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Exclusive: Google Nexus One hands on

Google Nexus One

I just played with the Google Nexus One for a few minutes, Here’s my report:

– It’s extremely thin
– It’s much nicer looking in person than in pictures
– There’s a 4 GB micro-SD card installed
– The battery capacity is 1400 mAh
– The screen appears to be OLED (same size/resolution as the Motorola Droid)
– 3G works on T-Mobile USA :)
– I can confirm that there’s no 3G on AT&T (EGDE only)
– It’s definitely unlocked
– It’s super snappy! Faster than the Droid…
– There’s no multitouch support in the browser or in Google Maps
– There’s no dedicated camera key, but it’s the same camera interface as the Droid
– The trackball can be used to focus (like on other HTC devices)
– Low-light performance is decent, but the flash is weak
– Calls are routed the normal way, not using data (VoIP), and sound fine
– The home screen is divided into 5 panes (like the custom interface on the HTC Hero Motorola CLIQ)
– It’s using a micro-USB connector for data/power
– There are some gold contacts at the bottom edge, for a dock perhaps?
– Did I mention it’s fast?

Sorry, I was not allowed to take pictures (the one above is from the intertubes). That’s it for now :)

Update: I now have my own Nexus One.

255 thoughts on “Exclusive: Google Nexus One hands on Leave a comment

  1. You mean like Motoblur on the Motorola Cliq, which has 5 screens. The HTC Hero with the Sense UI had 7, home screens.

  2. The way I see it… the more we learn…the more the facts lean towards this phone being the next Android phone for T-Mobile…nothing more. The G1 and Magic/MyTouch were given out unlocked in the past…

    as far as I’m concerned…this isn’t a bad thing…I’m with T-Mo and I’m excited to get my hands on this phone….I’ve been waiting for an Android touchscreen only phone with a Ighz processor and larger screen…looks like I ge my wish soon!

  3. Question:

    When you say it’s unlocked, do you mean that the final release will be unlocked? Or that the particular model you used was unlocked?

  4. When you say “multitouch” do you mean pinch zoom? If you think these are the same thing the answer to my question would be “yes”.

  5. Is it hardware wise incapable of multitouch or is it just not enabled?

    I really hope it’s not just another 77 MHz more…

  6. tnkgrl – 1400 MaH is a poor battary?

    also can you confirm you got the retail version of the phone?

    it comes with EU and US versions?

  7. I can’t wait to have it. This time again, Google marketing beats Apple and its keynote ! It makes all of us become crazy ..

  8. Thats an Android 2.1 device from HTC (projektname Bravo). No google phone whatsoever but most certainly the next developers phone for the gooogle folks as a successor of the G1.

    The bad thing however is, that the camera will suck again as on all HTC devices.

    • I liked my Sprint Hero (CDMA). The design was good, very good, but not stellar. I wish it had a 5-way nav d-pad and not a trackball. The trackball wiggled when trying to press it, I think it made the camera a bit harder to use and focus then necessary.

      I returned the Hero because it was often not fast enough to answer calls before the calls rolled to voicemail.

      So the design of the Nexus One seems good, like a Hero should (have been.)

      But I’d love to see a android phone with a d-pad and even a stylus — the truth is my old Treo displays information far better than most iPhones and finger based touchscreen phones do, because the d-pad and stylus make for much more precise navigation with far better visual feedback than punching something with a big fat finger.

  9. Thanks for the review. Is there WiFi support? SIP support? I just hope to be able to use SIP over WiFi to replace my Nokia E66.

  10. Is Nexus One using Swipe?

    Important for this light a phone with this big a screen and with no physical keyboard. It’s distinctions might include 1st rate text phone.

    It looks and sounds like Google has a flagship and a popular product on its hands here – It’s faster, cheaper and sleeker, but without all the bells and whistles – no capacitive touch.

    But I don’t know about a game changer. Sounds more like it levels the playing field some – which realllllllly suits Google’s purpose: drive users to an underused network that is the fastest around (7.2 speed), isn’t overcrowded and which isn’t price gouging for data only.

    But it is both one step forward and one back: Though Nexus One is unlocked, it’s limited for use on TMobile’s netowrk only.

  11. It’s true that the Nexus One looks much better in the flesh than in the photos. It’s very slim, not plastic at all as some people have commented and the screen is superb. For my money it’s much cooler than the iPhone, consumers will love it.

    • I’m doing SIP on my Droid using the app Sipdroid from “i-p-tel GmbH” with my Gizmo5 account. Works fine. There is no reason it shouldn’t work on this phone as well.

  12. I’m sure it’s capacitive multi-touch, but wish Google would step up, get some balls and put pinch-zoom in their apps. Why would they be afraid of Apple if Palm is doing it? I think it’s sad that Apple could get a patent for such a common sense gesture like this anyway.

