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back to article Google unloads Nexus S Gingerbread phone

The "Pure Google" Nexus S, announced Monday, enters an increasingly crowded, turbulent smartphone marketplace in which the eventual winner — or winners — are far from certain. "The volume and variety of Android devices continues to surpass our wildest expectations — but we're not slowing down," wrote Android honcho Andy Rubin in …

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After all the hype...

After all the hype, and this is it? Colour me underwhelmed...

NFC isn't going to be much use for a few more years, though it's great to see it on another device as it's a definite chicken/egg problem. The gyroscope will only be of limited use once software and applications become available that support it.

So what does this device bring that is genuinely new and innovative, apart from an updated Gingerbread that will be made available on older devices anyway (and several of the "new" and "great" features in 2.3 merely serve to bring it up to parity with Symbian^3, of all things...)?

Very much a case of "meh" where the Nexus S is concerned. Google must try harder next time.

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Gyroscope

Ya, just to clarify, the gyroscopes in most new phones are to assist the GPS so that it knows what the phone is doing as it moves through space.

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WTF?

No microSD???

No mention of the amount of flash and no microSD?

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WTF?

Agreed ... that sucks!

The web is awash with outrage and dismissal of this phone for not having that ... shows just what a brilliant marketing job Apple does to release a phone without this and have it almost totally overlooked - whereas the omission here is greeted as near failure!

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Cloud your data

Phones like these are intended for a future where wireless (wifi+cell) networking is fast and cheap and you can put all your pictures, music etc on a server.

Local storage is a PITA. You need to manually load/download data to share it.

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@Charles Manning

And what is the timeline for this 'future'? I see just this week of reports indicating that LTE is unlikely to be viable in the UK before 2015 ... and these phones have a lifespan of less than 2 years (at max!)? Globally, mobile data networks are already congested with only a tiny fraction of users using data services (and mostly streaming of non-personal cloud data i.e. from YouTube etc.). This is going to skyrocket if everybody adds their personal data to the cloud.

... this isn't just bleeding edge ... its a vision Nostrodamus would have been proud of at this stage!

Currently, viable cloud apps are largely restricted to office based use over high capacity fixed line connectivity as opposed to the highly variable and inconsistent mobile access?

As much as *some* stake-holders 'try' to push it, I do not see cloud storage replacing local storage, but acting as backup and sharing/syncing across devices (at least for private users - corporates with money for big SLAs may be different). These at least are the use-cases currently being practised and they all make YOU responsible for your data (Dropbox and Google checked) i.e. you should not treat the cloud as the PRIMARY store of your data? SO GIVE ME MY LOCAL BACKUP CAPABILITIES!

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"Perhaps"?

"Perhaps, as has happened in the PC space, Apple will be content to make a healthy profit as a high-value, high-cost niche player while Android supports more and more variants offered by more and more manufacturers."

There's no 'perhaps': this is *exactly* what Apple wants. It's where the best margins are.

Google don't give a damn who uses Android, so long as they get their ad revenues (and license fees), so they'll very likely do very well in the mid- and low-end markets. No matter what happens, they'll "win", because they'll make their money regardless of the actual sale price of the devices. Their entire strategy has been to ensure that the only *guaranteed* profits in the Android market go to Google.

WinPho7 *might* be a contender. Microsoft have at least *tried* to do something different. Unfortunately, so did the Jupiter Ace, so this isn't a guarantee. Nevertheless, Microsoft's offering offers some genuine innovation in the GUI field, while Android does not.

I expect MeeGo to become the Linux of the smartphone world: we'll see it pop up its head here and there, but it's unlikely to get much traction inside the core smartphone market. (I expect to see it more often in STBs and other consumer electronics as there's little to choose from between it and Android: both are just Linux variants with different plastic surgeons.) It's unlikely to catch up with Android unless Google do something seriously stupid.

Or I could be completely and utterly wrong.

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Wish Best Buy would take my old Nexus One

And either trade it in, or automatically ebay it for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Unless

Unless you want a front-facing camera/NFC, keep it, it'll be a more sturdy build than this Nexus S Samsung rubbish anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Quite

I had a play with a Galaxy S, it was creaky and flexy, and the screen had a horrible colour cast. I am hoping that the Nexus is a damn sight better than that, as it will be directly compared with its HTC-made predecessor.

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Unhappy

I was about to put this on my buy list, then I saw ...

no SD!

Guess I'll have to wait for HTC to get it right.

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Anonymous Coward

inevitable Androidian crapware??

The article makes a few references to the "inevitable Androidian crapware".

I've certainly heard about this, but I've now purchased three Android phones (a magic, a nexus one, and a Galaxy S) and have yet to see any crapware.

So, it's not inevitable (at least here in Canada).

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RE tom 53

I noticed that too, God a Sony Ericsson X10 in the UK on contract and no crappware was added on from what i've seen.

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voda crap

I think the only occurrence of it was brief.

Vodaphone did an update which installed some crap. The users complained and it was subsequently removed.

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I mostly agree with you but...

I found crapware on my Nexus One when I bought it: Facebook, Twitter and Amazon MP3 store applications which I cannot uninstall.

I wouldn't consider them crapware if I could remove them easily, since although I will never use or want them, someone else probably would.

Since they are permanently taking up my storage space unless I root (and for some reason the Amazon... thing... insists on running at boot and every so often at other times) I do consider them to be crapware.

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Anonymous Coward

Tables wrong, Rik...

