Anand's Google Nexus One Review

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 4/3/2010 3:40 AM EST
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  • KaarlisK - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    ´´The graph below shows the rough costs of simply keeping up with fab technology every two years:´´
    Can´t seem to find it.
    Reply
  • deputc26 - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Thanks Anand, Great Review! Reply
  • windywoo - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Taken out of context like that, the quote sounds like it is describing a graph of smartphone prices, laptops, e-readers :) Fab tech. Reply
  • Nihility - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    I just know that after experiencing any responsiveness issues, that within a few months I'll get really frustrated with the device.
    I still have an iPhone 2G and I hate it. Takes forever to launch apps, browsing the web is a miserable experience and the battery life sucks. I'm definitely in the market for a better phone but I think I'll just wait for something smoother.

    One of my main gripes is that my navigation app for the iPhone takes ages to load and if I get a call mid-work I'll have to restart it. Hate that.

    Like Anand said, on paper the N1 is perferct but I'll let them smooth out the rough parts before I get one.
    Reply
  • Exelius - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    I had the same complaint of my iPhone 3G. I bought a 3GS the day it came out and it is a huge improvement over both the 2G and 3G in responsiveness. My girlfriend has a regular 3G and much prefers using my 3GS over her own phone when browsing the web or using the Maps application.

    If responsiveness is a problem on the iPhone platform, get a 3GS before ditching the iPhone completely. The hardware on the 3GS is roughly equivalent to the Nexus One.
    Reply
  • Nihility - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    No way. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...
    No more iPhones for me.

    My main concern was all my apps, but most of them are available for the Android so there's nothing holding me back. I'll be glad to get rid of iTunes.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    You're comparing a phone from 2007 with an ARMv6 @400MHz w/ 128MB RAM and discounting the model that came two years later with ARMv7 @ 600MHz w/ 256MB RAM. Makes perfect sense¡ Reply
  • KaarlisK - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    I love both the attention to detail and depth you have :)

    And I have to say that Android, not WinMo7, is the replacement for Windows Mobile 6.5 in my eyes. WinMo7 just isn´t WinMo :D
    Reply
  • LuxZg - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    I agree, great review, I think I've never read anything that long about a phone :)
    And I agree with Android being a true Windows Mobile successor.. I don't have money for stuff like this, but if I did - I'd want all the freedom of my PC on my mobile as well. In that regard, Android seems to be the only option at the moment.

    There is one thing that will clearly make lives of some people miserable.. Data rates in some countries are horrible, and smartphones all rely on mobile data connection heavily, but Nexus One is a data-hog champion by the looks of it. Hopefully, by the time I'll be able to afford phones like this one, this will be solved :)
    Reply
  • macs - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Thank you Anand, the review is great and as an owner of the Nexus One I agree with your thoughts.

    Android world is so wide that it's really hard to have a complete review and I think what is really missing here is something about the community around Android, XDA forum, CyanogenMOD , USB Tethering, WIFI Tethering,...
    Reply
  • fepple - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    +1 for mention of cyanogen
    Also of note there is no equaliser which I think the iPhone has?
    Reply
  • doratiog - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    The possibility of reading the whole article without the tiring exercise of clicking and clicking again like if readers would have been punished and obliged to suffer Tantalus torture is gone. Not a good and rational decision if you wanted to improve your site. Reply
  • Voo - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    It's just a beta and will come back in no time, so no worries.

    Other than that.. tiring exercise of clicking a dozen times on a button? Well you could say that, but imho that's a bit far stretched isn't it? ;)
    Reply
  • adityanag - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Print.. PLEASE bring back print!! Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    My apologies for not getting it up sooner, we've been swamped with fixes and behind the scenes updates most of this week. We should see it very soon though, just a little while longer :)

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

    If you're using Firefox, try the add-on AutoPager, it'll load the next page while you're scrolling and reading the current page. Reply
  • runner50783 - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    I do appreciate the layout, It's a much more organized and concise experience than blogs..., Anantech is not a blog and I hope it does not become one. Reply
  • Trisagion - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Nice review.

