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photo gallery

The Google Nexus One is the most anticipated Android phone ever. First, because Google was rumored to be “freeing people” from the the wireless carriers rule (yeah right) but more legitimately because it is said to be the best Android phone ever. Of course, that’s what I’ll try to determine over the course of this review. Among the differences between the Nexus One and the previous best Android phone, the Droid/Milestone, there is a faster processor (a 1Ghz Qualcomm SnapDragon) and an AMOLED display which is amazing. You also won’t escape some kind of comparison with the iPhone 3GS. I know it’s annoying to compare everything with the iPhone, but… people just want to know, sorry. So, does the Nexus One live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

Context

First of all, thanks to those who have left messages in previous review pages in to ask when this one would come out. It took a while (sorry, CES kept us busy), but I did not want to rush it and post a half-baked review. Thanks for your patience.

Before you read this Google Nexus One review, let me provide some context: I used the Nexus One as my main phone for about a week. During that time, I tracked emails from an Exchange account and a Gmail account. My work calendar and contacts were synchronized as well. I stayed connected with my friends via Facebook and had Android 2.1 consolidate my contact list with thumbnails and information from there. I read emails several times per hour and reply moderately (1/8 of all emails). I browse the web several times a day to check on news and the stock market. I don’t call much: only 10mn or so per day. Usage pattern is the single most important thing that affects battery life. It also shapes how we perceive, like or dislike features on a phone, so now you know.

Technical Highlights

  • 119×59.8×11.5mm, 130g (4.58oz)
  • 1Ghz Qualcomm QSD 8250 “Snapdragon” processor
  • 3.7″ 800×480 AMOLED display
  • 5 Megapixel camera with LED Flash
  • 720×480 video capture at 20fps+
  • GSM/3.5G, GPS
  • 1400mAH battery
  • 512MB RAM, 4GB MicroSD storage
  • Full specifications from Google

Physical design (“iPhonesque”)


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nexus one app 40 hero back
Look at the complete photo gallery of the Nexus One

The Google Nexus one feels like a solid phone. Unlike the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the surface in the back doesn’t feel slippery. Instead, it’s very soft, warm and not prone at all to fingerprints. I question the brown-ish color choice (lesson not learned from the G1?), which I personally don’t like, but you’ll decide for yourself. Other than that, the design is very nice and quite minimalist, and I bet that most people will find it pleasing to look at and to hold.

nexus one app trackball 1
The addition of a trackball is a good idea, it’s just not well exploited – yet

The presence of a trackball is quite rare on Android devices (the MyTouch 3G/HTC Magic has one), and we will get back to this later. You will find the usual buttons on the facade: Back, Menu, Home and Search buttons. Inside, there is a 1400mAh, 5.18Whr battery, a SIM card slot and a microSD slot populated with a 4GB card. On the back, there’s the camera and its LED flash – no mirror. At the bottom, there’s a micro-USB port that syncs/charge. It’s really great that most phones now use micro-USB.

nexus one amoled
You can’t ever go back to an LCD after this

Display (amazing): The image quality of the 800×480 OLED display is noticeably beyond the Droid (for color saturation and contrast) or the iPhone (2x the pixel density, sat. and cont. ) LCD display. Of course, the settings for contrast and saturation are different, so it’s hard to compare “color accuracy” here. However, I’m 100% sure that the OLED screen is “better” because the blacks are not gray (it’s actually really black) and the color saturation is much better. If you hear about small touch sensitivity issues, it’s true, I also think that this display is sometimes not sensitive enough, even if it is very mild.

Trackball: it feels like the trackball that I have on my Blackberry 8900 (and probably like other Blackberry phones too). If this works, I suspect that Android phone makers will start using the optical trackpad as it is more sturdy and cheaper to use. More below.

UI Buttons: Just above the trackball, the four buttons right below the screen are not very sensitive and after a few days, they are getting on my nerves. I have to press much harder than I did on the Droid to get them to function.

Dock: I don’t think that the Nexus One dock has been made official, but you might have seen the rumor go by. If you look at the bottom of the nexus one, there are connectors, that might be used for a dock.

Basics (very good)

nexus one app dial
All the basic stuff is well covered

Dial a number: Just like other Android 2.x phones, placing a call is very easy, for many reasons: the dial pad is efficient, the contacts are easy to access and there are favorites and dial shortcuts too, which are both very cool. Although it is easy, dialing a contact is not as fast as a Blackberry or a Windows Mobile phone where you simply type the first the letters of the contact name. Instead, you have to open the Phone or Contact application, then press and hold “menu” to pop the virtual keyboard out, then start typing. Once your contact appear on screen, calling is still a couple of taps away.


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nexus one app reception
The Blackberry 9700 reception is more or less the same

Wireless reception issues (myth): This is something that I usually don’t cover, because it is *mostly* network-dependent rather than device dependent, even if internal antennas are not built equal. In previous reviews I’ve never seen any dramatic differences, but the web rumor/complaints about how “bad” the Nexus One is required a closer look. I have compared it with the T-Mobile Blackberry 9700. Results:

  • Office: Blackberry 1/5 bars (Edge), can place a call. Nexus One 1/4 bars (Edge) and can place a call too. Note that if I move both phones in a 1 yard radius they both loose the cell signal.
  • Living room: Blackberry 9700 4/5 (Edge), Nexus One 4/4 (Edge).
  • 4th and Bluxome (SF): Blackberry 9700 2/5 bars (Edge), Nexus One 2/4 (Edge)

Conclusion: at no point, was the Blackberry 9700 was clearly better or Worse than the Nexus One. Both could be as “bad” or “as good” depending on one’s point of view, but I think that they are both in the “normal” range. Maybe people aren’t used to T-Mobile’s spotty coverage, but I can hardly blame the phone for that. Note that a Verizon wireless version is “coming soon” and that Europeans will get a Vodaphone version “soon” as well. I expect some announcements at Mobile World Congress next month.

Update: if you’re really desperate with the wireless reception “issue”, try the Nexus One 3G “fix” proposed by Kevin C. Tofel. It doesn’t do anything for me, but I hope that it will for you.

Audio quality (good): While I was at it, I compared the sound quality to the Blackberry 9700. The Nexus One is a bit louder, and it sounds good. There’s nothing special to report here. The Nexus One has a second microphone in the back that is supposed to be used to analyze background noise to filter it out (like noise-cancelling headphones). Despite the near-miraculous results reported by other sites (ahem…), none of my call recipients did notice or mention it. This is a good idea, but “hype” seems be bigger than “reality” here.

nexus one app virtual kayboard 2
At this point, the differences are very small

Virtual Keyboard: The virtual keys appear to be a little smaller than the iPhone’s, but they are not (try superimposing in Photoshop). I much prefer Android’s way of suggesting words without replacing what you type unless you take action.

Trackball (Yawn…): the addition of a trackball is a good idea because it could have been an excellent tool to navigate text and perform accurate text selection. Unfortunately, Android does not yet use the trackball efficiently. You can scroll and click with it, but there’s nothing that it won’t do well that you can’t do by simply pointing with the finger (). The trackball should help you when things are too small for the finger to pick accurately. It’s a “meh” for now.

Dynamic wallpaper (useless): some people like it, some hate it. I tend to find it distracting but amusing. That said, I disabled it because it’s not very useful and it might consume more battery than it’s worth in entertainment.

nexus one app copy paste
With the trackball, Copy/Paste could be great… but it’s not

Copy/paste (Frustrating): Android 2.1 still doesn’t handle copy/paste to a satisfactory level in my opinion. Try sending yourself something simple like a WEP key via email (not the most secure way…), you can’t really copy that text, in email reading or editing mode… The iPhone deserved its share of criticism for not having it for a while, and it’s interesting to see how Android is getting a free pass on that. Blackberry is currently the king of copy/paste.

Web Browsing (excellent)

nexus one app web browsing ug
Again, the screen takes it to the next level.

