Tag Archives | Google Nexus One

Will There Ever Be a Nexus Two?

Google has announced that it’s received its last batch of Nexus One phones. When they’re gone, they’re gone–and since Google announced back in May that it had decided to shutter its online phone store, the company will be ending its experiment in direct sales to the masses when the last N1 goes out the door.

One question which I think remains unanswered: Does the imminent death of the Nexus One signal the end of the concept of the Googlephone–if “Googlephone” is defined as an Android handset for which Google is the maker of record and the sole company responsible for the software experience? When Google decided to wind down direct sales of the phone, it said it would work to sell it through retailers. But I don’t think it ever addressed directly what it intended to do once the Nexus One was discontinued. Will it be content to let phone makers do with Android as they will from now on? Or does it still want the opportunity to make a phone that fits its vision of what an Android handset should be as closely as possible?


Google to Shutter Its Phone Store. Good!

Well that was quick. Google, which got into the business of selling phones online a little over four months ago, is getting out of it. In an Official Google Blog post, Android honcho Andy Rubin explains that the company is pleased with Android’s overall progress-as it should be–but that the Web store has been a disappointment. It turns out that people like to see phones in person before they buy them, and that they want a bunch of service plans to choose from. (Shocking, huh?)

When Google announced its Web store, it called it “a new approach to buying a mobile phone.” It’s saying that it will revert to an old approach: selling them through brick-and-mortar retail stores. (It’s not entirely clear what sort of stores these will be, but in Europe you can already buy a Nexus One from wireless carrier Vodafone.)

Continue Reading →


Sprint Nixes the Nexus One. Shocked?

And one more bit of Android news: Sprint, which was going to let Google sell a Sprint-ready Nexus One phone, has changed its mind. Its rationale is perfectly reasonble: Its upcoming EVO 4G superphone is essentially a souped-up Nexus One, with more power in every department that matters. It’s not clear why the company is only coming to this conclusion now, almost two months after the Sprint Nexus One was announced. Or, really, why it announced the Nexus One at all, given that it unveiled the EVO a week later, largely rendering its version of the Nexus One obsolete before it ever shipped.

Sprint’s decision follows the lead of Verizon, which also announced a Nexus One and then killed it before release. That leaves the original T-Mobile Nexus One and an unlocked, AT&T-compatible version available in Google’s online store. If Google wants to have a future as a phone merchant, it’s going to need to replenish its lineup–Nexus Two, anybody?–and avoid the vaporous quality of two out of the four U.S. Nexus Ones that were announced.

Google may have been trying to reinvent the phone business with the Nexus One, but it fell victim to a pretty basic law of phone marketing: If you announce a phone in early January and don’t actually ship it on a given carrier for months, chances are high that said phone will start to look like an antique before it hits the market. Especially if it runs Android, an platform that’s still evolving in fast-forward mode.


The Nexus One Gets AT&T Friendly

When Google released its Nexus One “superphone” back in January, it was available in both a subsidized version locked to T-Mobile and a $520 unlocked one. But even the unlocked one wouldn’t work on AT&T’s frequencies at 3G speed. Which left it as a sort of pseudolocked phone: Almost nobody would choose to buy it and use it on AT&T rather than T-Mobile.

Now Google has a new version of the Nexus One that’s compatible with AT&T 3G.  It’s not an “AT&T Nexus One,” exactly: It’s only available as a $529 unlocked phone, and Google appears to have no marketing relationship with AT&T. But given how crippled AT&T’s own first Android handset is, the AT&T-friendly Nexus One is currently the coolest Android phone that’ll run on that carrier. By far. And it’s also the first new AT&T-ready handset to remotely rival the iPhone for general sex appeal.

Of course, at $529, it’s a phone with an even more limited market than the apparently slow-selling existing Nexus One. But I’m especially curious about one thing:  Will the people who spring for it find it to work any better on AT&T’s network than the iPhone 3GS does?



Everyone knows OLED screens look amazing, right? Well, everybody is wrong, or at least that’s not the whole story. My old friend Dr. Ray Soneira of DisplayMate, who’s been testing screens of all types for years, compared the OLED display of Google’s Nexus One to the iPhone 3GS’s LCD screen, and found that while the Nexus One’s icons, text, and menus looked terrific, images suffered from artifacts, banding, and inaccurate colors. (It didn’t help that the Nexus One only does 16-bit color.)

Ray’s testing is so thorough that it’s a multi-part story; even if you’re ultimately happy trusting your own eyes to judge if you’re happy with a display, his examination of the two phones makes for fascinating reading.


FCC Gets Google To Cut Nexus One Return Fee By $200

Google’s $350 “Equipment Recovery Fee” has pretty much received a universally poor reception among consumers. Complaints have flooded user forums, and apparently some have taken it as far as the Federal Communications Commission. Good news: the FCC’s intervention has seemed to have forced the company’s hand.

Effective immediately, the fee has been dropped to $150. This would not allow a user to escape T-Mobile’s $200 early termination fee — that would still be due to the carrier outside of it’s normal 14-day return period. To be fair to Google, it seems as if people’s complaints are more about the service than the device itself.

Being a former T-Mobile subscriber (and one for nearly seven years before switching to AT&T), I feel these people’s pain. Service when you have it is good — however 3G is extremely spotty, and in many rural locales you will have absolutely no service at all.

Now, in the defense of T-Mobile and Google, company officials are saying they are not making these changes due to pressure from the FCC. Needless to say — the FCC has been looking into these excess charges, which several commissioners have already said they thought were too excessive — and the commission itself has received thousands of complaints from consumers.

No comments

The Nexus One Gets Multi-Touch

Good news for owners of Google’s Nexus One phone, and maybe for smartphone users in general: Google is rolling out a software update for the phone that, among other things, enables multi-touch input in the browser and other apps. Up until now, multi-touch has been mysteriously missing from Android phones sold in the U.S., leading some to wonder whether Google fretted about being sued by Apple. Here’s hoping that everyone involved agrees that multi-touch should be a basic feature of every device with the technical capability to support it…

No comments

Google’s Nexus One Phone: Evolution (Not Revolution) at Work

[A NOTE FROM HARRY: A few weeks ago, I took on a fun part-time gig–writing a weekly technology column for FoxNews.com. The column appears each Tuesday in the site’s Scitech section. I’ll also run them here on Technologizer later in the week. Here’s this week’s column–a review of Google’s Nexus One smartphone.]

Last week’s Consumer Electronics Show packed Las Vegas to the brim with new technology products, from 3D HDTVs to e-readers. But the week’s most talked-about new gizmo didn’t make its debut at the conference.

The day before CES got underway, Google cleverly swiped the spotlight by unveiling the Nexus One, the first phone the company is selling itself. After years of scuttlebutt that a “Googlephone” might be on the way, there’s finally a model that deserves that moniker.

Based on Google’s own Android mobile operating system and built by Taiwanese phone giant HTC, the Nexus One isn’t the tradition-busting breakthrough that some tech watchers expected. (There were those who wondered if the company might give it away and turn a profit via on-screen ads.)

Nor is it the mythical iPhone killer that pundits love to fantasize about. But like most of the Android phones that have debuted since the T-Mobile G1 in November 2008, the Nexus One is a clear evolutionary improvement on its predecessors. It displaces Verizon Wireless’s Droid as the top Android model to date, and is one of the most impressive smartphones on the market, period.

Continue Reading →