UPDATED: The Competition: Google Nexus One Phone Gets Hands-on, UI Walkthrough


Gizmodo got somes hands on a Google Phone Nexus One and shared some impressions.

A tad thinner, lighter, and "silky"-er feeling in the hand compared to the iPhone, Nexus One also sports a less cheap, more rubbery back. (The rubber lobby is no doubt thrilled with that bump in cachet). Its screen POPS and blows everything away, and it's (likely 1GHz processor powered) web rendering is a bit faster than the iPhone 3GS, both of which are faster than the Droid. (Though the iPhone 3GS still outscored all comers on JavaScript benchmarks. Nitro FTW!) It's also got a crazy animated background system that can launch bit blocks or ripple when you touch it, but becomes a visualizer when music is playing. Like Sense UI's animated weather, that kind of eye candy is just sweet.

With iPhone 4.0 and a 4th generation iPhone due June/July 2010, how selfish are we to beg all comers to "bring the awesome!" so that Apple is incentivized to bring their own innovation to market faster? Exactly this selfish: well done, Nexus One, you're not failing to impress.

Speaking of which, check out Android Guys video UI walkthrough after the break, and tell us what you think!

UPDATED: Engadget scores an invitation-only pre-sale rumor starting Jan. 5 with a T-Mobile rollout, perhaps, to follow. Also, specs galore, with what looks like 802.11n(!) support, 8??x480 WVGA AMOLED screen, 1 GHz proc, and all the trimmings.


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[YouTube link]


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

UPDATED: The Competition: Google Nexus One Phone Gets Hands-on, UI Walkthrough


Looks cool, I'm excited to see what the next Iphone will have instore now that the competition is becoming just that.

Does anyone feel that the next iphone will be a flop cause apple feels that people will stay with them just because they are apple and that they dont have to incorperate all these features into their phone for it to sell. I just feel alot of people will be disappointed in the next phone.

There is that worry that apple may be so full of it's success, and in Europe, the apparent lack of success for all things droid/pre that they may just tweak the 3GS with a new camera, more memory and a few extra bit here and there for v4. I hope that's not the case and that the reason we haven't seen a 3.2 is because they are hard at work really overhaulling the iPhone ui with new features as well as the standout ones from the competition.
Alas time will tell.

@Steven, I am afraid of the same thing. I guess, we'll see. It's curious that the Motorola Droid has been so quickly outclassed by another Android phone- and one from their "partner" Google (if in fact this phone does come to market).

Apple better bring the ruckus in June. If they don't, and we see an iPhone 3GS.1 then it could be an epic fail on Apples behalf. Smartphones are starting to catch up, and apple will only be able to play the apps card for so long.

More of the same BS...
Same thing when they laumched the droid.
Bet you there is no google phone. Just a phone by HTC and the upgraded android software will be ported to other android phones.
this is all part of their advertising. Verizon and motorola must be pissed but they just have to go with the flow and hope that this kind of FUD will keep people from buying the iphone.

Man all these new phones are nice. I'm on a 3g iPhone and I fell like it's getting left behind. Hell I think I'm starting to miss blackberry. :(

"It’s curious that the Motorola Droid has been so quickly outclassed by another Android phone"
This is exactly why I'm so hesitant to try Android. Every ~14 days there is a new phone out with better OS support leaving the other phones in the dust.
Besides, quite few developers I personally know (and articles from some I dont know) show that they are hesitant to develop for it for this exact fact. Way too much fragmentation can hurt instead of help.

I'm still not impressed by Android. I like the concept, the open thing, but it's so clunky and unpolished. It looks like the Nexus One only has four buttons, in addition to the trackball, down from six. At least it doesn't have a keyboard. Geeks are the only people that love Android.
I do want Android to continue putting pressure on Apple, but they are still way behind the curve on usability and mass appeal. And I second the comments about Android's fragmentation.
As for future iPhones, don't get your hopes up too high. I would be very surprised to see any major overhauls. The iPhone isn't broken.

It's only the improved screen that's making you feel left behind. Let's hope Apple feels a need to improve it.

