Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

Summary: The Google Nexus S launches next week, but the device doesn't really have anything compelling over existing devices other than Android 2.3 and NFC while missing out on the latest network support. Are you considering the Nexus S this holiday season?

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Next week the Google Nexus S will be available at Best Buy stores for $529.99 with no contract or $199 with a 2-year contract on T-Mobile. The only new features we see on this device are the Gingerbread (Android 2.3) software and the NFC technology. Other devices get the minor Gingerbread update and there are very few uses of NFC at the moment so why would you want to buy the Nexus S?

I purchased the Google Nexus One back in January at CES and at the time there were also just a couple of new features over devices like the Motorola Droid, including the 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and Android 2.1 OS. I wasn't going to buy that device before launch and then I did anyway because it really was the best Android device on T-Mobile. The Nexus S will again be launching with support for T-Mobile 3G and I said on MoTR podcast #225 that I won't be getting one.

There is a huge difference between now and when the Nexus One was released, primarily in the number and specifications of existing Android devices. There are several devices available now that have MUCH more compelling specifications and features than the Nexus S and it really turns into just another Android device in a crowded market. Even if we just look at T-Mobile, we see that the myTouch 4G and T-Mobile G2 are better devices overall than the Nexus S with support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, microSD card support, and more. They will both likely get the Android 2.3 update so NFC will be the only real unique feature of the Nexus S while it still will not support their faster HSPA+ network.

I expected the Google Nexus S to have support for HSPA+, camera on the order of 8 megapixels with HD video recording, minimum 32GB integrated memory and microSD card slot, next generation mobile processor, and Bluetooth 3.0. Currently, my Nokia N8 has the best specifications on paper of ANY mobile phone currently on the market with the penta-band 3G radio, Bluetooth 3.0, FM radio, FM transmitter, 12 megapixel camera with HD video recording, USB on-the-go, HDMI out, and more. Specs like this is what I expected from a flagship Android device kicking off a new Android OS.

The Nexus S looks to be a fine Android device and if you are on T-Mobile and want a pure Google device then you might want to consider it. The limited memory with no microSD card, mid-level camera, and lack of HSPA+ kill it off as a choice I would consider. With CES 2011 just around the corner and likely news of webOS devices, new Android 2.3 devices, and more I really don't know why you would buy the Nexus S. You can check out links to several reviews of the Nexus S on the Android and Me site to see what people who have tested the Nexus S are saying about it.

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Topics: Android, Google, Mobile OS, Mobility, Security, Smartphones, Telcos, Web development

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45 comments
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  • What do you expect? It is just a Samsung phone with the Google logo

    The phone is just a re-branded model. Google did nothing but put a sticker on it .... just like with the HTC NexusOne.
    wackoae
    • RE: Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

      @wackoae

      Face it. If you want a new phone with a better UI that's a tool not a toy or a nerd's pocketknife, then get a WP7 phone.

      Just use one and you'll see the difference.
      tonymcs1
      • RE: Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

        @tonymcs@... If a WP7 phone is not a toy, what is it then? It's not useful, due to all the limitations. It doesn't "just work", due to all the limitations. It's not easy to use, due to limitations and mistakes made by the UI designers.

        So what is it? An expensive paperweight that happens to make phone calls, albeit through a very badly designed phone application?

        Anyway. If you want an actual smartphone, you can choose between lots of Android phones and luckily they're not all the same - but they have one thing in common: They're all better than any other phone that calls itself "smartphone".
        drphysx
      • WP7 not a toy?? Only for a person with zero active neurons

        @tonymcs@... There is a good reason why WP7 phones aren't selling ... even when is being given away for free. It is dumb and ugly.<br><br>It has less capabilities than smartphones released over 3 years ago and the main sale point is being able to PLAY video games.<br><br>So what is a toy again??
        wackoae
      • Windows Phone 7 isn't selling?

        So all of those people who said they were out of stock, and the reports about them getting more soon... obviously a hoax. They aren't selling after all, right?

        As for the first person, list some real limitations. None of this c/p or multi-tasking BS, actual limitations.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

        @goff256@
        For example no real-time gaming for WP7 since it doesn't even support sockets yet
        sovok_
      • WP7 artificial sold out is not a real sold out

        @tonymcs@... WP7 phones are allegedly sold out due to SMALL INVENTORY. In other words, it is easy to claim sold out when the stores only get 10 items.<br><br>But don't just take my word for it. Ask any rep at your local retail store. They will tell you how little of them they got and many still have a few models in inventory.
        wackoae
      • RE: Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

        How is a "lack of games" something that stops you from getting work done. I'm waiting.<br><br>As for whether or not there is/was a shortage, I can only go by what sources say. Overall, there seemed to be a shortage. Overall, it seems to have sold rather well. Do you have any -real- sources that say otherwise? Or are you just bashing a Microsoft product in the same way that Linux Geek was saying that Kinects weren't selling?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Thanks for bringing out the Kinect ....