    I wish you would review the Blackberry Storm2 as well. As a long term Blackberry user, maybe you can give us your thoughts on how productive the phone is without the trademark keyboard. It will also round up the current generation of smart phones - iPhone, Pre, Android and Storm.
    Reply
  • straubs - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    I think the reason that isn't done is the first Storm was such a flop that really no one considers the Storm to be a competitor with iPhone, Android, or Pre. Reply
  • Trisagion - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    That is true, but it's the only touch phone in the Blackberry ecosystem, so I wanted Anand's take on it but anyway... Reply
  • Mr Alpha - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    To me it looks like the percentages in the website and app loading table are backwards. Reply
  • Dark Legion - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Is there any way you can perform a test to see how long the battery lasts while the GPS is being used? Thanks... Reply
  • Barack Obama - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Nice article, thanks...

    Will be interesting to see WinMo 7 when it comes out. Definately an exciting time for smartphones.
    Reply
  • dguy6789 - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Very thorough, very informative. Probably the best N1 review I have read.

    Just wanted to point out two things.

    When you web browse on the N1, double tap the text that you want to read and the website will shape up to be perfectly readable on the N1 in portrait mode. Landscape isn't necessary for web browsing.(I thought it was at first too until I learned of the aforementioned feature)

    Typing on the N1 is infinitely better if you use landscape mode. I pretty much always turn it sideways and type with a dual thumb method very quickly when I need to type something lengthy such as a text message or email.
    Reply
  • A5 - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    The voice recognition system does more than just what you mentioned - you can use it to launch some other programs, especially Nav. For example, if you say "Navigate to (Wherever)" it'll open Navigation and (if it's ambiguous) show you a list of options based on a Maps search of what you said - pretty cool stuff. Reply
  • DLeRium - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    The NExus One LACKS multi touch in its keyboard. That's why its 100x harder to speed type than on the iPhone. Trust me. I've spent HOURS in front of my Droid and Nexus one testing multitouch, comparing it to an iPod Touch/iPhone 3GS. It's night and day without multi touch.

    This is the REAL multitouch many people forget. Sure you can pinch zoom maps and pinch zoom browser, but honestly those aren't as important as having a multitouch keyboard. If you really want to type on an onscreen keyboard, you NEED multitouch. Currently, the only market solution is Smart Keyboard Pro that offers Android 2.0's multitouch capabilities.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    I did neglect to mention the missing multitouch on its keyboard, I'll add that in. But if you remember, the iPhone lacked multitouch on its keyboard at first - something that really bothered me after using a Blackberry for so long. For me, that's not what's limiting my typing speed today though. The predictive text/autocorrect on the Nexus One by default just isn't as good as the iPhone's.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • spideryk - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Swype is the answer to text input on a smartphone. once youve gotten used to swype, you can type one handed with out looking at the keyboard. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Maybe it is just how Swype works on my Diamond, but I certainly can't reliably type one-handed without looking. Swype is the only keyboard I have found that does not require rotation to portrait mode on the Diamond to type, but just testing a Droid in-store I would say I was about as fast using the software keyboard as I am after 5-6 months with Swype. Reply
  • DLeRium - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Also Anand, if you read up a little abou the choppiness in scrolling it's due to the dithering of images and stuff. If I recall correctly, 2.0 had dithering implemented properly so smooth scrolling was not an issue.

    2.0.1 and above has failed to deal with this. There are fixes for this, and I've seen Droid and Milestone users use it. I'm almost positive it can be applied to the Nexus One.
    Reply
  • 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
  • Johnmcl7 - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Very much agreed, I thought far too much time was wasted on Iphone references which given the Iphone generally does everything worse I really couldn't care less about it. Most noticeably multitasking was only given a brief mention despite being being detailed extensively for the Palm Pre reviews.

    I didn't understand the complaint about the notifications either, to me as a non-Android user the system makes perfect sense - it seems entirely logical to have icons for each notification which when tapped show a list with text on each one.

    John
    Reply
  • jamawass - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Great review Anand. do you think the speech recognition worked well enough to be a complete subsitute for typed entry? I've been averse to touchscreen only devices (gave iphone to my wife) because I hate typing on them. Also did you try gesture search which has a highly publicized feature not too long ago?

    I'm currently using a treo pro windows mobile and even with all it's lack of polish it does feel like I am carrying a portable computer with me. I was hoping Windows7 series would enhance this but it appears as if MS is going to take the Apple approach in this regard. Looks like Android has picked up the windows mobile torch and literally flown to the stars with it.
    Reply
  • Sidharthmodi - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    I liked the Depth in this Product Review. Thanks Anand. Reply
  • has407 - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Appreciate the depth and that it's based on extended use. Using the 3GS for comparison is spot-on (everything is relative). Thanks again. Reply
  • Chloiber - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Can we expect a review on the HTC Desire or Evo 4G?

