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back to article Google Nexus One

The flourishing Android operating system has appeared on phones made by Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG and HTC. Now Google has launched its own handset, though it’s actually made by HTC, which has made the bulk of Android handsets so far. Google Nexus One Nexus One: hardware by HTC, software by Google The thing about …

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Anonymous Coward

But when on Vodafone?

The million dollar question is when will it be avaialble to buy subsidised on a Vodafone contract, and when it does will it still be as current. It's already two months since the sim free and it's expected to appear on Vodafone next month and three months is long time in the mobile world.

The Desire, Legend HD2 and Passion and all the other HTC phones are coming through and are every bit as capable as this but without the Google branding.

And I really hope that VF don't "brand" it, and make it worse than the stock firmware by putting "Live" buttons everywhere. This is a Internet ready SmartPhone, I don't need a link to the Vodafone WAP portal on every screen hard coded into the firmware.

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THe hell with the iPhone ...

... and the rip-off tariffs in Ireland. Android for me!

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Jobs Horns

Is this available in the UK yet?

I really want one.

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Order online - in your hands 3 days later!

http://www.google.com/phone/

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Stop

Have they fixed it!

Have they fixed the floor with the bottom of it yet? You can loose 3g connection just by holding it a certain way. Good times!

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3G problems

That purely appears to be with a certain carrier in the US.

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I can't tell

from the review- does it multitask?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Leeloo Multipass

Yep, true multi-tasking - mine has 32 apps running at this very moment.

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Happy

all android handsets multitask

that about sums it up really,

oh and as for the issue with apps, I've had a hero since uk launch and only once had an issue finding an app to do what I needed, and even then went online to http://www.cyrket.com/ and found the network ftp app.

also most of the "only on iPhone" apps on the ads are available in one form or another for Android, nothing like truth in advertising, if only it were the BBC doing it so people would complain en masse :-)

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Silver badge

My only question is ...

How open is it, really?

Are there still bits & pieces of the core that only google employees can manipulate?

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Android is open

Google apps aren't - ie you won't get the source code to Gmail you will get all of the OS itself.

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My only question is ...

The google apps that come with it like the gmail/maps are pre compiled binaries. The OS itself is all open source and I think anyone can contribute to it - http://android.git.kernel.org/

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I couldn't resist

I got mine - with free engraving - within minutes of them going on sale online and I've been delighted with it.

Nice to see a review that doesn't endlessly try to compare it to a certain fruit-themed toy-maker's proprietary tat too!

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Jobs Halo

Hmmm

Would that be the fruit-themed toy-maker's proprietary tat that pretty much every smartphone manufacturer has been trying to emulate since??

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Well by the looks of things, emulation happened a while ago and now Google/HTC have overtaken at least on specs and openness.

If you can multi-task that's great, can anyone tell me how many web-pages its possible to have open simultaneously, I am famed for firefox on the PC telling me when close it "you are about to close 80 tabs" so a phone that can at least cope with 2 open at once would be great!

t

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yeah, yeah...

I've owned said 'tat' for almost two years now. I consider it mediocre at best, and can't wait to get my hands on a Nexus One.

I want my phone/most used device to be truly useful.

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Pricing

Could you double check the actual cost for UK buyers? Going through the google checkout, various other charges appy:

USD19 for an ac adapter

USD26 for shipping

and this is exclusive of UK VAT (17.5%) and duty (6.5%?)

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UK cost

Mine cost a total of $578.64 - no V.A.T. to pay and no duty.

Apparently it's not applicable to phones but is to accessories so you could get stung because of the adapter - I wasn't. 3 days from ordering to delivery - and mine was engraved.

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@mortowsic

Hi mortowsic, there is no duty on the device itself as its classed as a telecommunicatinos device... of course you'll have to pay VAT on it though but still it worked out at less than £400 all in. Not sure if thats the case now with the exchange rate.

