Tag Archive | "google nexus"

Google Announces the Nexus S 4G and Google Voice Integration for Sprint

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nexus s 4gToday, Google is introducing the Nexus S 4G for use on Sprint’s network, and also some exciting Google Voice integration for Sprint customers. Let’s talk about the phone first.

The Nexus S 4G is the same Nexus S that you’ve seen in the past [tracking page], but this time around it supports Sprint’s 3G and “4G inch network. It’ll run you $199 on-contract and come pre-baked with Android 2.3; it’s “coming soon inch.

nexus s 4g phone

Then there’s the Google Voice integration that’s coming to all Sprint customers (not just Nexus S users). Sprint customers can now use their Sprint number as their Google Voice number instead of having to get a separate number for their phone. Or, if you’ve already got a Google Voice number, you can use that as your Sprint number:

Some of the benefits of Google Voice:

  • One number rings multiple phones (if you choose). Think: office, mobile, home, etc.
  • Unlock your voicemail! Since the inception of the cellular phone, voicemail has been stuck inside your phone. With Google Voice, you can access your voicemail from the web, and even get voicemail transcripts emailed or sent to your via text.
  • Personalized voicemail for individual callers
  • Cheap international calling

Google says that Google Voice and the Nexus S 4G are coming “soon inch, and if you’d like to be notified when Google Voice is rolling out to Sprint customers, you can sign up for a notification here.

Samsung/Google Nexus S Review

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DSC_3851Google’s Nexus phone program aims to combine top-end hardware and the latest Android software to create a flagship Android smartphone (and arguably, a developer phone). The first phone from the Nexus program was the Nexus One (HTC). Just recently Google has partnered with Samsung to bring the intuitively not intuitively named Nexus Two Nexus S to market. Does Google + Samsung = Success, or is the Nexus S being quickly superseded by other devices, even if they aren’t yet running the latest Android built? Step inside to find out.

All About Updates

gingerbreadThere’s one thing we should talk about up front. Google’s Nexus phones offer updates to the very latest Android built right as it’s released regardless of the carrier or manufacturer. On pretty much every other Android phone/device, updates are pushed through the carrier or OEM. This means that if users want the latest enhancements for Android (and who doesn’t?) they have to wait for a middle-man to get around to setting everything straight before they get the update. Unfortunately promised updates have failed to come to fruition in a number of cases, leaving users without important feature updates and performance improvements. And even when promised updates do eventually come through, they aren’t always as simple as upgrading right on your phone, making updates unobtainable for those less versed in the computer world.

With the Nexus program, Google provides access to the very latest Android software. Updates always come as soon as they’re released from Google, and they install straight through the phone. This gives any of the Nexus devices an advantage over most other phones. The Nexus S is one of the only [perhaps the only] devices on the market today that comes out of the box with Android 2.3 installed. And, even then after powering it on, the phone will ask to install several incremental upgrades that have been made since the initial Android 2.3 release.

And now back to our regularly scheduled reviewing!

Hardware

DSC_3812Let’s has a quick look at the specs of the phone and a tour around the device. As usual, you can see detailed specs, links, photos, and even compare devices with the Nexus S at it’s tracking page in our device database.

Briefly, before we get to the aforementioned, you might be interested in having a look at our Nexus S overview video:

Specs:

  • Android 2.3
  • Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) CPU @ 1GHz
  • 4 inch curved Super-AMOLED capacitive touchscreen @ 800×480 (1.67:1 aspect ratio [non-standard])
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 5MP rear camera (only capable of 720×480 [DVD quality] video recording) with single-LED flash
  • 0.3MP front camera (640×480)
  • 16GB of internal memory
  • WiFi b/g/n & Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS & digital compass
  • 129g (0.284 pounds)
  • NFC (near-field-comm) chip, acelleomoeter, light sensor, proximity sensor, 3-axis gyro

Hardware Tour:

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And that’s all! Yup, it’s a pretty simple phone.

Nexus S Gallery

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We’ve had our hands on the Samsung/Google Nexus S [tracking page] for a few days now and are putting the phone and the OS (Android 2.3) to the test. You may have caught the overview video already, and now we’ve got a bit more to tide you over until the full review, a full gallery! A few choice photos are below, but be sure to swing by the gallery itself if you’re interested in the Nexus S. And while you’re here, let us know in the comments if there’s anything specific that you’d like to see covered in the review.

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Nexus S Video Overview

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nexus sWe’ve got the Nexus S [tracking page] on hand for some testing and it’s certainly doing some impressing! In addition to a beautiful display with an amazing contrast ratio, the Nexus S is topping the Quadrant benchmark charts over all other Android devices. Then there’s that whole Android 2.3 thing it’s got going on that has some great tweaks to the OS. There’s a full review in the works, but in the mean time we’ve prepared an overview video for your viewing pleasure:

Samsung Nexus S Now Available in the US; Google Confirms That it Doesn’t Record HD Video

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As was forecasted. the Samsung Nexus S is available in the US starting today, just in time for the holidays. Those in the UK will have to wait until the 20th of this month before being able to waltz into a UK Best Buy or Carphone Warehouse to sang one.

Nexus S Tracking Page – Specs, Details, Links, and More

If you’re in the US you’ve got two options You can buy the phone unlocked for use with any old GSM carrier for $530. If you are opening a new T-Mobile account, or are eligible for an upgrade, you can nab the Nexus S for $199. The phone is available through Best Buy exclusively, though it looks like for the time being, the unlocked option is only available in-store, while the subsided version can be purchased in-store or online. Definitely check with your local Best Buy before heading on over though, there’s no telling how many each store has to sell initially, or if they allocate a maximum number that can be sold as unlocked.