    I know the specs are really quite the same (especially on the Desire) but HTC Sense UI gives the whole thing really a different touch and, according to first reviews, a much better usability.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    We've been trying to get in touch with HTC to get review samples of both of those products. So far we haven't received any response but we won't stop trying :) Worst case, we'll just buy an EVO 4G when it comes out.

    Feel free to write HTC to provide some encouragement if you'd like :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Chloiber - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Well, I'm waiting for my desire too :P

    Evo 4G will probably take even longer....to test Sense UI one can use the HTC Legend, Desire or Evo 4G - shouldn't make any real difference.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to it :)
    Reply
  • relativityboy - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    If you already have an Android powered phone you can find the Sense UI online, and run it with the appropriate Rom and tools. I just saw it running on a G1 today. It was pretty fast. :) Reply
  • relativityboy - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    A very lengthy and thorough review of the bits, but I didn't come away with a solid understanding of how the device fits together as a user experience...the review feels, disjointed.

    The keyboard is narrow, how does that fit with the voice transcription?

    Sometimes scrolling in the 'app drawer' is slow, but what else was going on in the background? Were you pulling data, listening to music, what else was going on in the phone? The device/os is a true multi-threaded environment for applications. I didn't notice any emphasis there (a major win over iPhone).

    Did you try doing any benchmarking? Use 'Task Killer' or 'Setcpu'?

    Android is OPEN, unlike apple's mobile products.
    You can install apps that aren't in the app store.
    Memory is super-upgradeable (when was the last time a 4Gb or 8Gb iPhone could be upgraded to 32Gb for the price of a micro-sd chip?)

    The comment "It's Mac vs PC all over again" I think is totally missing representing what's going on here. Yet you hit the nail on the head later when you said Apple sees it as a device that's peripheral to laptops/pcs while Google is aiming for what it could be. Apple had a great idea, the iPhone. Google had a great idea a mobile environment/platform to allow lots of people to have great ideas. Google wants to let the world do the creating. The Nexus One as a device is a punctuation mark in a much larger story that includes the G1, Devour, HTC Evo, Droid, and others. Software development kits are available for-free for just about every platform you can shake a stick ate. Google is harnessing the creative powers of everyone who wants to get in on the game... The iPhone is just, well, Apple's 'one thing'.

    A very respected developer friend of mine once said, "In a contest between your software/idea and the real world, the real world always wins." Google knows this. Apple doesn't.

    I'm definitely an Android person, both by UI preference and ideology, but I don't feel like you've really tried, or given yourself enough time to 'get' what this platform is about.
    Reply
  • jasperjones - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Agree that Android's openness is of huge importance. On an iPhone, you can't even install an app that features a woman in bikini, Apple won't allow it. In this context, I always have to think of Tim Bray's statement that

    "The iPhone vision of the mobile internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disneyfied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers."
    Reply
  • Antioch18x - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Not only that but I didn't see mention of using a background task killer with "auto kill." (But, granted, I didn't *read* the whole article as I already own a N1 and didn't need to see your impressions of it). Due to the Android's method of multitasking, many times you don't actually exit an app when you think you do - it continues running in the background. You really do need a background task auto-killer to get the best battery life. This is one flaw, I think, in Android.

    Anyways, keeping this in mind I find that your battery life tests may be off. I get better battery life on my N1 than the old iPhone 3G.
    Reply
  • spideryk - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    There are alternative keyboards available for the android. as of right now swype keyboard is the best available means of entering text on a smart phone. once you get used to swype, you only need one hand to type and most of the time do not need to look at the keyboard to type. a must have on android. Reply
  • bob1939 - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Great review as usual but you missed something I consider critical. The lack of support for hands free bluetooth dialing.
    Where I live it can cost $180 if you are caught using a handheld phone while driving, so Hands Free dialing is a must.
    Worse Google insists in calling his shortcoming an enhancement and shows no sign of fixing it in the near term.
    For me this is a showstopper.

