TechCrunch Reviews the Nexus S

With the official release of Gingerbread, everyone is buzzing about the new Nexus S.  TechCrunch has been fortunate enough to have already had the opportunity to play around with the Nexus S, and Gingerbread and let the world know what they think.

We’ve all heard the facts and figures about the Hummingbird processor, and the high-end AMOLED 400 x 800 resolution screen, so I won’t bore you with the details, but there are definitely some ups and, sadly, some downs to this great new Google Android phone.

The good?  Speed.  The Nexus S has better keyboard reaction, and not to mention the fastest Android processor on the market.  Both the rear and front-facing cameras work well, the apps all run flawlessly, and best of all, the phone didn’t come with any bloatware.

The not-so-good?  Yes, it’s thin and sleek, but it’s just that standard hard plastic case that the Samsung Galaxy offers.  Not that it’s bad per se, but not as great as the N1, and what else?  Music.  Google is not a music company, this we understand, but Android has made no improvements to music storage or implementation in Gingerbread, or the Nexus S.

In all?  TechCrunch says that current Android users will lust for this phone, but it’s not enough to make iOS users switch.

What do you guys think?  Was it worth the wait?

  • The advent of streaming music apps like Spotify,, and Pandora eliminate the whole native music storage and player issue.

  • They also say if you have neither an Android phone or iPhone then you should go with the Nexus S. That’s the most ringing endorsement of an Android phone I’ve ever seen.

  • I just don’t get why they would release this JUST before the release of better processors and higher resolutions unless this is like a badge of honor for Samsung. I don’t know, I just don’t see the pull!

    Great looking device though!

  • Meaning it does NOT carry the external micro SD card memory? I review some sites say it does, and some say it doesn’t..

  • UDTSeal

    I’m so confused. What is Google thinking??
    I can buy January 2010 hardware on the 16th or wait til January 2011 and get next gen technology.

    I’m waiting for 1 real reason ANYONE should consider switching.

    I really hope Google knows more than they’re announcing right now but it looks like they dropped the ball big time and ruined the entire concept of the Nexus name.

    I know some say the Nexus 1 was a flop but it was never meant to be a mainstream phone. The Nexus 1 had it’s own identity as THE Google Phone. It had next gen tech, and raised the bar for future smartphones.
    The Nexus S is just another Galaxy S that runs vanilla Android. Hell alot of it’s specs are considered downgrades from phones that have been out for a year.

    Lastly… limited to 16 GB internal and NO SD Card??? FAIL!!!!!

  • willywill82

    I completely and utterly agree with UDTSeal. This phone is a let down.
    Save for a slightly larger, more colorful screen, 2.3, and a newer processor running at the same speed as the previous Nexus phone’s Snapdragon processor, there’s very little to make me switch to T-Mobile and drop my EVO 4G.

    By the end of quarter 1 in 2011, loads of next generation devices running 2.3 will be available with bigger screens, more RAM, more ROM, and faster single core processors as well as dual core processors. While it is nice that it carries on the pure Google experience…experience, it’ll be an outdated phone by the spring. Sad really.

  • Name: Mark

    I remember when the galaxy S phones were being released and I defended Samsung saying that they had learned their lesson. All this gingerbread news is just making me and I’m sure other galaxy S users depressed/pissed. I’m never buying a Samsung phone again.

  • hazydave


    Ok, I like the screen. But it’s the same type and resolution as the Nexus One. Old news, not a next-generation screen. 800×600 is so… late 2009.

    Hummingbird processor… that’s the non-quite-so-stripped-down Samsung edition of the Apple A4 SOC (Samsung did the development for both, but did use technology from Intrinsity, which is now an Apple company). This has the identical Cortex A8 CPU found in the iPad, the iPhone 4, the Nexus One, the Samsung Galaxy phones, HTC HD2 and EVO, Droid X, Droid 2, etc. You need an architecture license (eg, a company like Qualcom or Samsung) to boost the A8 to 1GHz or faster — ARM qualifies it for 600MHz or so, depending on the actual process used.

    Thing is, the chips with the Cortex A9 are already shipping, and products are out Real Soon Now. The A9 runs about 25% faster than the A8. ARM specs it up to 2GHz, depending on your process (I think you need 32nm for 2GHz). And many of these will be dual core. So a basic 1GHz A9-based SOC will run 2.5x as fast as a 1GHz A8. SOCs with the A9 include the nVidia Tegra 2, the Samsung Orion, the TI OMAP4 series, next gen QualComm Snapdragon, etc.

    So what do get in the Hummingbird? The GPU is PowerVR’s latest… a bit faster than the iPhone 4’s, and way faster than the anemic GPU in the N1’s version of the Snapdragon. Aside from that, I don’t see any speedup here. But that bodes really well for Android 2.3, as it sounds most of the performance they experienced comes from that. Really, if you aren’t doing 3D, there shouldn’t be much user experience difference between an N1 and this new one.