No HD Video Recording (Sadly)

nexus faceAs we mentioned in our earlier story on the Nexus S, the device doesn’t record HD video. This is a strange omission which I thought might have simply been a mistake as there was conflicting information on Google’s Official Nexus S page. After getting in touch with Google, we’ve confirmed that the Nexus S only records 480p video (720×480). They’ve also amended their official Nexus S page to reflect this.

This is a surprise to me considering that the last two Samsung Android smartphones that I’ve tested have both been capable of 720p HD recording. Perhaps this could be changed with a software update, but it looks like out of the box, the Nexus S’s recording capabilities will be inferior to most modern smartphones.

Google Get’s Official With the Nexus S, Android 2.3, Curved Display, and NFC Debut

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nexus sGoogle’s second “Nexus” phone has been pretty much fully revealed over the last few weeks, but has finally been made official today.

While Google’s first Nexus phone (the Nexus One) was made in partnership with HTC, the second is a collaboration between Google and Samsung, resulting in the aptly named Nexus S (though, Nexus Two would have made sense to me…).

The unique part about the Nexus devices is that they receive Android updates as soon as they are released from Google. Other phones generally have to wait for their carriers or OEMs to push core updates down the line (which can either take a long time, or perhaps never happen), unless the user is willing to hack the latest builds on the phone themselves.

Aesthetically, the Nexus S doesn’t differentiate itself that much from recent Samsung Galaxy S devices, but inside it’s packing some unique features.

contourThe Nexus S will be the first phone with the latest version of Android (2.3, aka Gingerbread). It also has a unique “contour” display which Google is claiming is the first of it’s kind to be included on a smartphone. Additionally, the Nexus S comes included with NFC (near-field communication) hardware, which will allow the phone to communicate with nearby object (think: paying your subway fare with your phone, or being taken to a website by waving your phone over a movie poster). Here is Google talking briefly about NFC on the Nexus S:

Aside from these interesting features, the Nexus S has most of the specs you’d expect from a top tier phone:

  • 4” AMOLED screen (480×800) with oleophobic coating (fingerprint reduction)
  • 1GHz “Hummingbird” Cortex A8 CPU
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 16GB flash memory
  • 5MP rear camera with flash, VGA front-facing camera (640×480)
  • WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, GPS
  • Accelerometer, light sensor, magnometer (compass), proximity sensor, 3-axis gyroscope

I say “most” of the specs because while the 5MP camera is high resolution enough to enable HD recording (1280×720 or 1920×1080), official information says that the phone is only capable of capturing video up to 720×480 (DVD resolution). This is an odd omission when most modern phones (including those of Samsung’s Galaxy S line) are capable of recording at least 720p HD video.

Availability

Back when they released the Nexus One and offered it for sale directly through their site, Google wanted to “change the way people shop for phones”. Since then, they’ve closed their online store and will now be making the Nexus S available through Best Buy on December 16th in the US, and through Carphone Warhouse and Best Buy on December 20th in the UK. The device will be sold unlocked for use on any GSM carrier for $529, or customers can sign up for a two year T-Mobile contract through Best Buy and receive the phone for $199.

Google gets official with the Nexus One, already on sale

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nexus one text If you’ve spent any time in the tech end of the blogosphere lately, chances are that you’ve heard plenty of info about the Nexus One, a new phone from Google that they are calling a “superphone inch, implying that it is one step up from the smartphones that we’ve come to know.

Google had scheduled and official press event today and is revealing all about the Nexus One, which is an HTC handset designed very closely with Google. It is running Andronexus oneid 2.1 software which Google says will be available to other existing Android devices soon.

Check out an animated 3D tour of the Nexus One.

Even cooler than a simple official announcement is that Google is already selling the phone, and it couldn’t easier to purchase. Just go to www.google.com/phone. Currently the phone can be purchased at a subsidized $179 with T-mobile as the carrier, or unlocked (for use with any SIM card/GSM network) for $529. Also on board for carrier subsidies, but not available until Spring 2010, is Verizon and Vodafone.

One major fine print detail about the unlocked and unsubsidized version: Google says that the currently available Nexus One does not support AT&T or Rogers 3G bands. So phone calls should work on these networks (and perhaps even EDGE data), but you won’t be getting fast 3G cellular web access. Here is the official text:

The currently available Nexus One device is unlocked and will recognize SIM cards from any mobile service provider using the GSM standard, but is incompatible with the frequency band used by the AT&T and Rogers networks for 3G data (see below). Additionally, the Nexus One is incompatible with CDMA networks such as Verizon and Sprint.

[My emphasis on currently available] It seems that Google is hoping to support these bands in the future with a slightly modified Nexus One. They also go on to say the following:

We are working hard to provide Nexus One phones optimized for the Verizon network – please stay tuned. The Nexus One for Verizon will not be a GSM device, so it will not be compatible with T-Mobile, AT&T, or other GSM networks.

Alright enough about carriers, how about specs? I’ll give you the quick details, but you can jump over to the tech-specs page for even more.

  • 3.7-inch 800×480 AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • 1GHz Qualcomm ‘Snapdragon’ QSD 8250 CPU @ 1GHz
  • 5MP camera
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • AGPS
  • Digital compass

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about this phone. Now I understand why HTC was holding back on an Android version of the HTC HD2. It makes me happy to see that Google has made the landing page for purchasing the phone extremely simple (in typical Google fashion). I’m looking forward to a version of this phone that will support the necessary bands for AT&T 3G as that is the carrier which I’m currently using, but it isn’t exactly clear if they are working on a version of the Nexus One that will support it or not.

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