Google Android Nexus One - Is it a threat to the iPhone?

A lot of tech pundits will be covering the Google Android Nexus One announcement, but rather than forcing you to wade through tons of irrelevant and boring information, I'll distill it all down to the highlights here.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

A lot of tech pundits will be covering the Google Android Nexus One announcement, but rather than forcing you to wade through tons of irrelevant and boring information, I'll distill it all down to the highlights here.

  • 05-01-2010-18-59-17.png
    Google chose to kick off the event by adopting the Apple format of throwing numbers at the audience to show how great and successful Android has been so far. Basically boils down as follows - 20 Android devices - 59 carriers - 48 countries so far - Android is "developer friendly" - Apps are "always on" (a poke at Apple's iPhone platform there)  - Yada, yada, yada ...
  • Nexus One - "Web meets phone." Being described as a new breed of "superphone."
  • HTC chosen to develop the phone, has developed seven Android handsets.
  • Device is thin, at 11.5mm. Weighs in at 130g.
  • 3.7 inch AMOLED 480 x 800 screen. Powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm SnapDragon CPU which allows better multitasking.
  • Screen is touch-sensitive, but not multitouch like the iPhone. Hmmm, that's a bit of a FAIL right there.
  • Voice support, and speech to text.
  • GPS built-in.
  • Powered by Android 2.1 "Eclair" OS.
  • Built-in trackball acts as notification light.
  • Built-in accelerometer.
  • 5.0 megapixel camera and an LED flash. Capable on MPEG-4 capture. One-click upload to YouTube.
  • Active noise-cancellation mic.
  • Built-in Google Maps (I bet there's far more "built-in" Google than that) and Facebook support.
  • Widget support - Google News, weather (knows where you are using GPS).
  • Active (animated) wallpaper. Graphic equalizer, water ripple effect
  • Jazzy 3D UI look ... eye candy, but nice eye candy.
  • I wonder what the effect on battery life will be? I wonder if you can turn off all the jazz?
  • Voice recognition actually seems to work. Wow!
  • Interesting surprise: Google Earth for Android. Neat.
  • Able to buy Nexus One from today, with or without contract.
  • http://www.google.com/phone
  • Price: $529 for unlocked phone, $179 with T-Mobile contract. Verizon and Vodafone to follow.
  • Coming to Europe in the spring. No details for any other regions.
  • 512MB app storage limit ... due to "security" (in other words, piracy) reasons. Will eventually be able to store apps on SD card. However, that app limit rules out the more sophisticated games and complex apps that you see on the iPhone.
  • No data tethering.

So, is it a threat to the iPhone?

In a word, no. The two handsets seem to be aimed at different markets. The iPhone is aimed at the stylish, probably more flamboyant content consumer, while the Nexus One is, well, not. Being an Android-based handset it's tempting to say that it's aimed at a geekier audience, but given Google's involvement I'm hesitant to say that. Sure, there's a geeky element to it, but all that Google integration makes it a handset aimed at consumers of Google content.

The handset has aspects to it that make it a better handset that the iPhone (processor is one example), but overall the lack of multitouch and the minute amount of storage is lackluster.

Scorecard: "Could do better. A lot better."

So the Nexus One is not a threat to the iPhone. It's certainly no iPhone killer. What it might be however is a threat to other Android handsets. While Google doesn't seem to have gone the extra mile to make it the most super superphone they could (in which case it might very well have been a threat to the iPhone), it's certainly got the potential to hit sales of other Android handsets. Google didn't set out to beat the iPhone into submission, but it may have set out to beat other Android handsets into the ground.

Time will tell what will happen here.

Tech specs -->

Tech specs:

Tech specs:

Height: 119mm Width: 59.8mm Depth: 11.5mm Weight: 130 grams with battery, 100g without

Qualcomm QSD 8250 1 GHz CPU

3.7-inch (diagonal) widescreen WVGA AMOLED touchscreen 800 x 480 pixels 100,000:1 typical contrast ratio 1ms typical response rate

5 megapixels Autofocus from 6cm to infinity 2X digital zoom LED flash User can include location of photos from phone’s AGPS receiver Video captured at 720x480 pixels at 20 frames per second or higher, depending on lighting conditions

UMTS Band 1/4/8 (2100/AWS/900) HSDPA 7.2Mbps HSUPA 2Mbps GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR A2DP stereo Bluetooth

Removable 1400 mAH battery Charges at 480mA from USB, at 980mA from supplied charger Talk time Up to 10 hours on 2G Up to 7 hours on 3G Standby time Up to 290 hours on 2G Up to 250 hours on 3G Internet use Up to 5 hours on 3G Up to 6.5 hours on Wi-Fi Video playback Up to 7 hours Audio playback Up to 20 hours

Android Mobile Technology Platform 2.1 (Eclair)

512MB Flash 512MB RAM 4GB Micro SD Card (Expandable to 32 GB)

Assisted global positioning system (AGPS) receiver Cell tower and Wi-Fi positioning Digital compass Accelerometer

Handset is Teflon coated.

Micro SD slot Proximity sensor Light sensor

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