Dec 11 AT 4:17 PM Taylor Wimberly 62 Comments

Nexus S review and unboxing roundup

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The Nexus S doesn’t launch for another week, but Google loaned out several review units to all the non-Android sites this week. I was lucky enough to briefly hold the Nexus S recently and I was impressed with the build quality, but let’s check out what the other blogs who have spent more time with the device are saying. Check out almost a dozen reviews after the jump.

Here are some of the things people are saying about the Nexus S:

  • CNET: “The Samsung Nexus S gets points for its slick design, satisfying performance, and authentic Android user interface. But outside of the new Gingerbread OS and a faster processor, it doesn’t offer as many new features as we had hoped.”
  • TechRadar:  ”Don’t be fooled by all the hype though, as the Nexus S is pretty much a hopped-up Galaxy S. Sure, it’s got the fancy screen and NFC chip inside, but once the Samsung model gets beefed up to Android 2.3, there won’t be a huge amount to choose between the two.”
  • Phonedog: “Points off for not being an HSPA+ device.  Given T-Mobile’s expansive 4G marketing campaign, one would think that Google and Samsung would want to take advantage of it.  Still, the HSPA connectivity has been good thus far, with download speeds in the 2-3.5 Mbps range.”
  • Gizmodo: “It’s so fast. This is largely thanks to the software—after all, the processing guts are basically identical to the millions of Galaxy S phone already out there. It’s the first time Android’s felt as fast as the iPhone on modern hardware. There is no stuttering, no lag—just pure, nimble response, whether it’s popping open an app or reacting to a touch.”
  • Engadget: “It seems like every couple of weeks we’re saying something along the lines of “x is the best Android smartphone on the market right now.” We’d like to tell you differently when it comes to the Nexus S, but the truth is, it really is the best Android device available right now.”
  • PCMag: “Running the Neocore and Softweg benchmarks on the phone, I found that Gingerbread doesn’t improve raw CPU or graphics performance the way 2.2 did. But the phone scored faster than Samsung Froyo devices on the memory and file-management tasks, which is intriguing and could lead to the phone feeling faster.”
  • TechCrunch: “The bottom line is this. If you are an iPhone user this isn’t going to make you switch. If you’re an Android user you will want this phone more than any other. If you’re currently neither, we recommend that you go with the Nexus S. It is better than the iPhone in most ways.”
  • Telegraph: “The much-touted “Near field communication”, so far, is a let down however. That’s because few people – in the UK at least – are yet using it. But as with so many Google features it could, in due course, be revolutionary: payments, transport tickets and more could – and should – all soon be based on this technology. For now, however, it’s simply a way of taking people to websites quickly.”
  • IntoMobile: “The Nexus One revolutionized Android phones, and while it may not be fair to expect the Nexus S to be just as revolutionary, we feel cheated that it isn’t any more exciting than the NFC feature and the new Android OS version.”
  • Slashgear: “Android 2.3 Gingerbread automatically pulled in our previously-downloaded apps and even restored our wallpaper when we logged in with our regular Google credentials, and we were quickly up and running. The smartphone feels speedy, certainly faster than a Galaxy S family device despite running on the same 1GHz Hummingbird processor.”
  • PCWorld: “Google and Samsung’s joint collaboration nicely showcases the latest version of Android, Gingerbread, but the Nexus S has a few hardware oversights.”
  • NY Times: “The most attractive aspect of the Nexus S may not be the hardware at all — it’s the software. Here is pure Android, the way Google intended it. No cellphone maker has tweaked, diluted or complicated it with its own redesigns. It doesn’t come with preinstalled junkware apps from Verizon or whomever. And it’s the first phone with Android 2.3.”

And here are a couple of unboxings and hands-on videos thrown in for good measure:

Aaron Baker from Phonedog:

Will Park from IntoMobile:

The artist formerly known as Phonedog Noah:

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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