Hello Google Nexus S!

January 10, 2011 / Technology / 17 Comments

Presenting my new phone… the Nexus S!

Google Samsung Nexus S

Ever since I got my hands on the Nexus One back in April 2010, I’ve been waiting for the day I would own a phone from the Nexus family. I went through hell and back to get it, since it’s not readily available in my country (yet). Thanks to my Twitter network and this amazing gentleman, I became a Nexus S owner.

What’s so good about the Nexus S?

Firstly? Speed. Specs-wise, this phone is nothing revolutionary. It’s similar to the Samsung Galaxy S and other high-end Androids like the HTC Desire HD. However, there is a marked speed difference. Reason? It’s Pure Google. This means it’s the pure Android operating system. There’s no HTC Sense or Motorola’s Motoblur or Sony Ericsson’s Sense UI to contend with or slow down the system. While these UI have prettier interfaces and are sometimes more functional, users are usually held ransom by manufacturers for the latest Android OS updates.

When I used the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (before it was stolen), I was grudgingly using Android 1.6, while the world had already upgraded to Android 2.1 or 2.2. That meant I couldn’t download many apps or have access to the latest features. It was a really frustrating position to be in — especially since the Xperia was considered a high-end smartphone.

What’s not so great about the Nexus S?

Having the latest Android is a little bit of a double-edged sword. While it means you are always first with the latest and greatest features, it also means you’re a sort of a guinea pig. I haven’t spent much time with the phone yet, but I’ve already found some bugs in the Android 2.3.1 update. Here’s just a few:

  • It can’t change “My Number” stored in the SIM card
  • It’s not using the specified contact ringtones
  • Sometimes, forms can’t be filled out

I’ve heard there are more serious bugs like sending a message to an unintended recipient, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take for the sake of speed and being free from manufacturers’ terribly slow — or non-existent — OS update timeline.

More Nexus S Photos

Feast your eyes on every Android geek’s current wet dream.

Nexus S' Curved Screen
Google Nexus S’ curved screen

Samsung Galaxy S vs Nexus S Photos

Here’s a few photos comparing with my boyfriend’s Samsung Galaxy S and my Nexus S side-by-side. I haven’t made a true performance comparison but from casual use, it seems the Nexus S is faster.

Screen Wars: Samsung Galaxy S vs Google Nexus S
Screen: Samsung Galaxy S vs Google Nexus S
Front of the Phones: Samsung Galaxy S vs Google Nexus S
Front: Samsung Galaxy S vs Google Nexus S
Back of the Phones: Samsung Galaxy S vs Google Nexus S
Back: Samsung Galaxy S vs Google Nexus S

Dear readers, do you prefer the iPhone or Android phones? Why? And slightly off-topic, is there anything that intrigued you from CES 2011? (Mine’s predictably the Android 3.0-powered tablet, Motorola Xoom.)

  • AWESOME! Looks like a great purchase :3 congratulations!!

  • You forgot to add that Android is a GNU/Linux operating system.
    Doesn’t it make you all warm and fuzzy inside? πŸ˜€

  • My vote is definitely on Android phone.

  • My GF recently asked me to find her a phone, and checked out what info I could find on the Nexus S. As far as I can tell, it is a developers’ or a hacker’s phone, not your average gal’s, no?

    I ended up with an LG P500 Optimus one, which sounds like a Star Trek vessel, but sports a fast Android 2.2 OS. It has a crappy camera but is hailed as “the cheap top model” in its price-class. And since my GF already got a digital camera for x-mas, it was the perfect choice.

    But now I must find a phone for myself..

    • Ivy

      Yeah Nexus S is a bit too complicated for the non-techie girl. The camera isn’t that great actually. It’ll be a good phone for you but there’s a lot of upcoming phones that are better specs-wise like the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the HTC Incredible S and HTC Desire S. They come with dual core processors. The only thing the Nexus S has over them is the fact that it’s Pure Google, so I get the latest Android updates (which is not always a good thing) while the others will be updated on the OEM’s whim.

      Despite the occasional bug, it’s still the best damn phone I’ve ever used though.

    • @Ivy: Well, don’t forget I’m a linux guy, so rooting and replacing my phone’s firmware is rather trivial (the last phone I bought was the Neo Freerunner which is all open hardware). But I want the warranty to be valid for the 3 first years at least so a system that’s ready to use from the get-go is a big plus..!

      OTOH, my Nokia N95 didn’t behave well until the 2nd firmware update, after which no phone could compare to it… AFAIK they still can’t surpass it.

  • Cam

    The default Samsung Galaxy S is pretty horrible. It feels very lagging (even after upgrading to Froyo) given the phone’s awesome specs. Only after I install OneClickFix, it feels much better.
    Google still behind Apple in terms of phone’s UI, but I also don’t want to be handcuffed by Apple’s policy. For now, I’m craving to try WP7 actually.

    CES 2011, how about Motorola Atrix?

    • Ivy

      I’m pretty excited about WP7-powered Nokia phones too. I’d like to see how that pans out! It’ll probably take a couple years to catch up to iOS and Android but it’s an interesting contender.

      You’re right, it’s very laggy indeed. I found it quite frustrating to use, which is why I insisted on getting the Nexus S even though it’s not available in my country. I’m also not a fan of the Touchwiz interface. The apps are very disorganized. Glad you found a fix though.

      Motorola Atrix is very cool – especially with all the laptop dock!

  • If I ever went the route of getting an iPhone or an Android phone, I’d go for the Android phone simply because I’d rather support that than Apple. I’m finally using an iPod Touch (2nd generation) and while it’s all right, I am still not feeling the Apple love! And I’m still hating iTunes with a passion.

    But your Nexus S looks awesome. I’d so get that if I can.

    • Ivy

      Get it! It shouldn’t be too difficult since the Nexus S is manufactured by Samsung! πŸ˜€ Well, the dual core Androids are a lot faster I heard. There’s the LG Optimus 2 and Optimus Black – as well as the Samsung Galaxy S 2. They’re probably worth checking out too!

  • Being that I’m looking at the Nexus S for myself these days, I stumbled over this thread regarding dual vs single-core Android systems. Apparently: “Google has already said that Honeycomb is the only version of Android that will take advantage of multiple cores.”

    But then, 256K should be enough for anyone too…

    • Ivy

      The tech bloggers I’ve spoken to have all said that dual-core phones are significantly faster. The phones are so fast that you could play graphic intensive games without a lag. I’m not sure how they made it happen with Gingerbread though.

      With that said, I hope those dual-core phones don’t meet the same fate as the Galaxy S. It starts out speedy then after some time it’ll seriously lag. This doesn’t happen much for both the Nexus S and Nexus One. I haven’t experienced a lag so far and my phone is now my primary internet-surfing device at home.

  • I ended up buying a Nexus S being that I couldn’t find anything cooler and the market is all touchy at the moment. What happened to the hacker devices? Full QWERTY keyboards?

    And with the N900 declared as a developer’s device + Nokia going Win7 I didn’t have much choice. I love Symbian but it has been cast out by its maker..

    • Ivy

      Welcome to the Nexus S family! Now you can do l33t stuff I can’t possibly imagine to the phone! Yeah, pity Nokia decided to sideline Symbian but I guess it makes business sense to focus on its competitive advantage (hardware) and “outsource” its weaker points.

      Just not sure if limiting themselves to Win 7 is a good strategy. We shall see… πŸ™‚

  • Robert

    Just found this blog while searching for the Nexus S. Nothing hotter than a girl who loves tech!

  • Robert

    Going through your blog more and what a coincidence- I’m from Toronto haha.

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