Bah! Humbug! Google Nexus S disappoints in December

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?
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

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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