Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

Summary: As an owner of a HTC EVO 4G since it was first released last year, it is with a bit of sadness to report it has been replaced. Yesterday I said goodbye to the EVO and picked up a brand new Nexus S from Sprint.


As an owner of a HTC EVO 4G since it was first released last year, it is with a bit of sadness to report it has been replaced. Yesterday I said goodbye to the EVO and picked up a brand new Nexus S from Sprint.

See CNET Review: Samsung Nexus S 4G

I go through a lot of smartphones as part of my coverage of them on ZDNet, and I must admit the EVO was still as good as phones just getting released, especially since the recent update to Gingerbread rolled out by Sprint and HTC.

So why did I dump the EVO, and why buy the Nexus S? That's a fair question and not at easy one to answer that will make a lot of sense to regular folk. In a nutshell, I test a lot of phones, software and peripherals for phones through my work. This covers products that are released in the marketplace, and others that are prototypes with a way to go prior to launch. The latter category is the most fun for me as I like to play with new tech that isn't readily available yet.

The problem with testing prototypes is they often are being developed using a restricted set of phone models to keep things manageable for the developers. A popular phone for such tests is the Nexus S, as it is the current Google flagship phone. It is an ideal candidate for such development work as it is distributed with an unmodified set of Android software. There is no customization from the handset manufacturer nor the carrier, it is raw Android.

This work is the sole reason for my trading in the EVO for the Nexus S, although it didn't hurt that I find the Nexus S to be a nice smartphone. It doesn't sport the latest and greatest hardware components, there is no dual-core processor onboard, but it does run the latest version of Android for smartphones. This is an acceptable tradeoff for me, and frankly I am finding the Nexus S hardware to be quite good. The performance of the Nexus S rivals that of any phone I have tested to date which includes several with whiz-bang processors. I am finding no lag whatsoever while using the Nexus S, and that includes times I have lots of processes running in the background. The UI is downright snappy, and that's a good thing.

The Nexus S with its stock Android build fits in with my recent theme of getting back to basics on my phone. Having spent far too much time fiddling with customizing my phones in the past, it is refreshing to just use the darn thing as it ships. There are plenty of standard Android widgets for the home screen to tweak it a little without wasting time in the process.

I should point out that Sprint made the decision to switch an easy one. They offered me a full ugrade for the Nexus S, which made the subsidized price $199.99. This was still a bit too rich for my blood considering I was happy with the EVO 4G, but their recycling program for upgraded phones swayed me. They gave me an instant $150 for turning in my EVO, which was applied to the purchase of the Nexus S. The net price of $50 for the Nexus S clinched the deal for Sprint.

I will be giving some thoughts on using the Nexus S after I spend some quality time with it, but in the meantime check out Matt Miller's first impressions. He covers the hardware and software included on the Nexus S in detail, and shares what he thinks of the phone.

Topics: Smartphones, 4G, Android, HTC, Mobile OS

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  • Any signals issues

    James I'd be interested to know if you experience any signals issues as has been reported on other Nexus S 4G.
    • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

      @mas90guru I paid particular attention to those issues prior to pulling the trigger on the Nexus S. I checked it carefully in the store and after and so far without issue. I suspect there will be an OTA update at some point dealing with them.

      The same issues plagued the EVO when it first appeared and was quickly addressed via an update.
      • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

        @JamesKendrick Welcome to Team Nexus! I really like this phone, and for the most part, my signal has been pretty good, although I have had issues a couple of times. Coming from BlackBerry, there's no comparison. Overall, it's a good phone, which I reviewed for Law Technology News:
  • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

    Hi James,

    Interested in your thoughts on the phone once you've had some time with it. I've had my Nexus S 4G for a month now after doing the same as you--trading in my Evo. I love the Nexus, but I definitely have had some of the signal issues that are being reported around the web. When I have 3G, the speed seems fine (even though the number of bars is almost always lower than it was on my Evo), but I drop from 3G to 2G (or whatever it's called) a lot more than I ever did with the Evo. Signal fro phone calls and 4G seems weaker as well. Hope you're right that there will be a software fix, because I love the phone otherwise.
  • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

    Welcome to the party James, I like you made the switch about a week ago. I choose the NEXUS because it was Sprints latest. I suspect a year from now with Moto coming on board, there will be more than one (latest) choice. Anyway, I also agree with you that it is snappy and simple to use. I only wish that the Camera/Camcorder had more testicular fortitude. My EVO captured pics of the Grand Canyon that were so good, leaving behind the camera proved to be a good decision. I don't know if the Nexus would cut the same muster. The only other problem I have is 4G connectivity, it is definitely slower than my old Supersonic which gave me 6-9 mb/s on the regular here in DFW. I'm still hoping to see a full review of the 3D EVO by ANANDTECH and others before making up my mind weather to keep the NEXUS or hand it back in within my 30day window. Looking forward to your review. BTW, enjoy the Free Wifi Hotspot, the NEXUS offers up that ability root free Ciao!
  • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

