Google Nexus one is a smartphone from the Google stable which uses Android open source mobile operating system. Wow! That does sound techie! Isn’t it? It is the new kid, if I am permitted to say kid, in the mobile world. It became available from January 5, 2010. So pretty new! It is manufactured by Taiwan based HTC corporation.
The phone is available only in United States at this moment. The phone is being sold via Google’s website for a price of $529 unlocked. Other option is the subsidized version which is available at $179 purchased with a T-Mobile two year contract. In addition, tax may be charged depending on the state to which the device is shipped. Each order is shipped with free FedEx Overnight shipping, with indirect signature required. Even with engraving delivery is usually the next day after ordering. By spring 2010, a Verizon (CDMA) version of the Nexus One will be available in the US. Pricing and purchase options for the CDMA Nexus One are still unknown.
As far as the world wide availability is concerned. Nexus would be made available around Spring 2010 as a Vodafone model in Europe. Further expansion to other world markets would be then carried out.
Now before we go further and delve deeper into the Nexus lets have a view of the device. Visit this site and have a look at the smartphone. You want to have a demo of the phone. Then here is your demo.
The techies might already all ready to ask the technical specs of the phone. I would only highlight the important ones, for the entire details of the technical specs please click here.
The phone is running with Android Mobile Technology Platform 2.1 (Eclair). The processor is Qualcomm QSD 8250 1 GHz. Capacity specs are as: 512 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB Micro SD card (Expandable upto 32 GB). It also comes with a 5 Megapixels camera. The cost of the hardware is estimated to be around $179.
The phone’s radio circuitry covers most major GSM and 3G providers in the US, Europe and Asia, with the notable exception of the 850MHz and 1900MHz UMTS 3G bands used by AT&T (of USA), Bell Mobility, Telus, and Rogers (of Canada), Movistar (Latin America), Telcel (Latin America), Telstra Australia’s Next-G and all carriers in Latin America. Because the phone lacks these frequency bands, it is not compatible with the 3G networks of any of the above carriers, although 2G can be used. Although, when used with Telstra, the phone is also able to roam on 3′s 2100MHz 3G network, before being forced to use 2G.
Connectivity wise the GSM radio frequencies covered are 850, 900, 1800, and 1900 along with UMTS frequency bands 1 (2100MHz), 4 (1700MHz), and 8 (900MHz).
The 2.1 firmware version of the Android operating system adds a few aesthetic changes such as “Live Wallpapers” which are animated in the background and react to different user inputs. It also replaces the “Application Drawer” with a single button which can be pressed to access the list of applications installed on the phone. This thumbnail list can be scrolled up and down and as it’s scrolled, the applications roll up into a 3D cube instead of disappearing from the screen. Once the bottom of the application thumbnail list is hit, the screen bounces off similar to the iPhone functionality.
Cooliris developed the media gallery for Nexus. The user can browse, edit and share photos and videos on the phone.
Hacking: The phone is bestowed with some hacking and modification problems.
- Users are able to root the device by unlocking its bootloader using the fastboot command “fastboot oem unlock”.
- Unlocking the bootloader allows the user to install other firmware images that give the user root access, and even other bootloaders.
- Obtaining root privileges enables a user to override protected operating system features, install arbitrary software and enable internet tethering to share the phone’s 3G network connection via a wireless LAN, among other things.
- Upon running the fastboot command, the user is presented with a Google-created screen stating that unlocking the bootloader will void the warranty.
Nexus vis-a-vis iPhone:
- Nexus One has hardware and software multi-touch capability but multi-touch features such as “pinch to zoom” or “keyboard chording” are not enabled for native Google applications in the U.S. version by default.
- 3rd party apps that support it are however, readily available. Apple has patents related to multitouch and has indicated it plans to protect its intellectual property.
- According to VentureBeat.com a member of the Android team informed them that Apple instructed Google not to incorporate multi-touch and that Google obliged. However, during an Engadget segment, on “The Engadget Show” , Senior Product Manager for Android stated, “Android is designed with one handed use in mind”. Thus shoving off those comparison.
- Nexus is thinner than iPhone
- Nexus can be easily synchronized with all Google Applications
Criticism about Nexus:
- Some reports and reviews suggest that Nexus’s display is not visible and not viewable in direct sunlight.
- Push email, calendar, and contact sync with Microsoft exchange server that specify device security restrictions requires an application costing $19.99 USD from the Android Market
The phone looks promising to start with. Lets see how well it fares and also lets wait till the time it is launched in Indian market. The product is a high premium product based on Indian market standards. So we need to wait and watch the pricing strategy that Google adopts while launching it in India.
As far as the future is concerned it is predicted that Nexus’s next version would be targeted at the business users and may have a hardware keyboard.