I’ve been playing with the Nexus S 4G from Sprint, which is avery nice phone! I’m sure you already know the specs, but just in case it’s got a 1GHz processor running Android Gingerbread, a 5MP rear-facing camera, a 3MP front-facing camera (so you can do video calling), 802.11b/g/n… all the usual stuff.
What it has that makes it less than usual (more than usual?) is a 480×800 Super AMOLED screen with 16 million colors that’s ridiculously bright and sharp, some great software, and NFC, which stands for “Near Field Communications.” NFC is the technology that lets you swipe your cell phone at certain places (many more to come) as if it were your credit card.
NFC is a well-established technology that’s just coming into its own in America. I must say I was unable to test this yet, but there’s an update that just came out. Theoretically, this will work with Google Wallet when it is released.
Google Wallet lets you pay for stuff with money you’ve put in your Google Wallet account, and use your cell phone as if it were a debit card. That’s incredibly convenient, but it also raises some interesting security issues. If you misplace your phone, and don’t have a password on that phone, you’d have some problems. Google has addressed that by requiring a PIN before you can make a purchase. That makes it a tad less convenient, but a lot more secure (depending on the PIN you use, of course). It’s certainly easier to get to your phone than to get to your credit cards!
The Nexus S has been pretty incredible. That Super AMOLED screen looks great; the phone is fast and responsive; it even feels good in your hand! The 4G has been spotty (Sprint isn’t quite managing full coverage in Western New York just yet, but just you wait!), but when I’ve been able to get it it’s been very nice. Sprint’s 4G is actually WiMAX. I’m getting over 4Mbps on average. According to those who know at Sprint, as 4G becomes more prevalent, we’ll see more coverage and faster speeds.
The Nexus S phone quality is very good. I have come to hate a number of smartphones that emphasize the “smart” to the detriment of the “phone,” but Samsung seems to have struck a very nice balance.
As with so many smartphones these days, battery life is a problem. The SuperAMOLED screen, the speed of the processor, the multiple radios, and many of the apps that run in the background all conspire to drain the battery. You’ll get a full day out of it, but not much more. Of course, if you’re spending lots of time talking or texting or playing games, you’ll get a lot less time out of that battery.
The thing I like most about the Samsung is that it doesn’t have a bunch of junk. So many phones nowadays come stuffed with bloatware – sample apps, trial apps, general crap that so many companies load onto phones. The frustratng thing about this bloatware is that you can’t delete it! You won’t find any of that nonsense with the Nexus S.
YouTube is astonishing on this phone. Well, when you have a better-than-3G connection, anyway! The picture, as you would expect with the Super AMOLED screen, is excellent. The audio is good, but could be a bit louder, but that’s just me, I suspect. I have tinnitis, and sometimes the voices in my head are louder than the audio from the phone. But I have that problem with TVs and radios and other phones, too, so don’t take my word for it.
What continues to surprise me is how good the phone feels in my hands. It’s well designed and properly hefty, with a bit of a curve that makes it fit cleanly and snugly into the hand.
All the Nexus S 4G is a well designed phone with a lot of great features to recommend it. If you’re on the Sprint network, and you’re looking for a great Android phone, take a close look at the Samsung Nexus S. You won’t be disappointed!