Web browsing is very fast (faster than the Droid and the 3GS) and the OLED screen does make an even bigger difference. For one, it has 2x the pixel density of the iPhone, so the small fonts are sharp and very readable instead of being a bit fuzzy on the 3GS. Secondly the colors rendering is noticeably better: whites are white and colors are more vibrant: this is obvious to everyone. Finally, both Safari and the Android browser do a good job at adapting the content to whatever zoom state you’re in. Overall, I’m very happy with Web Browsing on the Nexus One.

nexus one app 37 multi touch
Europeans are likely to get multi-touch

Now, I wish that pinch & zoom (multi touch) was available to U.S users (I guess that Europeans will have it, as they did with the Droid/Milestone). That said, without pinch & zoom, you’re not completely out in the cold. Most of the time, the double-tap zoom works very well (I tried on BBC, Yahoo news, Ubergizmo and more…) and will suffice. It’s actually better than pinch and zoom for text content, in my opinion. On the other hand, pinch and zoom is much better when it comes to zooming to that small radio box, link or button that you want/need to click on. I want both.

Adobe Flash (nope): Flash is still unsupported. The good news is that Flash ads won’t show up. The bad news is that your favorite flash content/site won’t work. Is this a big deal to you? Drop a comment.

Google Docs (read-only): As it is the case with the Motorola Droid (or any Android 2.x phone), Google Docs documents can be viewed but not edited. Again, thanks to the screen, it is very nice to read text files.

Email (good)

nexus one app email marketing
You can see junk emails in all their glory

I’m satisfied with the email experience, but I don’t feel like it is anywhere close to the level of productivity that a Blackberry device offers. Here’s why: the blackberry has shortcuts that allows you to navigate much faster (“t” for top, “r” for reply etc…). It also has a custom dictionary that allows you to create all kinds of custom acronyms. It’s up to you to figure out what level of sophistication you want from your email, but I want you to know that there’s room for improvement, and that there’s better out there.

The one thing that is really annoying is the lack of email search. If you’re trying to find that Evite link with the address of tonight’s party or if you are late for a meeting and are trying to find your contact info… be prepared to scroll and read really fast because YOU are the search. I hope that this gets fixed soon because “lack of search” and “Google” should definitely not be in the same sentence.

Apart from that, I love being able to create many accounts and have a unified inbox. Composing and sending emails is easy and works well. Setting up new accounts is very easy, even for Exchange accounts.

Outlook sync via USB (unsupported): This is a fr
equent question, so I’ll address it. Android does not sync wit Outlook over USB. If you have a Exchange account, you can sync over the air. If you have a web account (GMail, Hotmail…) you can also get your mail on the phone, but if you use Outlook with Pop3/IMAP, there is no native sync. There are ways to sync Outlook to GMail, but I think that this is getting ridiculous at that point. This has to do with Google not having the license to Active Sync (a Microsoft thingy), which is required to synchronize with Outlook.

PS: during the first 48hrs of usage, my Exchange account got removed from the phone and it did as if it was never there… I don’t know why, but no biggie, I spent 3mn to reconfigure it and I was on my way. I mention it, just in case it happens to others.

Security (good enough)

nexus one app security
Very few people seem to care about security

As usual, the preferred locking mechanism is the “lock pattern” so typical for Android phones. I would have liked to see a PIN option, but this is OK.

From a previous review: “Android uses an unlock pattern with up to 9 points. I haven’t done any deep analysis, but using 4 points would allows less combination than a 4-digit code, and using more points possibly becomes harder to remember. That said, I think that it is good enough for most users, but it’s very far from being unbreakable, just like the 4-digit code.”

