Unboxing the Google Nexus S, part 1

It’s here! The Google Nexus S has landed. First impressions? I don’t have much to add to what’s already been said.

Surprisingly, this phone feels better put together than the other Galaxy S devices. It’s definitely an improvement over the Nexus One, and a worthy successor. Read on…

Likes:
– Gingerbread + Hummingbird = harder, better, faster, stronger
– Fantastic 4″ Super AMOLED screen
– Excellent 5 MP camera (w/ flash)
– Front-facing camera
NFC support

Dislikes:
– No dedicated 2-stage camera button
– Default Android camera application
– No HD video recording (?!)
– No micro-SD card slot
– No HSPA+

Check out my unboxing video, and stay tuned for some pictures :)

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19 Responses to Unboxing the Google Nexus S, part 1

  1. Tim says:

    Wow, that was some smooth navigation. Finally android is getting ironed out? Interested to hear if you think it is a good handset, as there have been some mixed reviews on whether it is worth purchasing…

  2. johnny says:

    nexus s will be obsolete with optimus 2x.

    • tnkgrl says:

      Hardware-wise, yes. But software-wise, the LG will ship with FroYo (2.2) vs. Gingerbread (2.3) on the Nexus S. The LG will not have access to the latest updates as early as the Nexus S will, and will not have “pure” Android.

      Either way, I don’t really care since I’ll be getting an LG review unit so I’ll have both :)

    • Tim says:

      I like the confidence in your assertion, given that you probably don’t have a Nexus S and the LG hasn’t been released!

      I’m really interested to know what the battery life of the dual core phones will be.

      Will it be worse because you’ll have double the processors draining the juice, or will it be better because 2 cores managed efficiently have better power management?!

      • tnkgrl says:

        Dual cores may improve battery life once the software takes advantage of them (I’m also a developer), because both cores may run at a slower clock speed for the same level of performance.

  3. Jose Medina says:

    I was about to buy the Nexus S but I think I’m just going to buy a mint condition Nexus One for 280.00 to hold me until something better comes along. I hate the plastic feel of the Nexus S doesn’t Feel like a high end smart phone.

    • tnkgrl says:

      Have you actually held a Nexus S? Because it feels a lot less cheap in person (and a lot less cheap than the other Galaxy S phones).

      • jonshipman says:

        Just got my NS on Saturday and I agree with tnkgrl, it has a very premium feel about it. I’d almost categorize it as ‘organic’ whereas the N1 was all cold and industrial. It really conforms to the contours of your hands much better than the N1.

        The screen alone is worth the upgrade from the N1 to the NS. It’s gorgeous. Feels like I’m looking at the surface of the device as opposed as through a window.

        The biggest disappointment that I’m seeing so far is the lack of any docking connectors. I’d gladly trade the NFC for a Palm Pre style induction charging.

      • Jose Medina says:

        Yeah actually yesterday I went to best buy to check it out my GF loves it though. Me I been spoiled with the nokia E-series feel and even the HD2 feel quite nice. I wouldn’t call the NS cheap it just feels like your holding a nokia n82 but Im still debating what my Christmas phone its going to be. Oh and you guys are so right about best buy customer service I got there there was no display or sign they had it. I had to ask to see the device she had me waiting and then she asked if I was going to buy it I told her I cant buy something I cant test or feel she kinda rush me maybe that’s why it killed my NS experience.

      • Tim says:

        Strange that you guys mention the quality of feel. Some reviews have gone out of their way to say that it is “plasticy” and has poor build quality. Interesting.

  4. phonefreek says:

    Give that GPS a few days, then let me know how it’s treating you.

    • tnkgrl says:

      Zero issues with GPS; its rock solid for me. This has been my primary phone since December. I use it everyday — I often run Maps on it.

      It’s worked great in SF, London, Berlin, Nice, Las Vegas, Zurich, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Barcelona, Orlando, and NYC! Oh, and add Taipei to that.

  5. Jamie says:

    Hey tnkgrl!

    First time commenter but a long time follower of your blog and engadget mobile podcasts.

    I live in London, UK and currently have the N1 as my primary device, based mainly on your recommendations/love of the phone. I’m not a lover of the Samsung Galaxy S range, mainly due to the feel and plastic look, but wanted to get the NS in my hands before passing judgement. So armed with my Christmas money, I headed into town where I might of been tempted into an impulse buy!

    On the 19th I visited 3 Carphone Warehouse stores, where the NS is sold exclusively along with Best Buy (which we don’t have many of as yet in the UK). My goal was to at least get one in my hands ahead of the launch on the 20th. In the first 2 stores, none of the staff had even heard of the NS, with the third at least asking the store manager to which I was told they had none in stock yet.

    This seems to collate with the adverse weather we’ve been experiencing here and the subsequent price cut and release delay to the 22nd.

    So again, today, off I go to my local Carphone Warehouse where they still haven’t received any NS’s! At least now the staff seem a little more clued up on the device.

    What I don’t understand is the whole retail space. It’s in trouble from online shopping and the only reason I would go into the store is to hold and play with the device in person and the added value you would expect from a trained/knowledgeable member of staff. I experienced none of this. There wasn’t even any POS (point of sale) material advertising the phone. Surely if you’re selling this phone “exclusively” you would make more of a marketing push?

    To summarise, from what I hear from you it seems like you get a much better retail experience in the US. I really think the days of shopping for smart phones at your generic phone shop could be numbered though.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Tim says:

      Interesting comment. I am also in London, UK and know that it is going to be really difficult to get my hands on a demonstration handset.

      Carphone Warehouse are fairly terrible as the staff don’t know much, and there is only 1 Best Buy location in the whole country as far as I know.

      I really think having to go through these POS exclusively will hinder sales and I doubt I’ll see many Nexus S in the wild. So, if I did decide to get one it would have to be an internet order, and something of a risk.

      Also, even after the price drop the phone is still 90GBP more expensive than it is in the US, which is disheartening. Given these difficulties, I think I’d be better off buying it carrier free in the States and importing it. That will mean I’m not then tied to a 24 month deal.

      Think I have decided I prefer the 4 inch screen on Nexus S as opposed to the iphone’s 3.5, and that Android will be a more advanced phone OS in a couple of years. I also want to be able to get all Google’s updates as soon as they are released.

      So, really keen to hear more from tnkgrl about your experiences with using this phone day-to-day.

  6. well in europe, the samsung galaxy s, which is the actual model has all the features the phone should have, including HD video recording, micro-SD card slot and HSUPA. I have no idea why us protocol is to take out features…maybe to much technology will free the mind?

    • tnkgrl says:

      We have the Galaxy S in the US as well (we have 5 different variations, and I have reviewed 4). It’s a great phone.

      The problem with the Galaxy S is that it’s not a “pure” Android experience like the Nexus S, and it’s not the latest version of Android (2.3 ie. Gingerbread).

      Samsung’s TouchWiz UI is not as good as the plain Android UI, and the Nexus S (like the Nexus One) is always going to have the latest/newest version of Android.

  7. dunnsantee says:

    So after one month since your post, are you still using & enjoying your Nexus S? Enjoyed your coverage of CES this year! Will you be attending MWC next month, and if so, what are you most looking to forward to seeing???

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