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Google Nexus S vs Nokia N8
The Google Nexus S is the best Android smartphone currently available. Barring all the monster Droids showcased at CES this week, it can easily beat any other Android phone in terms of performance and features. It runs the latest version of the Android OS - Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
The Nokia N8, on the other hand, is hands down, the best Symbian smartphone of all time. It has a mind blowing 12 MP camera which beats all other camera shooters out there. On the software side, it runs Symbian ^3, which isn't as good as Android.
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Both the Google Nexus S and the Nokia N8 have very good designs. While the Nexus S has a more stylish and trendy design, the N8 has more of an industrial design touch. The Nexus S is very slim with a width of just 10.9 mm, but the N8 is a bit thicker at 12.9 mm. The overall dimensions of the Nexus S are a bit bigger at 123.9 x 63 x 10.9 mm, owing to the bigger 4 inch display while the N8 has dimensions of 113.5 x 59.1 x 12.9 mm. Even so, the Nexus S is lighter than the N8 with a weight of just 129 gms, compared to the N8's 135 gms.
If I had to choose one, I would go with the Nexus S, mostly because of the bigger display and the slimmer form factor.
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The Google Nexus S comes with a 4.0 inch SuperAMOLED capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. The display is the same as the Galaxy S and the display quality is stunning. It has superb brightness and contrast levels.
The Nokia N8, on the other hand, comes with a 3.5 inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels. The display quality and contrast is great, but compared to the Nexus S, it is smaller. Head to head, the Nexus S definitely wins when it comes to the display.
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OS and Hardware
When it comes to the OS, the Nexus S comes with the latest version of Android - Android 2.3 Gingerbread while the Nexus S comes with the Symbian ^3 OS. While Symbian ^3 is much better than the previous iterations, it stands nowhere compared to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the best Android yet.
Android is much better suited for touchscreen phones and it also offers many more apps and games via the Android Market (close to 200,000) than the Nokia N8 does via Ovi Store.
Even the hardware of the Nexus S is much more powerful than the Nokia N8. The Nexus S has a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor with 512 MB RAM while the Nokia N8 comes with an ARM 11 680 MHz processor and 256 MB RAM. Both the phones have 16 GB internal storage but while the N8 supports microSD cards, the Nexus S doesn't.
Overall, the Nexus S is way ahead of the N8 when it comes to OS and hardware.
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The camera is one area where the Nokia N8 can beat the Nexus S even with its hands tied. The Nexus S comes with a 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. It can capture images at 2560 x 1920 pixels and record WVGA video at 30 FPS. The camera is not as good as the Galaxy S.
The Nokia N8 has a monster 12 MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus and Xenon flash. It has an image capture resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels and can record 720p videos. It is arguably the best camera you can find on any smartphone.
This round is undoubtedly the Nokia N8's.
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When it comes to connectivity options, both the Nokia N8 and the Google Nexus S are almost evenly matched. Both offer GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n etc. While the Nokia N8 offers USB on the Go, the Nexus S has the better web browser and NFC support.
Both the phones also have a GPS transceiver with A-GPS. The Nexus S has a 1500 mAh Li-ion battery while the Nokia N8 has a 1200 mAh Li-ion battery.
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The Verdict - Nexus S Wins
If I had to choose a phone right away, I would go with the Google Nexus S. It has the better OS - Android, the better hardware specs and a better display. If you are a shutterbug, you might want to get the Nokia N8, but then if you are really into photography, I doubt you will want to click any shots using your phone.
The Google Nexus S is definitely better than the Nokia N8 in most respects. I would definitely recommend it.