    I was waiting for quite a while for the Nexus S, but the signal issue is horrible. Samsung Galaxy II is coming to Sprint on July 24th and should trump it pretty quick. <br><br>You could have sold your EVO on eBay for $200-225 used, and picked up the Nexus S from Wirefly or Amazon for $99!
  • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

    Did the exact same thing last week but returned the S after a couple of dropped and garbled calls. Been there and done that with my last iPhone... Am disappointed the new EVO does not have a NFC chip... will wait a little longer before upgrading... still love the original EVO
  • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

    For some reason I started hating Samsung Android devices and yes, Samsung Galaxy Tab (1st Gen) is the last device I owned that is Samsung labeled and will not buy Samsung phones in future unless Samsung fixes its crappy firmware.
    Ram U
  • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

    Samsung makes some really crappy phones, they feel cheap in your hands, why go with Samsung? TV sure.. phone never! chromeboook HELL NO!
  • Curious on your opinion on the signal issues...

    ...for the Nexus S. I bought this phone on release day, and have been beset by the same signal issues many others have cited over the last month. The GUI is snappy, the usage easy. Voice reception bars are about half of any other phone (including the Palm Pre-), although to be fair it doesn't appear to affect voice quality from what I've seen.

    Data is where I see the worst squeeze, with 4G being a pipe dream (constantly trying to reconnect, showing a toggle between near empty and full), 3G being lackluster for packet drop, and even the wifi being sub-standard. With ANY device - laptop, smartphone, wifi dongle for the TIVOs - in my home, I get at least 85% signal strength from top to bottom floors; with this device, I fail to connect.

    You can reference the below links for some background: (thread on Sprint's forums discussing the issue) (thread on Google's forums on the same topic)
    Ivan Turgenev
  • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

    Why not try a WP7?
    • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

      @krishnansriram dont say wp7 you know james loves to say bad things of wp7. james is a apple troll fanboy
  • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

    LOL this James guy does not know what he's talking about and dont know why you all like to read or believe this Fool.
    Nexus S is a total waste of time getting this phone may have new gingerbread but be alarm of important features not included like NO MicroSD Card and 16 gig is not enough these days. It does NOT RECORD in HD windows phone 7 Records in HD so James your favorite phone Windows phone 7 hahahaha. Nexus S is NOT DUAL CORE. Sorry say most new phones are coming out with Dual Core. Only 5mp Camera only. Most newer phones are having 8mp camera. I can go on and on of Many Many More features missing.

    James before you say bad things about HTC EVO just remember HTC Evo 3D 4G is arrving in June 24th at Sprint stores. All what I mentioned above new HTC Evo 3D will have. So james thinking of thinking getting EVO 3D hahahah
    So all you nexus s users your phone will be obsolete in 6 months. I am glad i never gotten Nexus S has i knew it was a phone i will like with those missing important features.

    HTC Evo 3D 4G can't wait to get it. While James will be saying to himself I wish i gotten a Evo 3D hahahahah and also will say Windows phone 7 love your User Interface. :)-
    • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

      @ipadsucks good luck with your EVO 4G 3D, but remember that you will have to carry your phone charger with you because your battery will not stand more then several hours and you will wait for the OS updates for months after Nexus S received them :)
      • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

        Not True, The 3D EVO will last all day with moderate use!
  • Ever see that commercial from Best Buy?

    You are making the point in that commercial, where people who made a purchase for a TV or a PC or a smartphone, immediately regret their purchases, because, a "newer, better, faster, bigger", TV or PC or smartphone has just made what you thought was the "newer, better, faster, bigger", outdated.

    People cannot do what you do as a blogger on ZDNet, and once they purchase a smartphone, they're likely stuck with it for at least 2 years. This type of blog is better without the sensationalist type headlines, and just reporting on the features and the reasons why something is better, should be enough, and the "Goodbye" is unnecessary. People don't go to the store just to see what's new and better, and then just hand over their old for the new, while paying the price for the new. It's ridiculous.
  • Nexus S shot themselves in the foot

    Why would they release the Nexus S without a microSD slot? I mean 16gb of storage is nice but I use my evo for gaming, music, and watching videos as well. I have a 32GB card in now and seldom have more than 3.5GB free. I was excited about the new Nexus until I found out that it did not have a memory expansion slot.
    • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

      16 gigs is plenty! Utilize Drop Box, Sugar Sync, Amazon Cloud Storage, Google for all your storage needs and you'll be fine. Your welcome
  • RE: Goodbye EVO 4G, hello Sprint Nexus S

    What about the EVO 3D? How do those specs compare to that of the Nexus S?