Google Nexus One Officially Unveiled

By Jimmy Rogers (@me)
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Google Nexus One

While news of this device leaked quite a while ago (and Google openly distributed it to their employees), the Google Nexus One still drew a crowd today, both online and at Google’s official launch event.  The new phone is similar to other Android devices, such as the popular Droid, but this one has been custom built by the Google engineers themselves.

There are several good resources out there already, most notably gdgt’s liveblog of today’s event and Engadget’s exclusive review of the Nexus One.  Also, Google has a dedicated product page over at google.com/phone.  All that withstanding, you, the lazy GAS reader, are probably too busy watching our funny videos to sift through those massive pages, so we have parsed out the most important highlights.

First of all, let’s get some specs:

  • The device is both slim and light, as demonstrated in this slide at the launch event:

  • Screen size: 3.7-inch (diagonal) widescreen WVGA AMOLED touchscreen
  • Camera: 5 megapixels, LED flash, geotagging, video capture at 20fps
  • Wireless Specs:
    • UMTS Band 1/4/8 (2100/AWS/900)
    • HSDPA 7.2Mbps
    • HSUPA 2Mbps
    • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
    • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
    • A2DP stereo Bluetooth
  • Battery Life: It has a removable battery – check out the specs page for battery life under different conditions
  • OS: Android Mobile Technology Platform 2.1 (Eclair)
  • Storage:
    • 512MB Flash
    • 512MB RAM
    • 4GB Micro SD Card (Expandable to 32 GB)
  • Location Tech: AGPS, cell tower and wifi location, digital compass, accelerometer

Ok, with specs out of the way, what’s next?  Well it uses the Android 2.1 platform at the moment (though future revs will bring new features like expandable SD storage).  That means it is very “open” and will allow a great number of applications to be developed for it.  In fact, I personally expect the Android app store to dwarf the iPhone app store, sheerly by wooing more developers with its openness.

Based on the various wireless technologies in the Nexus One, the current available carriers are T-mobile (which is selling it subsidized already at $179), Verizon, and Vodafone (in Europe).  Also, you can buy it unsubsidized directly from Google for $529, shipping today!

Without direct access to the phone it’s hard to say too much more.  For further reading, I suggest the hands-on review by Engadget and the latter part of the live gdgt feed, where the launch team answered some questions by the press.

What do you think of the Google Nexus One?  Will you buy it?  Does it compete with other smartphones you have/want?  Post below in the comments!

[Images from Google, Engadget, and gdgt (links above)]

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22 Responses to Google Nexus One Officially Unveiled

  1. I have the HTC Hero, which I’m very pleased with (and should get updated to 2.0 soon), so I won’t be looking to buy a new phone anytime soon. However, I would have definitely bought the Nexus One if my situation was different; the power is quite impressive.

  2. I have the HTC Hero, which I'm very pleased with (and should get updated to 2.0 soon), so I won't be looking to buy a new phone anytime soon. However, I would have definitely bought the Nexus One if my situation was different; the power is quite impressive.

  3. The Terms of Sale declare that it’ll work only on GSM networks, and the specs mention UMTS and GSM/EDGE. I don’t understand the statement that this will work on Verizon’s network – Verizon doesn’t run a GSM network in the US, that I’m aware of. They will have to build a different handset to work with Verizon’s network.

    The various bands indicate that it should work on most GSM carrier’s networks worldwide. I’m guessing that it’ll work with T-Mobile (clearly) and AT&T in the US, and most GSM carriers in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and India.

    It’ll be interesting to see how it sells in the US with only T-Mobile subsidizing it. Apple wasn’t able to successfully sell an un-subsidized phone a couple of years ago. It’ll likely play better in Europe and elsewhere.

    You should be able to pop the SIM card out of your existing handset and pop it in this one and be in business. Of course, you’ll need to have a good data plan to make use of the UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA / EDGE.

    The device looks pretty nice. It’ll be very interesting to see how the app store pans out.

    • According to the gdgt link I provided, AT&T is not supported (their 3G I think is what is not supported) and Verizon is already confirmed as a partner carrier. Honestly I’m not really up on my UMTS/HSDPA type bands, but from what I’ve heard this falls more in line with the technologies that Verizon supports than those that AT&T supports.

      I think this info is supported by the Google page as well.

      • Thanks for the clarification. AT&T operates UMTS on 850MHz and 1900MHz bands, while T-Mobile operates UMTS on the 1700MHz and 2100MHz bands. So, this device was deliberately designed to operate on T-Mobile’s UMTS network and not on AT&T’s. It should be able to operate on AT&T’s network using 2G (GSM/EDGE), which will be good for T-Mobile subscribers who often roam on AT&T’s network. From what I can see, the iPhone can roam on half of T-Mobile’s 3G network (it supports 2100MHz UMTS).

