Sprint's Nexus S 4G is a fine entry in the growing group of Android phones running on a faster network. The handset runs Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" with a nice Google Voice integration.
the last five days using the Samsung
smartphone, which Sprint began selling May 8 for $199.99 on
contract, I'm experiencing some serious cognitive dissonance.
I love the
phone's hardware and software, but I am not crazy about Sprint's 4G WiMAX
network. The Nexus S 4G is certainly faster than the original Nexus
Google launched last December on T-Mobile's network.
used the new Nexus after testing both the HTC ThunderBolt 4G and Samsung Droid
Charge on Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) network. If you're
guessing Verizon won that race, you'd be right.
offer something with the Nexus S 4G that could win a lot of people over: native
Google Voice support. Google Voice on this phone is great, and you won't find
that on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or any other carrier right now.
Let's back up
to gloss over the hardware and software. The Nexus S 4G is its Nexus S
predecessor in all external aesthetic and most internal aspects, but it's
powered by a 4G radio inside instead a 3G transmitter.
processor-powered phone features a pretty 4-inch Super AMOLED (Super
active-matrix organic LED) display (480 by 800 resolution), which was the best
screen I ever tested until the Droid
came along with its 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen. That phone
went on sale May 14.
When I tested
the Nexus S last December, I believed it to be Samsung's best hardware to date.
After testing the Motorola Atrix 4G, HTC ThunderBolt and Droid Charge this
year, all those phones felt more comfortable in my hand.
As I held the
Nexus S 4G, which measures 4.8 inches long, 2.5 inches wide and less than half
an inch thick, it occurred to me the black bezeled plastic is nice but a little
slick in my hand, compared with the more pedestrian, tough-guy gray plastic of
the Charge. I kept thinking I would drop it, even if I never did.
I could argue
that the Nexus S 4G's software is superior; the phone runs Android 2.3
"Gingerbread," while inexplicably, the Charge
runs Android 2.2 despite a price tag of $299.99.
other than the better virtual keyboard and one-touch copy-and-paste
functionality afforded by Gingerbread on Sprint's new gadget, I don't notice
much difference. See more about the Gingerbread specs here
I'm not a big
gamer, so the gyroscope is not a big deal for me. And while Gingerbread's NFC
(near-field communication) capabilities are great in theory, they are weak in
practice. No one is using NFC in a meaningful way to a great degree. Heck,
Apple is even bailing on it for the next iPhone.
on the Nexus S 4G is fine and the 5MP camera and front-facing VGA camera are
serviceable, if unspectacular, for photo- and video-taking. There's also 16GB
of iNAND internal storage.