I get inspiration to write from the strangest places. It can be a conversation, an observation or just music. I say it’s from the strangest places because the inspiration doesn’t result in a painting or a photograph, it ends up in the structure or body of a review of some piece of technology. Whether it’s a CPU review, SSD article or even just a cookie cutter article, it all starts with something that gets me in an excited-to-write mode. It’s rarely the product, but rather the thought of writing about it that gets me going. Provided I have the right inspiration.

Most of the time you all scare the crap out of me. I want to impress, I want you guys to be happy with what I write. I want every article to be the most well received thing ever. Every writer wants that. No one ever gets it. So when I see comments telling me that you’re eagerly anticipating my Nexus One review, I get a turtle complex. And not the ninja kind.

Although I’ve used and owned (briefly) plenty of Android devices since the platform launched in 2008, I’ve never sat down to actually review one. Going into today’s review I wasn’t even sure what approach I should take. You’ve been asking for an iPhone or Windows Phone 7 style treatment of the platform, but our coverage of both of those things happened when the platforms were just being introduced - not 17 months later.

Then came the inspiration. I was talking to our newest smartphone editor, Brian Klug, about the review and he gave me the angle. For Brian, today’s review wasn’t so much about exploring every corner of the Android OS but rather properly conveying the feel of the OS and how it differs from the alternatives in the market today. So while I’m going to definitely do the former, I want to tackle the latter early on because ultimately I believe that’s what will determine whether or not Android is for you.

Boxus One

You can't buy a Nexus One in any store, your only route is to go through Google itself. Even though there are versions for T-Mobile and AT&T's networks, those carriers don't sell the phone on their websites either.

The ordering process is very simple and you have the option to engrave two lines of text on your phone at no extra charge (doing so voids your ability to return the Nexus One for a full refund). You have two purchase routes. You can either buy the phone unlocked for $529 (AT&T and T-Mobile versions are available), or you can sign up for a new 2-year agreement with T-Mobile and get the phone subsidized for $179. An AT&T subsidized version isn't available at this time.

Google lists both Verizon and Vodafone versions of the Nexus One shipping in the Spring. For today's review I'm looking at the AT&T version of the Nexus One.

Apple has started a trend of companies spending entirely too much on packaging. We all wrote about how good Apple's packaging was, and now everyone spends much more on packaging just to have it thrown away. I swear someone just played a huge practical joke on us, er or Google, or Apple...I'm not sure.

The Nexus One comes in a pretty white box with a splash of color. Inside you find the usual combination of manuals, more boxes and nice feeling packaging.

The Nexus One ships with a wall charger, earbuds and a separate USB cable for connecting to your computer. You also get a neoprene case.

Experiencing the Nexus, Without Whoopie
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  • xtremevarun - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Reviews of Nexus One on other sites were not as comprehensive as on Anandtech. You guys really explored all the features. Apple needs to do a major refresh to iPhone. And I do see Android becoming a major, major OS for phones if it's not already. WinMo7 also looks great. Good that competition is hotting up against the iPhone. Reply
  • xxNIBxx - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    What about Samsung's Bada OS? Samsung Wave s8500 beats the living crap out of all those Snapdragon devices. Also Samsung will release i9000 Galaxy S, which has pretty much the same hardware as with s8500, except it runs Android. Hardware wise, these 2 are the best phones in the world. Snapdragon is old news.

    Iphone 4g, which will come out in 2 months, will most likely use apple's a4, which from what i hear, is probably identical to samsung's 1ghz cpu(same cpu/gpu)/
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    If you receive a call over BT, does it

    1. Play the ringtone over the headset?
    2. Play it on the headset only or both the speaker and headset?
    3. Announce CID over the headset or even just the speaker?
    Reply
  • sushantsharma - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Looks OK! But usability should not go for a toss! Or I am missing it and it is there? Reply
  • Chloiber - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    "It's got a Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 SoC"

    Thought the Nexus One (and the HTC Desire) use a Snapdragon QSD8250?!
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    You are correct :) Fixed!

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Karl Brown - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    I will be receiving my Sony X10 on Tuesday.

    I hope the Sony will offer enough of the Nexus One's functionality to not make me regret not waiting longer for the Nexus One to become available in the UK.
    Reply
  • jasperjones - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the very thorough review. The one area were the review lacks depth is audio and video playback and syncing. Differences in this area are striking imo:

    1.) If you don't use iTunes as an iPhone owner, you're pretty much SOL. The Nexus One I could sync with iTunes using DoubleTwist. But I don't like iTunes. I can just use Explorer or Windows Media Player or Songbird (1.7 beta) to sync instead. The latest Songbird builds do an amazing job (they even converts WAV and FLAC files on-the-fly).

    2.) Formats. I like that the the Nexus One supports OGG. FLAC support is coming (AFAIK it got added to trunk some time ago--idk if users will see it in FroYo or Gingerbread) Plus the Nexus One gives me everything the iPhone has (including M4A).

    3.) The media player. I hate to admit it as a current Nexus One and previous iPhone owner, but here the iPhone with its iPod app wins hands down. The UI of the iPod app is infinitely more intuitive, whereas things such as playlist generation are a pain on Android (everything takes far too many clicks).

    Because of 3.), I think the overall win in this category goes to the iPhone.
    Reply
  • bstewart - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Outstanding review - really enjoyed your detailed assessment of the Nexus one compared to the IPone and Palm Pre. I have read a number of reviews on the Nexus one lately determining if it is the right device for me or not. After reading this review I am certainly more inclined to purchase it than before; especially based on it's pros and cons versus the IPhone. Thanks!

    Brian
    Reply
  • cj100570 - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    All in all I'm not feeling this review. There was way to much time spent comparing the Nexus to the iPhone. And your complaints about the notification system used by Android is just asinine. I'm the former owner of both an original and 3G iPhone and Android simply puts the iPhone OS to shame. The iPhone had it's 15 minutes of fame but it's time to face facts that Apples way of doing things is the biggest problem the iPhone has. As a smartphone it is a #FAIL. Sure it sells well but the honest truth is that most people buy it because it's an Apple product and because of all the apps, 80% useless, that Apple and AT&T trot out as the big selling point. Reply

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