@webvex.....How can you say that the phone is not broken??It is basicly the same phone from launch. Same screen, same basic hardware, same flaws. There has been some tweeking, and one upgrade. That's it. And, again, to compare a new phone out of the box to the "3rd" gen iPhone is not fair. Look how much the first gen sucked. I think the "new" iPhone needs to be really new this time. Apple has a problem with trying to make all things compatable. The 3G was held back to keep it in line with the first gen phone. The 3GS is a minor advance, but again, had to "work with" the 3G. HTC keeps getting closer and closer with each new phone. Apple really needs to move the bar again.

@Big Pimpin, last time I checked it's still selling like hotcakes. Apple won't mess too much with a winning formula.

Android is years behind. Honestly, use it for a week - it's just horrible compared to the iPhone. It does notifications well, but everywhere else it's well behind.
I'd LOVE to see an aluminium or stainless steel iPhone 4. Or something different at least, the smooth plastic gets slippery and messy real fast.

Apple was in some ways in a precarious situation with the 3GS. If the 3GS had been significantly more powerful than the 3G, 3G owners would have lost out. As it was, Apple was probably surprised when 3G owners demanded a way of upgrading to the 3GS despite just having signed a two-year contract for the 3G.
The 3GS is clearly more powerful than the 3G; I can't imagine comparing the 3GS with the original iPhone. What I anticipate is that the next iPhone will have to blow the iPhone 3G away. A 1GHz Snapdragon CPU could result in real multitasking, but I don't see how Apple could support multitasking on the iPhone 3G at the same time.
So, I can imagine that the next iPhone will have multitasking and a higher res screen; that apps will become screen-resolution neutral; that the 3GS will have multitasking but not the 3G.
I'm very interested in the Nexus One. After reading that Gizmodo article on Android's fragmentation, the Nexus One makes a lot more sense to me. If the Nexus One is going to be Google's showcase for Android features, has a reasonable price, and goes along with a no-contract T-Mobile plan, that could work out pretty well.

1 iPhone needs a cam in the font that would b crazy 2 a freaken better battery 3 a faster phone. 4 I could say a better screen 3gs is not bad tho. Any thing else ?

Explain. Please. And please dont say "they have nowhere near 100,000+apps" in your response either.
I'd honestly like to know why and how Android is behind.

Basically i think it's a bad copy of the iphone. Appareantly 99% of the user inferface and how the device is used is similar to the iphone. However i did notice some cool shortcut features around 3:11 and 3:21 which "seemed" interresting but due to bad video quality, hard to make out what it actually was. Also a feature which they did not show was the "tilting" of the phone like in the iphone.
It is really not that interesting that you can mark a "clock" (4:35) and "move" it around your iphone desktop.
What about coverflow? i hardly think it has that.
Overall i would most probably give the droid-phone a 6 out of 10.
It is a pore copy of the iphone concept. the user interface is somewhat similar to the iphone and the crucial thing is that it probably does not have around 100.000 apps like the iphone - which makes the droid-phone a bit "limited" in its functionality.
I would still prefer an iphone :)

My fear is that Apple is making the same mistake from 25 yrs ago. I was in high school in the mid 80's and every computer lab had a Mac. That's not the case now and hasn't been for the last 20 yrs. Why? Because of the same bone-headed reasoning posted above shared by Apple executives.
"We're the best and nobody is better!" ain't gonna keep you on top, even if it's ture. Was Windows better in the 80'/early 90's than Mac? NO! So why does every computer lab have Windows? Because Apple's nose was so far in the clouds they didn't see the missile heading straight into their nostril.
Look at Nexus-One with Android 2.1. It's arguable if it's on par with the iPhone and yes, there's fragmentation. But instead of focusing on that, look at the fact Android 1.0 came out LAST November and is now a contender. It has 20,000 apps in 1 year! 10,000 of those in the last 6 months. If they keep up that pace, it WILL outpace iPhone and we'll be back in another Mac/Windows situation again. Except this time the juggernaut is Google and they've clearly learned from the mistakes of Microsoft.

It's going to be very very interesting to see how this one plays out. I think Google has some real mometum on this one!
It's going to rock!