Friday, December 17, 2010

Nexus S - Review

There have not been many times I have woken up early in the morning to go to an electronic store, first thing in the morning. I did once in 2009 when I got my iPhone 3GS. Last year, I went to the Apple store at 5.30 in the morning and waited in the line for a full 4 hours before I held the then coveted device in my hands. I had good fun for more than a year now with the 3GS and almost 3 years with iOS. I figured it's time to move on and I could not have a found a better phone than Nexus S to do it. This time though, I waited for 5 minutes in the line at Best Buy to get my Nexus S.

The best feature of the phone (that blows one away on the first look) is the display. It has the Samsung's proprietary Super
AMOLED display and to say it's freaking awesome would be an understatement. With the animated wallpapers and vibrant colors on the screen, any app or any browser you open stands out like you have never seen on a mobile device before. I would probably say one should buy this phone just for the display.

Secondly, the phone is really fast. It sports a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor and the phone responds like a charm to every single touch. Whether it is the camera or the maps or the email, nothing ever takes more than a second or two to show up on the screen. The menus are nicely organized (not too different from the previous android versions though).

The response to the onscreen keyboard is instantaneous too. Talking of the keyboard, I initially felt the keys are slightly smaller than the iPhone keyboard, but the more I use it, with the word suggestions and the spell checks, it definitely has become more of a 'friendly' keyboard to me now. There is absolutely no regret about the keyboard and having a Shift key on a touchscreen keyboard is a great plus too!

Next thing that was totally new to me is the Android OS itself (Android 2.3 or Gingerbread in this instance). Be informed that I'm coming from the family of iOS users and everything in the UI of Nexus S is so new and refreshing. Even something as simple as notifications is so simple and fun. Best feature of the OS is the Google maps with navigation (which is one of the main reasons I bought this phone, as I can use this in India too!). The 3D maps is so futuristic and with street view and latitude added, the whole maps experience is completely transformed.

The other part of the phone I really like is the form factor. Though the contour display and the curved back is stylish, the phone is light as a feather. When I first took the phone out of the box, I wondered if Samsung missed a component in the phone!

However, it's hard to miss a few things that were better in iPhone. The visual voicemail was one thing that I got so used to that I feel I miss in Nexus S (there may be apps in the android market but I haven't explored yet). But voicemail is not frequently used in India, so I guess I'll be alright. Second thing I miss is the app store. I feel Android store has still areas to grow.

Summary : Nexus S is definitely a great Android phone or probably the best there is, as of today. If you are contemplating whether to buy the phone, go for it. You won't regret the decision!