After letting out some anger at a certain Australian Postage company, I finally received the Google Nexus S from Vodafone last Friday and have been putting it through its paces ever since. There’ll be a bit of a more in-depth write-up later on, but I thought I’d fill you in on the important details now. Enjoy.


As I first lifted it out of the box, that is almost exactly the same as that of the original Nexus One, I thought that the Nexus S looked both ugly yet appealing at the same time. The front of the device is dark and at some angles it’s impossible to see where the display is situated under the glass, a look that I enjoy. Then you get to the rear of the device and it’s all plastic and cheap feeling, a look I don’t enjoy. The front glass that is slightly curved is a nice touch – very niche – but nice none the less. Everywhere you lay a finger on the device you’ll leave a wonderful oily pattern, which is a shame considering how amazing the front of the device looks when clean. The physical buttons are in about the same spots as the Galaxy S (power on the right, volume on the left) which is either because little design effort was put in, or they were sticking with a winning formula. There is also no notifications LED which drives me up the wall. If you get a text message, email or any form of notification, you’ll only know if you’re close enough to the device to hear it make a noise or if you turn on the display to check the notifications bar. Fail. There’s also currently no use for the NFC chip, so I can’t really say that it’s an amazing feature, for now.


The Nexus S is Google’s flagship device for Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ and in saying that you’ll know that Google has put a shit-tonne of work in to making this work perfect on the device. The software is exceptionally fluid, with animations as smooth as butter and applications load up instantly which is always nice. The browser is where most users will spend a fair amount of time, and I can tell you that it’s very fast though zooming can induce a little bit of lag though it won’t put you off using it. The only other beef I had with the software was with the keyboard, it seems to register touches just above where you press, which did get annoying and lead me to switch keyboards after a couple of days using the Nexus S. The camera works quite well and I’ll have a few shots up soon. The loud-speaker almost sounds like it’s inside a tin can, with hardly any bass at all, though it’s not as bad as the Xperia X10.

There’s no carrier branding whatsoever on the device leading me to believe this is a generic ROM with no carrier mods at all, which will hopefully lead to a quicker update path to Android 2.4+ and all the incremental updates in between. We trust that Vodafone is capable of doing this in a timely manner.

Finishing thoughts..

I think what most people want to know is ‘Is this device worth upgrading to from my current device?’. In the case of the Nexus S it’s hard to tell. The hardware isn’t pushing ahead of any of the leading devices on the market at the moment and the software will be coming to these other devices as well. So it really depends on what you currently own, if you own anything above an HTC Desire, don’t bother. If it’s anything else, then by all means head into your local Vodafone store and try one out.

I’m a little ashamed that the Nexus S isn’t really pushing any boundaries like the Nexus One did. I just see it as Samsung quickly making changes (they’ve shown they can do it) to the Galaxy S and hoping for the best. I personally wouldn’t go out and purchase a Nexus S as it seems to be just a novelty device with nothing giving it power and presence above anything else in the market.

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Ali Dc

I just got my Nexus S yesterday, its perfect in speed, performance and camera.Internet is much faster and better i love it

Jason Murray

I’ve had a Nexus S since January, so here’s a few more thoughts. In general, I disagree with the “nothing special” assessment, but I do think it’s a difficult purchase to justify if you already have a superphone. Packaging? I wish they’d added the soft pouch in the box like the Nexus One – it was really hard to find one for the S but I eventually managed it. Everything else is virtually identical to the Nexus One packaging which I think is more Google than Samsung. On the hardware, while I agree that the plastic feels a bit cheap,… Read more »


Good comment, Jason.

Mashhood Ahmad

Amazing…Very good….


In terms of design, the cheap plastic look back plate would be a result of engineering as they would need some cushionning point when it is dropped so the back plate typically will come off. If it was all metalic uni body like iphones, then all the pressure from the drop will goto the glass resulting in cracked glass or screen which has been happening to all the iphone owners i know. As for finger prints, it is a glass….with a glossy look…like all glossy look it is proned to fingerprints….thats why they sell matte finished screen protectors at the… Read more »


/cache & /efs are yaffs2 /system & /data are ext4. sdcard is vfat.


Rant? What rant? I thought it was a good review…

Drew Freyling

I’m still going to wait for the HTC Desire S!


There are some annoying issues with a stock standard Galaxy S. Lag anyone?
As long as they’ve improved a little on this, which they seem to have with putting gingerbread on there. They’ve added a flash but they’ve taken away the Microsd slot! Maybe this helps with the lag? To me, it’s just a rennovated Galaxy S. Which would be fine, if they’re the same price.

Buzz Moody

Just a note, these are things that stuck out for me in the first few days.

There’s plenty of great stuff about the device I’ll get into in the review.

geoff fieldew

I recommended the Nexus S to a friend who had never used Android and was coming from a Nokia Qwerty. This person wanted something else to compare with the iPhone. I also suggested the Desire HD but the large screen & small battery put her off. I think the pure Google experience is the best introduction to Android and what it is capable of. Her current phone is stuffed and she needs a replacement ASAP. She likes it but hasn’t decided yet.

Dylan Waghorne

iPhone.. shit, i’d rather have a 99$ ideos


Don’t feed the troll.


HTC Desire Z! Keyboard + Android + good battery life. 🙂


Yeah, good tip and a great phone, but she doesn’t want a qwerty. The 5 row qwerty on my HTC Dream was awesome. A hardware qwerty requires two hands and makes the phone bulky, something most people don’t want these days. Desire Z otherwise is a great choice.