Tomorrow (December 22nd) sees electricals retailer Best Buy launch the latest smartphone from Google and Samsung, the much anticipated Nexus S.
As the first phone to feature Google’s new operating system much is expected from this handset, as rivals try to replicate the huge success of Apple’s iPhone series.
Ahead of its launch, Retail Gazette asks technology analyst Nick Dillon from Ovum Research, whether this product is worth braving the snow for.
What unique functions is this model bringing to the smartphone market?
“In design and features the Nexus S is very similar to the Galaxy S, which is also manufactured by Samsung.
“However Nexus S is currently the only Android handset to feature a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip, which can allow the phone to be used to make purchases, much like the Visa PayWave system.
“On the downside the phone has been launched without any payments applications, meaning that this feature is not currently available. This feature is likely to be added in the future, but at the moment it is largely redundant.”
What advantages/disadvantages does it have compared to its rivals?
“The Nexus S is currently the only phone to have the latest 2.3 version of the Android software, which is also known as Gingerbread.
“The latest version of the software only brings a number of modest updates to Android however, which are mostly small tweaks to the software rather than new headline features.
“Looking forward though, as the Nexus S is Google’s own-brand phone, it is likely that it will be the first handset to receive new software updates in the future, so if staying ahead of the game is important to you, this could be a compelling feature.
“The problem is that the Nexus S comes with a ‘pure’ version of Android, without any user interface customisation.
“The look and feel of the standard version of Android is relatively plain and lacks the visual appeal of other smartphones, which has led to many Android handset manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson to add their own custom user interface designs to the software.
“These custom user interface designs will not be available on the Nexus S, with may lessen its appeal to some.”
Do you expect high demand for this product in the lead up to Christmas?
“The Nexus S faces fierce competition not only from a large range of Android handsets, but also from other smartphones such as the iPhone, Windows Phone 7 handsets, Blackberry and the Nokia N8.
“Given the lack of unique features and the comparatively high price of the handset (even after a recent price drop) we do not envisage high demand for it.”
Questions by Jon Whiteaker