Phone Scoop

printed December 20, 2014
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Review: Samsung Nexus S

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The new Android 2.3 software offers no improvements to the stock Android messaging experience. You still get the same basic toolkit. The text messaging app is solid, with threaded, conversational messaging and picture messages that show up in line with the text. There is Google Talk on board for IM chatting, but that’s all; you’ll have to download clients for other IM services. For email, you get Gmail for Google’s own mail service, and a slightly inferior Email app for Exchange, POP and IMAP accounts.

I won’t beat a dead horse about all the bonuses you’ll get with a tweaked manufacturer’s phone. But I am disappointed that Google hasn’t improved its own apps. It seems like video chat in Google Talk would be a no-brainer. Hopefully Google will add the feature in the near future.

The software keyboard has seen some improvements, but it still isn’t the best available. The keys are more separated, but also a bit smaller. The auto correct worked nicely, though, and you can now hold down a key to activate the corresponding number or symbol. This has long been a feature of other software keyboards. I prefer Swype to the stock Android design, but Swype is still in a closed beta trial, so if you’re not already in, you can’t get the gesture-based keyboard on this phone.

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