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Google Nexus One review

Another HTC Android phone, but this one's direct from the search giant

Our Verdict

A decent effort for the first Googlephone - but we can't help but feel there's more to come from the search giant

Product features

  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 10 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 800

View full specification

For

  • Great camera
  • Thin and light
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Haptics for the main buttons
  • Runs fast

Against

  • Tilt function problematic
  • Gets slippery
  • Not every finger press registers
  • No dedicated phone button
  • No real keypad

Google has created hype around its own phone to rival Apple with its iPhone - and it has better specs on nearly every feature with the Nexus One. But is it enough to sway public opinion?

In an attempt to show itself as a mobile manufacturer in its own right, Google has released the Nexus One, a handset built by HTC but branded solely as a Google phone.

Despite some well-publicised problems with customer support and keypad malfunctions - neither of which became an issue during our testing process - the Nexus One is actually a stellar smartphone, easily the match of its peers.

Google nexus one

Everyone likes to talk about the next 'iPhone killer' - in reality, Android OS phones are content with second place, beating competitors like Nokia, Palm, Windows Mobile and RIM's BlackBerry OS.

With Android, the hardware is also advancing, especially in terms of the touchscreen and the camera. For those wondering if they should just jump on the iPhone bandwagon, there are still a few annoying qualities about the Nexus One. It will not kill the iPhone, and here's why:

For starters, the Nexus One lacks some wizardry. For example, there's a split second pause when you turn the device to the side for landscape orientation, and you might even find yourself turning the phone a couple of times to get the accelerometer to kick in.

Google nexus one

The keypad - while fully functional when we tested it for several days - is a bit imprecise on occasion. In fact, the Nexus One acts like some of the poorer touchscreens on offer at times, where the display is mostly responsive under the finger but lags occasionally.

There are also a few minor gripes that add up to a less-than-amazing experience. One is that the phone can get a bit greasy after extended use and even slip through your fingers. You'll smudge up the screen quickly.

Google also needs to think seriously about some of the power saving decisions on the Nexus One. Of course, you can configure when the screen blanks and when the phone goes into a sleep state, but the default options are impractical: to resume the phone, you have to press the power switch.

Google nexus one

For those who are used to just touching the screen to resume, or pressing any other button, you might get frustrated quickly. Forcing you to use the power button is a design decision - it means you won't inadvertently make a phone call with the phone in your pocket. It's still a pain, however.

And then there is just the overall experience of using the Nexus One. In many ways, the Nexus One is a geek phone - there are a plethora of menu options for built-in apps and an exhaustive list of options under settings.

There are so many techie details to explore that new users might get confused by simple operations, such as how to archive an email. (You have to 'long press' and select Archive.)

Bottom line: even if Apple has no need to worry, the Nexus One is still the best Android phone available today.

Sure, it's easy to argue that the Motorola Milestone is more rugged and comes with a full QWERTY keypad, and that the Hero uses a specialised interface that you can use to suit your preferences. Still, as a basic summary, the Nexus One is thin, fast, has a great camera, and worked well as a primary business and consumer phone.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourSilver Black
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time10 Hour
Product ModelNexus One
Screen Size9.4 cm (3.7")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Maximum Video Resolution720 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), Instant Messaging, Email
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log, Caller ID
Height119 mm
Width59.8 mm
Depth11.5 mm
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameNexus One Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass, G-sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberNEXUS ONE
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing Information

HTC is excited to have worked with Google in the development of the Nexus One. Through our collaborative efforts we have delivered the ground breaking Nexus One to market quickly, and accelerated the rate of design innovation across our full portfolio of Android phones.

Our industrial designers and engineers reached deep to come up with a design that would fully take advantage of all the latest advances that the Android platform has to offer. The Nexus One is sleek, light, and extremely thin without sacrificing on power or the vivid visual experience brought forth by the phone's display.

Limited Warranty2 Year
Standard Memory512 MB