I only buy sim free these days as my sim monthly tariff is saving me ~£40pm from what I was paying. Therefore I'll save £80 in one year, have the handset I want without any branding and the freedom to upgrade (or not) when I want.... For me it works out the best way.

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Linux

Title

A pretty good and accurate review, I got my N1 the week after release.

If you press and hold the shutter button in the camera app and wait for the edges to go green you'll get the best focus shot.

I was impressed with battery life on it, it'll go a full 7 hours playing music, plus an hour of reading El'Reg on lunch, and still have around 40% charge. But it does need charging daily if your going to be using it as it's intended.

The suggested price of £354 is unachievable, you've forgotten about VAT. :-)

For those thinking of importing one, if you get it without the UK charger you're looking at £410 total. VAT is £60ish, DHL charge £1.25 for admin paying it. There is only import duty if you get the UK charger (you still get a US charger in the box.)

If you laugh in the face of voiding your warranty, the N1 doesn't need any dodgy hacks/exploits to unlock the bootloader to install a custom version of Android, it's as simple as plugging it in and typing 'fastboot oem unlock'.

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Happy

I achieved!

From checking on forums whether you get stung by the Customs or not is down to luck - I was lucky!

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Title

I got a UK charger, no request for VAT

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Anonymous Coward

Import Duty?

"There is only import duty if you get the UK charger (you still get a US charger in the box."

What's the logic of that?

Also, don't these simply charge via a Mini USB port so any UK mini-usb charger (ie picked up online or UK high street) will do the job.

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Re: duty to the UK

I bought the UK charger, but still paid no duty -- just the VAT plus the small admin charge. FWIW I wouldn't have bought the UK charger if I'd realised there was a US charger in the box -- the US charger works fine with an adapter (i.e. it can handle 240 volts).

Mark

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Import Duty?

My understand is that you don't pay import duty on mobile communications equipment, but you do accessories. Because the US charger is in the N1 box, it's part of the mobile communications equipment, but the UK charger is packaged separately, therefore an accessory and eligible for import duty.

However, people are saying they haven't been charged this, so I'm not sure now.

As for the VAT, DHL will send you an invoice after delivery. Mine came approximately 2 weeks later.

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There isn't any

It's not special Google branded charger, it's bloody expensive price to pay for it AND you get stuck with import duty for it.

In the box you get a US plug charger and a micro USB cable which the phone quite happily charges over.

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Anonymous Coward

Nice shot of the industrial wastelands

of the Clerkenwell Road, there. And good commentard-baiting with the granola brand...

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I'm impressed

First of all, despite it limitations I think the iPhone is a superb bit of hardware but was curious about Android and picked up an Nexus last month. I have been very impressed with this phone. The screen is excellent, multitasking is well implemented and I love getting previews of text messages and google chats in the status bar even while performing other tasks. The android market has been had an issue of being a litte weak compared to the Apple App Store, particularly on the game side of things, but the number of quality titles appearing has noticibly improved even over the last month as the installed Android user base has rocketed. It's great to finally have a quality alternative to the iPhone - WinMo and Symbian never did it for me.

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Great bit of kit

I ordered one from the states as soon as I could. Its a fantastic device and I've been very happy with it. Despite what the reviewer says, there are some good and useful apps out there for it, and some fiendishly addictive games.

My only annoyance is the lack of an EQ in the music player.

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Paris Hilton

Which UK Networks?

Does anyone know?

If it does Multitouch, is it Capacitative or resisitive touchscreen?

Does it have accelerometer and Compass?

Voice guidance maps?(for free)

Whats the battery size ? (mAh). How much does the spare one cost?

3G capable, video calling, any front camera?

Need more specifics pl EL reg ought to do better here.

Paris, cos her specs are well known.

