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Nexus or not?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by sammino, May 23, 2011.

  1. sammino

    sammino Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Long time iphone user but been wanting to get an iphone for some time. I recently decided that I will go ahead and get one and been heavily considering The Nexus S because of the standard android install it has (and ability to get updates as soon as released).

    I was looking at the Nexus S that was being sold at Best Buy which works on the TMobile network. I did some research and I am pretty sure that it is compatible with France/Israel 3g networks. This is important because I will be traveling there often and need to have the ability to use local cell phone company sim cards w/ 3g.

    Now what is holding back is that I read that some people have had a lot of trouble with wifi/3g reception with this phone. Additionally, It is a older phone compaered to whats coming out now with dual core cpu phones like the G2X, Samsung s2 etc...

    So my question is, for 529 (unlocked price), is it the best and only choice for me? If not, what are my other options out there? Remember must be unlocked and be able to work in France and Israel.

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  2. MartinS

    MartinS Android Expert

    T-Mobile versions will work in Europe. I don't know about the frequencies in Israel.

    As for Wi-Fi and 3G, I've never had an issue with the NS and certainly haven't seen any "death grip" or such like. GPS has always been a bit iffy, but maybe I have a slightly faulty unit.

    As for whether to get an NS or not? That's a more difficult question...

    If you plan to keep it long term or not is a consideration. I'm happy at present, but I plan to get the next Nexus device as it is released (Christmas?). So far it keeps up relatively well with some of the newer phones in terms of performance, however phones like the HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S 2 are starting to stretch away slightly. I think if I was buying here in the UK now, I would go for the Sensation and either use a Launcher or root and flash CM7 to get a more stock like experience. If you have a reasonable phone now, it may be advisable to wait 6 months or so for the next Nexus, at least you know you are good for support etc for a year.

    I'll try to give some + and - points...


    Stock Android
    Earlier updates
    Still relatively good performance
    Great screen


    Build quality (nothing like HTC or iPhone) I also dislike the style
    Starting to fall behind in specs race, a consideration for a longer term purchase
    GPS is possibly weak (I've had to revert to Tomtom)
    Battery life is no better than anything else

    Hope this helps? Just my honest opinion...
  3. Crimson13

    Crimson13 Member

    I just picked up my Nexus S last Friday.

    The need for a new phone was fairly urgent (my wife broke hers and wanted my captivate) and after some of the software issues I had with the captivate (namely bluetooth and internal sd card mounting related) i wanted a clean, current android experience that even installing a custom rom couldn't quite fill.

    So far I'm very happy with the Nexus S and it feels nice and fast and responsive.

    It comes down to timing and how much you want a clean google phone. If you need a google phone now, get the Nexus S, if you can wait, wait for the next one.

    If a pure android experience isn't that critical to you, then there are several other options.
  4. sammino

    sammino Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Well the thing is, I currently own a iphone 3gs. I am going to be leaving overseas for a couple years starting around mid summer. So I been wanting to get a google phone for some time and figured this would be a good time to get it before I leave.

    Now i would consider other android phones if there is some viable options.. I would even consider trying to trade my iphone 3gs for a android phone.. I also looked into the Nexus one as a possibility but learned it has no front facing camera so forget that one lol. So thats why I came to get suggestions :)

    Not crazy about paying 530 at best buy if the Nexus S is already an old phone
  5. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Don't get too excited about the hype surrounding the newer dual-core phones and such. Just like computers, cell phones keep changing and coming out with new models with more power and features. So while the Nexus S is "old" by those standards, its hardware is quite capable of handling most apps and games without issues for quite some time.

    As an example, I had a Motorola Atrix and while the hardware seemed good, the firmware on the phone was aweful and slow. The phone was rushed out the door to be the first dual-core on the market, but it's slower and much less useful than the Nexus S I now have. That says something about the hardware and software on the Nexus S. It's a good phone and I doubt I'll need to upgrade again for a couple of years.
  6. kegacide

    kegacide Member

    I just switched to the nexus from an Evo and love it... its much quicker, i haven't had the problems some others have here (remember people who have issues will come here to complain, the people with no problems dont necessarily tell you about it)... the battery after about 5 days of full drainage and full charging has been phenomenal...
  7. mindwalker

    mindwalker Member

    I just got a Nexus S, after owning a Nokia 5800 XM.

    So far I'm pretty happy with the phone. Surely speedy for day to day use of browing the internet, checking your email, listening to music.

    So far the battery life has been good. Getting over a day's use with auto updates and push-email on for half of the day (when I'm home in my wireless).

    The screen is the clear LCD.. no complaints here. However without a hardware notification light, there's no way to get a proper notification without rooting the phone and installing a custom kernel (which I haven't done). If you get the S-AMOLED screen you can get away with the NoLED app.

    The browser sometimes lags. Jump to a page with a few high-res pics and the scrolling stutters. The same page with Opera mobile will fly across though, didn't try other browsers yet.

    Build quality is perfectly fine for me. The phone feels pretty solid and sturdy.. heavier than my Nokia. Love the black styling as well... less of an attention grabber (less fingerprints from your friends on it).

    Form factor is just about right... bigger would be too big.

