Contour Display

I’ve already touched on a lot of what there is to be said about the Nexus S display. It’s an unbroken piece of gently curved glass, and underneath is the same 4” Super AMOLED display we saw on the Galaxy S line of phones. Pentile is still here, love it or hate it - best I can tell it literally is the same thing as in Galaxy S devices. Brightness is a little better on the Nexus S, but you still get perfect blacks that look awesome on the new black-heavy Gingerbread UI.

The Nexus S display is indeed excellent. We’ve got full viewing angles galleries and uniformity shots. Notably, there were no color or luminance uniformity issues we could pick out on our Nexus S - it appears flawless. Again the banding in our RGB gradient image is due to the gallery application color depth, which remains unchanged sadly.

Display Brightness

Display Brightness

The Nexus S also gets an oleophobic coating, something the iPhone 3GS got a lot of press with. I found that after a few months and wipings, the 3GS lost its amazing ability to repel oils. So far the Nexus S has withstood copious amounts of finger and face grease, coming clean with a quick brush on the shirt or lens cloth.

The curved surface is more of an aesthetic extra than an ergonomic feature, but it still is impressive that this is possible. The nice thing about having the front face in compression (from the concave shape) is that scratches probably don’t affect the glass’ structural integrity nearly as much as they would in tension. Glass is just stronger in compression rather than tension - the reason is primarily because cracks don’t propagate as well on surfaces in compression as they do in tension. Viewing angles on the Nexus S are very good, again the curvature is small enough that it doesn’t adversely impact vertical viewing angles.

Capacitive touch was always a major problem for me on the Nexus One. Anand noted it in his Nexus One review, and I experienced it firsthand with mine. I exchanged it and got one some months later with much better response and far fewer false touches, but compared to other flagship devices something always just felt wrong. Luckily the Nexus S has no such issues - touch is flawless, multitouch is excellent as well.

Android 2.3 - Gingerbread Camera Analysis
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  • Alexstarfire - Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - link

    I've never heard of that despite owning a Captivate and spending quite a bit of time over in the Captivate forums on the XDA site.
  • samven786 - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    Alexstarfire how long have you owned a captivate?
  • Segnaro - Thursday, December 16, 2010 - link

    Only time my phone randomly shut down was when I was using a 3rd party kernel.
  • Murst - Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - link

    The samsung focus on the chart comparing the phones.... it also has a super amoled...
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - link

    Fixed! Thanks!

  • GTO_GUY05 - Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - link

    Just curious as to why the Droid X included in the benchmarks is still running Andorid 2.1? Is there anyway to get some updated benchmarks with the Droid X running 2.2?
  • SoulShadow - Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - link

    Great article but this part is bothering me..

    I use Swype on my Droid 1 and it has directional keys on a secondary keyboard, swyping from the the Swype key to the Sym key will bring up a directional pad with delete, backspace, backspace whole word and a bunch of other features, just thought i'd add that in :)
  • Yomi - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    I'm likely to finally join the smartphone crowd with a Nexus S, so I've been following the news. This is by FAR the best review. Well done.

    On the topic of the phone, sure the Nexus S isn't cutting edge hardware, but for someone who owns a dumb phone it doesn't look like a bad choice at all. No HSPA+ where I live and unlikely to come soon. Already with T-Mobile, but haven't been on a contract for years. Going to go no contract with this I think.
  • sabrewulf - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    Glad to help. I found it useful for the exact same reason you mentioned (connectbot)
  • Starcub - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    The spec sheets say that the Nexus S has an FM radio but no RDS support for it. Were you able to test it? Is FM radio support still missing in Gingerbread, if so, would it be possible to download a third party app for it w/o having to hack the kernel or ROM?

    I don't know how AMOLED screens work, but in the world of LCD's blacks are not any less power hungry than whites. Moreover the animations would require processing power, so they're shooting themselves in the foot with those, especially with that wallpaper where the animation appears to serve no useful function.

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