Around twenty miles south of San Francisco is a small city called San Carlos. Despite living in the Bay Area for two decades I know almost nothing about it (Wikipedia says it’s an affluent small residential suburb) but starting today, it’s special for at least one big reason: it’s home to the largest Nexus S in existence.
Last night, Google employees installed a giant Nexus S in the San Carlos Best Buy, sporting a 42 inch touchscreen, a working camera, and internet connectivity. Yes, unlike the giant Nexus Ones that Google produced last year, which just played a looping video of the UI, this giant Nexus S actually works. And it’s actually being powered by a real (smaller) Nexus S that’s been equipped with special video-out capabilities.
So this morning I woke up at the crack of dawn, rolled out of bed, sat in traffic, and made my way to the San Carlos Best Buy to get a hands-on with the giant phone. Watch the video above for my first impressions. Update: Uploaded a new video that is less shaky than the first.
The phone is obviously meant to attract customer attention, and from what I saw (despite the early hour) it was working. Like moths to a flame, I watched a handful of customers walk up to the phone and start playing with it, and even the employees seemed intrigued. It probably helped that the display was right at the front of the store.
Google says this is a test for now — depending on how well the unit fares in the wild (i.e., if people don’t break the screen) it may roll these things out to many more Best Buys, which is currently the only retailer to carry the Nexus S.
Update 2: I was wrong about the new Android Market — it has rolled out to some people, though not everyone has it. And to the people saying I should have controlled this with my palms… that’s not how any ‘normal’ consumer is going to use this unless they’re instructed to. And I’m pretty sure that in the future, as big touchscreens become increasingly ubiquitous, we’re not going to be controlling them by rubbing proportionally larger parts of our bodies against the glass.