Review Index:
Feedback

Samsung Nexus S 4G Review: Google Bliss.

Author: Ken Addison
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Samsung

Hardware Overview

The hardware of the Nexus S feels as polished as the operating system. One of the most striking features of the phone is the uniquely concave glass panel, which encloses the Super AMOLED multitouch display. In previous reviews, such as the HTC Droid Incredible, we looked at the original generation of AMOLED displays and were very impressed. Now, with the next generation of technology, “Super” AMOLED from Samsung, we are even more impressed. Using less power, while still providing greater screen brightness and less sunlight reflection, the Super AMOLED display in the Nexus S is one of the most vibrant displays I have seen in a phone.

View Full Size

In the processing area, Samsung and Google haven’t done anything too Earth-shattering here. The Nexus S 4G features the now stalwart SoC in the Android space, a Qualcomm Snapdragon clocked at 1GHz. First introduced in America just last year with phones such as the HTC Evo 4G, this has been the ARM solution to launch Android into prominence.  With the introduction of multicore phones, such at the T-Mobile G2X and HTC Evo 3D, the original Snapdragon platform is starting to show it’s age a bit. However, when you look at the ultimate tradeoff in the smartphone of power vs. battery life, Snapdragon at this point has been tuned and optimized to be a spectacular option.

View Full Size

The industrial design of the Nexus S is on par with the best of the handset world. The sleek design is a departure from the normal course of the modern, slate-style, touchscreen phone. The Nexus features a more curvaceous design, with the introduction of a curved glass display as well as a tapered battery cover design. While I have noticed that the glossy material the battery cover is made of has a tendency to attract dust and other particulates, it isn’t a big of enough issue to become a deal breaker. The teams at Samsung and Google have really teamed up here to provide a balanced design. Instead of going the impractical, but beautiful route and designing a phone made entirely of glass, or the drab and uninspiring route, the designers of this phone managed to reach a harmony between the two extremes.

Other hardware features of the Nexus S are standard affair for an Android device.

On the back of the device, we have a 5 Megapixel camera with LED flash. The Nexus S also features a complementary VGA front facing camera.

 

View Full Size

On the left side of the Nexus S, we find a volume rocker switch.

View Full Size

In standard Samsung affair, the lock button on the Nexus S is found on the right side of the device, instead of the standard top orientation.

View Full Size

On the bottom of the device, Samsung has taken a cue from the iPod Touch and placed the headphone jack, and Mini USB port.

View Full Size

 

June 27, 2011 | 09:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous_D (not verified)

I see you have the EVO 4G tested with 2.1 and 2.2. Three weeks ago Sprint/HTC released the Gingerbread update OTA. Any way to add that to the mix? From the few things I've read going from 2.2 to 2.3 is actually hurting the phone's performance.

June 27, 2011 | 11:16 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Ironically, I have been unable to update my personal HTC EVO 4G to the 2.3 software at all for some damn reason. :/

June 27, 2011 | 11:39 PM - Posted by Ken Addison

We are always looking into testing phones with the newest updates available. We are looking to do a lot with the benchmarking suite here very soon. Stay tuned!

July 13, 2011 | 10:43 AM - Posted by JR (not verified)

Wow...I'm surprised at the low Quadrant scores. On my Thunderbolt, running the stock HTC Sense ROM (Froyo, 2.2.1), I was able to get Quadrant scores in the 1750-1850 range, and that's with a single core, 1 GHz Snapdragon. Now that I've rooted and updated to Cyanogenmod 7, running Gingerbread (Android 2.3.4), my Quadrant scores are up in the 2500-2700 range. The only thing in your comparison that runs that fast is the Xoom tab with 1.5 GHz processor. My battery life has also almost doubled!

July 18, 2011 | 06:23 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Everyone states the Emperor's new cloths are excellent and if you ever ever before actually cant see them that your dull witted. With that in mind a game's message boards tell you just how much they really like the especially things that drives them to invest more time on the message boards than in online game.

July 18, 2011 | 06:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

To raid you'll need to grind, to fulfill standards which are set by the raiding neighborhood if not by the game. They are well-known with those that do it for the cause that they identify with the raiding community and essentially grind to brag. That's all and its a mind dulling decline devolving MMO gaming all for the fantasy of a camaraderie that ordinarily is only actual to get a minority who would be buddies anyway for other causes and just take place to raid collectively oftentimes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.