    And no memory slot? I have a 32GB card in my Droid… if they supported microSDXC, I’d probably upgrade at some point. I really use that Droid: I read (books, PDFs), store music, shoot photos and videos — basically, it’s a personal computer for the pocket. I would never buy anything that’s locked to just built-in memory. Where’s the HDMI output?

    It’s not that Google needs to sell the best phone out there… maybe they shouldn’t. But everyone makes such a big deal, and despite the total lack of followthrough on changing the phone industry even a little, the N1 was kind of sweet. I had a Droid by then, but I did want one (only, not on T-Mobile.. it barely reaches my back deck, much less inside my house — I’m in a forest, which is bad for T-Mo, Sprint, or anyone else who doesn’t have one of the 850MHz radio slots — Verizon and AT&T, of course). This is kind of a yawn.

    But Google’s real job is making Android better. There are plenty of companies around to make better devices.

    • Jon

      Per the comment: But Google’s real job is making Android better. There are plenty of companies around to make better devices.

      The reason why I would want a “Nexus” phone is because, while there may be plenty of companies that make good devices, all of these companies/cell carriers put a bunch of BLOATWARE CRAP on them and restrict down the phones in so much of a way that it makes the Android just another basic phone with some advanced capabilities.

      You don’t get the “full” Android Experience. I want a phone that has all of the awesome physical hardware features with an Android stock OS that doesn’t come with the crap that the cell providers add and that doesn’t have any restrictions. That is a REAL phone. And NO SD CARD SLOT?!? Who thought of that idea?

      I am disappointed that Google went with Samsung on this one. The physical body is cheaply made like a plastic toy. I wish they went with HTC. I wish they would of had HTC take the EVO 4G and make the features of that into a GSM phone: SD CARD SLOT, HDMI out, 8MP camera, kickstand (awesome btw), FM Radio (not really necessary but was a nice perk), and a GPS that actually WORKS (Samsung GPS’s are notorious for failing in ALL Galaxy S models).

      I want a “Nexus Two” by HTC, not some shitty “Galaxy S… I mean Nexus S”.

  • Simon

    -No SD card slot
    -No LED notifications
    -Limited internal storage
    -No HSPA+ (despite the fact that T-Mobile is the launch carrier)
    -No FM Radio
    -No 720p recording

    MAJOR FAIL!! i’m heartbroken!
    I think i’m just gonna buy the DHD and put cyanogen on it. I’m sure he’ll be releasing 2.3 soon

  • orama

    so dessapointed!!!
    The only good thing about this pice of shiny crap is that gingerbread sttufing. in fact is more like a toy for developers than a cell for regular customers.
    so , i would recommend no spend money in this google crap flagship phone that will sinking before sailing and safe you money for the first quarterof 2011 for the awesome smartphones that comming up, running 1.3gigahertz or more,whit dual core,hdmi recordinng 1020 full hd whith gingerbrad preinstalled and SD card too. untill this hapens im sticking with my N1 unloked waiting the gingerbread OTA

  • Nothing is “enough to make iOS users switch”. Apple dumped Adobe, and that wasn’t enough. Apple dictated what language programmers could use, and that wasn’t enough. Apple refused to allow legitimate products to be sold, potentially destroying the businesses of their most committed supporters, and that wasn’t enough. Apple “spin doctored” antenna-gate, and that wasn’t enough. Apple chose AT&T even though many Americans have no AT&T coverage at home: not… enough… Apple could take each customers first, third, and fifth child, and said customers would line right up to sign another two year contract in the middle of there existing contract… TO BE SURE THIS COMMENT IS MEANT TO BE SATIRE. That said, at this point I wouldn’t use an iOS device if Apple paid me to do so.

  • I wish that I could edit my comment above, because it contains an innaccuracy. The word “there” should be “their”.

  • Billsilverado

    Doest anyone know how to actually get this phone? Sounds great but I can only find it at T-Mobile, which is not a network I want to use. Supposedly it’s coming on Sprint but no one at Sprint or Samsung or Best Buy can tell me when it’s really coming. Lemme know if there’s any scoop I’m missing. Thx

  • Billsilverado

    Doest anyone know how to actually get this phone? Sounds great but I can only find it at T-Mobile, which is not a network I want to use. Supposedly it’s coming on Sprint but no one at Sprint or Samsung or Best Buy can tell me when it’s really coming. Lemme know if there’s any scoop I’m missing. Thx

  • Jam

    I got one nexus s….gud camera n design,  Worst things are i can’t play youtube, facebook videos….wifi reception is very bad……