Fans of stock Android phones and owners of the original Nexus S looking for a speed boost will find the Nexus S 4G an intriguing choice. This "younger, faster brother of T-Mobile's Nexus S," as Joshua Munoz of AndroidCentral.com describes it, sports the same glossy plastic design of the original Nexus S with added 4G connection, as well as Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). In theory, the phone is everything an Android user could want, but in reality, reviewers find it's a little too outdated to stand up to the competition. Factor in consumer reports of less-than-stellar 4G speeds and connectivity issues, and the smartphone loses some of its shine.
Design-wise, the Nexus 4G is an identical copy of the original Nexus. The Nexus 4G boasts an improved 4-inch SuperAMOLED touch screen with crisp colors that's supposed to use 40 percent less power than the original Nexus. Reviewers note that the Nexus 4G (like its predecessor) lacks any external memory options and say that despite a hefty 16 GB of internal memory, they wanted more. The 5-megapixel camera with LED flash takes "vibrant" outdoor shots, according to Mark Spoonauer of Laptop Magazine, and a front-facing camera for video calling is also standard.
Performance is what makes or breaks a smartphone, and the Nexus 4G receives mixed reviews. Its 1 GHz Hummingbird processor has the power to "get the job done, no matter what the job may be," says BrightHand.com's Adama Brown, though as the market shifts toward dual-core smartphones, reviewers note that gamers and those looking for an extra boost may prefer newer options like the HTC Evo 3D (*Est. $200 with contract). In the 4G department, performance falls far behind Sprint's HTC Epic 4G (*Est. $150 with contract), according to tests at Engadget.com and PCMag.com. Google and Sprint have stated they are looking into these issues. The Nexus S 4G does prove to be an excellent voice phone, providing clear reception on both ends. Its battery life pulls in 5 to 6 hours of talk time in professional tests.
Though opinions of the phone vary, reviewers agree that 4G speed is slower than phones such as Sprint's Epic 4G. PCMag.com provides a short review, drawing the conclusion that the Nexus 4G isn't worth the price. CNET and PC World provide overviews of the smartphone's major features while Laptop Magazine, AndroidCentral.com and BrightHand.com provide more in-depth looks at what the Nexus S 4G has to offer. Engadget.com investigates data issues and offers a comparison at how the Nexus S 4G's speeds stack up against the Epic 4G.
Calling the Nexus S 4G the "younger, faster brother" of the original Nexus S, Joshua Munoz approves of the manufacturer's choice to run stock Android on the smartphone.
Review: Nexus S 4G Review, Joshua Munoz, May 18, 2011
Kent German presents a concise overview of the smartphone's 4G performance, features and processing power. He likes the Nexus S 4G's "brilliant" display, but notes 4G connections are "spotty" and the phone feels somewhat "fragile."
Review: Samsung Nexus S 4G (Sprint), Kent German, May 13, 2011
Rating the Nexus S 4G a 3 out of 5, Sascha Segan says that though the pure Android experience is a plus, the smartphone is a dud due to its specs and reception problems.
Review: Nexus S 4G from Google (Sprint), Sascha Segan, May 24, 2011
4. Laptop Magazine
Mark Spoonauer offers a detailed look at the Nexus S 4G, including its processor, 4G performance and features, such as Google Voice. He feels it's a bit "behind the curve" for similarly priced Android phones, but is still a "pocket-friendly" device offering a pure Google experience.
Review: Samsung Nexus S 4G (Sprint) Review, Mark Spoonauer, May 14, 2011
5. PC World
In a short but deft review, Ginny Mies and Mark Sullivan look at some of the key features and specs of the Nexus S 4G. They're generally pleased with the phone's performance, but are disappointed with the lack of a memory card slot. Shutterbugs should look elsewhere, they recommend, as the camera is not very good.
Review: Samsung Nexus S 4G (Sprint), Ginny Mies and Mark Sullivan, May 17, 2011
Adama D. Brown provides a thorough review of the Nexus S 4G, concluding that it's an "iPhone clone that runs Android."
Review: Samsung Nexus S 4G Review, Adama D. Brown, June 8, 2011
In this blog post, Zach Honig compares data speeds between the HTC Nexus S 4G and Epic 4G, both of which run on Sprint's 4G network. He finds the Epic 4G consistently outperforms the Nexus S 4G, even when comparing 3G speeds.
Review: Engadget Investigates: Samsung Nexus S 4G WiMAX Performance Issues, Zach Honig, May 27, 2011