    • no the phone does have multi-touch but GOOGLE APPS dont have the support for multi-touch. your confusing pinch zooming with being able to record more than one touch at the same time.

  13. Not sure if this has been asked already but do you know if they stated a Release date as of yet for T-Mobile….Wanna add the NexusOne to my X-Mas list.

  14. I think the question I have yet to see answered is how much internal storage for apps, that seems to be the big hold up on the android phones since no apps to sd card. I have the G1 and am always running out of space. Could you please answer that for us, thanks

  15. You said that calls are routed normally, but does that leave out the option of doing it over VoIP? Was there any sort of super Google Voice integration that would hint at the phone being able to go data only?

    Did you hear anything about that but can’t say anything?

    I just feel like the device is somewhat of a letdown if there’s nothing game changing about it. Speed is great, but a true Google Phone should change the way we use phones.

    Also, would Google be rolling out updates to this phone directly, or will your carrier be responsible?

  16. I’ve notice the Droid to have a large screen but it’s screen is long but not wider than the iPhone. Same as the Touch Pro 2. Is the Nexus One like these two phones having a big screen but just longer instead of wider?

  17. What I’m STILL waiting to find out is how much memory it has on board for applications? If it’s still 256mb or 288mb like most Android devices then I’m out, I’ll keep waiting.

    • You not need wait to have more memory on the phone, you can install all apps you want in MicroSD, like the G1; thats why android rocks.

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  20. Why is it limited to Edge on AT&T when the FCC filiing says there’s an AT&T capable 3G radio on board? If it’s unlocked, what is AT&T doing to stop it from using 3G?

  21. Did you notice if the USB port was Micro-AB (square) or Micro-B (hexagonal, half-way between square and trapezoidal)? It would be a delight if this supported USB on-the-go.

  22. Are you sure the screen is the same as the droid?

    The aspect ration looks far more normal that’s the droid’s.. IE, not crazy widescreen.

    The droid is FWVGA (480×854), this looks much more like a more normal aspect of WVGA (480×800)


    • The screens look identical in size and shape when placed next to each-other – the deep blacks and saturated colors on the Nexus One point to OLED, and that’s the only noticeable difference.

      • I really want to believe you, but I just can’t!

        All the pictures I’ve seen, including your own show an aspect ration of ~1.65 (h/w)

        The droid is ~1.77.

        The Nexus is not the same! :)

        480 x 800 pixels is my guess. I don’t know why I’m the only person that notices this!

    • Look, I’m an Android developer, and there are only so many standard screen resolutions…

      One of them is 854×480, which is what both the Droid and Nexus One (likely) use. Both also have 3.7″ screens. You do the math!

      Unless the pixels are not square, the aspect ratios are the same :)

  23. tnkgrl, Thank you for the info. Do you happen to have any information on how much ram and rom? If so would you please share.

  24. How do you know that the call was routed in typical fashion by the carrier? Most LD calls are terminated by VOIP anyway. I think that you mean the call is routed directly by the cell carrier as opposed to passed back to google and then completed by them. Assuming the interface is seamless, you wouldn’t notice the difference.

    • Simple really… I used my own SIM in the Nexus One, turned both data and WiFi off, and the call went through.

      That and the phone receiving the call showed my # on caller ID (not my Google Voice # or some other #)!

      • Right, but maybe the phone uses the cell network to call a google number, then passes your intended number on to their network and completes the call. This can also pass on your original call ID, but means much lower charges on your account if international (local cell minutes + a google voice charge vs. the outrageous LD rates for completion by the cell carrier). Wouldn’t have to be shown as data either, can be done entirely as voice.

      • I don’t know too much about SIM cards, but isn’t your existing data plan attached to the SIM card? So if I have a plan with T-Mobile for voice, texting, and data, and put the SIM card into the Nexus One, shouldn’t I still have the same thing? Or is the cell plan you choose attached to the phone itself?

  25. Why is everyone so afraid to answer the question about RAM and ROM on this phone? It’s either ignored and in this case post removal. You answer the obvious questions like screen size and which carrier. My intentions are not to step on toes. Frustrating when I have been asking this question for 3 or 4 days and as I said earlier ignored or this case post removal. I am sure there are others whom are interested as well.

    • I’m not afraid to answer this… I just don’t know! I didn’t think of looking, didn’t have a lot of time, and wanted to focus on some other things that matter to me, like the camera.

  26. tnkgrl, great post and good answers. why didn’t the person let you take photos of the phone or play with it for longer to get more details? also what other sw changes did u find on this new OS version? lastly, can u provide a list of the native apps?

    • Because they didn’t… I’m lucky to have played with it as long as I did!

