Here are my two bits on Google’s new Nexus One mobile “super phone”.
Yes, it’s one cool piece of hardware running on Google’s newest Android version OS, just as powerful as a four-year old laptop and with cool features like large OLED screen, built-in compass, position sensor, voice commands for every app for hands free use and much more. You can read all that on www.google.com/phone.
But here’s what this Nexus One is not. It’s not cheap, and will disappoint many shoppers used to actually seeing and touching a real phone in an old fashioned cellphone store…before buying one.
Why? Because according to Google, at a by-invitation-only Nexus One press conference announcement on Tuesday morning, this is a new and simple way to buy a cellphone…online. Welcome to the Brave New World…Google’s World. Don’t expect TV advertizing and other traditional marketing. That will save money and get the lower prices, Google claims.
Folks south of the boarder (Canadians have to wait) can go on the Google website, buy the phone, choose a growing number of American carriers to activate with for as low as $179, select the custom two-line engraving message and wait for their phone to be shipped at their door, and activate online. Or, they can pay the full retail price of $529 and get an unlocked phone they can use anywhere they want with their own SIM cards.
But this model only runs on the Edge network, now the second fastest network in Canadian GSM networks…so don’t expect the greatest online experience that today’s HSMA phones enjoy with all majour Canadian carriers. The iPhone does that, as do other models.
Don’t expect the coolness and plethora of apps Apple phones enjoy, having recently announced the three billionth application download mark. By the way, the Nexus doesn’t do dual touch, so no on-screen squeezing. It doesn’t tether yet either. Picky? No, just trying to water down the “super phone” part.
So, while we Canadians will have to wait a bit before jumping in the web to buy a Nexus One, we can see just how Google does with its online phone store. In a way, I feel sorry the carriers have been shut out from actually carrying the Nexus One, in-store. This is the second time a non-phone company, Apple being the first, has called the shots on cellcos.
Well, I am actually not really sorry…Canadian cellcos are doing well, thank you.
Should I wait for the “free” Google version, like all free things Google got us used to? According to them, that will be some time. The Nexus One is not an iPhone killer. But it is a media advertizing revenue killer, hoping to better Apple on the power of the Net and customers who know what they want.
I still want to buy my cellphone like I buy my shoes… in an analog store, one foot at a time.
I spent some time with the Nexus One during a brief three hour showing at the Digital Experience show in Las Vegas.
Needless to say, the phone is quality throughout, no surprise there, considering HTC built with Google’s input. I found the touch screen, not much different than an iPhone, although I did miss the lack of iPhone’s two-finger and pinch touch.
The touch keyboard was responsive as was the switching between horizontal and vertical modes. The five virtual desktops, and HTC specialty, that are a finger swipe away worked well.
But my ultimate Internet experience, watching YouTube movies online, was disappointing. Due to the slower network connection, the image quality was below average and adjusting it to the highest quality, froze the unit.
If you want Internet performance, the iPhone is still king. Time will tell if the Nexus will dent iPhone sales.
Interestingly, in the third hour of the Digital Experience show, the Google booth was almost empty, as if the several hundred reporters who initially crowded the booth, lost interest halfway through. I think there is a message there.
Hey folks, check out my first stevoidstickcam ride in YouTube on Epson’s new eneloop hybrid electric battey-run bike at Showstoppers at the CES show in Las Vegas: