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You Do Not Want This Android Device

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You have to wonder just what device TechCrunch reviewed to call it "the best phone on the market today." Better than EVO 4G, better than Droid X, and yes, better than iPhone 4. Michael Arrington and Jason Kincaid had to overlook a mighty long list of missing features to arrive at that decision.

Intended as a followup to the well-loved but sluggishly sold Nexus One, the Google Nexus S aims to improve upon the device that provided its namesake almost a year ago. Armed with a four-inch Super AMOLED 480x800 touchscreen, the phone has been described as second only to the iPhone 4 in the visuals department. Added to that, a forward-facing camera, a three-axis gyroscope for better positioning, Near Field Communication for possibly replacing your credit cards in the future, and it's the very first device to run Android's latest OS Gingerbread.

Launching next week at Best Buy for the T-Mobile and Vodafone networks, the Nexus S certainly has a lot going for it, right? You'd be a fool not to upgrade the second it hits the shelves, right?

Hang on. We haven't gotten to its limitations.

The Nexus S has some glaring shortcomings. Actually, "glaring" would be putting it mildly. "Blinding" and "equivalent to a powerful laser aimed directly into your retina" might be more accurate.

Upon purchase, users will find that they cannot expand the 16GB internal storage. Unlike almost every Android smartphone in the market, there is no MicroSD slot and no way to add additional space for MP3s or videos with a hefty 32GB card.

To that, you might say, "So what? Every version of the iPhone never had an SD slot and it's doing all right."

OK, fair enough.

There's also no LED notification. For missed calls, new emails, app updates, or any message that is displayed in the extremely handy notification bar, the Nexus S will not blink an easy-to-see color-coded light on its face. A major stumble, as most Android and BlackBerry users can attest.

Also missing: FM radio, Bluetooth 3.0, and the ability to record 720p HD video -- all currently available in Samsung's six-month-old Galaxy S.

The smartphone also lacks a dual-core processor -- soon to be standard on most phones -- and despite launching on T-Mobile's network, it will not have HSPA+ capabilities allowing it to take advantage of the network's super fast 56Mbps download speeds.

What's meant to be a triumphant return to the Nexus line after its grand debut was discontinued, the Nexus S falls far short of an adequate upgrade to the Nexus One. Heck, it's arguably hard to recommend it over the original Motorola Droid. The flawed design rivals Verizon's move to replace Google Search with Bing on Samsung's Fascinate models as the worst management decision for an Android device.

In light of the outpouring of missing features, it might be wise for TechCrunch to revisit its review.
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