The iPhone is available unlocked, and for £30 less for a very similarly spec'ed phone. From Apple's UK site:

"When you purchase your iPhone from the Apple Online Store, you’ll get it SIM-free. So you can sign up for service with the carrier of your choice and change your carrier at any time."

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Bronze badge
FAIL

What no SD?

No SD no purchase here... Same with the iPony.

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FAIL

Available unlocked...

According to your table, the iPhone isn't. Perhaps the article was written from a market where it really isn't. Right?

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Waiting for 3.0 and CDD changes

It's good to see 2.3 appear although its changes are largely incremental. Hopefully that increases the likliehood that some mobos will release firmware updates for it.

The real decider is what will happen in 3.0 and whether Google are going to update their compatible device document to accurately reflect the landscape of android powered devices. Look at all the tablets coming out and more than half are not "compatible" by Google's current CDD because they basically ignore certain handset features. Google need to update their CDD or they risk someone like appslib and perhaps a rival (Bing?) picking up the slack and stealing a chunk of the market away from them.

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yep

they need to get v3 out soon so i can put it onto my new advent vega tablet.....

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Anonymous Coward

Inspector Clouseau in the video

What did he say?

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Odio

Native Odio.

Had to read the text to figure out wtf he was talking about.

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FAIL

Where's me bliddy 2.2

Still on 1.6 HTC Magic...dum dee dum...

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Boffin

The magic is never getting beyond 1.6

Even the modders aren't trying to put a full version o 2.0 on there, though last time I looked Cyanogen had an experimental most-of-the-way-to-2.1 build for it

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Who's the audience?

The video is revealing in the collection of geeks burbling on about technical details. Interesting comparison with his Jobness' revelations and demonstrations in front of a hall of cowed acolytes. I think this shows the Google is not yet going after the iPhone crowd. It's more a shot across the bows at Oracle: who needs Java when you've got Dalvik and *direct* access to the hardware?

The hardware has largely been commodified (NFC doesn't really matter yet but you can expect Apple to add it as soon as there are services, which bill via iTunes, that use it) so companies have to look elsewhere for differentiation. Until recently Apple's user interface was significantly different from the competition but that's no longer the case. That leaves the brand and fashion statement and the view from my street is that Apple is winning here by getting women buying the iPhone as an expensive fashion accessory whereas the initial iPhone buyers were generally style-obsessed gadget freaks. This strategy is great for margins but fashions are fickle which is probably why they are focussing on the iPad and a hermetically-sealed content delivery platform to go with it.

Wonder who'll be first out with a multi-core ARM-based phone?

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Audience?

I disagree. The audience is obvious and it isn't consumers. This video is aimed at developers hence the developer.android.com url at the end. Or didn't you watch it all?

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The main question about MeeGo

The main question about MeeGo will be wether it's unlocked (i.e. you can get root easily and consistently) or locked down like iOS/WinPhone7/Android/Blackberry...

MeeGo is the OS for people who want to use rsync on their mobile devices. People who want to tunnel their IP through DNS because that's the only thing their hotspot offers. This may not be a large market, but it exists none the less.

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WiFi Hotspots

My iPhone supports these, and it's unlocked (and not JB'd)... just sayin'...

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WTF?

No SD = no sale

I would expect Google can act smarter. But it just proves they are just as stupid.

So compare with N1, the only real hardware improvement is the front face camera.

But in real term it went backward. with N1, you can currently get 32G SD card. The build quality with HTC is better, and you also have a usable trackball.

Well, I will just keep my N1 unless someone make a better phone.

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not quite

Hummingbird is a far more powerful SoC than snapdragon and 2.3 will take even more advantage of it's power, don't just use Ghz as a measure.

I'm also disappointed with the lack of microSD. I would have loved 8G INAND + SD. SD is great for data storage like pictures and music but sucks for apps because it's slow. If I have to choose between 512M flash + 32G SD and 16G flash the latter wins.

Also, one could argue that the screen is a 'real hardware improvement' as well.

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WTF?

I admit that I am puzzled........

...........as to why any producer is releasing high end phones without either a _lot_ of inbuilt storage or the capacity to utilise SD cards (or both, let us be greedy!). It seems especially puzzling in this case since Android (I believe I right in saying this) has had the capacity to run apps from SD storage since 2.2 was released. Given how many people seem to love installing as many apps as they can get their mitts on, one has to wonder.......?

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FAIL

No Bluetooth 3, no USB-on-the-Go...

And Android is meant to be one of the most advanced smartphone OS?

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FAIL

No Bluetooth 3, no USB-on-the-Go...

And Android is meant to be one of the most advanced smartphone operating systems?

Google really need to start stepping it up, a few UI improvements does not justify all the hype surrounding Gingerbread. The much derided Symbian offers more innovative features than this latest Android.

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Thumb Up

curved screen

If the iPhone had this first you could expect to hear much much more about it.

e.g. its super , magical , revolutionary , amazing , yada yada yada.

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Happy

Patent

I wonder how long it'll take for Apple to file a patent for it.

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Unhappy

No mention of accelerated graphics

...the lack of which is the biggest failing of nearly every Android phone for me. The reason the Apple ecosystem gets the media-centric/game apps is because it offers a totally predictable user experience.

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FAIL

Umm

"No mention of accelerated graphics ...the lack of which is the biggest failing of nearly every Android phone for me."

I think the failing of every Android phone for you is you (and possibly your love of Apple).

Every Android phone ever released has accelerated graphics as is shown in this video of the G1 running the NeoCore benchmark:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqKCam7wgws

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