Posted by: David Stewart | February 11, 2010

The Nexus One is da Bomb

“Why do you need a second phone?”

It’s a perfectly good question – I understand that over 400 Million people in India currently have a cell phone, and so do I. So why carry two?

But I did get a Google Nexus One this weekend and activated it as an additional line on our family’s plan with TMobile.

This phone is absolutely the best of the Google Android phones to appear. I carried around the first generation Android phone for a while, the G1. It had quite a few fit-and-finish problems: buttons that took many tries to successfully press, and the applications were kind of geeky.

But the Nexus One is a true step forward:

  • Turn-by-turn instructions – who needs an in-car navigator when you can carry with you a device that can give you all of that function plus Street View to tell you what your destination looks like?
  • Multi-touch – use two fingers to pinch and zoom out or in with the browser and Google Maps. This is one very cool feature. A lot of web pages are simply too hard to read on a screen for a pocket-sized device, so zoom is required. But when I accidentally tried to do the pinch zoom on my blackberry (which doesn’t even have a touch screen) I knew I was hooked!
  • Touch screen quality – On older Android phones, I found that I needed to use the trackball mouse a lot because my fingers simply couldn’t pick out tiny web page links. But now I find I never use the Nexus One track ball, probably because  the screen is better – I know it’s not because my fingers are skinnier!
  • No physical keyboard, makes the phone thinner. Typing on either a physical keyboard or an on-screen keyboard are equally hard for me, so I hope I never have to depend on one. But for short updates, the on-screen keyboard is fine.
  • Google googles is a cool new app which is like a visual Google search. Point your camera at a business card, book, bar code or company logo, take a photo and Google will search on it. Pretty slick!
  • Fit and finish – I remember the earlier Android phones we disappointing because it would take several button pushes to get something to happen. Really everthing works on the Nexus One.
  • And of course the underlying operating system is Linux, and I work in the Linux group at my company, so it’s a super cool way to “eat my own dog food” as we used to say.

Telephone?  Oh yeah, there is a telephone too. Have not used it much.

There are a few downsides, as with anything:

  • Lack of Adobe Flash. This is true of most phones, and it’s a major pain. Of course, I can view YouTube videos, but so many web sites use flash as the only way to access them. (Like TrainingPeaks.com, where I get running plans from my coach, but there are a ton of other ones too). Guess I need a different processor for that.
  • The app store, the Android Market is cool, but the phone is really a terrible place to search for interesting apps. I would love to be able to access it on my computer in a real browser.

Only a few days, and I’m delighted.  Good work, Google!

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Responses

  1. Nice review, i will consider to buy this phone


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