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Google Announces the Nexus One

January 5, 2010

In Mountain View, California, Google announced the long-anticipated “Google phone” called the Nexus One. The Nexus One is manufactured by HTC and, of course, runs the Android 2.1 operating system.

The phone has a 3.7 inch OMLED display at 800x480 resolution. It utilizes Qualcomm's QSD 8250 processor running at 1GHz, has a 5 megapixel camera, trackball, light sensor, proximity sensor, compass, GPS, and accelerometer. The phone measures 11.5 mm in thickness and weighs 130 grams. It supports stereo Bluetooth and also has a standard stereo jack. It supports 2G and 3G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. GSM support includes 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz.

The phone’s camera can be used for both still image and video and supports 2x zoom. Videos may be immediately uploaded to YouTube, if so desired. Video is captured at 720x480 pixels at 20 frames per second or higher, depending on lighting conditions.

There are already many applications on the market for Android and, unlike Apple, Google has a very open policy that allows anybody to create any kind of application: there is no application approval process. This will certainly attract a lot of developers to the platform.

The phone also outperforms the iPhone in other areas, such as the ability to run multiple applications simultaneously. As Google announced the product, they took every liberty to fire shots at Apple. The phone even has a silver band on the back intended for engraving. If you might recall, the initial Apple Ipods could be engraved when they were released. I guess Google wants to offer the same experience.

Since it is Android, there are a lot of similarities with Droid. With the Nexus One, there are a total of 5 home screen panels that may be populated with widgets, shortcuts, etc. The home screen also supports something called “Live Wallpapers”, which allows the background image to move. For example, one might be able to touch the screen and cause a ripple effect.

Multimedia seems to be a focus with Nexus One and perhaps all Android phones. These devices are quite graphics intensive, making one wonder what the battery life is like. Amazingly, the phone supports 7 hours of talk time on a 3G network and up to 250 hours of idle time. Performance is even better on 2G.

The phone has enhanced voice recognition capabilities. In fact, apparently every text field on the device may be populated using speech.

The phone is available directly from Google for a price of $529 without a contract or $179 with a contract through T-Mobile. The phone is currently available in the US, but will be available in Europe in the Spring.