Photo and video capture (average)

nexus one sample ubergizmo 03
Colors are vibrant and saturated, but often not accurate

To make a long story short, the Nexus One captures decent photos, and shoots average videos. The Nokia N900, for example, is a better camera phone. The Blackberry 9700 is also a better one, just to cite two. That said, in good lighting conditions, the camera does a decent job, except that colors are sometime off… by a lot. Even in broad daylight colors are a bit off, but in more difficult lighting conditions (dim or fluorescent lighting) it can go out of whack, and tends to bias towards the most predominant color in the current frame (red, green, blue, yellow depending of the situation).

nexus one app bill
Left what the nexus one shot, right what’s I’m seeing

On the video capture side, I’m not impressed either. The video resolution of 720×480 looks good on paper, but at 18fps, 8Khz sound and 2Mbps bitrate, it doesn’t look very smooth. It would have been better to limit the resolution to 640×480 in order to reach 30fps.

Check out our full-size photo samples and the sample videos on Flickr.

Performance (excellent)

nexus one app qualcomm 3d
Keep in mind that Qualcomm made the benchmark

There are good news on this front: the performance of the Nexus One is perceptibly higher. Sure, we ran some benchmarks to prove it, but the bottom-line is that you will actually experience it. Expect faster web browsing, faster app execution when compared to the Droid and the 3GS (with all network conditions being equal).

Even with the extra horsepower, the user interface graphics of the Nexus One is still not as reactive as the iPhone 3GS, and I believe that this is a design weakness of Android: its user interface is still not 100% accelerated by the GPU. Even with a faster processor platform, the iPhone 3GS remains more reactive to user input (especially “drag” events) than the Nexus One. The small difference is not a show-stopper, but I hope that Google will fix this soon. Reactivity is the first thing that users experience when using a phone.

I’m more interested by the user perception than by raw performance. If I can’t perceive the difference, I don’t care about it. If you want to know every little benchmark details, I recommend reading the Aars Technica article on that subject. The bottom-line is that the Nexus One is a very powerful handset, I can confirm it.

Boot Time (56s): The Nexus One takes 56 seconds to go from completely OFF to the home screen.

Multitasking (excellent)

nexus one app task killer
You need to install a “task killer” app or face battery extinction

You know all the virtues of multi-tasking and that’s one of the main selling point of Android when compared to the iPhone. Because the Nexus One is more powerful than any other Android phone, it is even more suited to multitasking. At no point, having multiple tasks did slow down the phone (there’s a limit to everything but I just did not reach it with normal use). However, what you don’t pay in reactivity, you might pay in battery life, so you still need to be very mindful of what’s running in the background and Android sure doesn’t do a good job of telling you.

My advice is to download a free Task Killer application that will let you manually (or periodically) close all the non-critical tasks. Normally, it would be Android’s job to let people know what’s going on and provide the option to either “close” or “switch away” from an app. In the meantime, we all need to be educated on this problem. Here’s my blurb about multi-tasking from the Moto Droid review and I think that it is still very valid for the Google Nexus One:

multi-tasking is a good thing, if you have a good use for it. Leaving IM clients on, GPS trackers, switching from an IM conversation to copy/paste something in an email etc… There are so many good ways of using multi-tasking. That said, I don’t think that multi-tasking is a deal-breaker for most people. Multi-tasking phones interfaces also need to improve their user awareness about what’s running. Techies often say: it’s “not hard to figure out what’s open and close it”. True, but it takes time, it’s annoying and we’re lazy. Plus, there has to be a better way than installing an App Killer app. The Nokia N900 has an interesting way of showing you current tasks and let you close them quickly. I could also imagine that users should be able to define if each app should close or stay in the background (and pick up a default behavior). In the end, it’s not *that* hard to tackle, but I recognize that multi-tasking has caused some sluggishness. Today, mono-tasking can cause annoyances if you need background tasks, but it does make the phone more responsive. If you can’t bear having a mono-tasking phone, there are many alternatives, it’s as simple as that.

Entertainment (very good)

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Music (good enough): as usual, the Android player can handle music files well. There’s a keywoard search option that lets one find things quickly. Of course, it’s also possible to browse per artist, album or song. You can tweak the volume with the volume buttons even when the phone is locked. There’s nothing bad to report on this front. I also tested the sound quality with a pair of Sony MDR-NC500D headphones and the sound was as good as any recent MP3 player that I tried, including the Zune HD.

nexus one app 17 photo gallery

Photos gallery (very good): The photo gallery is pretty interesting, you can group by date or browse a general list. The thumbnails have a 3D effect that is pleasing to the eye, and most importantly, it is pretty fast – not “Zune HD” fast though, but we’re getting to that “good enough” point where most people don’t mind or can’t tell the difference.


