in Mobile, Reviews

Hungry for Gingerbread Anyone?

Google Nexus S is the first phone to run Gingerbread, the fastest version of Android yet. Gingerbread builds on some of the most popular Android features like multi-tasking and Wi-Fi hotspot and adds a refreshed user interface, an improved keyboard, near field communication (NFC) support, and more.

Visual

The home screen has undergone some minor theming changes. The notification bar is now solid black and the bottom panel is darker. This has resulted in better power saving and thus better battery life even if it seems like a cheat. Some of the icons have been tweaked to match the black and green palette. In terms of functionality, the home screen still largely behaves as before and isn’t playing tag with third-party options yet. The dialer has a much more subdued look. The bubble gradients on the buttons and text bar were stripped out in favor of a more static flat appearance. The bottom rectangle now features squared corners. Application toolbar buttons have a black background with pronounced transparency and the toolbar overflow menu matches the new look. The new text selection mechanism in the keyboard lets you drag the sliders on each side to change the range of the selection. The overall changes in Android 2.3 are subtle yet elegant and the color palette, translucent menu, flat rectangular feel together add the Gingerbread flavor.

Google Nexus S

Speed

A 1 GHz Hummingbird processor paired with 16GB of internal memory makes Nexus S one of the fastest phones on the market. Menus open faster, tabs are more responsive, and web pages load quicker with virtually no lag time. Switch between apps effortlessly with true multitasking on Android. Nexus S has a dedicated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Playing mobile games, browsing the web, and watching videos are fast, fluid, and smooth. It’s like having a pocket-sized multimedia and game console.

Display

Nexus S is manufactured by Samsung, and it is the first smartphone to launch with a Contour Display. The curved glass screen fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. A brighter screen with higher contrast means colors are incredibly vibrant, text is crisp at any size, and luminance is up to 1.5x higher than conventional LCD displays. Take Nexus S outside, there’s 75% less glare than on other smartphone displays. Your videos, pictures and games look their best and the sun won’t wash them out. The Contour Display uses a thin-profile glass panel, making Nexus S uniquely slim and trim. It’s subtle but you’ll notice.

Features

  • Look and feel: There’s a slick black notification bar that’s easier to read and an improved on-screen keyboard with multi-touch support that makes typing faster and more accurate.
  • One-touch word selection and improved copy-paste – With Gingerbread, copying and pasting text is easier than ever. Use the new text selection tool to copy and paste when entering text or viewing a webpage.
  • Internet calling (VoIP/ SIP support) – Gingerbread allows Nexus S to place Internet calls with a SIP account. This allows for enhanced VoIP dialing to other SIP accounts and even phone numbers.
  • Portable Wi-Fi hotspot – Nexus S can function as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to six portable devices such as laptops or tablets. Once connected, these devices will have access to the Internet with no additional carrier fees.
  • Rear and front-facing cameras – The rear-facing 5 megapixel camera is capable of taking stunning pictures and HD videos that you can share with friends and family. The front-facing camera can take VGA quality images and video.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) – Nexus S can read information from “smart” tags, or everyday objects that have NFC chips in them. These can be anything from stickers and movie posters to t-shirts.