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

Google Nexus S
  • Google Nexus S
  • Google Nexus S
  • Google Nexus S
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Android 2.3, contoured Super AMOLED display, good battery life

Cons

  • Plastic finish, crashing issues, no microSD card slot, poor quality of voice calls

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

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.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?