Google Nexus S — a few quick thoughts

In other news, Google is continuing the Nexus brand and come December 16th, US people can buy an unlocked “Google-experience” phone with “pure” Android — that is, Android without third party vendor skins like HTC Sense. Which means it’s most likely going to be the best Android phone on the market, and certainly the one you should be comparing to the iPhone. It’s all in this motion-pamphlet:

Some thoughts.

Nexus S

  • Check out the Galaxy S like “S” in the Nexus S logo.
  • I love that the Nexus brand survived.
  • “You’re always going to be getting the latest upgrades, and the latest software”. Sounds like Google is trying to compete with the other Android vendors, which is both good and bad. Good in that the Nexus series is alive for purists like me, bad because it probably means Google won’t be enforcing stricter rules on competing Android distributions.

Skin

home-lg

  • So everyone expected this to be the groundbreaking tablet-ready UI. Considering it’s clearly not, I do think there’s a fairly remarkable amount of change going on.
  • Black means “elegant”, and it’s elegant for the topmost menubar, especially in its flat form. I’m thinking the previous white one looked like it did, bevel and all, to indicate its drag-down-ability. I think perhaps Google realized that the notification tray is something you simply have to learn, and once you have, you know what to do.
  • Another reason black makes a lot of sense, is that on a phone featuring an AMOLED display, black brings better battery life.
  • Green makes a lot of sense as an accent color, considering Googles Android logo is green.
  • The UI certainly looks a lot more polished when watching this video.
  • I may be reading too much into this, but it looks as though the shading on the various notification icons is similar to the one on Chrome Web Store icons.

Features

  • “The fastest version of Android yet”, is something any OS developer can tout. They’d better mean it — not that Froyo wasn’t fast, but it had still better be noticable.
  • “Tools for game development”, that’s nice! Android has needed its own “DirectX” for a while.
  • Lots of under the hood improvements. That’s fine. Still no Chrome browser though.
  • Ooh! New keyboard! I hope it gets a Danish dictionary.

Gingerbread was rumoured to be the watershed moment for Android. Looks like that’s been postponed to “Honeycomb”, the rumoured next release. Still, it looks like a solid upgrade. I only hope that they’ve actually fixed the problem with data being stored on the ridiculously small amount of internal storage. That, and that the Nexus S. comes to Denmark.

9 thoughts on “Google Nexus S — a few quick thoughts”

  1. Looks like a huge step up – here’s crossing my fingers for an iPhone competitor!

    (Please buy it, so I can play with it 🙂

  2. Joen says:

    I’m going to Texas in March. I’ll probably end up with one.

  3. Ulf says:

    No SD-slot? That’s kinda odd for a flagship phone, as is the 512 mb of ram and not supporting HSPA+
    Really seems like Samsung just repackaged the Galaxy S once again. Odd.

    But hey, I’m in – that “pure Google experience” sounds like smartphone nirvana to me.

    1. Joen says:

      Ulf,

      16 gigs of internal storage, is actually a decent way of solving the appdata-only-on-internal storage issue, both the n1 and the desire has.

  4. Ulf says:

    Oh, it IS a repackaged Galaxy S: http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/06/google-nexus-s-review/

    “Unlike the Nexus One, the phone was not built from scratch – the starting point was the Samsung Galaxy S, released earlier this year”

  5. Name: Mark says:

    I remember when the galaxy S phones were being released and I defended Samsung saying that they had learned their lesson. All this gingerbread news is just making me and I’m sure other galaxy S users depressed/pissed. I’m never buying a Samsung phone again.

  6. Ulf says:

    I’m seriously considering buying the much cheaper Galaxy S, root it and have Google deliver “Pure Google” to my device forever (thanks to the rom community).

    1. Joen says:

      Ulf,

      While that worked for me on the Desire, I have to say, the experience hasn’t been as smooth as you describe it, alas.

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