Blog Post

First Look and Impressions of Google’s Nexus One

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Although it’s only been a few days with the Google Nexus One (s goog) — and hectic days, at that — here’s a first look at the device along with some basic early impressions. Overall, it’s not a ground-breaking device, although it does use a hot, new processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon (s qcom). I’m still getting used to the keyboard, and I’m not thrilled about how much the screen smudges. But the display is gorgeous, the camera is quite good, and I’m very impressed with the integrated voice input.

More to follow as I fly home from Vegas and get used to the new device!

27 Responses to “First Look and Impressions of Google’s Nexus One”

  1. Here’s a question, and possibly a stupid one at that.

    Since it appears that Google’s speech to text software is fairly accurate, why aren’t laptops shipping with built in speech to text software to make word processing faster and easier. I feel like this is a technology that hasn’t advanced very far over the years. I know some Windows laptops have this, but it seemed very wonky and inaccurate. Just a thought.

    • Not a stupid question at all! Keep in mind that Google has implemented this on a phone, so they know that it’s fairly certain that they’ll have connectivity. That’s needed because the processing takes place on the Google server side — hence the delay. I put my Nexus One in Airplane Mode and tested voice to speech: got a “couldn’t connect” message. Connectivity with PCs isn’t as “guaranteed” as phones right now, although that’s changing over time.

    • I couldn’t go data only, so I went with the $59.99 a month plan, which includes 500 voice minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited web. I’ve read that I can call to cancel the text portion of the plan to save $10 a month. I’ll likely do that and simply use Google Voice for text messaging. Skype isn’t all that great on Android when compared to other platforms. It’s really a Skype Lite client. I’m still hoping for Gizmo and Google Talk / Google Voice integration.

  2. i was curious about something Kevin. since you bought the phone unlocked, did you have to undergo a credit check/contract when signing up with T-Mo?

    logic tells me you shouldnt have to do either of those things since the phone is not being subsidized, but ive heard stories that some carriers with certain phones still require it.

    • I did have to go through a credit check at the T-Mobile store. I suspect that’s because I haven’t been a T-Mobile customer for nearly 3 years. I paid nothing at the store however due to my credit. I walked out with a SIM card, no contract and my bill will be mailed to me after the first month’s use, according to the CSR.

    • TimDuncanian

      if you think thats bad check this out, *DOUBLE* ETF’s for canceling the N1. Google is really botching the N1 launch. cant believe they are even letting T-Mo do this…

      to me, an unlocked phone should be JUST like a PC > ISP relationship. take your unlocked phone to any (compatible) carrier, no credit check, no contract, no ETF’s. do US cell carrier not realize thats how it is pretty much everywhere else in the world? it seems to me they are not prepared for this unlocked trend & still have legacy policies that make no sense, plus it gives them another chance to stick you with a “fee”.

  3. Stevearino

    Thanks Kevin – seeing it, in such detail and for an extended period really helps me understand what a beautiful piece of tech this is. I don’t know if it’s better/worse/groundbreaking, but I am impressed. Especially by the voice to text.

    I wonder if it will come to Canada; and how hosed we will be? Google’s site says “Sorry the Nexus One phone is not available in your country”….sigh, just like Zune Pass, Hulu, Droid, etc.

    Anyway, well done as usual.

    • I haven’t read any bad reviews either. Virtually every review I’ve read has called this the best Android device yet.

      Of course, the Nexus One has shortcomings. Find me the device that doesn’t. All of this whining just sounds like fanboyism at its worst. Apparently, like Apple products, you just aren’t allowed to say anything about Android unless you’re lavishing it with praise.

  4. Jon Sharman

    I like the fact you caution at the beginning that your lack of personal speed with the Nexus One isn’t Android-related, but because you’re so accustomed to the iPhone.

    I’ve read some horrible reviews. I got mine last Thursday. It’s absolutely amazing. I’m already accustomed to Android, I’ve been using the G1 for the past year, so I’m pretty quick with it… and it’s speed is phenomenal. Integration of Facebook, messaging, email, etc., is top notch – I can cross-contact anyone through any medium wherever I see their name, which is fantastic. The display is outstanding, video quality is excellent, photo quality is very good. The soft buttons, well, they’re soft buttons… no worse than any other soft button on any other high-end phone, I think sometimes people expect them to work like hard buttons.

    Is it “ground-breaking”? Of course not. I don’t know how anyone can expect anything to be ground-breaking these days. Every release of a new iPhone that Apple have done since the original hasn’t been ground-breaking either. What’s noticeable to me is the amount of multi-tasking I can do without losing any speed… it is truly faster than my Netbook (Samsung N120) and AS FAST as my Core i7 computer (obviously the applications are stripped down compare to the computer versions, but still). If I press my GMail button on my phone and the same icon on my computer the phone opens quicker and pulls email quicker every time.

    This was a solid review, I like the lack of bias and the open admission that there may be a little bias because of your familiarity with the iPhone. Reviews that bash the Nexus One… I just don’t get it. It’s the same as me bashing the iPhone because it has a 3MP camera and a 480×320 display… it’s petty stuff.

    Thanks for the honesty!

  5. Kevin,
    Was your (or any colleagues that you know) Iphone experience in Las Vegas as poor as James? Or did you not get enough of a chance to assess this since you were primarily using your new google phone? Thanks for the prompt write up. Safe travels.

  6. Kevin if you get a chance can you test the Nexus and see if it would tether to a mobile phone like the Archos 5 does. I would like to get the Nexus and pair it to my BB for data and use Google apps including Skype and GTalk like on my Archos. Have a save trip back home.

  7. BrianCainly

    i really thought this phone was going to be a smash success when it was announced a few months back, im actually shocked by the rather poor reviews its been getting (yet still saying its the best Android device yet). could Android be losing its momentum already? it seems like only a few months ago they stole it from Palm. but at least with Palm, everybody seems to agree the foundation is there but that its just not mature enough yet. Android seems to be getting blasted on all sides.

    my Twitter has been on fire with an article BGR wrote, were out of nowhere he absolutely blasted Android, claiming that it just cant compete in polish to iPhone/webOS. it was a shocking read for a blogging powerhouse like BGR, at well over 1,000 replies now.

    • Jon Sharman

      They obviously have a problem with Google and/or someone who didn’t send them some free stuff from Google.

      It’s written with the grammatical prowess of a 12 year old too. It’s amazing though how many people read those things and take them as gospel (obviously not referring to you Brian!)