The Nexus One in a nutshell

nexus.jpg • Particulars: 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 512MB RAM, 800x480 3.7" AMOLED display, 5MP camera, thin as a pencil, unadventurous HTC industrial design. Hey, at least it isn't yet another chrome-trimmed iClone! • T-Mobile: $530 unlocked, $180 with contract. You can order it now from Google's online store. Verizon gets it soon, but contract pricing hasn't been announced. • There is no multitouch. But there is a miniature track-ball, animated 3D wallpapers, and the best implementation of Google's web services. • The first published review compares it unfavourably to the Moto Droid. It's "just another Android smartphone." Others disagree: "Droid, shmoid; Nexus is the one you're looking for." • Don't be fooled by intimations that this is the one true Google Phone. There'll be another one just as soon as the next hardware partner needs some marketing catnip sprinkled about. Software's the more interesting battleground, and that fight's now in full swing. So there's nothing to lose watching from a safe distance until your killer app presents itself.


  1. Ok, I’m a G1 owner, I’m on Tmobile… this phone is nice and all but if Google wants to make some inroads, they need to rethink some things.

    #1. This phone only does 3G on Tmobile, sorry AT&T.
    #2. It is extremely expensive to buy this phone without contract, just like any other unsubsidized Smartphone (which hover around $500-700)
    #3. Google seems content on letting word of month sell the phones and not bothering at all with any sort of PC integration.

    This is a great hardware platform but it still suffers from a very “meh” dev community.

    On a side note, if you don’t know how to spell an app’s name, you can’t search for it in the market because it doesn’t use Google Search to help with misspellings.

  2. “But there is a miniature track-ball”
    Seriously, A trackball?
    Wonder how long it will take before the trackball is useless and gummed up.

    1. I’ve had my G1 for 15 months now and the trackball (used daily) is in fine operating condition. It’s not at all similar to the Blackberry one. And I bought my Nexus One today :D

    2. I’ve owned a G1 for over a year, and the trackball works as perfectly today as the day I got it. I’ve never cleaned it – I’m not even sure it’s cleanable. I don’t know what mechanism they use (optical?), but it’s excellent.

      I can also attest to the fact that on a device like this, the trackball is NECESSARY. Unless you want to zoom way in on a web page, you frequently need the trackball to select links and buttons. A fingertip is just not a precision instrument.

      Personally, I’ll be skipping the Nexus One for something with a real keyboard (Droid on Tmobile please), but for somebody who prefers a touchscreen-only device, this looks like a real winner.

  3. One thing I always hate on touch only devices is scrolling. I usually end up activating some program or link when i am really just trying to scroll down. For that alone I am glad the trackball is there.

  4. Soooo – should I return my Droid (30 day money back guarantee)? So far the only difference that matters to me is the Nexus processor, 1gHz vs. Droid’s 550mHz. I feel like the faster processor will make the Nexus viable for a longer period of time, especially with the release of more complex and burdensome apps (maybe).

  5. If only it had a physical keyboard it would actually be worthwhile! I really do not understand why any smartphone is screen keyboard only except for aesthetics. I’ve seen one of the Google employee Nexus One’s up close and personal, they are nice enough and much faster than my G1. If it had an actual keyboard I would be all over it.

  6. In a smaller nutshell: here’s another shiny way you can pay $1900 over two years to Facebook on the bus

  7. I’d be interested if it wasn’t so solidly anchored to Google. Sorry, I’ve stopped believing that Google is following their official motto of “don’t be evil”, and I’m really not interested in passing more of my data through their servers.

  8. A trackball? Really?

    Because there’s a piece of technology that doesn’t constantly crap out. After a month of sitting in peoples’ pockets the amount of lint that will be gumming up that trackball will be absolutely ridiculous.

    Google puts out this great high-tech phone and actually puts a low-tech trsckball on it. Will they be replacing out the phone everytime the trackball dies?

    Sorry, but that is a no go for me.

    1. My HTC Hero has a trackball, but I’ve used it a grand total of maybe five times in seven months. I just tested it and is still works fine.

