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Nexus One: Initial Impressions

Posted on December 16th, 2009

I had a chance to get a hands-on experience with the new Google phone, the Nexus One. (Thanks to my colleagues at G-town for hooking me up!) In no immediate order, here are my initial impressions:

  • UI is very slick. The responsiveness is very good and it is the fastest Android phone that I have used. Plus, some of the 3D visual effects are really nice. It’s definitely a polished interface.
  • The lack of the “bounce” that iPhone users have when they reach the top or bottom of a screen. That little visual indicator is not implemented across all applications and I think the UI experience is weakened by this.
  • No multitouch. Those used to the iPhone may be irked by this but, again, this is nothing new for Android users.
  • Amazing form factor. Many people have said that it is thinner than the iPhone and it is very sleek. Solid build and it feels just right in my hand. Didn’t get it to a scale so I have no idea how much it weighs. It’s pretty light though.
  • Incredible camera. I’m guessing it’s a 5.1 megapixel camera, with autofocus and flash. It rocks the socks out of my current mobile camera (but it’s not hard to beat the iPhone 3G’s hardware on that front).
  • Google Goggles is amazing. I pointed it at a wrapper for a tea bag and it found all sorts of things about the manufacturer and the product. There is some serious voodoo magic going on at Google.
  • Mediocre keyboard. For a pure virtual keyboard, it’s not bad (read: it’s about on par with the iPhone’s) but it can’t hold a candle to the amazing keyboards RIM has been pumping out.
  • Mediocre trackball. It’s set pretty deep (unlike my BlackBerry Bold’s) so it’s a little weird to use. Pressing it doesn’t wake up the device either.
  • Google Maps has been enhanced with some cool features (like finding out what the address is by holding your finger at the location in question).
  • The Gallery application, which displays the photos and videos, is really nice. Nice eye candy and it makes sharing quite straight-forward.
  • Beautiful screen. It’s sharp and bright, like the Bold. Love.

Bottom line: If I were to get an Android phone (which I want to), this would be it.

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