Reviewed by rahulp (Currently owns)
This review is based on the ICS update recently released for this phone. Since the update is being pushed over the air, anyone who buys this phone now should have no problem getting it.
The design of this phone is great, the curved contour display gives it a unique look, and it feels great in the hand. At 4" the screen is an excellent size, not too big for small hands, and sufficient screen real estate.
Likewise, the display is good, not great. Interestingly, the display seems to have been improved by the update, colors look much better ever since the update.
The camera has also gotten better with ICS. Picture quality looks good to my eyes (note, I am *not* a photographer), what really has improved is the shutter lag, which is almost non-existent, and the panoramic mode which works fantastically.
T-mobile's service is not so great where I live, considering I live in a rural area I guess that's to be expected with any phone on T-mobile. I'm really hoping this improves with their new spectrum acquisitions and roaming deal from AT&T. If I lived in a major city, this probably wouldn't be an issue.
ICS is amazing! Everything said about ICS in the Galaxy Nexus review can be said about ICS on the Nexus S.
Battery life seems fairly good, I've been getting about 20 hours of use on a charge, but it's only been a couple days.
Android has tons of apps available, and being able to browse the market from my computer and install them to my devices wirelessly works perfectly and comes in handy often. Also, the market has improved over the last year to better highlight high quality and popular apps. I think there's still room for improvement in this area, more work can be done to promote quality apps.
In conclusion, this is an amazing phone and I recommend it to everyone I know who is looking for a budget option. Best Buy has this phone free for T-mobile, $50 for AT&T, and $100 for the Sprint Nexus S 4G all on contract. Unlocked phones can be had on Ebay for $200-300 with no contract. At that price point, there's no phone that can even come close. As long as you're not a Verizon customer, this is the best phone you can get for the price. Even if you're not on a budget, the Nexus S holds it's own against the top smartphones available today.
Please note, I gave a bonus point to the Final Score because of the low price.