Samsung Nexus S Review: Recently Released in Canada

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Introduction

Today we take a look at the Samsung's Google Nexus S android smartphone which is available in Canada through Mobilicity, Telus, Koodoo, Wind,Fido, Moblicity and Rogers. This phone is Samsungs first Google designed phone which has made a big splash on the market so far this year competing with the Google Nexus One.Note that the Canadian Version of the Samsung Nexus S is the exact same as the USA version of the Samsung Nexus S.

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Looks

The Samsung Google Nexus S is the first smartphone with a Contour Display (slightly concave) screen which gives it a sleek look. Also the curve element of the Nexus S makes it more naturally comfortable to hold in your hand or up against your face. From my experience the phone is incredibly light-weight, at roughly 129g it does not weigh down your pockets. Comes in a CandyBar form factor with a rather poorly constructed rear casing.

Hardware

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The Google Nexus S comes equipped with a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 (Hummingbird) processor which is faster than most entry level phones. Unfortunately, it does not come with a microSD slot but there is 16GB built-in internal storage which features 512 MB RAM. It also comes with a Super AMOLED 4" screen giving a 480*800 resolution and geotagging. The built in 5 MP autofocus camera is equipped with a LED flash and a front-facing VGA camera. Samsung has also made this device their first device to run Android OS, v2.3 Gingerbread with a Near Field Communication chip. The Nexus S also has: a microUSB charging port, a standard 3.5 mm audio jack, Adobe Flash support out of the box, Wifi, GPS , Quad-band GSM,  and tri-band 3G support. This is a smartphone that supports High-end to entry-level users and will satisfy your inner geek with its unique gadgets.

Screen

The display is a Super AMOLED  screen that is 480×800 pixels in resolution, 4 inches.  It has an accelerometer, proximity sensors for auto turn-off and an Ambient-light sensor.  The bright LCD display allows the colours and text to appear more intense and easy to view. Outside the display screen helps block out the sun's glare up to 75%, allowing you to view your screen with ease even on the brightest day. I of course put this feature to the test and it passed. In my opinion it's on par with Apple's iPhone 4 display, if not better.

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Battery

The Nexus S' 1500mAh battery showed impressive signs of life in a week-long testing. In heavy use with tons of calling this device provided almost 18 hours of life before it prompted for a charge. I expected the bigger screen and higher resolution to drain the battery life a lot quicker but it seems Gingerbread is the key to its impressive battery life. This phone lasts a full day with heavy usage without requiring a minor charge in order to make it through the evening.

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Operating System

This phone comes with android operating system 2.3 Gingerbread, which is perfect for mid-to-entry level users. This OS runs very smoothly and exposes the true potential of the phone and not to mention it's incredibly fast boot time. There is also talk that this phone will be included in the next upgradable of gingerbread, version 2.4.

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Software

The Nexus S contains vivid User Interface and Launcher. Currently, a lot of manufacturers are quoting custom UI's on phones that sometimes do not always benefit the user due to them being resource hungry and a battery killer but Samsung has done a great job with keeping this phone free of bloat-ware and as a result the User Interface is kept clean. In comparisons to other phones where carriers load their bloat-ware Samsung did a great job in keeping the UI clean and simple.

Applications

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Since the Nexus S runs gingerbread it supports VoIP/SIP calling. It also comes with all of Googles latest application versions including, but not limited to, Google Earth, Talk, Voice, and Maps. When it comes to gaming, there's no dispute that the Nexus S is going to be a beast in the marketplace, but even more when it releases its built-in gyroscope to enhance your control.

Keyboard

The keyboard is android's standard touch-key pad which works as designed and of course can be replaced by an android application if you desire more functionality. I am a huge QWERTY keyboard  fan and for once I did not have a single complain with the Nexus S on-screen keyboard.

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Web Browsing Camera and Video

The Nexus S packs a 5MP rear camera just like the Galaxy S family, complete with auto-focus and LED flash to get clear pictures in poor lighting. The noticeable difference is in the UI, with Gingerbread bringing a new control layout for better everyday use. The quality of pictures is impressive, providing better quality than the Galaxy S, though the low-light performance with the LED flash is heavily dependent on whether you're in the sweet spot of not so close yet not so far away. It's actually easier to get stronger low-light shots with the flash turned off. The Nexus S video recording is a little disappointing with its limited 720 x 480 resolution whereas the Galaxy S manages 720p. Despite the resolution, the Nexus S can still record clips that are good enough for basic users. Don't get too excited though, the video quality of this phone will not have you replacing your flip camcorder. There is also a front facing camera, however this only produces still images in VGA resolution which is not extraordinary but does the job for Video Chat.  Applications such as Fring and Tangoo will use this feature and work over WiFi/3G unlike Apple's WiFi-only Face Time. Browsing on the Nexus S is not overly impressive, it appears to provide similar benchmarks as the Galaxy S family.

Call Quality

Call quality on this phone is average and will keep users very satisfied but obviously is dependent upon which Canadian carrier you will get this phone from for call quality as well.

Pros:

  • By default the Nexus S is unlocked and will therefore work with any GSM carrier
  • The first widespread phone to run the new 'Gingerbread' OS, version 2.3
  • Improved stock keyboard
  • NFC capable (receiving only, no sending)
  • Front facing camera for video chat
  • 16 GB built-in storage
  • Super AMOLED display
  • VOIP capability
  • WiFi hotspot capability free

Cons:

  • No expandable microSD slot, built-in 16GB
  • VGA camera for video chat
  • CPU and RAM are the same as the Galaxy S, which will be obsolete before you know it
  • No Swype keyboard on stock ROM
  • Cheap case materials

Conclusion

Samsung has designed a great android smartphone for any level of consumers wanting a android. It certainly has all the bells and whistles of higher end phones and definitely meets the needs of most users. Worthy of noting is the fact that the Nexus S does not have an expandable microSD slot, but has a built-in 16GB storage, which is sufficient enough for music, movies and apps. This Samsung Google Nexus S is a recommended buy for entry level to enthusiasts users wishing to enter the android smartphone world without having to read the manual.This is and will be certainly a hot seller in the Canadian android smartphone market this summer as the Samsung Nexus S is available to almost all Carriers in Canada.

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