Nexus S 4G Review

I finally replaced my four year old Blackberry with an android based phone–the Nexus S 4G. I’ve written a detailed review of the Nexus S 4G over at Productivity501, but here are a few of the highlights.  It is quite a change. In particular the virtual keyboard is taking some time to get used to. I’ve been told it will take me 4 to 6 weeks to get to the point where I’m faster with the screen based keyboard on the Nexus than I was on my old device.  I hope that is the case, but we’ll see.

One thing I haven’t tried yet is linking my bluetooth keyboard to the Nexus S 4G to use it for input instead of the onscreen keyboard.  This might be a good way to write longer emails and compose documents when I don’t want to carry around a laptop.  Of course carrying around a keyboard and my Nexus S means there isn’t much benefit over just carrying my laptop.

The richer feature set is very nice. One of the biggest things I’ve been impressed with is the integration between the mobile and desktop versions of applications. Some of the apps I’m using include:

  • Evernote – The interface on the Nexus S is much better than what I was using on the Blackberry (Evernote Review)
  • LastPass – It is incredibly useful to have access to all my passwords on the mobile device.
  • Dropbox – This works, but seems to run into some problems with larger files.  The interface is very nice through. (Dropbox Review)
  • Google Reader – A lot of the benefits on the Nexus S is just having a larger screen, but the interface is much more polished than the mobile web interface I had been using.
  • Google Voice – With Sprint you can set Google Voice to use your cell phone’s number.  The Nexus provides a great interface for checking voicemail and text messages without losing the ability to use your full computer.
  • Gmail – Supports sending from secondary email addresses and shows tags.  Very handy and a big improvement.

One of thing unique things about the Nexus S 4G form factor is the curved screen.  Actually the Nexus screen is flat, but the glass over the top is concave on the user facing side and flat on the part that is up against the screen.  I’m not sure that this makes things all that much better, but I know it was a big deal when it was announced.  I think this falls more into the category of a marketing feature rather than an actual advantage of the Nexus S.

The Nexus S 4G also has NFC capabilities. I haven’t read any Nexus S reviews where they were actually using it for anything useful, but it sounds like Citibank is going to be releasing an app later this year that will let you use your phone to make payments instead of a credit card.  If done correctly this could actually be a bit more secure than using a credit card and would reduce the amount of things people have to carry. Imagine a day when your drivers license, credit card, and insurance cards are all kept in your cell phone.  You wouldn’t even need to carry a wallet.

See my detailed Nexus S 4G Review.

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