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  • 2 Post By somerussianguy
  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    I thought I'd give a quick point review for people who still haven't received the update. If you want to see the full version with all the details and screenshots, you can check it out on my blog, link below.


    This is for T-Mobile's (US) version.

    I'll go alphabetically with + for positive changes/features and - for negatives. # is just an overall view of the feature/app

    Battery life
    # doesn't seem to be significantly better or worse. Need more time to find out.

    Browser
    # greatly improved - might be the biggest improvement in ICS
    + faster load times - not by a lot, but still...
    + easy to switch between tabs
    + bookmarks & tabs menus are completely redesigned.
    + scrolling is very smooth with full desktop sites - with a few exceptions, Android Central being one of them.
    + option to always load full sites instead of mobile, but...
    - a lot of content appears on the left side of the page as in ready for you to zoom in on it, and...
    - you have to toggle the option every time you load the browser
    + sync bookmarks with your Chrome browser - syncs everything, including folders in the same order as they appear on your desktop browser.
    - bookmarks tab access is through the menu - I personally liked it right up front
    - pop-up blocker doesn’t work that well - some pop-ups just take the whole screen and has to be closed manually.

    Calculator
    # looks more like Windows Phone 7 calculator
    + smoother and faster
    - still no advanced options like graphing

    Calendar
    # redesigned with similar look to that of desktop Gmail (past weeks/days greyed-out, upcoming days & weeks are in white)
    + new zoom feature works/looks great - zooming out to see whole day's schedule, and in to see event details.
    - a bit laggy switching between weeks

    Camera
    + interface looks better - simpler, more "elegant"
    + smoother
    + time-lapse w. interval options (works well)
    - panorama mode is mostly a gimmick (and takes too long to save shots) - camera doesn't actually focus, so shots come out blurry.
    - indoor shots still suck - ok, so this is not an ICS issue...

    Gallery
    # improved but still not as good as some other gallery/picture apps
    + overall layout is improved
    + no more of the half-assed 3D look - you get 4 rows of albums and they all sit flat.
    + seamless integration with Picasa - pictures from Picasa load instantaneously.
    + improved scrolling - scrolling is not as sensitive as it was in Gingerbread, but...
    - laggy - it does lag if you have a lot of albums.
    - still takes forever to load all your images - the first time loading lots of pics might take about 10 minutes.
    - can’t exclude folders - if you have a lot of album-cover for your music, this can be a pain scrolling through all the album-covers just to get to the album you want.

    Gmail
    # not a significant change
    + looks more like the desktop version
    + easy to copy text to clipboard
    - icons might be too small for some

    Google Music
    # it sucks! If you're into music, use any other music player.
    + lockscreen player (but ugly)
    + integrates with your Google Music service, but...
    - streaming music consumes a crapload of data - about 7 or 8 albums can consume around 500mb of data!...and...
    - music skips from time to time when streaming
    - bloated and poorly-designed interface

    Home Launcher
    + very simplistic & easy to use
    + style - the overall look and feel is very nice, color scheme looks great
    + very smooth - minor lag flipping through widgets tab
    + creating folders is nice and simple - they look great also, no more of that boring folder icon
    + Android Market on top of the app drawer
    - non-removable search bar on home screens - seriously...why?! There's a search button on the bottom!

    Maps
    # changes to the interface mostly
    + interface looks much cleaner and easier to use
    + directions work well (as far as I can tell)

    People
    # it's a contacts app...
    + pulls all contact info from gmail, phone contacts, Google+, Facebook (?)
    + nice design
    + easy to add contacts
    - the color scheme looks like it belongs on Skype

    Phone/Dialer
    # interface looks slicker
    + dialer interface looks better with bigger buttons and ICS color theme
    + in-call interface completely redesigned, looks better, but...
    - might take some time to get use to

    Videos app & support
    # new built-in app
    + stock video app looks slick
    - but why red color - they should've stock with the dark grey & neon blue color scheme
    - still no support for mkv, avi, flv files
    - can’t play full HD mp4 vids
    - renting movies takes you to the Market - might as well just go to the Market...
    - really ****** useless (get MX Video Player)