        I don’t know how this fits in frequency plans elsewhere in the world, but it’s interesting that they mention Vodafone in Europe, but not T-Mobile’s parent company Deutche Telekom.

        A little further reading indicates that Google will be bringing out a Verizon (CDMA & EV-DO) handset later in the year.

  4. The Terms of Sale declare that it'll work only on GSM networks, and the specs mention UMTS and GSM/EDGE. I don't understand the statement that this will work on Verizon's network – Verizon doesn't run a GSM network in the US, that I'm aware of. They will have to build a different handset to work with Verizon's network.

    The various bands indicate that it should work on most GSM carrier's networks worldwide. I'm guessing that it'll work with T-Mobile (clearly) and AT&T in the US, and most GSM carriers in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and India.

    It'll be interesting to see how it sells in the US with only T-Mobile subsidizing it. Apple wasn't able to successfully sell an un-subsidized phone a couple of years ago. It'll likely play better in Europe and elsewhere.

    You should be able to pop the SIM card out of your existing handset and pop it in this one and be in business. Of course, you'll need to have a good data plan to make use of the UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA / EDGE.

    The device looks pretty nice. It'll be very interesting to see how the app store pans out.

    • According to the gdgt link I provided, AT&T is not supported (their 3G I think is what is not supported) and Verizon is already confirmed as a partner carrier. Honestly I'm not really up on my UMTS/HSDPA type bands, but from what I've heard this falls more in line with the technologies that Verizon supports than those that AT&T supports.

      I think this info is supported by the Google page as well.

      • Thanks for the clarification. AT&T operates UMTS on 850MHz and 1900MHz bands, while T-Mobile operates UMTS on the 1700MHz and 2100MHz bands. So, this device was deliberately designed to operate on T-Mobile's UMTS network and not on AT&T's. It should be able to operate on AT&T's network using 2G (GSM/EDGE), which will be good for T-Mobile subscribers who often roam on AT&T's network. From what I can see, the iPhone can roam on half of T-Mobile's 3G network (it supports 2100MHz UMTS).

        I don't know how this fits in frequency plans elsewhere in the world, but it's interesting that they mention Vodafone in Europe, but not T-Mobile's parent company Deutche Telekom.

        A little further reading indicates that Google will be bringing out a Verizon (CDMA & EV-DO) handset later in the year.

    • Well I don’t know. I mean Nokia will certainly be pressured to live up to the game that Google is playing, but I think the analogy to Apple and Microsoft is a little off the mark.

      First off, Google doesn’t actually “produce” the handset themselves, they just designed it. In fact they even said that making a profit on the device is fairly insignificant to them in comparison to getting their web products in front of new customers. Plus, what they’re really selling is Android, which they hope to get on every phone, including anything Nokia puts out that’s smart enough to run it.

      I’d say Google is coming at the handset makers in the most friendly way possible…not so much as a competitor as an option. It’s really RIM, Palm, and Microsoft who have something to worry about. They’re competing for mobile OS marketshare.

      Hope I didn’t trounce on your point too much, just thought I could add something to it.

    • Well I didn’t see any listings anywhere, but since it’s an open, unlocked handset (part of the Open Handset Alliance – OHA), it can technically travel to any country that can support its antennas. The trick is just finding a carrier. Now if you want it subsidized by the carrier, that’s something that will have to be worked out country by country.

      I hear Vodafone will have it in Europe, so check to see which countries have support by Vodafone, maybe you’ll luck out!

    • Well I don't know. I mean Nokia will certainly be pressured to live up to the game that Google is playing, but I think the analogy to Apple and Microsoft is a little off the mark.

      First off, Google doesn't actually "produce" the handset themselves, they just designed it. In fact they even said that making a profit on the device is fairly insignificant to them in comparison to getting their web products in front of new customers. Plus, what they're really selling is Android, which they hope to get on every phone, including anything Nokia puts out that's smart enough to run it.

      I'd say Google is coming at the handset makers in the most friendly way possible…not so much as a competitor as an option. It's really RIM, Palm, and Microsoft who have something to worry about. They're competing for mobile OS marketshare.

      Hope I didn't trounce on your point too much, just thought I could add something to it.

    • Well I didn't see any listings anywhere, but since it's an open, unlocked handset (part of the Open Handset Alliance – OHA), it can technically travel to any country that can support its antennas. The trick is just finding a carrier. Now if you want it subsidized by the carrier, that's something that will have to be worked out country by country.

      I hear Vodafone will have it in Europe, so check to see which countries have support by Vodafone, maybe you'll luck out!

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