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Nexus one


I know I was bit silent for sometime. I should apologize but I could not find anything really exiting to tell you about. But the Google’s big announcement at the dawn of the year could be enough for a few months.

The Android platform has been around for sometime. The HTC G1, and HTC Hero both were very popular smart phones that ran on this particular platform. One thing that really made them popular was their speed and its search capabilities. The success of the HTC G1 led to many big names in the mobile phone industry such as Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and Samsung, incorporating the Android platform into their upcoming models. This was a big opportunity for Google to experiment their new platform and to visualize its future in the market. It was a matter of time till Google released its own version of the mobile phone that runs their platform. The Nexus One from Google did not really come out as a surprise when it was announced on the 5th of January 2010. So let the drooling begin.


The look

Nexus one is a guy’s phone. It is ultra thin and the slightly inward curve at the end gives a sexy feeling when you hold it. You cannot deny that it tries to match up to the most desired phone yet, the iPhone. The devices houses a 3.7 inch display even though the device itself feels smaller in size compared to other smart phones. With a form factor of 119mm X 59.8mm X 11.5mm it is not the smallest or the thinnest in the market but enough to pass the benchmark. Nexus One also has a track ball to navigate, 3.5mm head phone jack, micro-USB port and a microphone hole. It also is equipped with a 5 mega pixel camera with a LED flash which I should say is pretty impressive. So overall the look has no real flaw so it passes with as a great ergonomic phone.


Beauty is only skin deep?

Not for the Google Nexus One. As it was said in the rumors, Nexus One runs the much hyped Snapdragon CPU from Qualcomm. It runs at 1GHz (which was the speed of your desktop not far back), and is capable of 720p video encoding, integrated 3D graphics, 5.1 surround sounds, 12 megapixel sensor and a GPS chip. The RAM and the ROM are just 512 which are neither impressive nor disheartening. The 3.7 inch display I spoke of earlier is an AMOLED (Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) which is matrix of OLED pixels integrated to a Thin Film Transistor (TFT). These OLEDs generate light upon electrical activation. These types of screen are much popular among the handhelds because of its low power consumption. Nexus One has the capability of Wi-Fi, a micro SD slot that comes with a preloaded 4GB card which can be expanded to 32GB. The phone was expected to be fast and it is fast. Yet Google Nexus one is not without flaws. The colors in its’ 480 X 800 screen seems to have over saturated particularly for red and orange. This is common in all devices with AMOLED screen, so good luck using it outside on a sunny day.
The camera

There seems to be a significant step forward in the Nexus One with regard to its camera. The speed of the camera application has improved. The focusing is very fast and the pictures turn out very much as required. Google has also made the user experience of the picture gallery much more enjoyable with far more options.



This is one key area which is a “do or die” for a smart phone. Power consumption of a phone, especially for a smart phone should be good enough to keep a single charge for few days or even a week. The battery in the Nexus One seems to be doing very well according to the comments received from the existing users and it is very much due to the AMOLED screen.


Android v2.1

What is so different in the new platform? There seems to be nothing different except for some cosmetic changes which are the ones we notice right away. At the first glance you would see that the look and feel of the navigation is different. There are five home screens which you can navigate by swiping your finger left and right along the screen. The application icon menu has given itself a 3D effect where the top and the bottom edge slide over as if the list of apps seems to be along a ring. But Google promises an apps store (which is like of like a must for smart phones) and with the Snapdragon processor there is room for few more exciting applications.


My final thoughts

I am very glad that Google has taken the step to be actively involved with its platform by joining in the game. Android for a long time had to endure with different brand names but it never had this kind of support from Google. Although Google did join in the Open Handset Alliance to build Android to make a free and open mobile platform, it is the best for a survival of a device to be different from the rest. It would be interesting how the other market players such as Microsoft and Apple react to this. For example Microsoft relies on a large number of partners to bring out its mobile platform. The market reaction towards Nexus One would definitely have an effect on Microsoft’s rumored Zune phone. All in all Nexus One is not a beginning of a new era nor its end but a device that is able to standup and deliver in par with other devices.


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Isuru Devaka Wijeyaratne is currently a graduate student of Rutgers Business School studying towards his Masters degree in Quantitative Finance. Isuru is a product of Royal College and D.S.Senanayake College. He is also a graduate of Computer Science and Engineering from University of Moratuwa. He also carries 2 years of experience as a business analyst for capital markets at Millennium Information Technologies. He was also the first Microsoft Student Ambassador of Sri Lanka from the year 2004 to 2006 working to develop the technical enthusiasm in students. He is a tech lover and has written regularly to technical magazines. He loves to read DC and Marvel comics and enjoys watching Japanese anime.


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