Samsung Nexus S Review: Second “Google Phone”, but first with Android 2.3 Gingerbread
As mentioned on the previous page, the Nexus S is using stock Android 2.3 mobile operating system, without Samsung's fancy TouchWiz user interface. This may be because the smartphone is mainly designed as the Google phone, and therefore the user interface was kept to Google's original Android flavour without any modification. The phone menu offers a vertical navigation that looks to be on a 3D cube. We are rather disappointed that the Nexus S isn't equipped with the latest dual-core processor, but a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird S5PC110. Nevertheless, we didn't experience any lag when navigating the menu or launching some Android apps.
The smartphone comes with a sufficiently huge 16GB internal storage (13,3GB USB storage and about 1GB of internal storage), which means you do not need to use a microSD card for additional storage space. You can connect the Nexus S to your PC or Mac like a USB storage device and transfer files, but for some reason, we weren't able to transfer the files when connected. We believed it could be some drivers issues and hopefully that doesn't exist on the retail unit.
Multimedia playback is decent on the Nexus S, especially high definition videos, though even at maximum volume, we did not find the audio too loud for our liking. The internal speaker is placed at the rear, near the built-in camera, which means that when you are playing your videos, the audio is coming from the back, broadcasting outward. Obviously, most of us who are considerate would rely on earphones and headphones instead.
While Samsung has not widely mentioned about Near-Field Communication on the Nexus S that is available in Singapore, you would be pleased to know that the smartphone has this feature, though the NFC payment options have yet to be widely adopted here yet.
There's no camera mode or shutter button on the Nexus S, which means you can only go to the camera application in order to take pictures or videos. You can hold the phone in any landscape or portrait orientation, and the app will orientate itself accordingly. The camera options include focus, exposure, white balance, flash and switching between front or rear camera. Unlike other camera phones, the Nexus S does not have any zoom functions (not even digital zoom). Images are captured at 2560×1920 pixel resolution, which is sufficient for prints.
In terms of battery life, the phone's fully charged 1500mAh rechargeable battery offers more than 12 hours on casual usage. For heavy users who checked their emails, go on social networks like Twitter and Facebook very often, would find that the smartphone requires a recharge by end of the day.
Here are two original pictures taken with the Nexus S during the day and during the evening.