• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

 

The Google Nexus One is Google’s own handset, produced to showcase the Android operating system. It’s made by HTC, already experienced in Google phones, and both hardware and software shine.

Size and handling on the Google Nexus One

If you’re after something small and compact, the Google Nexus One isn’t the phone for you. It’s a big handset, but feels good to hold and surprisingly light. The back is slightly rubberised and sits on your palm while you operate the 3.7-inch screen with your thumb.

The display’s a beauty: a high-resolution, AMOLED number that is sharp and vivid with bright colours and deep blacks. It’s not good in bright sunlight compared with, predictable, the iPhone, but it’s better than a regular LCD screen.

A black border under the screen contains four touch-sensitive keys: Back, Menu, Home and Search. There is no physical Call key. Under this sits a central clickable trackball for navigating around your home screens that glows when you get a message or call.

The only other buttons are a power switch at the top and a volume key on the left-hand side. This lack of physical keys makes for a simple and attractive handset

Android on the Google Nexus One

The latest version of Android, 2.1, can already be found on a couple of HTC handsets, but the Nexus One has a few features that are unique to it. The voice-to-text option is great: hold the handset as if you were making a call and simply speak into the phone. Google sends your voice to a remote server that analyses your words by comparing it other recordings. It works – not perfectly, but well – and you can use voice-to-text for web searches, and text entry in emails and messages. If you speak clearly, one sentence at a time, you should be pleased with the result.

Another Nexus One-exclusive feature is the pleasingly named Google Goggles, which analyses photographs and leads you to appropriate websites. For example, we snapped a picture of our Pret á Manger salad and were taken to the Pret website. Google does warn you that Goggles is unlikely to work on animals or clothing, and we certainly confused it with a picture of a dog, but we like it nevertheless.

Home screens on the Google Nexus One

Android 2.1 offers you five home screens, with lovely animated wallpapers. These need a fast processor to work well, and the Google Nexus One has a superb 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It makes features and apps launch instantly and web pages load quickly.

Once you are online you can enlarge content with the lovely pinch-and-zoom function; a double-tap with reflow the text so it’s all in view.

Camera on the Google Nexus One

The five-megapixel camera works well, although it does suffer from the shutter lag that is the bane of all camera phones. It has a flash, which is always a bonus, although undeniably the results are better in good light.

Lest we forget, the Nexus One is also a phone – and a very good one at that. Unlike some smartphones out there, you calls connect quickly and noise-cancellation technology improves the sound no end.

Drawbacks of the Google Nexus One

Of course, no phone is perfect, and the Nexus One has a couple of niggling flaws that are worth mentioning. For instance, it takes a while to get used to the touch-sensitive icons at the foot of the screen/ You need to hit them in exactly the right place, leading to lots of repeated pressing until you get it just right.

It’s also big: we like it but there will certainly be people who just can’t get along with a handset this size. It’s also a complex phone, which will attract some people and put others off. And the battery drains on a daily basis – but that tends to be the case with most feature-rich smartphones.

Memory is a perennial failing of Google phones, and the Nexus One doesn’t come close to the Nokia X6 or iPhone, for example. You can invest in a microSD card to boost your storage space, however.

The verdict on the Google Nexus One

The Google Nexus One is a smart phone alright, with an enhanced Android operating system, lots of lovely features and a fast processor, all wrapped up in a lovely looking piece of kit.

Specifications

Specifications

 

Type of phone:Smartphone
Style:candy bar
Size:119x59.8x11.5mm
Weight:130g
Display:N/A colours
Resolution:480x800
Camera:Five megapixels
Special Camera features:auto focus, LED flash
Video recording:Yes
Video playback:Yes
Video calling:No
Video streaming:Yes
Music formats played:WAV, MP3, eAAC+
3.5mm jack port:Yes
Handsfree speakerphone:Yes
Voice Control:N/A
Voice Dialling:N/A
Call records:Practically unlimited
Phonebook:Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Ringtones customization:N/A
Display description:AMOLED capacitive touch-screen
Website:www.google.com
SAR:N/A
Portfolio:N/A
Standard color:Brown (teflon coating)
Launch Status:Available
Ringtones:MP3
Radio:Yes
Operating system:Android
Connectivity:Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A2DP
Announced date:January 2010
What's in the Box:N/A
RAM:N/A
International launch date:January 2010
Battery life when playing multimedia:N/A
CPU:Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1 GHz processor
FM Radio Description:N/A
Internal memory:512MB RAM, 512MB ROM
Memory Card Slot:microSD
Messaging:IM, SMS, Email, MMS
Internet Browser:HTML
E-mail client:Push email
GPS:A-GPS
Java:Yes
Games:Yes + downloadable
Data speed:HSDPA
Frequency:Quad-band
Talktime:420 minutes
Standby:Up to 250 hours
Display size:3.7 inches
Keypad:QWERTY
Audio recording:N/A

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