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back to article Google Nexus S Android smartphone

What do you want from a smartphone? Good looks? New, new features? Decent battery life? The latest operating system? If so, the Nexus S should be right up your alley. The latest Android handset comes direct from Google but where its predecessor, the Nexus One, was made by HTC, this one is created for Google by Samsung. Google …

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I really like this phone

The letdown for the N1 for me was its battery life - no such problems with the Nexus S.. I'm getting 35 hours with everything switched on (VOIP listening keeping wifi up, Lattitude running, some background apps, GPS, Sync). With the N1 I had to practically bust it down to a dumbphone to get 18 hours.

Only downside is it looks a bit cheap.. very plasticky. Not that I'm a style guru, but it might matter to some.

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Nice

The Reg seems to be having an Android spurt at the moment, keep it up! Creative ZiiO, Motorola Defy and HTC Desire Z next please.

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Anonymous Coward

HTC Desire Z

Got one the other week.

Good screen (Not AMOLED though)

Fast enough 800mhz processor.

The flip out keyboard takes some getting used to, FN and shift seem backwards to me.

Biggest Problem is battery life, a nightly charge is a must to get through day.

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Silver badge

Looks good

I think it's disappointing there is no external MicroSD and NFC is a waste of time. Otherwise it looks like a strong phone.

One thing that bothers me about my HTC Desire is the paltry amount of internal flash storage in the phone itself which is a serious impediment if you're an app whore. Even with a micro SD and 2.2 installed, you must still install the app code to internal flash and it's easy to run out of space. 16Gb is a lot of space to fill but it's too bad it cannot be augmented.

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Battery Life

Most of the other reviews I have seen are critical of the Nexus S battery life, PC Pro did a Smartphone review and the Nexus S was near the bottom.

Are you sure you are right ? I am trying to make up my mind between the Desire and the Nexus S and battery life is one of the main criteria for me.

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FAIL

No external memory

Makes this one a fail for me.

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Unhappy

Wot no memory expansion?

I have 14GB of MP3s on my phone before I get started on the other things I use it for,

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Hmm...

Somehow Android smartphones seem to try hard to still be a phone you only use upright -- I don't like these asymmetric humps on the back at all. Lay the thing down on a table in landscape orientation and it's tilted in a very comical way. Also the capacitive touch buttons seem always to be where you want to rest your thumb when holding the thing in landscape.

Anyway, not a bad smartphone but also not a great one, I think. But surely an expensive one.

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Anonymous Coward

What do you want from a smartphone?

A keyboard.

And the ability to sync calendar and contacts with my Mac using standard protocols and without jumping through unnecessary hoops. Why is this sort of thing never covered in these reviews? This isn't a site for 13 year olds getting the latest toy, it's a site for professionals who want tools that work.

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Bronze badge

A Mac user pining for "standard protocols"?

The first thing you need to do is dump your Mac...

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Maybe

This is the phone that might make me jump ship, contract ends this year on my 3gs, so will see what apple deliver too. I am not one of the nutty fandroids or fanbois, who are as bad as each other. I want:

a) device that does everything simply

b) gets regular updates (that don't require me to bugger about on some dodgy site)

c) has the best hardware

Only concern is around the possibility of attacks/malware on android which are coming, esp as the platform is gathering up share, I don't want my battery life ruined by having to run AV software all the time..

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Pint

Re: Maybe

Seems like you have a decent list of what you want and all are fair.

a) As the Nexus S is running the latest iteration of Android, 2.3, this is a go. As would any running 2.1 or higher but you'd want at least 2.2 for the speed improvements.

b) With the Nexus phones you get your updates straight from Mountain View so there's no waiting for the manufacturer or network operator to add their bits and pieces. This is definitely the phone for you if you value this option. Don't discount playing around with ROMs

c) Unfortunately this is where the Nexus S falls down. It's running on last year's hardware. The new phones displayed at CES are just a whole new game. Obviously depending on when your contract is up you might want to wait and see when these new contenders begin showing their faces. You'll find most of these will be running 2.3 or higher. Whether they make it to the UK or not is anyone's guess.

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Anonymous Coward

Updates

I see to many people complaining about lack of official support at the moment, and unless HTC, etc get this right I can't see me taking them up.

With regards to ROMs my concern is about the lack of transparency, I know theoretically it will be peer reviewed but it is still an area I feel a little uncomfortable about, especially with the potential that Android has for being the next big platform.

The screen will be a big plus if I like it when I see it, my daughter has a new "iTouch", and that screen is miles ahead of my old 3gs, so the new AMOLEDs should be a step up again?

Lets hope this is the start of a proper competitive market with Android fighting it out with Apple, that way we get innovation and the best kit. I will buy whatever I think is best based on my requirements, Apple was still the best 18 months ago, now the two are head to head, with Android slightly edging it, can Apple up their game this coming year to keep pushing this market forward.

