The second Google Phone is here– meet the Nexus S
It’s been rumored for awhile and now it’s finally here– the true next generation of the Nexus One and Android as a whole. Coming to T-Mobile December 16th, the Nexus S packs a whole bunch of new improvements over its predecessor, but is it enough to make you want to get this over a T-Mobile G2 or myTouch 4G this holiday season? Read on for all the info you need to know.
Seeing as there are two main parts to the Nexus S– software and hardware– we’re gonna break this into those two parts. Let’s start with the hardware.
Like the Nexus One was back in January, the Nexus S really pushes the envelope for Android phones. Packing intense specs like a 4 inch high-res “Contour Display” with anti-fingerprint coating (in other words– a really nice, sharp screen that will make every thing on it look nice and clear. Oh, and the screen itself is curved — yes, curved– so that the phone will feel more natural in your hand particularly when your using it as a phone), 1 GHZ Samsung Hummingbird processor (like on the Galaxy S phones already available such as the Sprint Epic 4G, AT&T Captivate, T-Mobile Vibrant, and Verizon Fascinate), 5 megapixel rear camera with flash and second front camera for video chat (like the Epic 4G), 16 GB of built in storage, WiFi (with support for the latest N networks), GPS and of course, T-Mobile 3G (not the new HSPA+ “4G”).
And as you can see from the pix above, this bad boy looks sick too.
While the hardware looks sick, the real big thing here is the software, Android 2.3 “Gingerbread.”
As expected, Gingerbread brings a whole bunch of improvements to Android. Now as with other new OS like iOS 4, a lot of the new stuff announced are for developers to take advantage of– but there still was some nice things here for the regular Android users that make the Nexus S even more interesting than an Android 2.2 running G2 or myTouch 4G.
The new Android keyboard running on Gingerbread on the Nexus S
The first thing you’ll notice is the redesigned homescreen icons and status bar at the top, with both getting a nicer, darker look with updated graphics that to us at least, is a really nice change from older versions of Android. Gingerbread also comes with updates to Google’s built-in Android apps like YouTube and Google Maps with YouTube for example, getting features like in-page playback (meaning videos on websites play on the site itself and don’t need to only play in a full screen YouTube app– just like you have on YouTube on your computer. If you want to make it full screen, all you need to do is rotate the phone). Throw in improvements to other Google features like copy and paste, a new multitouch keyboard, and Google Voice Actions (which you can see in the video below– it’s pretty insane) and Gingerbread doesn’t look to disappoint. Oh, and there have been hints found today that Gingerbread supports game controls– perhaps something to do with a certain PlayStation Phone?
So that’s pretty much what you’re gonna wanna know on the new Nexus S and Android Gingerbread update– but here’s the big question for T-Mobile users: if you’re looking for a new smartphone should you go with this over that myTouch 4G or G2? If it was me personally, unless you really needed a physical keyboard (G2) or “4G” (which while the Nexus S lacks, it does connect at iPhone 4 like 3G speeds– in other words, it’s pretty fast as well), I’d really look at this. For one, it’s got the latest version of Android right out of the box– and Android updates are notorious for taking forever to come to non-Nexus devices once Google releases them (not a fault of Google’s, just each carrier and manufacturer have to change up the OS to add their software like for the myTouch 4G– the HTC Sense UI, Genius button, pre-loaded apps etc.). This means in some cases months long waits for updates whereas the Nexus devices, since they run “stock” Android with no carrier customizations, get the Android updates right when Google releases them. And this type of thing is huge when it means you missing out on the ability to install new apps and games which can only run on the latest OS. Add in that sleek design and impressive specs list and the Nexus S looks more and more like a winner.
But that’s just me– if you’re a T-Mobile user and looking for a new phone will this be on the top of your holiday wishlist?
The Nexus S will be available next Thursday, December 16th, in Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores for either $199 with a new T-Mobile contract or $529 unlocked. For more information on the Nexus S, see Google’s site here.