Google Nexus S Android phone
Google Nexus S review: Google's Nexus S may be the first smartphone to run the 2.3 "Gingerbread" version of the Android platform, but there is nothing revolutionary about this smartphone
- Android 2.3, contoured Super AMOLED display, good battery life
- Plastic finish, crashing issues, no microSD card slot, poor quality of voice calls
The Google Nexus S Android phone isn't a revolutionary smartphone, but remains an excellent option thanks to the 2.3 "Gingerbread" version of Android.
The Google Nexus S Android phone is just the second Google-branded smartphone to hit the market (succeeding the Google Nexus One), and is also the first mobile to natively run the 2.3 version of the Android platform. While the 2.3 "Gingerbread" version of Android is smoother than ever, the Google Nexus S doesn't bring anything new or revolutionary to the table, even if it remains an excellent smartphone.
Read our reviews of other top Android phones.
UPDATE: The Google Nexus S Android phone is exclusive to Vodafone in Australia, and is available on a number of Vodafone plans across 12 and 24 month contracts. It is free on Vodafone's $79 cap over 24 months, and on Vodafone's $85 'Infinity' plan over 24 months (offering unlimited calls, unlimited text and unlimited access to social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Foursquare).
The Google Nexus S has an entirely plastic build. The gloss black finish gives it a sleek look and feel, and the slightly contoured display is responsive and sits comfortably on your cheek when making phone calls. Although it doesn't feel cheap or flimsy, the Google Nexus S Android phone does have a toy-like resemblance when compared with handsets like the Apple iPhone 4, the HTC Desire and even its predecessor, the Google Nexus One. The Nexus S design is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S, which makes sense given both phones are manufactured by Samsung.
At 4in, the Google Nexus S has a larger display than its predecessor, and the super AMOLED screen technology also makes it brighter, clearer and more vibrant than the original model. The Nexus S screen is one of the best on the market and is responsive to touch, as are the four touch-sensitive, backlit buttons below the screen.
The Google Nexus S runs the latest 2.3 or "Gingerbread" version of Google's OS. The new features are best described as refinement rather than revolution; a revamped keyboard, better copy and paste, improved power management, and a slicker user interface are all part of the package. Both text entry and text editing are much more efficient than previous Android iterations, and now almost on par with the slickness of the iPhone. Battery life is also much improved, as our review unit easily lasted over a full day — even with Wi-Fi and auto-sync switched on.
As with all Android-powered smartphones, the software is highly customisable via third-party apps which can be downloaded through the Android Market — Google's answer to Apple's App Store. In addition, the new Gingerbread interface is slick and smooth, and the darker colour menus and notifications give the Nexus S a much more professional look. The main menu has a cool scrolling 3D effect, and the new 'TV Off' screen-lock animation looks superb.
Unfortunately, we experienced a number of crashes during testing; our review unit inexplicably turned itself off on more than one occasion daily, suggesting that Google still has a few kinks to iron out in the Nexus S software. Thankfully these should come thick and fast in the form of software updates given Google's commitment to push them out to Nexus devices as soon as they are released.
The Google Nexus S comes with a hefty 16GB of internal storage but disappointingly no microSD card slot. The lack of digital zoom on the camera is also an annoyance, particularly as the Nexus S takes reasonably good quality photos. We were also disappointed with the quality of voice calls; audio quality often sounded distant and tinny.
The Google Nexus S is exclusively sold through Vodafone, but can be purchased at online store MobiCity outright and unlocked.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Samsung blames batteries from two makers for Note7 explosions
- Low-end Android phones could get VR with new Imagination GPU
- Android device updates: the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are finally getting Nougat
- HTC's U Ultra flagship attacks the high end with a glass back, an AI companion, and a second screen
- The iPhone turns 10: Apple CEO Tim Cook promises 'the best is yet to come'
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCJunior Project ManagerQLD
- FTAutomation Test Analyst - APS 6 non-ongoingACT
- TPDigital Business Analyst | AgileQLD
- TPMS Dynamics Post Implementation BAQLD
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSystem EngineerVIC
- TPMobile Application DeveloperWA
- CCMigration OfficerQLD
- TPSenior Applications Support AnalystSA
- CCNetwork Security Specialist - Palo Alto Firewall ExpertVIC
- FTJunior Business Process Analyst Perm North SydneyNSW
- FTExecutive Sales ManagerVIC
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- CCAgile CoachWA
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- CCTechnical lead (Informatica MDM)Other
- CCEnterprise Solution Architect - Customer Experience PlatformsNSW
- TPAndroid DeveloperSA
- FTTechnical Content CoordinatorVIC
- FTJunior Software DeveloperQLD
- TPIT Sercurity EngineerVIC
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCApplication Programmer - Software - Geospatial and Industrial EnterpriseVIC
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantVIC