The Diary of an Android Virgin: Google Nexus S a beauty on the outside, a beast on the inside

Previously in The Diary of an Android Virgin – Touched for the very first time.

Sexy Beauty – Design and form factor

The latest Samsung Google Nexus S is definitely a looker. It’s got a slate form factor but it also sports a Contour Display that gives it a bit of a curve compared to say an Iphone 4 or the Samsung Galaxy S. Overall the look is very clean, but the choice of material – all plastic construction – does give it a less premium feel and less striking look compared to the iPhone 4, with its glassy surface and brushed metal sides. The all plastic construction also makes it a fingerprint and smudge magnet as well as prone to scratches. The plus side about the choice of material though is that the Google Nexus S is lighter than its competition, weighing in at 129 grams.

One of the most striking things about the Google Nexus S is the gorgeous 4” Super AMOLED (or Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display which features a WVGA resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. This display gives the phone beautifully rich deep colors, brighter output and perfect black levels. Despite the fact that the pixel density is lower than the iPhone 4’s Retina Display, the Google Nexus S’ color output beats the former’s hands down. The Super AMOLED display also makes for good viewing angles and is great for outdoor conditions.

The phone’s buttons are pretty distinguishable to the user’s fingers and are easily press-able with a tactile response. The volume is controlled by a single rocker button on the left; press up to increase the volume and down to decrease. The on/off button is on the right side of the phone. I’m familiar with phones with on/off buttons at the top so the side one takes a bit of getting used to.

Along the bottom of the phone is the Micro USB and headphone jack.

The Google Nexus S features a front facing 0.3 megapixel VGA (640×480) camera located next to the earpiece and a 5 megapixel (2560×1920) camera with LED flash at the back next to the speakerphone notch.

Last but not least, the removable battery cover is also where the Near Field Communication (NFC) chip is embedded. (We’ll discuss more about NFC later in our review.)

Sexy Beast – Under the hood

The Google Nexus S boasts Samsung’s 1GHz Hummingbird CPU, 512MB of RAM. It may be more than six months old, but it still offers the most powerful combination of general and graphics processing. In fact, it has the fastest video processor currently on the market. This allows the Google Nexus S to exhibit a great sense of speed and response. Applications load up very quickly and we have not experienced any stuttering movements or lag while testing the phone. The faster processor also allows the Google Nexus S to handle running multiple applications and background processes very well.

The Google Nexus S is powered by a removable 1500 mAh Lithium Ion battery and battery life is pretty good. Google’s official specs are up to 400 minutes of talk time on 3G, 841 minutes on 2G, and standby time of 428/714 hours on 3G/2G and we find that 6+ hours is pretty standard on the phone for heavy voice/3G data usage.

The phone only offers 16GB of storage; no microSD slot in sight. But for the average user, this is more than sufficient to store your favorite apps, music, take pictures and video.

to be continued..

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