    Bob Benedetti
    Reply
  • dvinnen - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Not sure what you mean by blue tooth dialing but there is certainly voice dialing. The whole voice integration in Android is really fantastic as Anand said in his review. Reply
  • bob1939 - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    I mean leave the phone in your pocket and press the button on the steering wheel, on the bluetooth speaker or bluetooth earpiece and say call whoever and the phone dials the number.
    My understanding of the N1 and other Android 2.1 devices is that you have to press something at least twice on the phone to operate the voice dial. Where I live that will cost $180 if you are seen by a cop fiddling with the phone while driving.

    Bob Benedetti
    Reply
  • LongTimePCUser - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    I have a Motorola Droid and a 2006 Toyota Prius.
    The Droid connects via BlueTooth with the Prius.
    I can dial a phone number on the Droid from the Prius touch screen.
    Reply
  • joe6 - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    1) Good: Nexus One has a microSD card slot. Big advantage in my book.
    2) Bad: Nexus One doesn't support Exchange/Outlook calendar sync without going through the Google cloud services. This is just silly and frankly, kills the deal for me. I think most Nexus One RMAs come from this bullet alone.
    Reply
  • Pitne - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    There an app for this. How do you people miss the point that is android? Android is all about being open and not LOCKED DOWN like apple. So go download the more functional exchange apps and STFU Reply
  • Cali3350 - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Not sure if you posted it and I missed it or if you simply don't want to say in a public forum (which is understandable) but which do you , Anand, see yourself using in the future - the Nexus One or the iPhone 3GS? That sort of message says a lot about the current state of the platforms. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Honestly, I'm torn.

    After the review I switched back to the 3GS because of the simplicity and the keyboard (I type a *lot*). In doing so, I miss the screen, form factor (ugh it was painful holding the iPhone to my head for an hour long phonecall vs. the Nexus One), some of the apps/features and the speed of the Nexus One. Today my answer would be the 3GS, but after using the Nexus One so much over the past few weeks I have to say that some aspects of the iPhone really do feel archaic.

    What I may do going forward is continue to alternate between the two to get a better feel for their respective strengths and weaknesses.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    So does a 2mm difference in width really make that much difference in how you hold it and keyboard feel? As both phones are quite large compared to my HTC Diamond. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    It really has to do with the autocorrect on the keyboard and key spacing it seems. I switched back to the Nexus One today and definitely make more errors that I have to manually correct, whereas the iPhone seems to do a better job of knowing exactly what I'm trying to say/type.

    The performance and screen are very nice on the Nexus One however :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Locut0s - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the great review Anand!! I've been thinking of getting a smart phone for some time now and have been eyeing either a Nexus one or whatever Apple does with their next iteration of their iPhone. This review has placed the Nexus one squarely in my top 3. As always fantastic writing, thanks! However I should point something as a reader living outside the US. Google Voice is still not available in Canada or anywhere else outside the US. So if you are reading this review and that feature sounds nice keep this in mind!! Reply
  • Chloiber - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    If you like the Google Nexus, read some reviews about the coming (in the next days - weeks) HTC Desire - I bet you like it even more :) Reply
  • Zokudu - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Wonderful article Anand.

    This epitomizes what I love about your writing.

    Keep up the great work
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Thank you :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Mumrik - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    "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."

    I don't think you need to worry too much about all that Anand. Your work over the last few years especially has been top-of-the-class.
    Reply
  • Lifedelinquent - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    wonder if the htc evo will use the more updated snapdragon proc with the better gpu? Reply
  • Chloiber - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    It will use the Snapdragon QSD8650 (N1/Desire: QSD8250) with 1GHz.

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/23/htc-evo-4g-is-s...

    Don't know what that implies about the built in GPU though.
    Reply
  • LongTimePCUser - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Anand,
    It sounds like your biggest problem with the Google phone was the on-screen keyboard.
    Have you tried the slide-out keyboard on the Motorola Droid?

    The big advantage is that you can see the entire display screen, including type-ahead suggestions, while typing.
    Reply
  • Chloiber - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Sorry for repeating myself, but I really look forward to a test of the HTC Sense UI with either the HTC Desire, Legend (slower though) or Evo. I read several reviews and in every single one they were really impressed by the onscreen keyboard. Reply
  • ol1bit - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    I love the android platform. Now my last smart phone was the first Palm ever, so I could be thrilled with anything.

    The kicker for me was buying my android at Amazon for $49 (3 weeks ago), and now it's only $19!