      Doesn’t seem to gum up like the Blackberry ones do. A friend was constantly refurbing them for his previously employer.

  9. I can’t fathom why it wouldn’t support multitouch. The HTC Hero has multitouch and it works fine. Given that HTC also make the Nexus One it seems quite odd.

    Maybe the screen *does* support multitouch but the software does not have it enabled.

  10. The hardware DOES have multitouch, the software just doesn’t use it. There are some downloadable apps (browsers, etc) that support it.

    Saying it doesn’t have it is a bit of bad publicity, as the hardware does.

  11. @hijukal: it does support multitouch.

    The mystery is: Can anyone explain to me why multitouch would be available at launch in Europe but not in the US?

    Patent trolls? Some other reason?

    1. MooseDesign, it’s due to Apple’s patents.

      As even the G1 is multi-touch capable, as I have a few modded apps that do some multi-touch functions.

      I think the Nexus One is cool and all, but I have a G1 still and I don’t like using the software keyboard, I still prefer flipping it open and typing on a keyboard.

      Give me a Nexus Two that is a bit thicker and has a keyboard and I will be happier.

  12. The trackball is actually very usable. Been using it on HTC Hero now. As you can see from the comments, all those who have actually used it does not find any deal-breaker problems with the usability or durability. If you don’t like it, you can just use the touch screen to scroll. If anything, the light embedded in the trackball that can slowly (fade in and out) glow for notifications like incoming SMS is a great feature.

    It’s funny how people like to bash things they haven’t used..?

  13. For the benefit of the confused “Trackball is getting gummed up” posters above:

    The “ball” is just a protrusion that senses which direction your finger moves. Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no tiny ball that is rolling around ;-)

    1. I can’t vouch for the Nexus One, but on my G1, it is an ACTUAL trackball. There is a little ball, and it does roll. It’s survived over a years worth of daily use, and has never gotten “gummed up”. It is as smooth and accurate today as the day I bought it.

  14. @Volker:
    “The “ball” is just a protrusion that senses which direction your finger moves. Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no tiny ball that is rolling around ;-) ”

    Then why call it a “miniature track-ball”?
    Google’s own site calls it “[5] Tri-color clickable trackball ”

    If it’s something similar to IBM’s trackpoint, Call it Something other than “Track-Ball”
    So Untill I See One Up Close, I’ll stick with It’s a Track-Ball As thats what the company says it is.

  15. I find an interesting aspect of human psychology at play here:

    So, they ADD a feature. The phone works fine without it; it is a feature the blockbuster iPhone does not have. A trackball. It gives the user an additional choice of how to input data.

    Even so, a number of people post saying the trackball is a “dealbreaker!” Does this make any sense? It is like getting a free baby seat with a new car, and claiming the baby seat is a “dealbreaker” because you don’t have a baby.

    Makes me think of that recent study that found that when people are offered more kinds of peanut butter, they are less likely to purchase. Strange.

  16. im not going to buy the nexus one… I live and die by my physical keyboard. the G1 is great anyway… has all the bells and whistles one could want from a phone minus Microsoft Office. Then again, thats what the market is for. I’ll catch the next google phone that has a keyboard, but until then… I heart my G1 android

  17. Apple has NOT patented ‘multi-touch.’
    They like to say the did and iTards love to think they did but it just ain’t so.

    I kind of assumed multi touch not being enabled had something to do with apple’s and google’s incestuous relationship…maybe I heard that somewhere.

  18. Ladies, it all boils down to personal preferences. Even though the trackball is present, it does not mean you have to use it. Besides, those that speak negatively about it are probably in denial because the darn thing is functional and are afraid to admit that it was placed there not for cosmetic purposes or to create an eye-sore.

  19. Seriously? This phone would be great if it had a keyboard! its basically another mytouch. I’ve had a G1 since it released (almost two years) and the trackball is fine. But no keyboard? Thats a deal breaker. Please hurry and come out with something worth while, I feel like tmobile they are moving backwards with this one.

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