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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  • metafor - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    AMOLED's emit light from each subpixel (diode). When it's displaying black, it simply doesn't emit any light. This results in true black; which is why you see their black level at 0.

    This comes with some limitations, of course, compared to LCD displays. One particular drawback is lack of great bright levels as well as readability in sunlight.

    They also take more power when all the individual subpixels are lit up.
  • Chloiber - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    Alltough I really don't like most of the smartphones from Samsung (just too much cheap plastic), I really liked the review (and the video).

    I'm really looking forward to Gingerbread - finally smooth Animations. You can already have those, but only with a good custom ROM. Gingerbread + custom ROM will rock the house! :-)
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    I really hope that the phone number (1-408-505-xxxx) on page 6 is not a real phone number...
  • tpurves - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    Interesting to see how little difference the 21MBits/s hspa+ made in your tests.

    On Canadian HSPA+ 21 networks I've seen speed tests as much as 13 Megabits/sec down and 1.2-1.6 up. That's fast! and nearly twice your measured speeds. Bear in mind those speeds where achieved with a USB 3G adapter not a handset.
  • spaceboy33 - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    Any idea when the mytouch 4g review will be posted? Currently trying to decide between these two phones and another review as detailed as this one would be a big help.
  • Ullteppet - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    First off, you guys deliver the hands down most thorough articles and reviews the internet has ever seen - and we're ever grateful for your unbiased, hard effort, keep it up!

    I didn't fully get the video recording though. First page table says it has 720p, but the camera pages states it lacks 720p. Is the table wrong or does it only reflect the potential of the camera, since the limitation seems to be in gingerbread?
  • Brian Klug - Thursday, December 16, 2010 - link

    Oops, you're indeed correct. The Nexus S lacks 720P video recording, at least out of the box with stock 2.3. I'm sure it'll be added in by the XDA-Devs within a few days at max.

  • sicofante - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    I know you're an American site and that Americans don't care that much about the biggest phone maker in the world (Nokia). However, since this is published in the worldwide web I believe your comparisons would be more useful to your worldwide audience if you included the newest phones from Nokia, such as the N8 or C7.
  • ojisama - Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - link

    I've also been refreshing the main page to see a review of N8 before Christmas, but apparently getting the review out in the time span between the release of the phone in October and Christmas was impossible. (Well, technically the article could still come out before xmas, but now it's too late to get the phone...)

    Well, apparently there will be an update for the phone soon, so hopefully this will be installed and tested before the article is released...
  • rcocchiararo - Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - link

    Swype has arrow keys

    Swyping forom "swype button" to "sym button" takes you to that keyboard.

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