Blog Post

Can the Nexus One on Verizon Be a Killer 3G Skype Machine?

The buzz surrounding the belief we’ll see the Nexus One (s goog) appear on Verizon (s vz) today clearly demonstrates the popularity of the Android platform, and the desire to see the best Android phone on the Verizon network. I would pick up a Verizon Nexus One in a heartbeat, and I am obviously not the only one.

One of the best features of the Android platform — for me — is the tight integration with Google Voice. I have multiple phones on different carriers and Google Voice makes it all work well with one simple phone number. It’s so tightly integrated into Android that it turns any phone into a real Google Voice machine. I get quite giddy thinking about the Nexus One, Google Voice and Verizon’s rollout of Skype.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Verizon touting its Skype support alongside the Nexus One launch. It would create a tremendous amount of buzz in the smartphone space, and Verizon is getting better at that. This combination would give Verizon customers a powerful smartphone package, perhaps the best in the marketplace. The ability to use Skype for low-cost calling on the Nexus One is powerful enough, but when you throw in the possibility to use Google Voice in combination, you have a power user’s dream machine.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Google’s Mobile Strategy: Understanding the Nexus One

47 Responses to “Can the Nexus One on Verizon Be a Killer 3G Skype Machine?”

  1. I wont waste my time with another android phone until they make it so applications close when i exit them. So that i do need a stupid application manager to do it.

  2. I have to say for once being on AT&T is actually better than Verizon. I know it sounds absurd but with Line2, http://www.line2.com, on my iPhone I get unlimited VoIP calls over WiFi and 3G. And if I’m traveling and don’t have access to either it will still work over AT&T if they actually have any coverage.

    After I added Line2 I dropped my cell plan to the minimum, saving $30/month. Line2 is only $15/month so I save $180 a year and get great sound quality, not to mention I now can take and make calls from my office number directly from my iPhone. It’s an awesome service and actually makes AT&T livable. I’m no longer counting the days until Verizon gets the iPhone:)

  3. Value for money?
    Skype in verizon will use up mobile minutes – The consumer loses due to skype , verizon deal – No skype over 3g or wifi – when you use skype it takes your mobile minutes

    Nexus one – In tmobile the price one pays for nexus one is way higher when compared to other smart phones. Total cost of ownership is very high. Nexus one cannot be got for a family plan unless you pay full price

    Most of techies forget the above when they write article about skype verizon deal or the nexus one.

    End of the day what a consumer pay does matter. Will the author look this aspect as well and then give additional comments ?

    • I’ll cut and paste my comment from above in reference to your first point, which is inaccurate. At the press event, it was specifically noted that Skype-to-Skype calls and chats would not count against data caps or voice minutes, i.e.: in those use cases, no mobile minutes would be used.

      From our post last month covering the Verizon / Skype partnership:

      “On the Skype Mobile product page, this tidbit jumped out at me: “Skype usage won’t be charged against customers’ monthly Verizon Wireless data plans or minute allowances.” Last I checked, the smartphone data service on Verizon Wireless phones was unlimited, but this development is good news for folks with limited amounts of voice minutes. With solid 3G coverage and friends on Skype, you could save your voice minutes for non-Skype calls as needed.”

      And Verizon doesn’t cap smartphone usage at 5GB, AFAIK. That limit is imposed on mobile broadband / data cards.

      As to the second point that the TCO is high for a Nexus One. If I were to keep an unsubsidized N1 for the same 2 years as a contract buyer, the cost is less. Yes, the up-front price is $350 higher, but T-Mobile offers the plans for $20 per month less without contract. $20 x 24 months = $480 savings which gives you back the initial $350 and then some. It all depends on how long you keep the phone.

  4. Pcmag just published a hands-on with the Verizon skype client, and it is completely neutered, it’s merely a voice to VOIP bridge for international calling.

