Google Phone / Nexus One

Nexus One

The Nexus One.  Beauty.  This is the Android phone many have been waiting for.  Pictured left, it is the true “Google Phone”, AKA “Nexus One”.  Granted, what I’m about to say is all based on rumors, but a lot of it is probably true.  I’m going to compare this a lot to the iPhone, but that’s because that’s the only true competition this phone has.

I’ve been waiting for an Android phone with a big screen, a slim and beautiful figure, and a TRACKBALL.  Not to mention one with a good camera, SNAPDRAGON (1ghz) PROCESSOR, and probably a flash for the 5MP camera.  The big, capacitive screen is probably going to be the best, brightest, clearest, and most responsive screen on an Android device yet.  And trackballs are good for when you have gloves on.  Seriously.  I went to a couple football games recently and it was great being able to use my phone using the trackball with thin gloves on…while laughing at everyone with an iPhone who couldn’t use it with gloves.  Some people are saying that trackballs are outdated and that the capacitive pads (not sure what they’re really called) on the new Blackberries are so much better.  But then you can’t use the phone with gloves, so what’s the point!  The trackball lights up and glows, as seen in some of the YouTube videos of this phone (they are short and non-informative and some have been pulled).  I also hope the trackball sticks up above the screen.  This sounds weird, but I dropped my G1 once and it slid across concrete…face down.  This would have been disastrous if it hadn’t been for the chin / trackball of the G1.  When I get the Nexus One, I will definitely get a case, but it’s still nice to have that extra protection.

Speed.  My biggest complaint with Android vs. the iPhone has to be speed.  I have Cyanogen’s latest and it still isn’t fast at all compared to the iPhone.  Web browsing on Android is a joke for me; even when I’m on Wi-Fi, web pages load and render slow because the G1’s processor sucks so badly.  Enter the Nexus One.  It’s 1ghz Snapdragon processor will give it a faster processor THAN THE IPHONE.  It should now be able to play 3d games, multi-task, load/render web pages and data quickly, and never lag.  The increased RAM and processing power this phone has over the G1 is enough for me to cave in and buy it.  I’m also excited because it’s stunningly beautiful; more so than the iPhone, in my opinion.  The only thing I haven’t heard rumored that better be part of it is MULTITOUCH.  Web browsing on the iPhone is so damn usable mainly because of multi-touch.  It would also be awesome if it has a flash (I think it does).  Physically, this phone is amazing.  Except for one thing.

Keyboard.  I’m scared.  I’ve rarely used on-screen keyboards.  The iPhone’s is really great and responsive, but I’m still slow at it.  I know over time I would get better, but I don’t think I could ever be as fast with an on-screen keyboard as I am with a hardware one.  I leave my fingers on the keys and slide them around and push when I need to.  You can’t do this with an on-screen keyboard.  (However, a company has actually designed a program on top of Android that allows you to just slide fingers over the keys you want…it’s called Swype –  Has anyone reading this used an on-screen keyboard and become equally efficient with one as a hardware one?  Comment.  I’m not that worried because the screen is HUGE and the processor can handle it, but it would be nice to have a hardware keyboard…even if it would add thickness.

This phone is amazing for another reason.  It’s the true Google Phone (rumor).  The Android 2.1 software loaded on this is slick.  It’s beautiful, fast, and seems to have some new UI features that haven’t been used in Android yet.  It also has new weather and news programs.  Engadget has some nice pictures –  Since it’s made and sold by Google (presumably), it will be the most updated Android device.  It’s being used by all Google employees who received them free last Friday – so every Google application should be made specifically for this big screen and processing power.  Not that Google would neglect other Android devices, but this is their baby.  It’s powerful, sleek, and beautiful.  And I want one.

Price.  How much will Google sell this for?  Will it be just another Dev Phone or will it be something more…will Google try to sell it unlocked directly to consumers?  Will they themselves subsidize it?  Or will it be another ridiculously expensive phone, where the only sensible way to buy it is through T-Mobile on a contract so it’s subsidized?  Here’s my opinion/hope/dream.  I want this phone to knock the cell phone market off it’s feet.  I want it to be $200.  Unlocked.  Straight from Google.  Ready for action.  Think about this.  Mobile advertising is about to pick up exponentially.  Google has AdMob…so it’s in.  They want more people on the mobile web.  If they sell this phone unlocked making no profit from the sales of the phone itself, but get this phone into the hands of a million more people, then they will make a lot of money in advertising.  A ton.  Not to mention once people get their first smartphone, they rarely go back to dumbphones.  So it would secure Google’s future of a strong mobile advertising market as well.  (Some of this I stole from a Gizmodo article, which said the phone will probably be around $200 to make.)  I’m not saying Google should take a hit and subsidize the phone themselves (that would be even more amazing though), but if they just didn’t make a profit or made a really small profit from the hardware, it could be very beneficial to them in the long run with advertising.

Release date.  Right now the rumored release date for the beautiful Nexus One in January 5th.  I hope this is true, and that they open pre-orders on Christmas and deliver it to my door on January 5th.  Sure, I’m scared about the lack of an onscreen keyboard, but that’s a small sacrifice for the speed and stability this phone will have over my current G1.  And if tons of unintelligent iPhone users can use one, I can learn.  (I’m not saying iPhone users are stupid, I’m saying there are a lot of stupid people who own iPhones that are just fine with the onscreen keyboard).  With this phone comes the true Android Version 2.  One with overly-adequate processing power.  One that can get the job done.  I want the Google Phone.

About the Author: Chris Bellman

Sophomore ECE major at The Ohio State University. Technology enthusiast. Runs own IT business in Cincinnati.