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Google Nexus S. First Look
Live photos of Google Nexus S
The sales of first Android smartphone under Google brand - Nexus One were not high enough. In other words, the expectations of the company were not met. Second Nexus was initially planned to be produced together with Motorola, but these plans were in place prior to the unsuccessful launch and distribution of Nexus One. At the end Google decided to team up with Samsung. Google received a readymade product, which Samsung promises to support and promote in accordance with traditional schemes, while the Korean manufacturer will become a leader in Android world, to be more precisely, will be the first to launch an Android 2.3 model.
The entire description of Google Nexus S can be limited to several succinct phrases by pinpointing the differences from the original Samsung Galaxy S. Nevertheless, I will mention design features, looks, body materials and some other features.
In terms of design Nexus S is almost a complete copy of Samsung Galaxy S. Among differences we have a slightly altered body shape. Nexus S is a bit curved on the front, but I personally noticed that only from photos and learnt about it from the press release. To my mind this feature is not very conspicuous during the everyday use. As a result S has nothing in common with Nexus One. It is different both inside and outside.
Sizewise it closely resembles Galaxy S and is comparable with Apple iPhone 4.
Google Nexus S vs Google Nexus One:
Nexus S is made of glossy plastic favored by Samsung. Without doubt it looks impressively, but the gloss goes away after you touch the model for the first time.
The front is also easily soiled, but I cannot complain here as this feature is typical of any smartphone with a large screen. The back is also curved and this trait is more visible than on the face.
I can sum up the design by reiterating that we have a tried and trusted Samsung Galaxy S looks with changed body shape and black frame around the screen instead of chrome. Navigation keys are different too.
I cannot criticize the build.
Unlike the original Galaxy S Nexus has no hardware button under the screen. Instead we get a touchscreen block with Back, Menu, Search and Home buttons. All buttons are large and easy to press, though a brighter backlight would have been a welcome addition. There is no main navigation key and it is a move backward in comparison with Nexus One, which had a trackball.
The power button is on the right side at the top. The phone has a curiously arranged animation of the screen disabling. The picture fades and merges into a thin line, which disappears as in old-fashioned TVs (watch the video inside). It looks spectacular. The left side has a volume control button.
The camera button is also absent and it has to be activated from the menu. The bottom sports a 3.5 mm jack for headphones and a microUSB.
The smartphone is equipped with a 4″ capacitive touchscreen with multitouch. Europe will get a version with Super AMOLED screen, while in Russia S-LCD screens will be offered instead (is it the influence of my comments about Super-AMOLED in Samsung reviews? It's obviously a joke). The screen resolution is 800x480, viewing angles are maximum and I will not mention brightness together with the rest of parameters as I experienced only a Super-AMOLED version.
Similar to Galaxy S Nexus S has a 5 MP module with the flash. Video connection is assisted by a front camera, which can also be used for self portraits. We cannot judge about the photo quality by engineering prototypes.
The smartphone is the first model with Android 2.3 to go on sale. Google Nexus S has a bare Android 2.3 without any shells and additional apps. We only get the OS and its applications.
The handset is based around the same platform as Samsung Galaxy S - Samsung S5PC100 (ARM8 Cortex) with a 1 GHz processor and PowerVR SGX540 graphic coprocessor. 512 MB of RAM are complemented by 16 GB (in the engineering prototype) for data storage. There is no memory card slot. Wireless interfaces are standard for a modern smartphone: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.
The speed of the test sample is high, but I cannot offer further comments as we need to get hold of final versions.
Google Nexus S will hit shelves around February of 2011. This will coincide with Mobile World Congress 2011, where Samsung will unveil its new flagship known under the code name of Samsung i9100. By the time Google Nexus S finds its first owners this model will be finely positioned between Galaxy S (i9000) and its second variant (i9100). Therefore Nexus S will be cheaper than Galaxy S. In February it will still be one of the most advanced Android solutions.
I will add some personal impressions. I don't like only three things in Samsung Galaxy S. Plastic body is too easily soiled, so at times you feel that you have a cheap toy in your hands instead of the cutting edge smartphone. Super AMOLED is too bright and sharp for me, so that eyes get tired after some time. The last complaint is a disease of all modern smartphones that is inconvenient sensor keys. Nothing can be done about it though.
Google Nexus S in Russia will be offered with more calm and less sharp S-LCD screen, so I will be partially vindicated. Easily soiled plastic body and sensor keys remain a nuisance. At the same time the price will be considerably lower. Nexus S will be cheaper than Galaxy S, which is similar to Nexus One - HTC Desire ratio. Google Nexus S gives us a more accessible version of Samsung Galaxy S stripped of its proprietary shell, but with Android 2.3 on board. Other details and features of Google Nexus S will be covered in review.
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Published 08 December 2010
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