Review: Samsung Nexus S
Image quality from the 5-megapixel camera on the Nexus S was disappointing. Image quality has never been much of a priority for Samsung, and this is true for Google's new flagship phone as well. Frankly, I was surprised to learn the phone would only have a 5-megapixel sensor. There are already 8-megapixel cameras in this price range on other Android phones. It seems like Google and Samsung were aiming low with this sensor.
Images from the Nexus S were generally hazy and faded, whether I was shooting indoors or out. The phone produced a nice level of detail in close-ups, especially with macro focus engaged, but it was nothing that will beat the best of the competition. Colors could seem washed out on this phone, and without a touch focus mode it was difficult to set up a proper shot without the phone focusing on the distant background instead of my foreground subjects.
The camera did a nice job with its built-in flash. A xenon flash would have been preferable, but the camera balanced the cool light from the LED flash nicely, and I saw more details from well-lit close-ups helped by the built-in lamp.
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Video from the Nexus S was a mixed bag. Again, I was disappointed that Samsung and Google went with a 480p camcorder. High-def, 720p video cameras have become the norm on high-end smartphones, and the next few months should see the release of the first 1080p smartphones to hit the market. For a flagship device, the Nexus S is already well behind in imaging.
That said, videos weren't bad. Quality was similar to the still images. Colors were washed out a bit, but the camera handled motion very well. Sound quality in videos was superb, among the most clear sound recording I've heard from a camcorder phone. Still, details were a bit hazy and lost in the distant fog.
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Swype Opens Latest Beta to All
Swype has made version 3.25 beta of its Android keyboard software available to all Android users. The beta was previously only available for the Nexus S on Sprint.
Google Wallet Goes Live at More Retail Locations
Google today announced that a larger selection of retail locations are now accepting its Google Wallet-based payment service. The service, which ties a phone-based near-field communications chip to a credit card account, has been up and running at Subway and Walgreens locations in New York City and San Francisco for about a month.
Samsung Nexus S
4" display 480 x 800 pixels
Samsung Hummingbird Cortex A8 processor
1,500 mAh battery
Headphone Jack (3.5mm), NFC