Samsung Nexus S with Gingerbread Review

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Samsung's Galaxy S line of smartphones is known for having gorgeous Super AMOLED displays. The Nexus S (made by Samsung and Google) also incorporates this type of display. When we reviewed the AT&T Samsung Captivate, we were struck by just how nice the Super AMOLED display really is, so we're glad to see this display on the Nexus S. What's more, Google and Samsung have incorporated a Contour Display into the Nexus S, meaning the display is slightly curved, making it more comfortable in the palm of your hand and alongside your face when talking on the phone.

The large, 4-inch capacitive multi-touch screen on the Nexus S covers the majority of the front of the device. Above the display, you'll find the front-facing VGA camera. Just below the screen, you'll find four backlit buttons (Back, Menu, Search, and Home) that are flush with the screen and provide haptic feedback when pressed. Did you notice the order on the backlit buttons? It's different from other Android phones we've seen. Although there is no standard for the order of these buttons, we wish manufacturers would use the same order. As users move from one Android device to the next, it can be annoying (albeit for a short time) to re-learn the order of these buttons.

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The Nexus S is a relatively thin and lightweight smartphone, measuring just 0.43 inches thick and weighing about 4.55 ounces, making it lighter than the HTC Droid Incredible and Apple's iPhone 4.

 

Here's a closer look at where the weight of the Nexus S stands in comparison to a few other popular smartphones:

Samsung Captivate
4.5 ounces
Nexus S
4.55 ounces
HTC Droid Incredible
4.6 ounces
Apple iPhone 4
4.8 ounces
Motorola Droid X
5.47 ounces
Samsung Epic 4G
5.47 ounces
HTC EVO 4G
6 ounces

 

The Nexus S has a very sleek, contoured feel. Thanks to the rounded edges and corners, the Nexus S feels very comfortable in one's hand. The glossy case feels very polished and smooth. Even with its glossy exterior, the display on the Nexus S didn't attract a lot of fingerprints thanks to the anti-fingerprint coating. In fact, the Nexus S seemed to attract far fewer fingerprints than other smartphones we've seen. Even with the few fingerprints the phone did attract, the phone's display was always very responsive.

Whereas the front-facing VGA camera is designed for video chat, the rear-facing 5 megapixel camera is designed for picture taking and video capture (720 x 480 video resolution).  Next to the camera, you'll notice an LED flash. The rear speaker is located to the right of the camera and the flash.

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The Nexus S comes with 16GB of iNAND flash memory. The phone does not have a microSD expansion slot. Although the onboard storage should provide plenty of space for most users, we still prefer to have a microSD slot for added storage and versatility.

On the left side of the Nexus S, you'll find the volume rocker. The right edge of the phone houses the power button. At the base of the unit, you'll notice a microUSB port, microphone, and 3.5mm headset jack.

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