    It's hard for me to grasp how much power is in my hands for $19. Sure I have to have a 2 year contract, but I'd have that anyway.

    As far as difference between mine and Goggle's? there's some, but the core functionality is present in both, just like an HP and a Dell computer with their built in thingy's.

    Cheers on a great review!

    Reply
  • LongTimePCUser - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Today on Amazon the Motorola Droid is $19.99.
    Amazing. I bought mine about 3 weeks ago at $49. I thik that it is great and a bargin at the price I paid.
    They are practically giving it away now. That tells you how profitable their $30/month data plan is.
    Reply
  • naalex - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Wow, I've got to say: Super Job! Not only did you review the Nexus One, but you managed to simultaneously review Android, review the iPhone OS, compare the two's strengths and weaknesses, and describe ARM's role in the smartphones and microprocessor business (which I never understood). Long yes, but every page was well worth it.

    After reading all the hyperbolic tech news coming from Engadget, CNET, and PhoneArena, I was under the mistaken impression that Snapdragon was a clear smartphone platform champion, so I found it rather interesting that Snapdragon's integrated GPU was inferior to the PowerVR solution on the iPhone 3GS. If I'm not mistaken, this is the GPU that is used in the TI chip in the Droid, so does this mean that my Droid may be able to keep up with Nexus Ones/Snapdragons with 3D gaming apps, or will there be too much hardware and OS fragmentation for any app developer to create any optimized 3D gaming app for Android.

    This is going to be my go-to resource to provide to people who ask, "What is that strange object pressed to your face that isn't an iPhone? Does it cure cancer like the iPhone?" Trying to explain to my clueless tech friends that there are other viable smartphone options out there is an uphill battle, but one that may go a little easier now.
    Reply
  • ExodusC - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Anand, I'll admit, this is the gist of what I expected from your article (I don't mean that in a bad way, mind you--). I own an iPhone 3G, and have for almost a year now. I like it, but I don't particularly love it. I imagine the 3GS would be a more fluid (and therefore more enjoyable) experience. For some reason, tech reviewers tend to not want to get rid of their iPhones for some reason. Even with a device like the Nexus One at their fingertips. I type this from a Motorola Droid right now, and I love it.

    I agree, I love the fluidity of the iPhone compared to Android devices (why must they be so powerful, but so choppy? That's my biggest complaint), but I love the feature set of Android even more.

    I also really want to know, why do you feel Android's pull-down notification menu is awkward? The first time I picked up an Android device and used it (never knowing about the feature), I felt it was very intuitive and a wise design choice.

    I completely agree with your general consenus that Android needs some polish, however.

    I absolutely love your website, reviews, and attention to detail. Keep up the good work! I just thought I'd share my honest opinion with you. Hopefully you'll have time to respond.
    Reply
  • ExodusC - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    Excuse my extra "for some reason" in that post. I was a bit distracted while typing up my reply... Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    It's just an odd construct in my opinion. It's the only place in the entire OS that you pull something down to reveal more notifications. If anything I'd expect a tap to expand sort of deal, but the pulldown seems strange to me.

    I will say that after using it for a while, it has lost it's weirdness in my opinion :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • DukeN - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    Love the slide out keyboard - if only this was like the original G1 but with all the new horsepower.

    The G1 is the first phone that has tempted me away from a blackberry (well...almost) in 5 years.
    Reply
  • EazyVG - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    I have been a WinMo user for past 3-4 years, but I have to agree that Android, not WinMo7, is the replacement for Windows Mobile 6.5, and hence I will be jumping to Android phone (as of today I like the HTC Desire, but want QWERTY) from my current HTC Touch Pro 2. Reply
  • Pitne - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    wow I cant believe how biased this article is towards apple. Almost every word you used when talking about the Nexus One had a negative connotation. Most of your 'negatives' towards the nexus one are completely false.

