My two day trial of the Nexus S 4G is almost over, and my decision for now is to stick with the iPhone 3GS.
It’s a little sad, because the Nexus has clearly better hardware, in terms of the CPU, the screen, basically every aspect of the hardware you can think of (except that it’s slightly too big)
Android is not as bad as I had feared, but also not good enough for me to justify the switching cost. I’m too ingrained in my iphone usage, and still feel too much of a mental tax when using the Nexus.
In my mind, I constantly do the mac:windows :: iphone:android analogy, but it doesn’t quite hold up. On windows there are still lots of things that are straight out better than what you can find on a mac. There is real choice among lots of quality applications, and real hardware choices that don’t force you into non-standard experiences. If you use a mac, you trade some of that for a little more polish and integration.
Using a Nexus has some of that feel of windows. There’s lots of applications, and lots of interesting little system integrations like custom keyboards, widgets, and the like. But they all feel really disjoint. What’s the point of 3 keyboard apps when they each have their little problems?
There’s tons of cool stuff to do on android, but I don’t think the result is a net win, especially given that a lot of these features come at a cost (complexity, and often, battery consumption). The biggest cost for me is that the flexibility comes at the detriment of the core experience. Android still lacks polish. I’d say that WP7 is already better than Android in this regard.
I have a lot of little nits and design observations, but I’ll save them for later posts.