Google Premieres Nexus (Big Surprise)
Google declined to go for the fake out as they unveiled the expected Nexus One today at their Android event. First spotted after employees received free phones last month, the Nexus has already created a media frenzy as the “real” Google phone—one that will be sold by Google through their web store (though manufactured, like so many other Android headsets, by HTC).
So today is the formal announcement of the phone, along with the full rundown of the technical specs (available below). Search Engine Land, Read Write Web and many others are liveblogging the event, which features Google, Android and HTC engineers presenting not only the phone but an update on the progress and history of the OS. But we’ve been following Android for over two years now, so we’ll just stick to the Nexus news.
Google has decided that their phone is so smart, it can’t even qualify as a “smartphone”—they call it a “superphone.” (Buzzwords FTW!) And for the low, low price of $529, one can be yours today. (Free engraving!) As per the rumor, the phone is available unlocked with no data plan included; T-mobile is the premiere partner for $80/month, but they’re not available just yet. Verizon and Vodafone are slated to join in spring. In the store you can have two lines of custom engraving added to the back of the phone (for free), and naturally checkout is through Google Checkout.
The phone itself is pretty slick—with a fast enough processor and enough memory to run the “live wallpaper” and other apps in the background, multiple apps simultaneously and get some pretty good-looking graphics (if you’ve seen the Engadget video). However, it’s not the game changer that the iPhone was.
- Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
- 3.7″ AMOLED display
- Trackball at bottom which pulses and uses multicolor lights to notify of new calls and messages
- Light and proximity sensors (automatically dim backlight, etc.)
- 11.5mm (<0.5 in) thick and 130g (4.6 oz)
- 5 megapixel flash still and MP4 video camera that syncs to the Internet
- Stereo Bluetooth with 3.5mm headphone jack
- Active noise canceling with second mic to pick up background noise and eliminate it from the main sound transmission
The software also features some cool improvements running Android 2.1 (even over the just-barely-released Droid’s Android 2.0). The coolest feature seems to be the voice entry for all fields on the phone. As with previous Android versions, you can set the background. Apps sit on a 3D roller.
Google also showed off the soon-to-be released Google Earth App, which also responded to voice commands. A few Google-based apps are available for online testing in Google’s webstore, including Gmail, Maps, Voice and more.
Incidentally, Steve Jobs announced that the iTunes App store hit 3B downloads today. I doubt they were hoping to upstage Google with this announcement earlier today, but the timing is still interesting.
What do you think? What would you pay for the newest (first) superphone?