    System/settings
    + ability to disable any app (even system apps) - not all can be disabled
    + mobile data management - can completely disable data-hogging apps. Set data warning limits and data shut-off limits.
    + keyboard haptic feedback is improved - it's not as "strong" as it is in Gingerbread.
    + easier to uninstall apps - when moving apps from app drawer you get an Uninstall menu on top
    + the new recent apps/task manager looks good, but...
    - killing tasks is a bit laggy
    + flicking away notifications is a nice touch, works well.
    + screenshot feature works great
    - language selection on the keyboard is unintuitive - instead of swiping left or right you have to hold the spacebar and select the language from the menu.
    - ok and cancel boxes are flipped - this is annoying, especially after a year of pressing OK on the left side, now you hit cancel all the time.
    - auto-brightness is glitchy - sometimes screen goes very dark like going into sleep while still being used
    - can’t turn on GPS without also turning on location data collection - yes, I'm a bit more paranoid after the whole Carrier IQ fiasco.


    Thoughts, questions, suggestions are much appreciated.
    Thanked by:
    junkiehyjinx and AlphaBrav0 like this.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Great review! How do you take a screen shot? I didn't see that anywhere. Also have you tried the browser labs side loading Quick controls? It is awesome! My battery life is crazy good now and switching from wi-fi to 3g is so fast. The only bugs I've seen so far are the screen flashing for a split second when shutting off the screen and the browser sometimes not loading the first time but a refresh works. Still ICS is sooooo amazing!
    Last edited by junkiehyjinx; 12-22-2011 at 05:34 PM. Reason: fixing grammar
  3. #3  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    pretty elaborate breakdown, i got my Nexus S w/stock ics running on AT&T. You are right on the money on pretty much everything
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails (Review) ICS on Nexus S-1.png   (Review) ICS on Nexus S-2.png   (Review) ICS on Nexus S-3.png  
  4. #4  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Quote Originally Posted by junkiehyjinx View Post
    Great review! How do you take a screen shot? I didn't see that anywhere. Also have you tried the browser labs side loading Quick controls? It is awesome! My battery life is crazy good now and switching from wi-fi to 3g is so fast. The only bugs I've seen so far are the screen flashing for a split second when shutting off the screen and the browser sometimes not loading the first time but a refresh works. Still ICS is sooooo amazing!
    See this short tutorial - Its pretty much to the point
  5. #5  
    Gone24's Avatar

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    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Great review!! I agree mostly, I love the Music app tho, it think the design is beautiful and the lock screen controls are original with out being to Iphone-eque..
  6. #6  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Don't click that link btw.
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    junkiehyjinx
    You hold down the volume-down and power button at the same time for a couple of seconds. It's a little tricky to get it to work the first few times because you have press and hold the volume-down slightly before you press and hold the power button. I also have that flashing bug on my phone. I didn't mention it because it's really a non-issue (assuming we both have the same bug)

    What's wrong with the link? It works...


    Gone24
    Yeah I know it's all a matter of personal opinion. My biggest issue with it is the whole UI. It just seems so bloated to me. I gave a complete breakdown on it in my original review.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Cool thanks. Not your link Damambts link.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Quote Originally Posted by somerussianguy View Post
    junkiehyjinx
    You hold down the volume-down and power button at the same time for a couple of seconds. It's a little tricky to get it to work the first few times because you have press and hold the volume-down slightly before you press and hold the power button. I also have that flashing bug on my phone. I didn't mention it because it's really a non-issue (assuming we both have the same bug)

    What's wrong with the link? It works...


    Gone24
    Yeah I know it's all a matter of personal opinion. My biggest issue with it is the whole UI. It just seems so bloated to me. I gave a complete breakdown on it in my original review.
    I think he was referring to my link. Its a link to a tutorial on how to take screen shots through ADB but your way is easier.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Quote Originally Posted by junkiehyjinx View Post
    Cool thanks. Not your link Damambts link.
    you're a bit paranoid huh? its a link to addictivetips.com

    I'm pretty sure if i posted some garbage on here i would be banned. But, i get it, you're just playing it safe.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails (Review) ICS on Nexus S-11.jpg  
  11. #11  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Nice summary. I agree. ICS has been great. It's a nice update to Android, and if the UI design continues this way it will be a big win for the platform.

    I only wish I was in the lucky group that didn't suffer the battery drain issue. After the upgrade I barely got 5-6 hours on a charge. With GB I'd get 20+.