    “The Skype client for Verizon Wireless isn’t true voice-over-IP. Rather, it calls a Skype server using a standard Verizon voice call, and the server then turns the call into a Skype call. All Skype calls are “in network,” so they don’t charge voice minutes. You can’t call U.S. landlines using this Skype app, but you can call computers and international landlines; the international calls are charged at Skype rates, which are much lower than Verizon’s.”

    So it looks like you’re going have to change the title of this article to be “Nexus One on Verizon is lamest possible Skype machine”.

  5. John Pugh

    Although I’m an AT&T user and plan to buy the Nexus One (as I look at my spare change jar from the corner of my eye) in the near future I’d like to see it released in Verizon. Personally, I think the exclusivity agreement btwn Apple & AT&T has extended beyond a reasonaable time period and believe the Nexus One will be a formidable contender to the iPhone. However, I do realize the current marketing campaign, or lack thereof, of this device will show the early adopters to be more tech savvy and may not break any sales records…in the early stage.

  6. A.NON asked above if the N1 has a forward-facing camera and the answer, unfortunately, is no. I’m not sure about the Droid – but go check the specs for any other details.

    • Thanks for the info… I don’t see how any device without a forward-facing camera for video calls can be considered an acceptable skype device, let alone a killer skype device.

  7. If you go to the Verizon Wireless website, and search for Nexus One, it will redirect you to google’s website. So they’re up to something. I too was hoping it would be released today.

  8. Richard Garrett

    Nexus One the best Android phone? Certainly a subjective view…while I’ve not used the N1 I do use the Moto Droid and believe it worthy of consideration. Its processor, in raw numbers, is not as fast as the N1 but the device seems plenty fast to me. There is no lag between operations and it behaves consistently and reliably in all but one department. Ironically, that is as a phone. Its awkward to answer (as are many Android phones, I believe) and the screen blacks out during calls making it hard to use the speaker, the touchpad or even end the call. On the other hand, it has a physical keyboard, a great (optional) car dock for GPS and incredible build quality. The battery lasts all day and well into the evening.
    Perhaps more to the point, I think any Verizon/Android phone is a potent combo for use with Google Voice and Skype. The specific hardware seems a secondary consideration.

    • Great comment! Got my Droid yesterday, while still having second thoughts about the N1 though to be honest. How do you get your battery to last all day and into the evening, though? Mine doesn’t last that long and I make sure I kill the apps when I’m not using them. (subscribed)

    • Yes, i think so. They just transferred all my contacts from my old Rzr from TMO, and of course, my Google contacts followed as soon as I logged in.

  9. Skype is supposed to be offered on a selection of Verizon handsets so I am sure it will be on the Droid. I’m glad Nokia phones also have a native Skype over 3G so T-Mobile and AT&T users can have access to that feature.

  10. but if verizon caps their 3G data usage at 5GB – i get much less excited to use the nexus one as a skype machine. (calls over wifi are a much different story).

    add me to the many who are praying to any god that will listen that today is the day that the “G”-sus phone debuts.

    • From our post last month covering the Verizon / Skype partnership:

      “On the Skype Mobile product page, this tidbit jumped out at me: “Skype usage won’t be charged against customers’ monthly Verizon Wireless data plans or minute allowances.” Last I checked, the smartphone data service on Verizon Wireless phones was unlimited, but this development is good news for folks with limited amounts of voice minutes. With solid 3G coverage and friends on Skype, you could save your voice minutes for non-Skype calls as needed.”

      And Verizon doesn’t cap smartphone usage at 5GB, AFAIK. That limit is imposed on mobile broadband / data cards.

      • perfect. thanks for clarifying. i hate decieving information on the web (sad that i just contributed to it).

        with that new information, bring on the skype and free / cheap international calling.

  11. I’ve checked Google and Verizon’s sites this morning and neither mentions the Nexus One/Verizon connection. I’m very disappointed. As a Verizon customer, I’ve been looking forward to today for a month.

    Anyone know anything I don’t?

  12. i agree that voice and skype are great applications. i’m trying to determine how skype in particular would be used. you still have a data plan so it’s not as if you’re saving money. do you mean for long-distance calling? communicating with ppl on pc’s?