The Nexus S has been around for a while now (15 months is a long time in phone-years), and been through several OS updates. Currently, the phone is running Android 4.1.2 ‘Jelly Bean’. I’d like to be able to report that all is well, but it isn’t.
Things had been going well with 2.3.4 and 4.0, but started to go downhill after 4.1. Aside from a generally sluggish UI (no butter here) and the laggy camera, the battery charging and USB data connection have been extremely unreliable. After upgrading from 4.0 to 4.1, the phone intermittently stopped recognising when the charger or USB data connection were plugged in, or failing to recognise when the cable was unplugged. Further more, the phone wouldn’t (and still won’t) charge if it’s stuck in it’s micro USB dementia. This seems to be a well-known issue and there is much speculation on the cause on any number of forums and other places to which I don’t feel like linking.
I’ve been caught with a dead or near-dead battery more than once, and I’m not happy. I brought the Nexus S back to Vodafone and had them check it out and see if there was a hardware problem. They took the phone for a week (remember that HTC review?), and returned it with 2.3.4 installed and kindly let me know that my Nexus S isn’t compatible with any of the OS updates from Google, or the OTA updates that they continue to push to the phone. In my opinion, it’s a likely a known bug, and since I and the other two people using Nexus S phones running 4.1.x don’t constitute a large enough user base to matter, it will go unaddressed.
Whatever the case, I’m annoyed and just might see an iPhone or Windows 8 phone in my future. Until then, here’s another instalment in my home screen series. Will my next instalment be that familiar grid of icons? Tiles? We’ll just have to wait and see.