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YouTube (excellent): provided that you have a good network connection, watching a YouTube movie is an very enjoyable experience. Instead of writing a long paragrah, I’ll just show you. Check the video below:

nexus one app 19 youtube

MP4 Video playback: I have tested video playback on a few .mp4 files for iPod Touch or PSP. Although the movies where not using the full potential of the Nexus One (namely its video resolution), they shows me (again) that the AMOLED display far is an absolute must to watch movies. The quality of the colors and contrast is just superb in that context.

nexus one game trailer
The Transformers (game) trailer looks great!

Speaker (average): there is no rear speaker, and that worried me for a bit, but I was agreeably surprised by how strong the small front speaker could be. If you’re not in a noisy environment, you can definitely enjoy a movie or a song on that speaker. The sound quality is not as good as a Nokia N900, a 3GS or a Droid, but it’s about good enough.

nexus one app 3d racing

Games (great potential):The Nexus One seems quite capable when it comes to games, but at the moment Android is still stuck to Open GL ES 1.0, which is a good starting point, but with game engines like Unreal being ported to mobile devices, it’s about time to jump to the ES 2.0 ship. What worries me with Android is the platform fragmentation. It is hard for developers to create content that will be used on many different phones.


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Android 2.x (it just keeps getting better)

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Google Voice Keyboard (2.1, cool stuff!): in Android 2.1, every text field can be filled using the voice-to-text function. You can effectively dictate instead of type. At any time, you can swipe your finger across the virtual keyboard (or click on the microphone icon) and Android will put itself in “listen” mode. Speak and your phrase will be translated to text. Depending on your voice, pronunciation and background noise, it will work more or less. I think that it works fairly well (and I have a foreign accent). I recommend proceeding with short sentences so that you can fix by hand, if needed. For heavy text users, I would not call it a replacement for a good physical keyboard, but this is something cool that needs more work.The downside is that the processing is offloaded to a remote server, so the service quality decreases with network quality.

nexus one app 23 gmail
It kind of works and holds a lot of potential

GMail(2.x): Just like the Droid, this version of GMail has the extra contact info that give you an immediate access to the phone number, IM chat and even a position on Google Attitude if your contact is sharing it. Not surprisingly, GMail on Android is the best mobile client.

nexus one app unified contacts

Unified contact list(2.x): Nothing has changed since 2.0, so here’s the paragraph that I wrote for the Droid review, still valid: Android 2 adds a number of interesting features including a unified contact list. If you add accounts like Facebook, Email (Exchange or otherwise) and more, Android 2 will try to merge the contact information from the various services, based on the available data. This works like Palm’s Synergy or MotoBlur. I wonder what MotoBlur will become if Android continues to head in that direction. As a result, my contacts have their Facebook profile picture as thumbnails (I love it), but you can’t send a Facebook message directly from the contact list like MotoBlur does. Instead you can only visit the profile. That’s too bad.

nexus one app 26 skype 2
Can we get a complete version of Skype?

Skype Lite: Skype is half-baked on Android and it’s too bad, because you could really do so much with a real version… At the moment, it’s OK for text chatting, but the voice calls don’t work. I’m getting a “not available in your region” error message (I’m in San Francisco).

nexus one app 27 google maps
I would really like to have the “my position” icon on the map

Mapping (excellent for pedestrians): Thanks to the screen and the fast processor, is it a pleasure to navigate arou
nd and the only thing that could really spoil the experience is the 3G coverage, which depends on where you are. The voice to text feature can be very convenient if you are searching for something simple like a store or a place with a particular name. I tried “Oakley store”, “Gas Station” and “Caltrain Station” with a 100% success rate. With addresses, it’s a bit more difficult when you say “twenty three hundred sixteen street”, it tends to output 20 316th street, but again, it will depend on how you say it. On the nexus one, it’s very easy to accidentally touch the “Home” button while trying to tap the “de-zoom” icon. Weirdly enough, it never happened to me with the Droid.