    3G reception and Wireless work very well inside my house, even when locked in my bathroom which is kind of a dead-zone so no complaints here either. Locking a GPS indoors is hopeless but you get enough signal to track your position for Foursquare, Google Places, etc. You're not going to be navigating indoors anyway right ? ;)

    So far pretty happy with it... however in "pure phone" functionality it's not as good as the Nokia. The ear piece sound quality is worse, and the speakers are not powerful enough. The ringtones don't really get too loud. It's very easy to miss a call under a noisy environment.
    But I'm just 3 days with it so far... still exploring :)
  8. sammino

    sammino Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I ended up picking a Nexus S from best buy. The salesman said I had 30 days to try it out. So I figured I had nothing to lose.. So far it seems really nice.. Much better than my iphone 3gs on many levels.. The screen is amazing.. The one downside so far, it seems the wifi reception is not particular strong. Anyone know how to improve that somehow?
  9. sammino

    sammino Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Ok, I just want to make sure, how can i confirm for SURE that the Nexus S (tmobile version) will work in Israel? I thought I saw some numbers that seem to match that of the phone but then there is different numbers for 3g band and 3g data. so that part is a bit confusing.. Does anyone know?
  10. MartinS

    MartinS Android Expert

  11. quantumrand

    quantumrand Android Expert

    Just to expand on what you said a little, T-Mobile USA does not use the same frequency bands as most of Europe; however, most of T-Mobile's phones, including the T-Mobile version of the Nexus S, are compatible with European carrier's 3G frequencies.

    Most European carriers use the 900/2100MHz bands for 3G. T-Mobile USA uses 1700/2100MHz, but because their phones already have the 2100MHz band, almost all of them include the 900MHz band as well since it increases the marketability of the phone at nearly no additional cost to the manufacturer.

    Where you have to be careful are the carriers that don't follow the rest of the crowd. There are some European carriers that do not use the 900/2100MHz standard, and the T-Mobile Nexus S will not be compatible with those 3G networks. It looks like Israel carriers follow the same 900/2100MHz standard as most of Europe, but check the carriers out individually before making your decision.

    Sammino, the Nexus S would probably be a pretty good choice for you, and if you think you might like to upgrade to the Nexus 3 (supposedly a quad-core Tegra 3 phone coming out around November this year), I'd say definitely go with the Nexus S, which will make the transition from NS to Nexus 3 really simple.

    If you're looking to get a full 18 month to two years of use out of your phone before upgrading, you may want to consider the G2x or Galaxy S II if you can wait for it to come out. The G2x isn't a huge step up in terms of performance from the Nexus S, but will be a bit more future proof in terms of high-end apps and it's still fairly stock Android (which is generally a benefit). It also uses the same frequencies as the Nexus S and should work on 3G for most European carriers.

    The Galaxy S II is a moderate step above the Nexus S, many claiming it even challenges Tegra 3 performance. A T-Mobile version (whenever it comes out) should also have the European bands, just like the others. Or you can grab the already released version which is UMTS Quad band (850/900/1900/2100MHz), which will work on AT&T 3G and most European 3G carriers too. Downside is that it's horrendously expensive.

    If I were in your situation, I'd probably go for the Nexus S, though I'd be planning on upgrading to the Nexus 3 when it comes out.
    MartinS likes this.
  12. MartinS

    MartinS Android Expert

    Thanks, I learn something new every day!
  13. I got it as a present and before I did not have any android experience. This one is a monster compared to my Nokia that I had before.
    And the app store is something incredible. So much free stuff, services, blogs...Need to enable data and I guess it will suck me in even more. Cannot really compare Nexus with others, but I can say that it does not glitch, works fine. Apps crash sometimes but I guess I will try this CM7 ROM soon. Hope it will be great)
  14. sammino

    sammino Lurker
    Thread Starter

    ok thanks for the help. But what is the difference between a 3g frequency and 3g data? Because when i tried to look up some carriers like Orange and cellcom, they had like those two seperate categories. So far I have been enjoying this phone a lot. I find it a big step up from my iphone 3gs in many ways. The screen is 10x better too lol.. So far the battery life has been pretty good about on par with the iphone but I was hoping i could boost my wifi signal pickup somehow.

    Can the G2x you mentioned be purchased without a contract? The galaxy 2 i saw for like 800 somewhere, thats like a price of a laptop unfortunately :)
  15. quantumrand

    quantumrand Android Expert

    Yup, last I checked, Radio Shack has them in stock for just $499. T-Mobile has them for the same price, but I hear they're having stocking issues. Best Buy has them as well, but for a ridiculous $650. You can find it for as cheap as $430 with lesser known (and less reputable) web stores, but I'd probably go with Radio Shack. Rumor has it that Radio Shack's online store won't charge you tax for it.

    3G frequencies are the frequencies a carrier uses for their 3G network to provide 3G data. Some European carriers will use just the 2100MHz band, others just the 900MHz band. Others use both, using 2100MHz in one area and 900MHz in others. Some split it for upload and download, as-in 900MHz for upload and 2100MHz for download.

    Edit: You may want to be careful getting the G2x actually. It looks like it may not have the full European bands after all. T-Mobile originally had it listed as a Quad band UMTS device, but now shows it with only 1700/2100MHz bands, which will not work on many European carriers. If you wanted to go with the Optimus 2X (the international version of the G2x), some models have 900/1900/2100MHz 3G bands, which will be compatible with most European carriers and some of AT&T's 3G network.

Nexus S Forum

The Nexus S release date was December 2010. Features and Specs include a 4.0" inch screen, 5MP camera, 512GB RAM, Hummingbird processor, and 1500mAh battery.

December 2010
Release Date

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