It’s been about a week since I’ve owned the Nexus One and I’d like to share with you my personal thoughts on it. This isn’t a full fledge review nor does it claim to decipher everything that is the Google phone. I will approach it from the perspective of a business user, blogger, social media activist and designer cum Apple evangelist!
The industrial design of the Nexus One is quite smart indeed. The smooth, sensual curves of the exterior shell really gives it a nice feel whenever you hold it. Compared to te iPhone it does seem a wee bit thinner. The batteries are user replaceable so that’s a huge plus from the iPhone. And so is the MicroSD card (up to 32GB for now).
One thing I don’t get is the trackball on the main face. It kinda defeats the purpose of having a touch screen don’t you think? It’s definitely just nice to have than must have.
The AMOLED screen is gorgeous and if you activate the ambient light sensor it’ll adjust itself accordingly. It’s sharp and the colours extremely vibrant. From what little I know of Android 2.1, it is a marked improvement over 1.5. For one thing, 2.1 gives you multitouch and makes browsing + photo viewing a joy.
Which now brings me to the subject of software. There’s purportedly over 130,000 apps available from the online Android Market but honestly you’ll probably download just a fraction on the catalogue. There are games, productivity suites, travel tools, finance apps and all sorts of vertical & horizontal software you can think of. On my part I specifically wanted only business, communication, online media and digital media apps for my day to day usage. Incidentally, this entire blog post is written via the Android WordPress app. Pretty neat huh? Downloads are fast and most are free or free trials.
The fluidity of Android 2.1 is quite similar to what you get on the iPhone 3Gs. There’s almost zero lag and the GUI does what you want it to do straight out of the box. One of the best things about the Nexus One is the ability to change battery as and when you want to and also the ability to increase memory storage via MicroSD cards (now capped at 32GB). This flexibility will appeal to many people, especially those with lots of media or online presence.
As a casual business user I love the way my emails seamlessly synchronize between my office Exchange server and also my other web based accounts. As a blogger I am happy how I can now blog anywhere and upload the draft or post an entry at any time. As a digital social media user I am impressed at how I can now connect all my services in one device and receive updates in real time (you need a good data service to support this). It seems the Nexus One can do no wrong right? Well, not exactly.
Like any gadget in the market today there are bound to be issues, no matter how big or small. The following are some of the improvements I’d expect from future firmware upgrades:- 1. better on screen keyboard (it’s too sensitive right now), 2. better earpiece (the current unit, in spite of noise cancelling capabilities, is not clear enough when used in high ambient noise environments, 3. faster more stable response of certain functions like screen rotate, aGPS and email/sms delivery, and 4. native Exchange calendar synchronization (right now I’m forced to use Google Calendar as an intermediate conduit).
But all in all the benefits far outweigh the cons so I can confidently say that the Nexus One has delivered on its promise. It isn’t a full fledge business communication tool like the Blackberry’s but it can do the necessary basics like push email & contact sync. This is one device which doesn’t really rival the iPhone but rather compliments it in that it provides a platform for those seeking a difference. To me it is a better online connectivity device compared to the iPhone with some functions for multimedia and business use. It’s doesn’t have the tight integration like Apple does but it makes up with other functions and value for money propositions.
A friend of mine aptly put the two comparisons as such:- “The iPhone is for cool people who don’t want to look like geeks. The Nexus One, on the other hand, is for cool people who ARE gadget geeks.”
I must say after one week of using this device I am compelled to say there’s truth in the statement. 🙂