Nexus S coming soon to Telus

by Dave Loft

It’s been known that Google’s Nexus S would be coming to Canada and today Telus was the first of hopefully many to announce it will be available soon. While some say a single core is too little too late, I think that many won’t care or can’t even see a need for a dual core in their phone. As a tech junkie, I’m not one of them, but for most people, they really won’t notice much of a difference. The one thing that people do seem to care about is updates and with a Nexus phone, you are pretty much  guaranteed to get the latest updates straight from Google.

The competition for the best Android phone in Canada isn’t like it is in the US. We currently only have 3 standout devices, Bell’s Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant, Bell’s HTC Desire Z and Telus HTC Desire HD. Three phones that may match the Nexus S in specs, but not in the software department. Bell will soon be getting another phone to add to the list with the Motorola Atrix, the first dual core phone available in Canada. Unfortunately the Atrix launches with 2.2, but hopefully will not continue Motorola’s lack of software support. Don’ worry Rogers fans, sometime in Q2 they will be getting the Sony Arc and the Sony Play, both will be running 2.3 and look to be strong contenders.

When comparing all of the devices listed, only the Motorola Atrix has better specs than the Nexus S. Unfortunately the fact that the Atrix launches with an older OS may give some people pause before purchasing and ultimately push them towards another device. With the speeds smartphones are reaching these days the real differentiator will be the software. HTC has promised all of their high end devices will receive their 2.3 update by the end of Q2. Samsung hasn’t promised anything yet, but a leak of an official 2.3 update for the Galaxy S suggest it’s definitely in the works. Another big benefit to the Nexus line is the ease of which a device is unlocked and a custom Rom installed. Compare this to Motorola, who has been downright hostel to the custom Rom community and continues to lock down their devices.

All in all a Nexus phone on a major carrier is a win for anyone looking for the stock Android experience in Canada. I personally have no issue with HTC, Samsung and Motorola trying to differentiate themselves with their custom software on top of Android. If an owner of said device dislikes the UI a simple installation of Launcher Pro and ADW Launcher from the Android Market will allow them to change it, no root required. A Nexus phone at retail gives the consumer an option to decide what they like and vote with their wallets. So if your unhappy with the custom skinning of Android and the lack of updates, buy the Nexus S when it becomes available.

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