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Earl

Re. the screen, probably not. I personally think SAMOLED screens are really nice, but I know enough people who would disagree. In addition, Apple's pixel density is still way higher than the competition, but I don't think it's a big enough difference for most people to care.

As for ROMs, I see your point about security. However, I pay to use Modaco ROMs, and Paul would have to be mad to abuse the trust of his paying customers. As long as I have an Android phone, I'll keep paying my sub for the freedom that Modaco provides.

I hope to see some great advancements in Android usability (I personally have nothing against it) and the phone hardware over the next year; competition is good.

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Decent battery life?!

Either you have not used this phone for more than 12 hours or Google/Android has successfully "managed customer expectations" into thinking that less than a day is "decent battery life".

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Unhappy

@ AC 10.32

"A keyboard"

.....then why are you reading the review of a handset that clearly does not have a keyboard?

"And the ability to sync calendar and contacts with my Mac using standard protocols and without jumping through unnecessary hoops. Why is this sort of thing never covered in these reviews?"

....maybe because synchronizing your Mac with an Android phone is a piece of piss operation that the rest of us worked out how to do years ago?

Seriously, what else would you like the review to cover? How to turn the handset on and off? How to install the SIM card? How to get it out of the box it comes in?

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Samsung = Fail.

Samsung have a proven track record of "Release and Retire" for high-end handsets. They pump out new models quickly, forget old ones (by months, not years) which get no updates, and their support is notoriously horrid. The last Samsung phone I had was the Galaxy S, which I returned after 3 days. HTC Desire HD is now doing me just fine!

In a word, avoid.

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Might not be such a problem on this one

I think this is just android straight from Google, that should mean that Samsung are cut completely out of the loop as far as updates are concerned...

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Anonymous Coward

No HD record?

bearing in mind Samsung were the first (or nearly) manufacturer to produce a phone that could record in HD (The Instinct HD - uses the same GPU as the N8 I believe - developed in the UK for those of a HW bent), and that was over a year ago, one has to wonder why this phone doesn't have it.

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FAIL

A bit of an unpleasant thing to say in an article?

"It’s slim, sleek and curvaceous, and like the best catwalk models, as light as a feather."

I'm surprised the moderatrix hasn't had her hackles raised by this.

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And

...I fail to see the connection between the terms "curvaceous" and "catwalk model."

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I don't think...

...there is a connection, just a missing comma.

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WTF?

Proxy Settings

No mention if Gingerbread allows you to enter proxt settings (Not available on froyo or any other version). There are many organisations that require you to use their proxy when using their wireless offering (Schools and college for a start). This could be the thing that pushes me to an iPhone.

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Alien

Re: Proxy

I'm pretty sure you can get apps to proxy your browser traffic. Not 100% whether you have to "root" your phone to do it though as I've never needed to use them.

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Flame

I like it....

Got mine delivered a few weeks ago, and have had no problems (T-Mobile slashing data limits notwithstanding!).

A few points:

>Samsung have a proven track record of "Release and Retire" for high-end handsets. They pump out new models quickly, forget old ones (by months, not years) which get no updates, and their support is notoriously horrid.

Software is released by google directly - other than the lettering on the back, there is no mention of Samsung elsewhere on the handset.

Battery life... I'm a "heavy user"... It's a phone, an email client, an mp3 player, a portable games system, and I get around 18 hours from a charge. Not fantastic, but better than the last generation of Android handset. Don't expect Nokia-like weekly charges though.

The screen is fantastic. The contrast between black and colour is immense - you can safely leave the screen on its dullest backlight setting and read the screen in daylight - saves the battery too.

Only cons are: the quality of plastics used. Feels a little cheap, and the smooth shiny plastic casing easily slips out of your hand (unlike my HTC Hero with a rubberised backing).

And the lack of SD card. I tend to uninstall apps I don't use, delete music once I'm bored of it, and I don't watch movies on my phone. 16GB should be ok with me, but I can't see why Google/Samsung aren't releasing a 32MB "professional" version.

Oh, and Mac user worrying about syncing... love the cloud. Transferred my phonebook, email and calendar to the device within 30 seconds... by signing into my Google account.

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FAIL

85?

With only 16g internal memory and no SD card. This phone is a draught fail.

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Nexus S

Very pleased with mine. Very fast, pleasantly understated appearance and excellent signal and call quality. Battery life is on a par with iPhone4 which it has replaced. May be useful for others to know that on my unit the Battery Doctor app which made a significant improvement to the iPhone4 performance seemed to halve the battery life of the Nexus S. Back to normal once uninstalled.

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Anonymous Coward

One major shortcoming

Given the price, I was very annoyed by one simple fact: No Gorilla Glass.

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Carphone warehouse not serious

Tried to buy one before christmas and at the 4th time of asking found someone to talk to at carphone warehouse. I was offered one for £429 on contract which is not even a joke.

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