"20-Minutes of Exposure: Nothing to Text Home About"3.0 starson by pcorning
Pros: Good processor performance, almost a full gigabyte of space for Android apps, and a compact package for the size of the screen, but most of the phone's good features come from Android 2.3, not from the hardware. Get Android updates immediately (big)
Cons: No LED alerts - so you can't tell if you have messages waiting or what types they are. No trackball or D-pad, so it's hard to scroll through forms when the keyboard is up. No memory slot will be a big deal for many. No 4G data rates.
Summary: Being first in line for Android updates is the main reason to buy this phone. If you don't care about this, or if you're willing to root your phone, give it a pass. I would guess that Google and phone manufacturers will put out a steady stream of unlocked, 'pure Google' phones over the next 6 months (looks like LG has one with a dual-core processor), so I'm waiting to upgrade from my Nexus One.
20 minutes of 'testing' at a BestBuy store today confirmed most of what you can read in CNet's and other reviews. Feels good in the hand. Runs pretty fast. Android 2.3 has some nice tweaks, etc.
The stuff I haven't seen discussed is this:
* Nexus S has a front-facing camera, but no bundled app to use it with. You can download Fring, but Fring's not so cute, and it's certainly no FaceTime. Sure, G Talk will support this soon, but as you leave the store all the phone does is let you take a low-res picture of yourself.
* For all the talk of supporting Internet calling, Google's Contacts app has no entry for SIP numbers, and the phone's setting show Internet calling as being only supported over WiFi. What? They must be joking.
* Not having LED notifications is a big deal. Cyanogen (modified Android) lets people set different colors for voicemail, texts, Facebook messages, etc., so a glance at your sleeping phone tells you whether you should wake it or not. Having used this feature for a while it would be hard to give it up.
* A 4 inch screen does make reading easier, but screen resolution is unchanged from the Nexus One. Since we're on the cusp of having lots of choices with higher resolution, why buy Nexus S?
I went to BestBuy today hoping to restrain myself from a mediocre upgrade from Nexus One. Seeing the phone in person made me realize Nexus S is in many ways a step backwards. Thank you, Samsung, for sparing my wallet today, but somehow I still wish Nexus S had been good enough to overcome my restraint.