So, the Samsung Nexus S went live today complete with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and along with it a flood of background information like instructional YouTube videos and the operating system’s user manual have been made available. We’ve got them all here for your perusal.
Before diving in, let’s run through the Nexus S specs again real quick. The Samsung Nexus S has a 4-inch 400 x 800 Super AMOLED display that’s oh-so-slightly curved, a 1 GHz Cortex A8 processor, Wi-Fi b/g/n, A-GPS, HSPA 3G on T-Mobile’s AWS bands, a 5 megapixel camera on the back with flash and autofocus, plus front-facing video conferencing camera, and a 1500 mAh battery that provides 6.7 hours of talk and 17.8 days on standby. The usual motion-sensing stuff, like three-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, and digital compass are also included. All in all, the big selling point for Samsung Nexus S will be NFC capabilities and a fresher option the the Nexus One for a pure Google experience. Here’s the official spec sheet, if you’re looking for more details.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread will offer a variety of slightly new features and speed tweaks to existing handsets. There are a few UI changes, like the black notification bar at the top. Text input and editing has been re-jiggered for easier cursor movement and selection. Battery power will be improved by a stricter memory management which will kill inactive apps that are running in the background. Easier visibility of the Manage Applications control will also let you see what’s running, so you can kill any errant tasks. There’s support for SIP internet calling now, so you can save on wireless minutes by calling over a Wi-Fi network. Near-field communications are only really supported by the Nexus S currently, but now that the software supports it, we can expect more manufacturers wanting to get in on contactless payments and other NFC-enabled goodies. For a closer look, here’s the manual for Android 2.3, or you can check out the highlights here.
The most interesting part of the user manual (and arguably, the Nexus S itself) are the details on how NFC tags will work. NFC will be yet another option in your Wireless & networks settings, just like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular, and when on, NFC tags will collect as soon as one is in range. A popup window will let you chose which action to launch into, and later on, you can see your latest tags and star the important ones in a dedicated Tags app.
Now for some of the videos detailing functions in the Samsung Nexus S and Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
If you’re itching to pick up the new Nexus, it’ll be going for $199 on a two-year plan with T-Mobile, or $529 outright starting December 16 (December 20 in the U.K.). If the videos weren’t enough, here are a bunch of stills both of the device and the new OS.