I didn't expect it, but its a good addition to the story, especially for Spock, and I guess it's good on balance for Uhura, too, although I'd prefer they'd have improved her character without resorting to the obvious route of hooking her up with one of the guys.
But this is the younger, less jaded Spock. He's fresher and hotter. And he's not yet infatuated with Kirk so he has room for the beautiful Uhura.
Yes, Quinto's spock is more het than Nimoy's.