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Car Mode: you would think that the mapping would be great in “Car Mode” while connected to a charger. Unfortunately my Nexus One kept going into sleep mode, even though it was charging, which seems like an abnormal behavior. I could change the time out time to 30mn, but it is annoying and needs to be fixed.

nexus one app 30 backup settings

Backup my settings (2.1): Android can backup settings such as WIFI network passwords etc… it is supposedly used to speed up the setup of a new phone (basically you just need to log in). I like the idea, and it seems helpful for most users. In my case, I’m using several Android phones simultaneously and the information might be overwritten by each phone, I’m not quite sure. I was not capable of recovering my Wifi security setting from the Nexus One to the freshly reset Droid.

nexus one app 31 google voice

Google Voice: As always, having Google Voice is a great way to put a layer in between you, the carrier and the outside world. Having one virtual number allows you to change phone very often (and allows me to review phones in a transparent way for the outside world) without having to tell all your friends to update your contact info.

nexus one app 32 opengl

OpenGL: I believe that the Snapdragon system on a chip (SoC) in the Nexus One supports OpenGL 2.0, however Android itself only supports OpenGL 1.0 right now (see Android SDK).

Neocore 3D benchmark: 26.3fps (Nexus One). The Droid gets around 20fps, but remember that this is a Qualcomm demo, so I would expect it to run better on Qualcomm hardware (if not, someone did no do their job…).

Battery life (please charge daily)

nexus one app 33 battery utility

In my case, the battery life is mainly dictated by the display use (75%+). If I play with it a lot, the phone will stop working after 18-20hrs. If I don’t use it that much, it might last up to 25 hours. If you don’t pay attention to what’s running in the background, it could be even less than 18hrs. I have been very careful at killing all background tasks on a regular basis. You can also use an “auto-kill” app if you want. We’ve also compiled a how to improve Android’s battery life.

The bottom-line is that you will have to charge it daily, at the minimum. It’s not really worse or better than the Droid, the iPhone 3GS or the N900 in my opinion. For all practical purposes, I find all of them to be equivalent in that respect (daily charge required).

Battery indicator: Note that the battery life indicator is not progressive. It seems to jump by increments of 25%, so that’s about 4 “bars” of battery life. I got fooled the first time, thinking that I still had 50% of battery, then a few minutes after, it dropped to 25%. It’s good to know.

nexus one review 21

User replaceable: Note also that the battery is user replaceable. While I have not bought a battery since I had a WinMo BlackJack, this proves that it is possible to create such a design. Seriously, I wonder what % of users buy a second battery. Any ideas?

Things that could be better

nexus one app 34 sleep button

Lock button: the location of the on/off button is not very convenient if you hold your phone with the left hand. If you do so with your right hand, the button will land naturally on your index. Fortunately, this is the only thing that really bugs me in the physical design.

No email search: As I mentioned above this can be a problem in some situation. Most of the time I can live without, but when I really need it I’m pretty mad that it’s not there.

No UMA: T-Mobile is currently the only carrier to officially support the Nexus One, and their coverage is spotty in my area. It’s very unfortunate that the Nexus One (and Android?) does not support UMA (Unlicenced Mobile Access), a feature that lets the phone connect to the carrier’s network via your home WiFi connection. This is called Hotspot@Home at T-Mobile.

Please use the GPU more: Despite having a faster processor and a decent graphics processor (GPU), the Nexus One user interface is still not as reactive as the iPhone 3GS’ and the scrolling is still not as smooth – what’s up with that? My take on it is that this is an “Android problem” because the OS has not been designed to rely on a GPU. This needs to be fixed.

nexus one app 35 no landscape

Landscape mode doesn’t work at 90 degrees CW: Bizarrely, landscape mode kicks-in only if you turn the phone at 90 degrees on the left (CCW). Why?

nexus one app 36 tactile ui
Many people are confused by the landscape mode

Make tactile buttons more sensitive: the buttons just below the screens are less sensitive than on the Droid. Sometimes they work OK, sometimes I have to press several times before getting a response. Other people around me have noticed too.

