final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Reception and call quality Once connected the quality of the call is good but there are issues with the Nexus S holding a stable 3G connection sometimes. so-so
  • Display The Super AMOLED screen is beautiful especially since I can actually see it outside in daylight. 1 pt. off because there are some color calibration issues. good
  • Battery life It'll last me for a day but I'm still used to my old Nokia days of just charging once per 3-5 days. This is Android's Achilles heel. so-so
  • Camera No comments
  • Ease of use Not as simple as iOS but it is easy to use. Coming from s60 I'd say it's a little easier to use. good
  • Design and form factor I like the curved screen and the basic shape but I hate the cheap plasticky feeling. so-so
  • Portability (size / weight) A + side to being completely made of plastic is that it's super light. great!
  • Media support Music app still sucks. I bought my Zune HD last summer b/c Android doesn't have good PMP features. poor
  • Durability For the month I've owned there's still not a scratch on the screen but I'm not sure how well the plastic body will take a fall to the ground. so-so
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) There are plenty of apps available for this device but going from app to app may feel inconsistent which is the consequence of Android's open ecosystem. good
Detailed review
I got the Nexus S about a month ago and I must say that this is definitely a very nice upgrade from the Nexus One. For me, the upgrade means that I get a much faster Hummingbird processor and a much better touchscreen compared to the one on the Nexus One.

The phone is snappy and rarely slows down but there are times when the phone just seems to randomly slow down and a reboot is required. Compared to the Nexus One, this phone is much better at holding a signal too but, again, there are times when the phone just won't connect despite having full bars of 3G.

The curved 480x800 Super AMOLED display is beautiful to look at especially when outside since I can actually read it! When outside it's like looking at a piece of paper. The only downside is the color calibration. Although not as bad as the blue tint on many Galaxy S phones, there is a slight yellow tint on the screen.

As for the battery, the battery is decent when the phone isn't messed with too much. As long the browser or any other data intensive app isn't constantly used, the battery should last at least a day. Don't expect to use this are you primary GPS Navigation system though, even when used in the car while charging. I went to Austin a few days ago for Gdgt Live and the phone still lost charge despite being charged because the phone is using more power than it is being supplied by the cigarette lighter.

If you're coming from iOS there will be a slight learning curve but it's not very hard at all especially if you're a gadget nerd on gdgt. Compared to iOS it is definitely much more different but, compared to s60 (I used to own an n95), I think it's a little bit more similar with the usage of many hidden menus.

For the design, it's just a simple slate looking device but not as boring as what HTC devices look like now. The curved screen does add some nice curves and gives it a unique look. The device itself is made fairly well but feels cheap since it seems to be made of cheap plastic. The glossy plastic also is a turn off. But because it is made of plastic, it's very light which is a good thing.

When considering getting an Android phone, don't get it for it's multimedia function since it sucks. I didn't get this phone because it can play mp3s also. Also, with a battery life that will only last for 1 day under not-so-heavy loads, this phone definitely should not be considered as your primary mp3 player.

Android 2.3 is great and adds new features like improved copy and paste and a new blacker theme. If you're coming from another Android there really isn't much to be overly excited about but if you're coming from iOS know that you won't have to worry about lack of apps. Another thing to note though is that Android is more catered to people that want to customize everything which means that there might not necessarily be a consistent flow going from app to app. For example, the back button on the lop left of most iOS apps are not necessarily going to be in the same position in Android apps going from app to app.

The Nexus S is a great device. If you're considering upgrading from a Nexus One, I would say it's worth it since the processor and the screen is that much better but if you're coming from another Android phone and don't care about contracts, I would skip this phone and go for a more powerful Tegra 2 based Android phone.