    The notification area for one--this implementation is 100% better than apple or palm and you think its a poor way of handling it? Wtf are you smoking.
    Reply
  • bjacobson - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    Motorola Droid is no better, my friend has one and OC'd his processor to 1.1Ghz and it still lags just as badly. Both choppy and lags where my finger is. I don't like it at all. This is the main reason I haven't even considered the Android platform yet. I probably will when they fix this. Reply
  • LongTimePCUser - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    Have you tried the Moto Droid after the Android 2.1 upgrade?
    My experience was that the ui seemed smoother and faster after the upgrade.
    Reply
  • eva2000 - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    bummer about battery life, sounds like nexus rev2 with 1700-1800mah battery in the near future heh Reply
  • hugov - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I'm not sure the Adreno 200 is as far behind the SGX530/535 as you suggest. The iPhone 3Gs chip (Samsung S5PC100) states in the docs (http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconduct... that the GPU is capable of up to 10M triangles/sec, a far cry from the 28M reported in popular press recently. QSD8250 docs suggest up to 22M triangles. And the Adreno is a unified shader architecture GPU with no fixed-function pipes, similar to the PowerVR SGX. OTOH, the *drivers* appear to be quite lacking compared to the PowerVR drivers, at least on Linux/Android. Reply
  • TheHolyLancer - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I mean wow that dog seems to be focused directly on something above the camera, is that a treat or something? Reply
  • ThePooBurner - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    I really enjoyed reading through this review. I have been wanting to move to a smart phone, but haven't been able to decide what i want. This helps put android devices into perspective in terms of what they can do and what i can expect. I happen to abhor apple, and so i will never own an iphone. I can't stand closed platforms or someone else telling me what i can and can't do with a device that i own. Their stance on "jail-breaking" sickens me. It's like telling me i can't put a new engine in my car if i want to. But that is besides the point. Windows P7 looks like it might be good, but that is a ways off. The Pre-pro looks the most appealing of the phones i have seen reviewed.

    However, there are 2 devices that i would love to see added to the list of reviewed smart phones: The Nokia n900, and the Samsung Omnia II. For the n900, I would love for you to do a review of it and show us what the Maemo platform can do, as well as a quantifiable battery life test. The phone can do just about everything, but knowing how much doing all of that affects the battery life would be great. The device from a hardware standpoint isn't that different from some of the other smart phones out. It's an Cortex A8 at 600mhz. It's got 32GB of storage (expandable to 48), 5mp camera with flash, WiFi, BT, and it also has an FM transmitter. So on paper it looks great, but there haven't really been any solid reviews on the device from good review sites that use quantifiable testing, or from non-marketing type sites. I know that it also has integration with google voice and google chat. The Omnia 2 has an 800Mhz CPU, and a lot of the same hardware features and uses the TouchWiz 2.0 WM6.5 GUI, which appears to be samsung's platform of choice going forward. It's fairly new so there isn't a whole lot of information out there on this phone yet, but it seems to be marketed as the flagship product from samsung at the moment.

    Do you think that you could review these for us? From what i have seen they both look pretty good (though the N900 looks better), but 600$ is a lot to spend without having more than marketing to go off of.

    If nothing else this article has at least brought me up to speed on android and it's benefits.
    Reply
  • pepsi_max2k - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    "For example, typing yjomh instead of thong won’t autocorrect, although on the iPhone it will. "

    And I think I speak for everyone, Anand, when I say: Under what situation did you actually find this highly intriguing piece of information out?
    Reply
  • SuperFly03 - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    Ugh, this review is full of misinformation. I had to say something.

    http://forum.xcpus.com/blogs/superfly03-341.htm
    Reply
  • coolVariable - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    1. No mention of the lacking exchange sync.
    2. No mention of the lacking copy & paste within emails
    3. No mention of the connectivity issues.
    4. No mention of attachment issues (sending or saving).
    5. No mention of file download issues.
    ...

    What a BAD review.
    Reply
  • SuperFly03 - Friday, April 09, 2010 - link

    I'm not sure what Google phone you are using but the only problem I've had is no. 2. You can't copy paste within emails. I do believe that is a silly limitation but I do not think it is a big problem in the grand scheme of things.

    No. 1 is complete BS. I have been hooked into my exchange account since day 1 and have never had any issues.

    No. 3 is about as generic as you can get. I realize it is a problem that is on the Google sub-forums but likely a firmware issue not an Android issue.

    No. 4 and 5 is just laughable.
    Reply
  • coolVariable - Saturday, April 10, 2010 - link

    Oh, STFU you fanboy.