    The android OS is a big battery user, but it seems the WiFi is also buggy. It never sleeps, even when not connected to anything. I've disabled it and now am back up to at least 10-13 hours. Better, but I hope the next "dot" release or two will address this issue.

    Otherwise, this is the best Android version yet, I think.
  12. #12  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by somerussianguy View Post
    I thought I'd give a quick point review for people who still haven't received the update. If you want to see the full version with all the details and screenshots, you can check it out on my blog, link below.


    This is for T-Mobile's (US) version.

    I'll go alphabetically with + for positive changes/features and - for negatives. # is just an overall view of the feature/app

    Battery life
    # doesn't seem to be significantly better or worse. Need more time to find out.

    Browser
    # greatly improved - might be the biggest improvement in ICS
    + faster load times - not by a lot, but still...
    + easy to switch between tabs
    + bookmarks & tabs menus are completely redesigned.
    + scrolling is very smooth with full desktop sites - with a few exceptions, Android Central being one of them.
    + option to always load full sites instead of mobile, but...
    - a lot of content appears on the left side of the page as in ready for you to zoom in on it, and...
    - you have to toggle the option every time you load the browser
    + sync bookmarks with your Chrome browser - syncs everything, including folders in the same order as they appear on your desktop browser.
    - bookmarks tab access is through the menu - I personally liked it right up front
    - pop-up blocker doesnít work that well - some pop-ups just take the whole screen and has to be closed manually.

    Calculator
    # looks more like Windows Phone 7 calculator
    + smoother and faster
    - still no advanced options like graphing

    Calendar
    # redesigned with similar look to that of desktop Gmail (past weeks/days greyed-out, upcoming days & weeks are in white)
    + new zoom feature works/looks great - zooming out to see whole day's schedule, and in to see event details.
    - a bit laggy switching between weeks

    Camera
    + interface looks better - simpler, more "elegant"
    + smoother
    + time-lapse w. interval options (works well)
    - panorama mode is mostly a gimmick (and takes too long to save shots) - camera doesn't actually focus, so shots come out blurry.
    - indoor shots still suck - ok, so this is not an ICS issue...

    Gallery
    # improved but still not as good as some other gallery/picture apps
    + overall layout is improved
    + no more of the half-assed 3D look - you get 4 rows of albums and they all sit flat.
    + seamless integration with Picasa - pictures from Picasa load instantaneously.
    + improved scrolling - scrolling is not as sensitive as it was in Gingerbread, but...
    - laggy - it does lag if you have a lot of albums.
    - still takes forever to load all your images - the first time loading lots of pics might take about 10 minutes.
    - canít exclude folders - if you have a lot of album-cover for your music, this can be a pain scrolling through all the album-covers just to get to the album you want.

    Gmail
    # not a significant change
    + looks more like the desktop version
    + easy to copy text to clipboard
    - icons might be too small for some

    Google Music
    # it sucks! If you're into music, use any other music player.
    + lockscreen player (but ugly)
    + integrates with your Google Music service, but...
    - streaming music consumes a crapload of data - about 7 or 8 albums can consume around 500mb of data!...and...
    - music skips from time to time when streaming
    - bloated and poorly-designed interface

    Home Launcher
    + very simplistic & easy to use
    + style - the overall look and feel is very nice, color scheme looks great
    + very smooth - minor lag flipping through widgets tab
    + creating folders is nice and simple - they look great also, no more of that boring folder icon
    + Android Market on top of the app drawer
    - non-removable search bar on home screens - seriously...why?! There's a search button on the bottom!

    Maps
    # changes to the interface mostly
    + interface looks much cleaner and easier to use
    + directions work well (as far as I can tell)

    People
    # it's a contacts app...
    + pulls all contact info from gmail, phone contacts, Google+, Facebook (?)
    + nice design
    + easy to add contacts
    - the color scheme looks like it belongs on Skype

    Phone/Dialer
    # interface looks slicker
    + dialer interface looks better with bigger buttons and ICS color theme
    + in-call interface completely redesigned, looks better, but...
    - might take some time to get use to

