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Google Nexus One Android Phone Review

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 5/20/2011
4

Nexus One is Google's first take on marketing and selling a Google-branded phone. It runs on the latest Android OS build and is fully supported by Google, unlike other Android phones. Read our review of the Google Nexus One and find out if this is the right smartphone for you.

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    Nexus One Tech Specs

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    NexusOneImage1 As you all know by now, Nexus One is the first Google droid phone that runs the latest build of Android OS, version 2.1. Because of that, a lot of expectations have been put into how powerful this latest version of the OS will be. Fair enough: Android 2.1 has provided a fast, lightweight and almost crash-less experience for me, so far. The Nexus One is loaded with the Qualcomm QSD 8250 1GHz processor. It complemented the Google Android 2.1 OS nicely, supplying a rapid feeling mobile processing speed.

    Another exciting feature of the Nexus One is the 5MP camera with autofocus, flash and 2x digital zoom. It still won't match a stand alone camera, but taking a pic with this phone's camera is certainly good enough to give you a good on-the-go photo fix.

    The Nexus One is equipped with a huge 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED touch screen in a rich 800x480 pixel resolution. You can just imagine how easy it is on your eyes with that huge (for a mobile) screen and resolution. Navigating through photo galleries, watching video, and even using the web become much more enjoyable. Google certainly did the right thing using an AMOLED screen and making it bigger than the screens of other smartphones

    Over all, the Nexus One more than exceeds my expectation with regards to its performance, camera, and display.

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    Nexus One Design and Form Factor

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    NexusOneImage2 Design-wise, what I really like about the Nexus One is the fit when holding it. To be poetic about it: It seems that Google (or HTC) has tailored the Nexus One's body to adapt to everyone's hands. It's like you're holding nothing when you are using the phone: holding it is natural and effortless. The less glossy finish also makes it a pleasure to use, unlike the glossy body of the iPhone which is a magnet for smudges.

    The Nexus One sports a slim and light form factor. It measures only 119mm x 59.8mm x 11.5mm and weighs a mere 130g with battery. In other words, it's lighter than the iPhone.

    The two-color tone is also a welcome respite from the usual black and silver combination. While some people may not like the brown and silver combo of the Nexus One, I on the other hand love it. Probably because I grew tired of my iPhone's shiny black and silver design.

    Another noticeable feature of the Nexus One is the five basic buttons on its face. These buttons include a trackball which I don't use very often, and four buttons for navigating to the home screen, back, menu, and search. All buttons have haptic feedback when you tap them.

    Overall, the Nexus One sports a great build and form factor. I could not ask for more than what it currently is.

    At the back of the Nexus One are the 5MP camera and the LED flash, the Google trademark and the HTC brand. On the left you can find the volume control while at the bottom is the USB port and some pins for use with a docking station.

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    Nexus One and Android 2.1

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    NexusOneImage3 Now, here's another major strength of the Nexus One, the software side. As you all know, Android is built on a native Linux OS. So, it is expected to be lightweight, fast and robust. And indeed the Nexus One exhibits all these traits. The Android 2.1 equipped Nexus is a breeze to use and apps open quickly.

    Aside from a superb mobile platform, the Nexus One also brings in some native Google mobile services such as Places Directory, Google Maps (with location feautres based on the phone's GPS), Google Search and Gmail. While there is nothing extraordinary about these apps, they are still worthy additions to the default applications that the Nexus One has.

    Another great feature and perhaps one of the most talked about is the Nexus One's voice-recognition capability. The quality is quite revolutionary for a mobile phone and it will certainly put the Nexus One one in the smartphone history books as more than just Google's first phone. The voice-enabled search and voice-to-text features are enough to make you love the phone.

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    Conclusion

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    NexusOneImage4 Suffice to say, Google's first foray in the mobile phone market, despite the criticism and tirades it has drawn, has been a good one. The camera, screen, and voice features are all some of, if not the best, available in a smartphone. The Android 2.1 OS is fast and easy to use, with convenient Google integrations. Touch functionality is competent, and now includes multitouch capabilities, though not at tactile delight level found on the iPhone's. A complete Google Nexus One vs. Apple iPhone comparison is here.

    The Nexus One is making quite an impression in the mobile space, and deservedly so. Taking away the attention due the fact that it is Google's first phone, it also happens to be a good phone that raises the bar for some features, like voice recognition.