    1. No calendar sync. Buggy Contact sync (e.g. contact pics, birthdays, ...). Buggy e-mail sync (just stops randomly). STFU since you have no clue what you are talking about.
    3. A phone that can't even make calls. GREAT!!!! I don't fvcking care what the reason for the problem is. A $600 phone should be able to make a fvcking phone call!!!!!!
    4. Love your little walled garden? Why don't you get an Apple phone if you are soooooo in love with a company locking down the functionality of your phone???????? Anand bad-mouthes Apple for its walled garden and ignores this "walled garden"???
    5. Walled garden! Walled garden! Walled garden! Walled garden!

    All of the above are pretty big problems with android per se and the Nexus One specifically!
    It's pathetic that they weren't even mentioned during this review.
    Not to mention the myriad of other (often cosmetic) problems and bugs with android (e.g. contact sort, etc).
    And a tech-savy reviewer would have also mentioned the hypocrisy that you need to "jailbreak" android to do a lot of things. While that is fine, it pretty hypocritical that you can't "un-jailbreak" the Nexus One for a warranty exchange (something that is pretty easy to do with the iphone).
    Reply
  • ruzveh - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - link

    Anand nice article and m also looking fwd to buy one phone in near future from Google

    From my point of view is that 1GHz processor with 65nm is draining the battery life. Imagine if u insert 1GHz processor with 32nm (todays std) or even less will boost ur battery life almost double. I dont understand so called this chip company why not jumping onto 32nm bandwagon or to somewhat 25nm or even less?

    i just feel these cos r wasting so called resources and time for money / profits. Dont they knw resources r limited and so purchasing power.

    Thats secondary thing. Ohh what? r u thing i forgot to mention primary issue? lolz

    Well its obvious.. Innovation in Battery power. What i hate in mobiles are speed and battery life for which i m ending up using my cell ph for only calls & ofcourse sms since past 8yrs 6630 and not willing to change untill they come up with good phones..

    coming back to battery life i really dont understand why these cos r not doing something in batter life when there is lot of room for improvement in it like todays model feature only 1500mah battery power wheres a small pencil cell can go all the upto 3000mah or even more. We definitely want to see double the capacity then what they r featuring today.. Anand can u clear me on this prospect?

    I am v much sure if v give proper attention in this area we can do wonders. Comon someone has to do something sooner or the later...
    Reply
  • 7.saturnine - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    I don't understand the trend of putting as few physical buttons on a device as possible. How do you skip or pause music when the device is in your pocket? Pull it out, unlock the screen, find the music app & press the button? That is ridiculous.

    On my HTC Touch (WinMo6) it has hardly any buttons either, but at least one programmable physical button (that I have programmed to open the camera from any app I am in) & a directional pad/enter button. Sometimes I just like using the directional pad to go through menus & select something rather than moving my thumb all the way up the screen. Yes that sounds incredibly lazy, but aren't these devices all about ease of use, simplicity & speed? Programmable hardware buttons do just that. They are focusing too much on the aspect of a touch screen.
    Reply
  • DLeRium - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    This seems to be a forgotten thing. I spent 2 hrs playing around writing probably pages worth of notes just to test it out on Android.

    You say the iPhone lackED it? I have an iPod Touch 1G and I guess I'm used to multitouch by now, but how long did it take for Apple to add it? I notice how ridiculously fast I can type on it and not skip words/keys. On Android, it's a totally different thing.

    A few tips from me as I've investigated this for a long time and I've made cries out on Android forums with very little sympathy:

    1) HTC's IME keyboard that is modded on XDA is a LOT better. The developer tried to implement a little pseudo multitouch so it is more used to you pressing the next key before releasing the previous. This is a HUGE issue with the space bar and if you use the stock android keyboard, you're going to be skipping words like mad if you type too fast.

    2) Smart Keyboard Pro has multitouch. It also features a debug mode that you can look at your touch points. It definitely picks up multitouch flawlessly. Is it as good as the iPhone keyboard? Somehow I was still typing faster on my iPod than on my Android phone with Smart Keyboard Pro.

    However, with the mods the modders have made on the HTC IME Keyboard, I've decided to stick with it. It's getting better and it's handling multitouch somewhat even though it's not a true multitouch implementation.

    But you're right. It's night and day without multitouch. For people who haven't used the iPhone enough, they fail to appreciate the keyboard. Most people just go "Oh I type fine on my Nexus One. I type pretty fast." Obviously you can't type THAT fast if it lacks multitouch. Maybe they should look at what "fast" means on the iPhone :D
    Reply

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