    Videos app & support
    # new built-in app
    + stock video app looks slick
    - but why red color - they should've stock with the dark grey & neon blue color scheme
    - still no support for mkv, avi, flv files
    - canít play full HD mp4 vids
    - renting movies takes you to the Market - might as well just go to the Market...
    - really ****** useless (get MX Video Player)

    System/settings
    + ability to disable any app (even system apps) - not all can be disabled
    + mobile data management - can completely disable data-hogging apps. Set data warning limits and data shut-off limits.
    + keyboard haptic feedback is improved - it's not as "strong" as it is in Gingerbread.
    + easier to uninstall apps - when moving apps from app drawer you get an Uninstall menu on top
    + the new recent apps/task manager looks good, but...
    - killing tasks is a bit laggy
    + flicking away notifications is a nice touch, works well.
    + screenshot feature works great
    - language selection on the keyboard is unintuitive - instead of swiping left or right you have to hold the spacebar and select the language from the menu.
    - ok and cancel boxes are flipped - this is annoying, especially after a year of pressing OK on the left side, now you hit cancel all the time.
    - auto-brightness is glitchy - sometimes screen goes very dark like going into sleep while still being used
    - canít turn on GPS without also turning on location data collection - yes, I'm a bit more paranoid after the whole Carrier IQ fiasco.


    Thoughts, questions, suggestions are much appreciated.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Great to see ICS on the nexus s, hopefully that means it'll be on the galaxy s soon. I've already updated from eclair, to froyo, to gingerbread,also hope kindle fire gets ICS soon.
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Quote Originally Posted by font1975 View Post
    Nice summary. I agree. ICS has been great. It's a nice update to Android, and if the UI design continues this way it will be a big win for the platform.

    I only wish I was in the lucky group that didn't suffer the battery drain issue. After the upgrade I barely got 5-6 hours on a charge. With GB I'd get 20+.

    The android OS is a big battery user, but it seems the WiFi is also buggy. It never sleeps, even when not connected to anything. I've disabled it and now am back up to at least 10-13 hours. Better, but I hope the next "dot" release or two will address this issue.

    Otherwise, this is the best Android version yet, I think.
    I don't think that's a bug...WiFi doesn't go to sleep in ICS like it did in Gingerbread. When WiFi is on, it's stays on.

    As far as battery life, I can say that after a few days with ICS, it does seem to be a little better. I'd say I would get about an hour or so more on my battery now.

    I'm not sure about the battery life issues some people are experiencing...maybe it has to do with the way they've installed ICS. I did it about the same way as flashing a ROM: wipe date/factory reset, wipe cache, wipe Dalvik cache; but instead of "Install zip from SD card" I chose "Install update". No major issues.
  15. #15  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Good review, thanks. I feel that my battery runs quicker, but not sure. I haven't noticed any improve with the browser speed
    Btw, my camera zoom didn't work with Gingerbread (I called Samsung and they told me that Nexus S does not have the zoom feature). I was hoping that with ICS this will change, but no, I still don't have zoom. Does any of you have zoom with ICS in the Nexus S?
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    There's no real zoom function on the Nexus S, be it Gingerbread or ICS. There are some apps that allow you to digitally zoom...but you might as well just take the picture and just crop it afterwards.
    Thanked by:
  17. #17  

    Default Re: (Review) ICS on Nexus S

    Quote Originally Posted by somerussianguy View Post
    I don't think that's a bug...WiFi doesn't go to sleep in ICS like it did in Gingerbread. When WiFi is on, it's stays on.

    As far as battery life, I can say that after a few days with ICS, it does seem to be a little better. I'd say I would get about an hour or so more on my battery now.

    I'm not sure about the battery life issues some people are experiencing...maybe it has to do with the way they've installed ICS. I did it about the same way as flashing a ROM: wipe date/factory reset, wipe cache, wipe Dalvik cache; but instead of "Install zip from SD card" I chose "Install update". No major issues.
    The default setting is for wifi to be always on. The bug, is, no matter what you tell ICS, wifi is always on. I set it to sleep when the screen is off yet it remains always on.

    A factory wipe may fix it; but really, it shouldn't be required. Especially as there's no way (other than rooting) i found to backup my phone first, which is why I'm not wanting to do that if I don't have to.

    The battery life is better, not as good as GB, but better with WiFi disabled. I'll live with that for now. But i"m not updating the wife's until the next "dot" release.

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