        @tonymcs@... MS was very quick to point out the sales ..... with numbers and everything<br><br>But they keep ignoring request for numbers on WP7. Guess they don't want the numbers to really come out.<br><br>And like I said before ... ask your local retail store (phone) rep. They will confirm the unusually low inventory.
        wackoae
      • Calling my local AT&amp;T is pointless

        They're not allowed to have smartphones. No, really, they have an advertisement out front for the iPhone 4. I go in there and ask to see one so I could play around and maybe buy one. Nope, not allowed to carry phones of that price.<br><br>No joke. : I

        edit: In regards to their lack of numbers, we can only assume one thing or another. But our assumptions will always be painted by our own personal bias.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • You can always find conclusions by looking at patterns

        @tonymcs@... Most companies follows a pattern and usually don't deviate from them. When they do, it means that their expectations weren't met or are even close to the desired results.

        MS has always bragged about numbers, even projected sales. But with WP7, a product that was released before the Kinect, the pattern of complete silence can only be due to poor sales.

        Let me put it this way .... if Apple released a product and they didn't release a number within a week of release, then almost 3 months later, they are still not releasing any info, what would you think is the reason for the lack of disclosure?
        wackoae
      • An illogical statement, wackoae

        Sales are not allways a metric for the capabilities of worth of something.
        Macs only have an 8% market share overall, by your logic that would indicate that a Mac is "a toy".
        Tim Cook
      • I call it caution

        Throwing numbers around doesn't mean anything at all, especially when there has been a report of shortages in some places. By looking at patters, though, it is obvious that numbers are meaningless.

        Look at OSX.

        Is it a toy on the basis that Apple doesn't brag about the sales? They brag about the iPad and iPhone sales. Wait, they don't brag about the sales of any of their Mac line. I suppose this means that they should just can their entire Mac lineup.

        After all, they're only toys.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Too illogical for somebody claiming to be Mr. Spock

        Who the hell is talking about market share??

        Man, the apologetic always come out with the dumbest reason why their product is failing to make money or sale.
        wackoae
      • Isn't it obvious, Wackoae

        In your world where numbers are king, a low number means that it is irrelevant. That makes OSX (and the Mac) irrelevant. You can't keep changing metrics when it suits you.<br><br>Also, wait for the sales numbers.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

        @goff256 [b]They're not allowed to have smartphones. No, really, they have an advertisement out front for the iPhone 4. I go in there and ask to see one so I could play around and maybe buy one. Nope, not allowed to carry phones of that price.[/b]

        What in the world are you talking about? Perhaps YOUR local AT&T store does not carry other smartphones than the iPhone (which is a claim I find to be bull) but when I visited my local AT&T store to pick up some screen protectors for my iPhone 4 One of the sales guys was talking up the WP7 device to a customer as well as the Android devices... I'm not sure if I missed the part where they discussed the iPhone or if it was a product the customer even wanted but AT&T sells other smartphones than the iPhone... BB, WP7, Android all spring immediately to mind. Did you perhaps wander into an Apple retail store accidentally?
        athynz
      • You think I'm lying?

        What motivation is there for me to say that my local AT&T isn't allowed to carry smartphones. I didn't say that it had an iPhone 4, I was saying... it didn't/doesn't/likely won't ever.

        The local AT&T store carries phones. Not smartphones. Not feature phones. It I wanted an iPhone, BB, Android, or WP7, I would have to drive to the city to pick one up.

        As it is, I live in a small farming community where we don't really have much.1
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

        @tonymcs@... Besides, you can buy one, get one free!
        levinson
      • RE: Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

        @tonymcs@... I used one in an AT&T store a week ago and I was not really impressed at all... IMHO the UI is not better than the iPhone or Android... it made my decision to upgrade my old iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4 much easier. The one thing I did like about WP7 is that, like the iPhone, it has no carrier crapware. The HTC Surround is a neat device, the Samsung Focus not bad at all but I found the iPhone much more suited to my needs.
        athynz
      • RE: Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

        @geoff256 I'm not saying you are lying, it just seems really odd to me that an AT&T store would not have any sort of feature or smartphones - is this store not an AT&T wireless store?
        athynz