Google Samsung Nexus S with Gingerbread Review

Introduction & Specifications

Google's Nexus S smartphone has a lot of attractive features, but the one that attracts the most attention is the fact that this smartphone is the first to ship with the latest version of the Android smartphone operating system—version 2.3. Otherwise known as Gingerbread, this OS is said to be the fastest version of Android yet. In addition to Gingerbread, the Nexus S touts a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and 16GB of internal memory.

Although the Nexus S is the sequel to Google's Nexus One smartphone, Google is taking a different approach with this product. Whereas the Nexus One was only offered through Google's website, the Nexus S is available through Best Buy stores. Given that the Nexus S will be more visible to customers thanks to its retail presence, we expect Google will enjoy greater success with the Nexus S than it did with the Nexus One.

Since the Nexus S is a Google-branded phone, there isn't a custom UI that alters the Android experience—In other words, you'll get to use Android 2.3 in all is raw glory. Along with that, you'll get the new and improved features of Gingerbread, including a new user interface, an improved keyboard, support for near field communication (NFC), and more. This new OS also builds on many of the most popular features of Android such as multi-tasking and Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities.

Our test unit came with service for T-Mobile, but it's important to mention that this is an unlocked phone that you can use with any GSM / HSPA carrier. Best Buy currently offers the phone for $199.99 with a new 2-year contract with T-Mobile service. For a contract-free version of the phone, you'll need to shell out $530.

Read on in the coming pages as we take an in-depth, hands-on look at what the Nexus S and Android 2.3 have to offer.

Samsung Nexus S Smartphone
Specifications & Features
Processor and memory
1GHz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor
16GB iNAND flash memory
Operating System
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
Quad-band GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
Tri-band HSPA: 900, 2100, 1700
HSPA type: HSDPA (7.2Mbps) HSUPA (5.76Mbps)
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Near Field Communication (NFC)
Assisted GPS (A-GPS)
microUSB 2.0
4.0-inch WVGA (480x800), 235 ppi
Contour Display with curved glass screen
Super AMOLED Capacitive touch sensor
Anti-fingerprint display coating
Size and weight
Approximately 2.48 x 4.88 x 0.43 inches (63mm x 123.9mm x 10.88mm)
Approximately 4.55 ounces (129g)
Haptic feedback vibration, Three-axis gyroscope, Accelerometer, Digital compass, Proximity sensor, Light sensor
Physical buttons: Power button, Volume Up / Down button
Illuminated soft buttons: Back , Menu , Search, Home
Cameras and multimedia
Rear-facing: 5 megapixels (2560x1920), Auto focus, Flash
720 x 480 video resolution
H.264, H.263 MPEG4 video recording
Front-facing: VGA (640x480)
3.5mm headset jack (stereo audio plus microphone)
Software noise-cancellation
Talk time: up to 6.7 hours on 3G (14 hours on 2G)
Standby time: up to 17.8 days on 3G (29.7 days on 2G)
1500 mAH Lithium Ion battery
Unlocked and carrier-independent
Available at Best Buy stores in the U.S. and at Carphone Warehouse and Vodafone stores in the UK
In-Box Content
Nexus S
Li-ion Battery
AC Charger
Micro USB Cable

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