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Dead Vulture

@ AC

If it does Multitouch, is it Capacitative or resisitive touchscreen? Multitouch, but not enabled- capacitive screen

Does it have accelerometer and Compass? Yes (3 axis) and yes (digital)

Voice guidance maps?(for free) Not that I am aware of

Whats the battery size ? (mAh). How much does the spare one cost? Battery is 1400mAH, spare is $25

3G capable, video calling, any front camera? 3G capable no front camera and no video calling

Headstone- cos I shouldn't have to do the leg work reg...

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The Info You Seek

Is on page 2 of the article.

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Black Helicopters

lovely phone, but...

Given their habit of covertly (and overtly) collecting every little scrap of info they can about everyone I'm a little concerned about the possibility of having my calling habits monitored!

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HTC Desire

It seems remiss to review the Nexus One without mentioning that the HTC Desire is out on all the networks in a couple of weeks time, and it's virtually the same device.

The N1's advantages are that it's tri-band (i.e. you can use it in both the US and Europe) and it has the extra mic on the front for active noise cancellation. The Desire, on the other hand, has the HTC Sense interface on top of Android, has slightly more RAM and includes an 8GB SD card instead of the N1's 4GB. HTC have also gone with an optical sensor instead of the trackball, and physical buttons instead of the capacitative ones.

Both great phones, and not much to choose between them really, but for those who are after a contract or don't want to deal with the potential customer service issues of ordering a device like this from overseas, the Desire is worth considering.

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Depth of review?

No mention of the ease of unlocking the bootloader, installing mods (eg cyanogen), the awesome developer tools (adb!), no hotswaping SD cards, the much trumpeted pinch to zoom (who cares anyway?), the aweful headphones provided with it (par for the cause) and not (unsurprisingly) of the possibility of native/chroot debian armel on the device. From a techie website it does read like a review from the back of the metro. No meat. (Also after you've had it a while and arent playing with it every day - with the right settings you can squeeze 2.5 days out of the battery.

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Anonymous Coward

Physical keyboard?

The Nexus One would be perfect, if it had a physical keyboard. When will I be able to get an Android 2.1 phone with a keyboard in the UK, subsidised, on contract?

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Anonymous Coward

Android 2.1 < iPhone 3.1

I got a Nexus shortly after launch, casting aside my irritatingly sluggish iPhone 3G...

Compared to the iPhone, I like;

- network unlocked,

- active widget things e.g. I have an active tube status app on the home screen,

- visual msg indicator (the glowing ball thing),

- able to link to multiple exchange servers,

- apps aren't sandboxed, so lots of system tweaks are available,

- over the air OS updates,

- camera is relatively good,

- rarely drops calls, even on 02,

- I live in London and it's not a Blackberry or an iPhone.

Don't like;

- no hardware switch for muting,

- WiFi is flaky and doesn't reliably switch from 3G to Wifi when available (like the iPhone does),

- No Exchange calendars sync as standard,

- PC connectivity is a ridiculous 20th century process requiring the user to unmount/mount the SD card,

- too easy to save or discard new e-mails when 'typing' on the screen,

- for a Google badged phone, the on-phone search app is rubbish and I badly miss Spotlight's ability to search mail, contacts etc.

You pays your money...

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Anonymous Coward

Apple RIP

Take the iPhone, the Apple parts are: scrolling like a games console (underdamped simple harmonic motion), coverflow, a browser built from open source, various open source stuff.

Plus Apps, plus Google stuff (maps, search, app, youtube etc.)

All the apps will be ported because their interfaces to the iPhone are minimal so quick to port and be better for the faster processor. All the Google apps will likely run better on the Android than the iPhone because Google designed both. The game-like scrolling is already there (but I think Google set the damping to 'optimal'. Pragmatism over fun).

So what do Apple bring to the game that is special to them? Nothing, and the iPad won't save them

Here take the iPad as an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDNVAgxOIew

At 3:22 the guy is holding an iPad on his lap watching a video and the commentator is telling us how natural it is to watch a video that way. The clip is fake, the hand is a fixed photo, it's terrible to bow your head for 2 hours, and nobody is going to hold the screen for that long up vertically.

