I received my Nexus One phone over the weekend and explored the device over the past two days. Here are my initial impressions of the phone:
- You need to order the phone directly from Google's online store, but delivery of the phone from the U.S. to Singapore was fast. I placed my order early Wednesday morning (as soon as the phone was announced); I received the phone on Saturday.
- The phone felt light, slim and very comfortable in the palm.
- The best feature of the phone: its bright, clear screen based on AMOLED technology. Colors are vivid and gorgeous compared to the iPhone; images look detailed on the dense 480x800 pixel, 3.7-inch display.
- The 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus works great for capturing images up close and for scanning barcodes. Compare this with the iPhone's 3-megapixel camera without flash.
- The Nexus One is almost enterprise-ready. I was able to connect the phone to my corporate Exchange e-mail server via its built-in ActiveSync support, but it doesn't have the feature to sync to my Exchange calendar.
- Voice calls and mobile broadband worked OK with my mobile operator's 3G network (SingTel).
- Virtually all text input fields on the phone support voice recognition, so I could compose an e-mail or update my Facebook status by simply talking to the phone. Sometimes the voice recognition is amazingly accurately; most of the time it's not. I'm sure Google will improve this over time.
Here are 5 very cool free applications that I'm using on the Nexus One:
- Google Places Directory shows you restaurants, petrol stations and other points of interest around your current location.
- Google Goggles lets you snap photos of products, identifies the product based on image matching and shows you Web pages with the product details. It can scan business cards and import them into your address book.
- Google Translate lets you speak a phrase in English and it recites the translated phrase in Mandarin, Spanish or some other language.
- ShopSavvy lets you scan barcodes from various products and shows you prices and reviews from the Web. Similar apps are available for the iPhone but the barcode scanning works faster and more accurately on the Nexus One.
- Layar Reality Browser shows you a 3D view of people and places around you as you move your phone around in 3D space. Compared to the iPhone, Layar looks much better on the Nexus One's high resolution OLED screen and camera.
I'm very impressed with the Nexus One; it's a serious challenger to the iPhone. However, the Nexus One lacks some of iPhone's enterprise features like enterprise security control and Exchange calendaring. There are fewer apps available for the Nexus One compared to the iPhone. If you don't mind the limitations, try out the Nexus One; you may be surprised that it's really better than the iPhone.