Where is the multi-touch? Just like the Droid, the U.S Nexus One does not support multi-touch and that’s too bad because it would have made the phone that much easier to use. The European version will get it, so we can only think that this is a patent issue, possibly with Apple. At CES, I’ve been told by several people working in the industry that this might be sorted out soon, but we have yet to seen a resolution on that matter.

Misc

Do we need these buttons below the screen?: I do not hold this against Google or HTC, but frankly, do we need these hardware buttons at the bottom of the screen? What about removing them to extend the display, or shrink the display a bit to add a ph
ysical keyboard? Let me know what you think in the comments.

nexus one app 38 power widget

Power management widget: This is not really “2.1″ new, but I love that power management widget that lets me turn Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS and more, ON and OFF in one click. This widget and the free Task Killer app are “must have” for every Android user. Both can significantly improve the battery life.

Conclusion (very good)

nexus one app 39 hero 2

The Nexus One is the most anticipated Android phone ever, for both good and completely irrational reasons. It comes with a very fast processor that hits the magical 1Ghz clock speed and with an AMOLED high-resolution display that puts the iPhone screen to shame. It is also equipped with the latest Android operating system from Google that packs things like voice-to-text and the best GMail client out there. The irrational part is that the hype is completely overblown. Almost nobody cared about this phone when it was an “HTC” phone. Since it has become a “Google Phone”, people are almost asking me daily if they could walk on water with it.

Depending on where you live/work, network coverage (AT&T, T-Mobile) might or might not be an issue. A Verizon version should be ready soon. Motorola Droid users: there is no need to be (overly) frustrated because the user experience is actually very similar, but with a sexier body and display. At least, you have a physical keyboard and might soon get Android 2.1.

The Nexus One is clearly superior to the iPhone 3GS on a few technical points, namely like the processor and the display. However, if you already own am iPhone 3G or a 3GS, there’s no need to wonder if you should jump ship. At the very least, wait until June for the next iPhone refresh.

For my personal use (see “context”), I consider that Android has matured enough and has enough apps that I don’t really care if the iPhone has so much more. What I do care about is that the iPhone still has the best apps on average. You should not choose the Nexus One or the iPhone based on hardware considerations, but based on what applications YOU plan to use. Forget that the iPhone platform has a gazillion apps. Which ones will YOU use?

Unfortunately for Android fans, I can’t say that the Nexus One buries the iPhone 3GS: the 3GS still has an edge in terms of apps, reactivity and overall experience – while the Nexus One has a technological edge and is an unlocked phone that works on any GSM carrier. If you travel, this is *huge*.

The Nexus One is the best Android phone ever and I expect Nexus One owners to be proud and happy users of their new handset. That said, a new “best Android phone ever” has come out about every month or so – and Mobile World Congress is just around the corner…

I hope that this review was helpful and that you can draw from my experience to extrapolate what yours would be. If you want to be notified when the next review will be up, become a fan of Ubergizmo on Facebook. If you like this review, spread the word by sharing it and linking back to it.

Pricing, retail

At publishing time, the Nexus One costs $529 without a contract, and $179 with a two-year contract at T-Mobile. There is currently no offer from AT&T, but all the Nexus One phones that I have seen (3) do work with an AT&T SIM card if you decide to go for the non-contract phone.

Links

Do not miss these reviews: iPhone 4 Review, Apple iPad Review, Blackberry 9700 Review, Palm Pixi Review, Motorola Droid Review, Nokia N900 Review, iPhone 3GS Review, HTC Hero Review, MyTouch 3G Review/HTC Magic, Nokia N97 Review

Look at all the screenshot above in high-resolution: android apps screenshots

Official Nexus One page from Google
Nexus One support
Nexus One complete specifications
Snapdragon platform
Nexus One stories from Ubergizmo

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