Archive for December, 2010

Quick Review of the Nexus S with NFC.

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Today I was in Munich also meeting a friend of mine working at Google. Google, whose office in Munich is right above Dallmayr in Munich City Center, recently released its new phone, the Nexus S with the newest Version of its operating System, Android 2.3 (“Gingerbread”). Whereas the last Nexus (“One”) was manufactured by HTC, the new Nexus (“S”) is produced by Samsung. Thus the phone uses similar materials and form factors as the Galaxy S does.

I actually do like the feel of the surface of the Nexus One more (!) than the one of the Nexus S, as the new one feels “too plastic” and cheap. The display is quite big (it’s a 4” one) and very bright and – that’s new — curved. “So why curved”, you may ask. Well, this avoids reflections (and it really does). The curved display does not have any influence on the interaction with the capacitive display we are already used to from other devices.

The interaction speed of the phone is great. It’s actually the fastest Android I’ve ever seen so far. You never have the feeling, that the CPU is overloaded or that you have to wait. I’d call it “iPhone equivalent”. The phone features NFC (Near Field Communication) and the tags are read very fast (I really do like that in comparison to the NFC Phones seen so far). The Tags read are stored in an app called “Tags”, so that the information you read from the RFID Transponders is still available in the phone. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk5mUdeEF8c)

I actually was not yet able to experiment with different NDEF RTDs and Features of the Data-Format, but I suppose that Google did make up its mind and implement it in a solid way. The API for using the NFC Chip (“NFCAdapter”) for R/W operation is quite simple (http://developer.android.com/reference/android/nfc/package-descr.html)

The phone does not yet have tag emulation. The NFC Chip from NXP is closely located to the UICC Slot (<http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nexus-S-Teardown/4365/1> see Step 7, 2nd Detail) and the phone does not contain any other smartcard chip (as far as I have seen/was told). So I suppose that in the near future this feature (“SWP”) will be enabled thru a software update. (Which could also be MNO specific). I really fancy the phone and I’m looking forward to the tag emulation stuff as well.