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Review: Google Nexus S

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There are lot of Android phones on the market at the moment which means customers have plenty of choices.

And although Google licence the Android software to many hardware manufacturers, it also takes the trouble to make its own mobile.

The Nexus S is actually Google’s second handset – the first was made by HTC. This version is a vast improvement and was made in conjunction with Samsung.



One of the most impressive features is the fact it is running Gingerbread – the latest version of Google’s Android software.

Another is the 1Ghz Hummingbird processor which makes it also one of the fastest Android phones around. Apps spring open almost instantly and menus pop up as soon as you want them.

The Nexus S has an impressive 4-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels.

The screen is also easy to read in bright sunlight which is good news for anyone who works outside or just likes spending time in the sun.

Among the new software enhancements include improved typing with the keys spaced slightly further apart along with word suggestions via a library which improves the more you use it.

What I also liked about the new keyboard was the ability to type numbers and common symbols and punctuation like @ and ? on  the main keyboard and without having to access a second keyboard.

Copying and pasting is also easier with a new onscreen tool that makes highlighting and selecting text even easier.

The Nexus S also has the ability to act as a wi-fi hotspot and can connect up to six devices like laptops, tablets and netbooks to the internet using its 3G connection.

Another interesting feature is NFC – Near Field Communication – which can read information within objects which have smart tags or NFC chips.

These objects could include stickers and posters so the Nexus S would be able to obtain, text, web links and contact information when placed closed to it.

This technology, already popular in Japan, will also be useful in future for paying for items using your device as your credit card to access a designated account.

The Google Nexus S mobile which has been made by SamsungAlso on board are voice commands so users can dial numbers and complete searches simply by speaking. I found this to be a bit of a hit or miss proposition.

For every phrase it recognised it got one spectacularly wrong.

On the design front of view the Nexus S feels comfortable in your hand. The device has a slight curve on the rear panel to make it fit nicely around your fingers.

At 11.5mm the Nexus S is not the thinnest phone in the world but it’s not a brick either as it weighs just 140g.

There is also a front and rear camera – the front is a VGA (640 x 480) camera while the rear has 5 megapixel resolution and a flash.

Also on board is GPS, the latest Google Maps 5.0 which has the ability to offer a 3D map view complete with elevations.

On the downside memory is limited to just the built-in 16GB and there is no memory card slot to expand that any further.

The Nexus S has some hardware polish thanks to the manufacturing partnership with Samsung and, with the latest feature-rich version of Android, offers a tempting all-in-one package which can help users stay in touch, stay informed and entertained.

The Nexus S is available now exclusively through Vodafone.

Nexus S

Four stars (out of five)

Price: Starting at $5 a month on a $65 plan for 24 months

www.vodafone.com.au

 The Google Nexus S has the latest Android Gingerbread operating system