      There are some cool animations here and there, but overall it looks and feels like an evolution of the Droid software. I didn’t have it long enough to make a list of native apps.

  27. Wow! Tnkgrl you seriously are awesome!

    I’ve been drooling over this phone since pictures were leaked, and I think it just might have to be the one. I was getting impatient and thinking of getting the HTC Hero as a replacement, but if this is going to have 3G on T-Mobile, i’ll just wait another month!

  28. You have to always hit the on/off button to “wake” the phone to check the status of messages ect…this seems crazy to me…you should be able to wake the screen from a key press or the trackball..comments?

  29. Very nice device I must say. I don’t know how important the device will be. Nothing that hasn’t been seem before hardware-wise but it’s interesting to see what they’ll do with the software. The iPhone for instance still rules although there are devices out there that have better specs. Its what they’ve done with the software that makes it special. Lots of potential with that hardware, hope they make good use of it.
    Cheers tnkgrl!

  30. Question for ya:

    Did you notice any improvements in the Gmail app? I’m dying for an update there.

    Also, any chance you noticed if there is improved copy/paste? (i.e. It would be great if we could select ANY text and copy it. It hate being limited to the input fields.


  31. The number of Google Fanbois (Anbois?, Goobois?) here having an orgasmic response to yet another piece of silicone and plastic makes me laugh! Apple fanboys at least have class and money – the GooBois are mostly nerds drooling.
    Google has screwed up so many times with software – Orkut, Docs, Wave, Followme, and yet the Goobois think that Google can do no wrong.

    Watch out – behind you – there’s another Nexxus review – quick let the drool start!


  32. I have class and more money than I know what to do with. I got rid of the Iphone long ago. And actually I have been using the Nexus One for about a week and hands down its the best phone I have had in years….and all the rich apple fan boys drool over it.

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  34. Question:
    It states that there is a 29 dollar fee for data. If you already have Unlimited EVERYTHING from TM does that mean there is no additional cost? Or, will be forced to pay it like I was with my iphone…

    Jon P

    • Where does it state that? Not in my post…

      My guess is all we’ll need to use this phone on T-Mo is any voice plan with G1 data (I’m using an unlimited “more plus” account). We’re not going to be charged extra!

  35. Any ideas on actual physical dimensions? Did it feel bigger than e.g. an iPhone (which is the largest phone I could tolerate…)?

    Thanks for the hand-on info! :-)

  36. Hi tnkgrl!

    May I please know how you are so confident that ATT’s 3G is a no go on this phone? I have been searching for this particular info with no results :( I have a HTC Hero with ATT 3G, would love to grab the Nexus One if it does Quad Band 3G!

    Thank you!

  37. Thanks for the sneak peek, tnkgrl, but I just wanted to comment on your nice festive snow speckles drifting on your page as my cursors moves, neato!

    Hppy hldys,

  38. Just wanted to let you know that it’s not showing up properly on the BlackBerry Browser (I have a Pearl). Anyway, I’m now on the RSS feed on my laptop, so thanks!

  39. So I am thinking about picking a Droid and I am leaning toward the Nexus.
    I dont need a pull out keyboard, and i dont even want to spend the $30 / month for Data, I just like the Wifi deal.
    I am almost always in a location that has Wifi…..

    so, am i nuts for looking at this phone for just phone and wifi?
    Is it overkill without purchasing the data ?

    I really do not want the additional cost
    Thoughts/comments? Share them on Thanks.

    • Droid vs. Nexus one comes down to plan cost and network quality in your area, ie. Verizon vs. T-Mobile, expensive vs. affordable, great coverage vs. adequate coverage.

      Both are great devices, with the Nexus One having the advantage. Both are pretty useless without a data plan – these are not phones, these are mobile computers tha rely on an Internet connection to be really usable.

      If you can live with T-Mobile’s coverage, their pricing is unbeatable. My advice is to buy the Nexus One unlocked, and get one of the Even More Plus contract-free plans with unlimited text and data.

      That’s what I have, and I can’t complain :)

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  41. Does any one have got anydetails? I am stating my personal assumptions depending on previous monitor data(the closest point to facts that anybody have right now) so, about the Nexus1, that dropped first within the USA so, not really the same and as far as the HD2 it doesn’t issue how lengthy it took the level is it’s still coming to T-MO USA, so (IMO) this mobile phone will go to TMobile U.S.A, Thanks. Anyway ,nice blog

  42. The Nexus One from Google is a very nice Smartphone. Actually it does support Multitouch, so its quiet better as the “original”, which hadnt Multitouch when it was outed to the Media.

  43. I love the IDEA behind the Nexus One but I’m missing a keyboard. BTW The LG GM205 has a really nice keyboard but only Android 1.5 :(

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