At 2:35 you see him touch type with both hands, the iPad on his legs and his legs pressed together to form a makeshift table. Watch closely. His legs are flat to stop the smooth table slipping, yet in the next shot he holds it from slipping with one hand and his legs are upright. (Actually I suspect he had a platform between his legs it was resting on to steady it for the photo shoot). i.e. they say one thing, but the reality of the photo tells another.

And thus there is a departure between how Apple with the world was, and how the world really is. They really screwed up with that patent thing, stupid.

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FAIL

RE: Apple RIP

Another piece of unwarranted Apple bashing.

You can't compare a phone with an iPad anyway - it would be like me comparing a kids noddy car with an ocean superliner and trying to draw a sensible conclusion about which is most useful. So take your iPad bashing and cram it into your lowest puckered orifice, no-one's interested.

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Coffee/keyboard

How terrible

"And thus there is a departure between how Apple with the world was, and how the world really is. "

Gosh, that will explain why the iPhone is such a flop in the real world. How many have Apple sold, about 150 units so far? And no wonder!

Thanks for pointing this out, you have done the real world a great favour.

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Anonymous Coward

wakey wakey

"There’s little to dislike with the Nexus One. To wake the screen from sleep, you have to press the power button rather than the trackball, which would be more convenient. "

I am certain that is by design to prevent the Android awakening by accident in your pocket and drain your battery.

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LED

Please can reviewers avoid calling LEDs "flashes"? LEDs on camera phones are not without merit - a xenon flash isn't much use as a torch, for starters - but confusing the two is playing into the marketeers' hands.

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RE: LED

Actually it is good as a torch, especially if its rooted you can increase the brightness. Is better than my 2xAA maglight for close up stuff (not tried using it to light ranged stuff).

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Happy

Sample photographs

Cafe Fanny sounds like my kind of place! Where is it? Google Maps directions on a postcard please ...

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You forgot the downsides...

In general it's a nice phone, but this review reads a bit too positive. There are a number of downsides to the phone:

- The screen is impossible to see in direct sunlight, no matter how you hold it or try to shield it with your hand, you won' be able to make out anything (it just looks completely blank), so can't make phone calls, look at the map, etc.

- It doesn't do smooth scrolling, compared to Apple's products, the browser is quite jerky.

- The phone's software is temperamental. When it works, great but I've known it to lock up, incorrectly interpreting my finger actions, etc. 3g is hit and miss.

- No Google Navigation in the UK, so you don't really get to use the GPS to it's maximum potential.

- No multiple Google talk accounts, so if you different accounts at work and at home, you're stuffed.

- Soft keys are unresponsive if don't know the exact right place to press them. Even then it can be hit and miss at times.

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Oh dear

I appear to have drooled on my keyboard.

I'm looking for a new phone and this one really looks tempting.

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How badly will I miss a physical keyboard?

@AC 09:21 (or anyone else who's used an N1)

If you've used a G1 with it's physical keyboard how does the N1's on-screen keyboard compare for writing long texts, etc.? I'm wondering about accuracy, speed, and how annoying you find the loss of screen real-estate (to a picture of a keyboard).

It looks lovely, but I'm torn between the N1 now (or very soon) and waiting for an N1-alike with a real honest-to-goodness keyboard attached.

The shame is that if Google hadn't crippled the G1 from birth (with it's too limited flash space and laughable battery life) and ignored it starting with the Android 2.0 round of updates I'd have no reason to upgrade from the G1 I love.

But maybe that's the point...?

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Text entry

Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned but I occasionally like to enter text into my smartphone (SMS, email, calendar, notes etc). No mention of this in the review? How is text entry? Has the keyboard changed from earlier versions? Does it rotate to landscape etc. etc.

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RE: Text entry

It does rotate to landscape, which i find much more usable. Also check out 'swype'

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