Google Nexus One review: Firstborn

GSMArena team, 26 February 2010.
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Introduction

All droids are equal but some droids are more equal than others. Google it. You’ll get the Nexus One. There are around 50 smartphones and tablets running Android today. That’s right, out of all the offspring they fathered with the Open Handset Alliance, Google finally have one to proudly call their own.

What does it mean? Well, not that the ones we’ve seen so far are some poor half-blood droids but the Nexus One is supposed to be THE thing. For one, it’s the first Snapdragon-powered Android and it shows. The Nexus One is wickedly fast. The WVGA touchscreen is a treat to look at and it’s only the second AMOLED display to find on an Android handset. D1 video is sure to sweeten the deal too, and perhaps so will the Live Wallpapers.

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Official photos of Google Nexus One

Awash in rumors well before launch, the Google Nexus One was officially revealed in January 2010 and it became available right after the unveiling event. Of course, the first units were to sell only in a very limited number of countries (UK, Singapore and Hong Kong).

Anyway Google are to start shipping their Nexus One through various carriers across Europe, starting with Vodafone this spring. That’s about the time when Verizon subscribers will be getting a CDMA version of the device. Google have a phone to sell, so it’s a fair guess they’ll be seeing to it that everyone can have it. Now, will everyone want to? Let’s see.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
  • 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and 2 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 3.7" 16M-color capacitive AMOLED touchscreen of WVGA (480x 800 pixel) resolution
  • Android OS v2.1 with kinetic scrolling and pinch zooming
  • Slim profile and some great build quality
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1 GHz processor
  • 512 MB RAM and 512 MB ROM
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash and geo-tagging
  • D1 (720 x 480 pixels) video recording @ 24fps
  • Wi-Fi and GPS with A-GPS
  • microSD slot, bundled with a 4GB card
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v2.1
  • Trackball navigation

Main disadvantages

  • No DivX and XviD video playback
  • No Flash support for the web browser (update is on the way)
  • No smart and voice dialing
  • Somewhat clumsy camera interface and limited camera features
  • No dedicated camera shutter key
  • Non hot-swappable memory card
  • No FM radio
  • The soft keys below the display are somewhat unresponsive

The Google phone has HTC fingerprints all over it. We just had the pleasure of the HTC Desire at the WMC and we quite liked what we saw. There’s no reason to expect less of the Nexus One – quite the contrary in fact, a little bit of nepotism only seems right.

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Google Nexus One at ours

The Google Nexus One won’t come with the HTC Sense of course, but who would’ve expected so! The Android 2.1 novelties will keep you busy enough anyway, but the first thing on everyone’s mind will be: Is there any special Google treatment the Nexus One is getting?

The latest of the Androids is in a way the firstborn, for all the good and the bad of it. It’s all in the name really: a name that will open doors but that carries a certain obligation too.

Will the Nexus One raise above its droid siblings or will it get lost in the crowd? That’s the kind of questions we’ll be trying to answer on the pages to come. You’re welcome to join: let’s see what the Google Nexus One is made of (and packed in, as well).

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