I get inspiration to write from the strangest places. It can be a conversation, an observation or just music. I say it’s from the strangest places because the inspiration doesn’t result in a painting or a photograph, it ends up in the structure or body of a review of some piece of technology. Whether it’s a CPU review, SSD article or even just a cookie cutter article, it all starts with something that gets me in an excited-to-write mode. It’s rarely the product, but rather the thought of writing about it that gets me going. Provided I have the right inspiration.

Most of the time you all scare the crap out of me. I want to impress, I want you guys to be happy with what I write. I want every article to be the most well received thing ever. Every writer wants that. No one ever gets it. So when I see comments telling me that you’re eagerly anticipating my Nexus One review, I get a turtle complex. And not the ninja kind.

Although I’ve used and owned (briefly) plenty of Android devices since the platform launched in 2008, I’ve never sat down to actually review one. Going into today’s review I wasn’t even sure what approach I should take. You’ve been asking for an iPhone or Windows Phone 7 style treatment of the platform, but our coverage of both of those things happened when the platforms were just being introduced - not 17 months later.

Then came the inspiration. I was talking to our newest smartphone editor, Brian Klug, about the review and he gave me the angle. For Brian, today’s review wasn’t so much about exploring every corner of the Android OS but rather properly conveying the feel of the OS and how it differs from the alternatives in the market today. So while I’m going to definitely do the former, I want to tackle the latter early on because ultimately I believe that’s what will determine whether or not Android is for you.

Boxus One

You can't buy a Nexus One in any store, your only route is to go through Google itself. Even though there are versions for T-Mobile and AT&T's networks, those carriers don't sell the phone on their websites either.

The ordering process is very simple and you have the option to engrave two lines of text on your phone at no extra charge (doing so voids your ability to return the Nexus One for a full refund). You have two purchase routes. You can either buy the phone unlocked for $529 (AT&T and T-Mobile versions are available), or you can sign up for a new 2-year agreement with T-Mobile and get the phone subsidized for $179. An AT&T subsidized version isn't available at this time.

Google lists both Verizon and Vodafone versions of the Nexus One shipping in the Spring. For today's review I'm looking at the AT&T version of the Nexus One.

Apple has started a trend of companies spending entirely too much on packaging. We all wrote about how good Apple's packaging was, and now everyone spends much more on packaging just to have it thrown away. I swear someone just played a huge practical joke on us, er or Google, or Apple...I'm not sure.

The Nexus One comes in a pretty white box with a splash of color. Inside you find the usual combination of manuals, more boxes and nice feeling packaging.

The Nexus One ships with a wall charger, earbuds and a separate USB cable for connecting to your computer. You also get a neoprene case.

Experiencing the Nexus, Without Whoopie
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  • coolVariable - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    Oh, STFU you fanboy.

    1. No calendar sync. Buggy Contact sync (e.g. contact pics, birthdays, ...). Buggy e-mail sync (just stops randomly). STFU since you have no clue what you are talking about.
    3. A phone that can't even make calls. GREAT!!!! I don't fvcking care what the reason for the problem is. A $600 phone should be able to make a fvcking phone call!!!!!!
    4. Love your little walled garden? Why don't you get an Apple phone if you are soooooo in love with a company locking down the functionality of your phone???????? Anand bad-mouthes Apple for its walled garden and ignores this "walled garden"???
    5. Walled garden! Walled garden! Walled garden! Walled garden!

    All of the above are pretty big problems with android per se and the Nexus One specifically!
    It's pathetic that they weren't even mentioned during this review.
    Not to mention the myriad of other (often cosmetic) problems and bugs with android (e.g. contact sort, etc).
    And a tech-savy reviewer would have also mentioned the hypocrisy that you need to "jailbreak" android to do a lot of things. While that is fine, it pretty hypocritical that you can't "un-jailbreak" the Nexus One for a warranty exchange (something that is pretty easy to do with the iphone).
    Reply
  • ruzveh - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - link

    Anand nice article and m also looking fwd to buy one phone in near future from Google

    From my point of view is that 1GHz processor with 65nm is draining the battery life. Imagine if u insert 1GHz processor with 32nm (todays std) or even less will boost ur battery life almost double. I dont understand so called this chip company why not jumping onto 32nm bandwagon or to somewhat 25nm or even less?

    i just feel these cos r wasting so called resources and time for money / profits. Dont they knw resources r limited and so purchasing power.

    Thats secondary thing. Ohh what? r u thing i forgot to mention primary issue? lolz

    Well its obvious.. Innovation in Battery power. What i hate in mobiles are speed and battery life for which i m ending up using my cell ph for only calls & ofcourse sms since past 8yrs 6630 and not willing to change untill they come up with good phones..

    coming back to battery life i really dont understand why these cos r not doing something in batter life when there is lot of room for improvement in it like todays model feature only 1500mah battery power wheres a small pencil cell can go all the upto 3000mah or even more. We definitely want to see double the capacity then what they r featuring today.. Anand can u clear me on this prospect?

    I am v much sure if v give proper attention in this area we can do wonders. Comon someone has to do something sooner or the later...
    Reply
  • 7.saturnine - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    I don't understand the trend of putting as few physical buttons on a device as possible. How do you skip or pause music when the device is in your pocket? Pull it out, unlock the screen, find the music app & press the button? That is ridiculous.

    On my HTC Touch (WinMo6) it has hardly any buttons either, but at least one programmable physical button (that I have programmed to open the camera from any app I am in) & a directional pad/enter button. Sometimes I just like using the directional pad to go through menus & select something rather than moving my thumb all the way up the screen. Yes that sounds incredibly lazy, but aren't these devices all about ease of use, simplicity & speed? Programmable hardware buttons do just that. They are focusing too much on the aspect of a touch screen.
    Reply
  • DLeRium - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    This seems to be a forgotten thing. I spent 2 hrs playing around writing probably pages worth of notes just to test it out on Android.

    You say the iPhone lackED it? I have an iPod Touch 1G and I guess I'm used to multitouch by now, but how long did it take for Apple to add it? I notice how ridiculously fast I can type on it and not skip words/keys. On Android, it's a totally different thing.

    A few tips from me as I've investigated this for a long time and I've made cries out on Android forums with very little sympathy:

    1) HTC's IME keyboard that is modded on XDA is a LOT better. The developer tried to implement a little pseudo multitouch so it is more used to you pressing the next key before releasing the previous. This is a HUGE issue with the space bar and if you use the stock android keyboard, you're going to be skipping words like mad if you type too fast.

    2) Smart Keyboard Pro has multitouch. It also features a debug mode that you can look at your touch points. It definitely picks up multitouch flawlessly. Is it as good as the iPhone keyboard? Somehow I was still typing faster on my iPod than on my Android phone with Smart Keyboard Pro.

    However, with the mods the modders have made on the HTC IME Keyboard, I've decided to stick with it. It's getting better and it's handling multitouch somewhat even though it's not a true multitouch implementation.

    But you're right. It's night and day without multitouch. For people who haven't used the iPhone enough, they fail to appreciate the keyboard. Most people just go "Oh I type fine on my Nexus One. I type pretty fast." Obviously you can't type THAT fast if it lacks multitouch. Maybe they should look at what "fast" means on the iPhone :D
    Reply

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