April 21, 2010

605 words 3 mins read

Video: First impressions of the Nexus One (AT&T)

As I previously promised/threatened: more videos. Here’s my first impressions of the Nexus One after about 12 hours of playing with it. The video is short, just 5 minutes. I move fairly quick and don’t show off a lot of depth, but I’ll cover more detailed aspects down the road in separate videos.

(Click to watch in high-def)

Summary:

It is a very nice device and I personally enjoy it. I think the iPhone is nice, but getting stale, whereas Android can be kept fresh due to the extreme amount of customizability you get. I believe the Nexus One is a better phone than the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 4G could certainly give it a run for it’s money, depending on the processor speed and how well implemented multi-tasking is.

The Cons:

The 3G issue that some have complained about is real. Granted AT&T has good 3G coverage so I don’t see this as a “big” problem. All phones have this type of issue, but the design of the Nexus One seems to exacerbate it.

The soft buttons along the bottom (back, menu, home, & search) do have an issue, as per many net reports. If you hit the bottom of the button (their capacitive part of the screen), nothing happens. If you hit the top half (near where it becomes real screen), you’re golden. A minor annoyance to me, nothing more. You simply have to learn to aim higher, and preferably use your thumb (bigger contact area, generally does the trick). The buttons do give you tactile feedback with a short vibration on successful hit, so it isn’t like you’re left wondering if you hit them or not.

Android isn’t as polished as iPhone OS 3 or 4. Little things, nothing major. A missing audio “nicety” here, a “would be nice” there.

The Pros:

Android. Seriously, Android is fantastic. The widgets, live wallpapers, notifications and general customizability — all great.

The sucker is FAST. The 1 GHz Snapdragon definitely runs laps around its competitors. CPU/RAM intensive apps like Google Maps definitely show a major improvement on the Nexus One.

Multitasking. Lets be honest, there is no competition here with the iPhone. I went to the store after I got the phone, put on Pandora while I was switching between taking pictures and responding to text messages.

Is it worth $530?

This is the question most people have asked me. It is an expensive device, is it worth it? First and foremost, it is priced about the same as any other smart phone off contract (unsubsidized by the carrier). The 16 GB iPhone 3GS is $599 off contract or $699 for the 32GB. When you tack on memory cards to the Nexus One, the price is about the same. To me, $530 for a phone is not an absurd number, I can afford it. I’m not happy about paying that much, but it doesn’t break my wallet — so I don’t mind it. I also remember owning computers just 10 years ago that had processors slower than this phone; progress costs money. Lastly, this is really a top of the line phone and any top of the line device will require a premium.

Granted right now it is all honeymoon with the device. In a week or two I’ll revisit both the issues of “Is it worth it” and “Do I like it”. The G1 was also something I was very excited for (bought it the first day), but after experiencing the hardware & software suck — I shelved it permanently. The Nexus One is unlikely to end up that way… but one never knows.