Tag Archives | Google Nexus One

Hands on With Google’s Nexus One: Questions and Answers

How long has the gadget-loving world been talking about the idea of a Googlephone? For at least three years–before there was an iPhone, let alone an Android.  The longer people talked about it, the more revolutionary it was supposed to be. Who better than Google, after all, to show what an Android phone can be and shatter people’s assumptions about how phones and phone services are sold while it’s at it?

On Tuesday, Google finally announced the Googlephone, in the form of the Nexus One–if you define “Googlephone” as a phone with Google software and Google branding, sold by Google on a Google site.  And…there’s nothing radical about it. Judging from the first few hours I’ve spent playing with one, it’s a good phone–a really good phone. The best Android phone so far, and (along with Palm’s Pre) one of the few phones worthy of being discussed in the same breath as Apple’s iPhone.

But everything that’s better about it is evolutionary, not revolutionary. It’s a little bit better than Verizon’s Droid, which was a little bit better than HTC’s Hero, which was a little bit better than the MyTouch.  And considering that Verizon’s Droid spent just two months as the undisputed Android-phone-to-buy, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if the Nexus One was ousted by another little-bit-better phone by Spring. There’s also not nothing particularly remarkable about the way Google is selling the phone, although the company says to stay tuned for more phones with more hardware and carrier partners–including a Verizon Nexus One this Spring.

Bottom line: If Android-based phones are going to catch up with the iPhone–and they might–they’re going to do so in a series of baby steps, not through the Great Leap Forward that some folks expected this phone to be.

Like other journalists at Google’s launch event, I received one as a review loaner. Here are my first impressions. As is my wont, I’m going to provide them in the form of a FAQ.
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A Look at the Software Behind the Nexus One

While obviously the Nexus One hardware is the star of the show here, the software behind the device is certainly what makes it all possible. Google says that the Nexus One will run Android 2.1, and took attendees at its press gathering on Tuesday on a tour of its most interesting features.

One of the first features it highlighted was something called “Live Wallpaper,” which allows for dynamic, animated backgrounds. For example, an equalizer wallpaper moves the equalizer with the beat of your music, while a water theme shows leaves falling into water, which cause ripples. Touch the water, and it ripples too. One of those useless yet cool features I guess!

Support for 3D will allow for some pretty cool applications: icons on the phone’s desktop can scroll into oblivion akin to the credits in Star Wars, and photo apps from the folks at CoolIris will allow the user to surf around their photo albums in a 3D space. Voice recognition will allow for the dictation of e-mails, Facebook statuses, what have you: you could even control the navigation of applications via voice.


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Google Calls Nexus One a “Superphone”

As expected, Google at a press gathering on Tuesday introduced the Nexus One, part of what it called an emerging class of smartphones called “superphones.” Certainly from its specs it is: the HTC-manufactured phone sports a 3.7-inch AMLED screen and a 1GHz processor, one of the fastest integrated processors in any wireless device released to date. There’s a ton of sensors on this thing, just like the iPhone: including accelerometer as well as proximity and light sensors. A trackball at the bottom of the device doubles does both navigation and notification duties — it can change color depending on specific actions. The camera is capable of  5 megapixels and includes an LED flash. MPEG4 video and one click uploading to YouTube is also included.

One of the most exciting features to me — and as far as I know new to a device itself — is active noise cancellation. The device includes two microphones which allows the Android OS to filter out background noise for clearer calls. To my knowledge, only headsets have been doing this so far, but if anybody else knows other phones doing this, I’d be glad to hear it.

Google will sell the device itself through a web store on its site, in concert with its partner, which will initially only be T-Mobile. You have to argue that the nation’s fourth largest carrier scored a big coup with this win: while the myTouch was certainly a big win for them, scoring the Nexus One is even bigger — it is much more of a competitor to the iPhone than the myTouch ever dreamed to be.

Even better? It’s price. While you’ll be able to pick up the unlocked version of the phone for $529, T-Mobile will sell the device at $179 locked with a 2-year contract.

Don’t worry Verizon folks, your time is coming too, but not until spring, as well as those with Vodafone. Either way, you all can preorder it now. We’ll give you the link when we get it.


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Live Coverage of the Google Phone Event

If it’s not the official unveiling of the Android-based Nexus One phone, every tech pundit on the planet will have to eat his or her respective hat–and I’ll be at Google headquarters this morning starting a few minutes before 10am PT with live coverage. Join us here.


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Should Google Get Into the Phone Biz?

This seems to be the last evening we can ruminate on Google’s Nexus One phone without knowing everything there is to know about it. So I asked my Twitter pals “Do you think Google should get into the phone biz? Why or why not?” Read their thoughts, then add your own–and please join me tomrorow at 10am PT for live coverage of Google’s phone event.

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Coming Tomorrow: Live Coverage of the Google Phone Announcement

Quick reminder: I’ll be at the Googleplex tomorrow to take in Google’s Android announcement–which seems all but certain to consist of the unveiling of the Nexus One phone. I’ll relay everything I learn as fast as I learn it–and do my best to answer your questions–via our live coverage at http://www.technologizer.co/googlephone. Join us, won’t you?


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Nexus One Review by Engadget

The Engadget guys have gotten their hands on Google’s Nexus One phone, and have posted some first impressions. They like it but aren’t completely gaga over it…


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Verizon Droid vs. Google Nexus One: The Provisional T-Grid

For the past two months, Verizon Wireless’s Droid by Motorola has had the privilege of holding  the undisputed title of Coolest Android Phone on the Market. But its reign may be short, if everyone’s assumption that next week’s Google Android event turns out to be the unveiling of Google’s Nexus One (aka “the Googlephone”)  turns out to be accurate.

The Nexus One remains unannounced, but there’s information (or alleged information) about it all over the Web. So it doesn’t seem premature to put together a provisional T-Grid comparing it to the Droid. The Nexus One data here is culled from sources such as Engadget and Gizmodo, and for now, you should pretend that each and every field has an asterisk next to it indicating that it’s not confirmed.

What are the key differences between the two phones? The Nexus One (which lacks a physical keyboard) is apparently thinner and lighter. It’s supposedly got an OLED screen which is said to be gorgeous. It runs on T-Mobile’s network rather than Verizon’s (it’ll reportedly only work on AT&T in sluggish EDGE mode). And it’s allegedly got a very fast CPU (1-GHz?) and twice the RAM of the Droid. Plus a newer version of Android that’s been further tweaked by Google.

Okay, enough apparentlys, supposedlys, reportedlys, and allegedlys. Info after the jump–I’ll update it once Google has weighed in…

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Coming on Tuesday: Live Coverage of Google Phone Event

On Tuesday at 10am PT, Google will be holding an event at the Googleplex–and everyone assumes that the subject will be the Nexus One Android smartphone. I’ll be in attendance, and in the tradition of our coverage of Apple’s live events, I’ll be reporting on the news as it happens and doing my best to answer your questions. Please join us at www.technologizer.com/googlephone (if you head there now, you can sign up for an e-mail reminder).


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Google Android Event Next Week

Breaking news: Google is holding an Android-related press event at the Googleplex next week. The invitation I got is vague about the specifics–but the logical assumption is that the subject will be the company’s Nexus One one. (Logical assumptions are, of course, sometimes wrong.)

I’ll be at the event and will cover it live here.


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