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Nexus S - Can you catch the Gingerbread man?

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 Samsung Nexus S Expected Q4 2010
13th January 2011

If you are currently looking to sell your mobile phone and invest in a new model, the release of the Nexus S is looming ever closer, and with its impressive array of features it is currently the talk of the mobile world.  It is the first phone to run “Gingerbread”, the latest version of Google’s Android operating system. It boasts NFC wireless technology is yet to launch in the UK and US, although it is already widely used in Japan. It is fast, is aesthetically pleasing and practical with its curved screen and, being a child of Google, is likely to be the first Smartphone to receive those all-important Android updates.

This all sounds great...but is it?

One of the main features of the Nexus is its Android technology, though is this really that different to the existing Samsung Galaxy S with its Android 2.2 “Froyo” platform?  The truth is, not massively. The Nexus S is subtly changed for the better in some ways, rather than being technologically groundbreaking. Android 2.3 Gingerbread is extremely fast, and the user interface is speedy and smooth, with apps opening quickly. As said, there isn’t a huge difference over 2.2, but it is certainly more advanced than older versions. As far as touch screen phones go, the Nexus S is fast.. however it still seems to not quite match the iPhone 4. Why? Because the touch response is just not as smooth. For example, on the Nexus S you zoom into webpages using multi touch features, which is a little bit more juddery and awkward than with Apple’s offering.

 Samsung Nexus S The web browser, however, is much quicker than other smartphones, and with the addition of Flash player support, you can view pages exactly as they were designed to look and importantly, this feature does not slow the Nexus S down. Most web sites load and render without any problems at all.

This is not the only improvement that comes with the Nexus S. The cosmetic appearance of Android has been overhauled to be much sleeker and darker, which does look great, but this is not the real reason why this change of appearance is so beneficial. According to Google, Gingerbread consumes less power with this type of colour scheme, although the real benefits will only be apparent to devices with OLED displays such as the Nexus S. Smartphones do tend to be real power guzzlers, and every it of energy saving helps.

The Nexus S is jam-packed with features and exhaustive menus and options. The problem is that it can be just that. Exhaustive. Compared to some other smartphones, the Nexus S is seems to be a hub of menus and options that can make it a little less than simple to use. Of course, this means that it is very versatile with lots of choices so if you are willing to invest some time in personalizing your phone to exactly how you want it, then this can be incredibly pleasing.  However, it does take some effort to optimize the Nexus S for your own tastes and to make sure that you don’t miss out on some of the less obvious features.

NFC is one of the Nexus S key features. Some people are saying that ultimately it will not be that useful here in the UK as it’s currently caught on only in Japan (like most cool techie advances!) and it will mainly be used to read information from posters and to be taken to a related website. Some are saying that this is going to be used as a clever marketing tool, but I’m not so sure. It may take some time, but eventually NFC technology will let you use your phone for things like making small payments or on the Tube. I don’t know about you, but I am incredibly excited for this to properly take off over here and provided the Nexus S goes down better than the original Nexus One, I can’t imagine it will take much time.

What does seem like a problem for the Nexus is that it has no room for a memory card slot. Yes, it has a very generous 16GB of memory, but when you make perhaps the best smartphone for gaming with its brilliant 1GHz Hummingbird processor and gyroscope specifically for gaming, why limit the memory available? The 16GB will be enough for most people, and it’s incredibly easy to upload images and videos onto your computer but it just seems like a shame for this to be limited.

Overall, the Nexus S has some incredibly clever and advanced features and with the curved screen is meant to be one of the most comfortable smart phones to use. It does come at a hefty price, retailing at around £550. If you are an everyday mobile user, I am not sure whether the Nexus S would be worth the investment, but if apps, gadgets and gizmos are your thing, then the Nexus  S definitely has a lot to offer. If nothing else, it is certainly an advancement on the earlier Nexus One, so if you currently have that, sell your old mobile phone and invest in the newer model that has a lot more interesting features.

Written by Sam Graham of Mobile Phone Exchange.


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