video player/camera etc... I feel the spending is justified and not wasteful given the improvements. This is why I encourage everyone to march out there and upgrade with me on Thursday! [Oh yeah, I'm due for a T-mobile equipment upgrade anyways so it's a little easier on the decision] :-)
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Well to start off I want to say nice review and opinion was well said
Now what I would like to say is that for the camera saying that you would rather have a 5mp than an 8mp but that is the kind of thought that push’s back innovation because the way I see it is that the ultimate goal of a superphone is to be the one universal piece of equipment that you need to do everything because they have eliminated the need for digital cameras, gps and mp3/mp4 player alertly they are aiming for credit cards as well with the NFC chip. So the end result is that you don`t need to carry around a digital camera, a gps (in the car) and an mp3 player you just need your superphone. But would you rather have a camera take better quality pics or lower quality pics? So would I. As for not being able to send them to your friends via mms, the limits will increase with the increase in hardware.
Nice overview. Those points are pretty much the same ones I have.
A very good point you made that I didn't think about is the future releases of pure google phones. I too will not settle for anything less. I've played around with my friends EVO and my mom's Galaxy S and could not stand the UI-shell and crap-ware that it comes with. If the Nexus S is going to be the only pure Google phone out for the next year, then I must have it.
The two things (so far) that are deal breakers for me is the whole plasticy feel and how it looks like an iPhone. But I guess I'm going to actually have to have the phone in my hands to see.
I thought the NExus S DOEs record in HD & also DOES have a Radio...
Hmmm better have a look back at my book marks & have another butchers
This link dated 7th Dec
Google Nexus S Price, Review, Full Specs and Pre-order Phone Reviews
But not FM radio
An FM radio would have been nice....but so would a big boobed blonde girlfriend -~
Well the FM radio you can get just by rooting and installing cyanogen mod or another ROM but I can't remember which one I think it's rod's miui not sure. And for the girlfriend sorry but root won't help you there.
Originally Posted by snowy
Very nice review. My main gripe is the absolute cheek of google to charge so much for a phone which has so much lacking.
It seems to me that when Google made a requirement list for this phone their main agenda was to leave out everything that we do want, and spend all there time innovating rubbish we don't need.
Want an 8mp camera at least? Well too bad here's a 5mp. Oh and we accidentally took out the 720p recording and we cant be arsed to put it back in.
Want retina style resolution? You don't need that. Have this new Contour gimmick bull**** instead.
Want a phone made of quality materials? Who do you think we are? Your getting getting something that feels like a toy.
You may be really angry with us now but don't worry. We'll put in an NFC chip and promote the technology you wont be using for another 2 years!
The actual price of the phone on contract is ok I think. But I'm on t-mobile, and they thought it would be funny if they were the only company to charge extra for the phone. Does anyone know by how much contract phones usually improve in January? I'm probably going to get the nexus on launch but T-mob are charging £49. If I can get it for free in Jan I'll just wait.
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