Google Nexus S, a Google flagship Android device manufactured by Samsung, is the second Android device bear with the name of Google, after the famous and beautifully crafted Google Nexus One. It is also the first Android device that shipped with the latest Android – Gingerbread which packed with quite some new and interesting features.
The first news about the Samsung manufactured second Google Nexus phone is leaked about end of October 2010, and the Samsung spoke person has quickly denied it. Since then, there are several rumors have been leaked before Google officially announced the Google Nexus S on the 6th of December, 2010. Perhaps you might be wondering the reason for the massive amount of concerns towards the second Google flagship phone – below is my point of view for that.
Why Google Nexus S is an important release?
There are several reasons that can explained the importance of Google Nexus S release (in my opinion though, you can always alert/comment me if there is something you do not agree):
1. For manufacturers
The release of Google Nexus S set a benchmark on the hardware used in high end Android device running Gingerbread, so that those Android device manufacturers are able to define their high end, intermediate, and possibly low end devices running Gingerbread. I would not say that it represents the requirement for Gingerbread (which has been confirmed that there is no minimum requirement), but rather a reference for the best Gingerbread experience.
2. For end users
For end users, the release of this second Google flagship device is certainly highly anticipated. Google Nexus One, which is first released with Android 2.1, still having a continuous support from Google, and will be able to update to the latest Gingerbread, and possibly future releases. This has shows that Google is providing long term support for their flagship device, therefore it is definitely an attraction point for the end users, without the fear that their Android device will go outdated within a few months (in term of software, of course).
3. For developers
Almost the similar reason for the end users, Android app developers will be happy with the release of Google Nexus S. Categorized as an Android Dev Phone (ADV), the unlocked bootloader and SIM-unlock are much appreciated features by the developers. Because of the unlocked bootloader, any custom Android build can be flashed on it without any restriction.
Also the long term support from Google will be important to developers too. Look at the ADV 2 (which is a HTC Magic), when it was released, the device is running on Android 1.6 (Donut), but it still obtained the update from Google officially until Android 2.2.1 (Froyo), which shown that Google is ready to support their ADV, and thanks to the unlocked bootloader (and powerful hardware), the first and second ADV is also unofficially getting an update to Gingerbread, or even Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)!
Is it worth an upgrade (or to own it)?
So back to the initial question, is it worth to upgrade from your current Android device, or to invest into Nexus S as your first Android phone? Before that, let’s have a look on a quick comparison between two Nexus phones (from Google Nexus S website):
As you can see, in term of hardware, there isn’t much major changes between Nexus One and Nexus S. The processor is clocked at 1GHz (though different chipset), both running Gingerbread as for now, almost same camera capability (Nexus S cannot capture HD video, and no hacks available unfortunately), and they have the same display resolution (though different screen size). Probably the most distinct differences between two that I can see are the NFC, the Contour Display, and the lack of microSD card support in Nexus S.
So the answer is?
No and Yes.
No for those who already owned an Android phone that running a 1GHz and will have an official update to Gingerbread (like Samsung Galaxy S or Nexus One). Basically I don’t see the reason to upgrade to Nexus S if you already owned a high end Android device, unless you are craving for it’s beautiful appearance, or you need the NFC equipped (or you simply love Google products a lot).
Yes for those who are new to Android or those who owned an (or two) older Android phone having a slower processor (less than 1GHz) and/or will not have an official update to Gingerbread. The faster (and newer) processor in Nexus S does make a difference in performance, and Gingerbread does have some good improvements that enhanced user experience. Of course, I am saying this from the point of view of normal end user, not a power user who know how to root, flash custom rom etc. but i would say even the fastest custom rom will not be able to ignore the fact of slower hardware. So if it’s affordable for you, Nexus S is definitely worth an upgrade. And for those who are new to Android phone, as I always told my friends when they asked me about the worthiness of Nexus S:
If you doesn’t mind the fact that Nexus S cannot capture 720p HD video and no video call (most, if not all of the Android devices have no such functionality anyway), Nexus S is definitely one of the best Android phone that you can get.
So are you going to get the Google Nexus S? You are always welcomed to leave your comments at the below section.