I agree. The reason the screen looks close to the same size of the iPhone 5 is because the notification and navigation bars blend in with the bezels. Those bars add at least another .3" to the screen over the white area from the Chrome browser.
Yeah some people are adverse to Sony. I think the Nexus S will probably be fine, although I would recommend rooting it and putting a stock GB rom on there. Once I started tinkering with ICS/JB roms on my NS4G it was all downhill from there.
I kinda miss the Friendstream widget from HTC. I use Plume now which is pretty similar, as far as having a scrollable widget, I just wish that Twitter and FB were integrated into one feed instead of two separate ones.