"Though not officially positioned as such, the Nexus S is an update to the now-retired HTC Nexus One," writes CNET in its preview. CNET likes to take its time with gadgets, so expect its review later this week. "Like its predecessor, the Nexus S offers the 'pure Google' experience without a disruptive manufacturer skin. That means you'll get direct access to a full set of Google applications.... It's the first handset with 'Gingerbread,' the next version of the Android operating system, and it offers a number of feature improvements like a Super AMOLED display with a contour design, an NFC chip, and a second camera. Not everything sounds promising--the Nexus S lacks a memory card slot and support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network--but we're excited to see it just the same."
The NFC chip
"The much-touted 'Near field communication,' so far, is a let down however," says the UK Telegraph. "That's because few people - in the UK at least - are yet using it. But as with so many Google features it could, in due course, be revolutionary: payments, transport tickets and more could – and should – all soon be based on this technology. For now, however, it’s simply a way of taking people to websites quickly."
"The UI has also been nipped and tucked all over the place, with icons and navigational elements taking on more of a buffed glass feel," writes Engadget in its preview. "Google has made big improvements to the keyboard, copy / paste, and text selection options, bringing the on-screen QWERTY and its associated components much closer to parity with iOS 4."
"The lack of a comma on the keyboard might sound like a little issue, but to us, it's massive and could quickly get annoying," pans Tech Radar. "The text wrapping on the internet browser was hard to get right too (although that could be simply due to the early software build, so we'll wait for judgement on that). The price [$199 on contract, $529 unlocked] is ridiculously high for the average gadget lover - sure, it has come neat features but we reckon that slightly curved display added a few quid to the cost of manufacture, and had it been flat the world would have simultaneously wept."
The final word
"The bottom line is this," states TechCrunch. "If you are an iPhone user this isn’t going to make you switch. If you’re an Android user you will want this phone more than any other. If you’re currently neither, we recommend that you go with the Nexus S. It is better than the iPhone in most ways. What you lose with the slightly less impressive screen and iOS’s slightly slicker user experience you will more than make up for with the Nexus S’s ability to actually make phone calls that don’t drop and Google’s exceptional Navigation and voice input applications. The fact that the phone is unlocked and can be used abroad with other carriers is also a very big plus."