Lets face it, there wasn’t going to be anything spectacular about the successor to the Nexus One. It was always going to be an evolutionary step than a revolutionary step, Android doesn’t need a revolution so it’s quite fine with the progress the Nexus S makes in succeeding the One as the official Android Phone.
Whilst it is unspectacular, there are many new additions and features which clearly shows where the future is headed, and the fact Google seems to understand where we will be in a years time.
CPU + GPU + More Memory
When using a touch oriented handset it’s critical everything is snappy and everything looks gorgeous, it’s something some others seem to overlook. Human instinct naturally wants to touch something that looks nice, and once we do, we expect a reaction. iOS has mastered that and did so many years before anyone else realized it.
The Nexus S does this using an upgraded CPU – a 1Ghz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor which is helped by a dedicated GPU and 16GB of internal flash memory, this is something that was missing from almost ALL of the previous Android handsets.
Screen + Ergonomics
The Nexus S comes with an aesthetically curved 4 inch Super AMOLED display which Google is calling Contour Display. This is so that the handset fits the curvature of the human face when making calls. The screen is also coated with Anti fingerprint stuff, so those annoying fingerprints aren’t visible on screen. A must have for OCD sufferers. The handset itself is also shaped and more curvier than the One, and looks more like a G2, with some bumps and curves on the backside.
Google has integrated NFC (Near Field Communication) which would allow users to use their handsets to make payments and purchases by touching their handsets to pay points. There are minimal instances of these currently, but going forward VISA are planning to make use of this tech, so it makes sense to have it. NFC is widely used around Asia and is more or less a standard, the western world is just slow on the uptake.
Gingerbread (Android 2.3)
The Nexus S will ship with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) an update to the current Froyo (2.2) which does show some improvements to UI. Google does mention Gingerbread will be “open sourced” shortly to allow others to update their handsets and start building for the platform. How many and how long will depend on various factors (operators, UI overlays etc) so to ensure u get it out of the box, you should get a Nexus S.
This brings us to an interesting point. Google has learn that having an online only store limited the sales of the Nexus One, so now they’re making the Nexus S available via Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse.
After December 16, Nexus S will be sold unlocked and carrier-independent initially through Best Buy stores in the U.S. and after December 20 at Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK.
The prices for UK are either £550 for a SIM free option or taking out a £35p/m contract most likely on an 18 or 24 month. The latter is more likely.