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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  • bjacobson - Monday, April 5, 2010 - link

    Motorola Droid is no better, my friend has one and OC'd his processor to 1.1Ghz and it still lags just as badly. Both choppy and lags where my finger is. I don't like it at all. This is the main reason I haven't even considered the Android platform yet. I probably will when they fix this. Reply
  • LongTimePCUser - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    Have you tried the Moto Droid after the Android 2.1 upgrade?
    My experience was that the ui seemed smoother and faster after the upgrade.
    Reply
  • eva2000 - Monday, April 5, 2010 - link

    bummer about battery life, sounds like nexus rev2 with 1700-1800mah battery in the near future heh Reply
  • hugov - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    I'm not sure the Adreno 200 is as far behind the SGX530/535 as you suggest. The iPhone 3Gs chip (Samsung S5PC100) states in the docs (http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconduct... that the GPU is capable of up to 10M triangles/sec, a far cry from the 28M reported in popular press recently. QSD8250 docs suggest up to 22M triangles. And the Adreno is a unified shader architecture GPU with no fixed-function pipes, similar to the PowerVR SGX. OTOH, the *drivers* appear to be quite lacking compared to the PowerVR drivers, at least on Linux/Android. Reply
  • TheHolyLancer - Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - link

    I mean wow that dog seems to be focused directly on something above the camera, is that a treat or something? Reply
  • ThePooBurner - Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - link

    I really enjoyed reading through this review. I have been wanting to move to a smart phone, but haven't been able to decide what i want. This helps put android devices into perspective in terms of what they can do and what i can expect. I happen to abhor apple, and so i will never own an iphone. I can't stand closed platforms or someone else telling me what i can and can't do with a device that i own. Their stance on "jail-breaking" sickens me. It's like telling me i can't put a new engine in my car if i want to. But that is besides the point. Windows P7 looks like it might be good, but that is a ways off. The Pre-pro looks the most appealing of the phones i have seen reviewed.

    However, there are 2 devices that i would love to see added to the list of reviewed smart phones: The Nokia n900, and the Samsung Omnia II. For the n900, I would love for you to do a review of it and show us what the Maemo platform can do, as well as a quantifiable battery life test. The phone can do just about everything, but knowing how much doing all of that affects the battery life would be great. The device from a hardware standpoint isn't that different from some of the other smart phones out. It's an Cortex A8 at 600mhz. It's got 32GB of storage (expandable to 48), 5mp camera with flash, WiFi, BT, and it also has an FM transmitter. So on paper it looks great, but there haven't really been any solid reviews on the device from good review sites that use quantifiable testing, or from non-marketing type sites. I know that it also has integration with google voice and google chat. The Omnia 2 has an 800Mhz CPU, and a lot of the same hardware features and uses the TouchWiz 2.0 WM6.5 GUI, which appears to be samsung's platform of choice going forward. It's fairly new so there isn't a whole lot of information out there on this phone yet, but it seems to be marketed as the flagship product from samsung at the moment.

    Do you think that you could review these for us? From what i have seen they both look pretty good (though the N900 looks better), but 600$ is a lot to spend without having more than marketing to go off of.

    If nothing else this article has at least brought me up to speed on android and it's benefits.
    Reply
  • pepsi_max2k - Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - link

    "For example, typing yjomh instead of thong won’t autocorrect, although on the iPhone it will. "

    And I think I speak for everyone, Anand, when I say: Under what situation did you actually find this highly intriguing piece of information out?
    Reply
  • SuperFly03 - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    Ugh, this review is full of misinformation. I had to say something.

    http://forum.xcpus.com/blogs/superfly03-341.htm
    Reply
  • coolVariable - Thursday, April 8, 2010 - link

    1. No mention of the lacking exchange sync.
    2. No mention of the lacking copy & paste within emails
    3. No mention of the connectivity issues.
    4. No mention of attachment issues (sending or saving).
    5. No mention of file download issues.
    ...

    What a BAD review.
    Reply
  • SuperFly03 - Friday, April 9, 2010 - link

    I'm not sure what Google phone you are using but the only problem I've had is no. 2. You can't copy paste within emails. I do believe that is a silly limitation but I do not think it is a big problem in the grand scheme of things.

    No. 1 is complete BS. I have been hooked into my exchange account since day 1 and have never had any issues.

    No. 3 is about as generic as you can get. I realize it is a problem that is on the Google sub-forums but likely a firmware issue not an Android issue.

    No. 4 and 5 is just laughable.
    Reply

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