Google's test phone Nexus One, a snoozer

From what's known about Google's Nexus One test phone, it sounds like a snoozer.

Am I the only one that was underwhelmed when looking at the Google phone, codenamed Nexus One?

Sure, Google reportedly played a strong role in designing the phone, including its hardware, but I don't see anything in terms of specs --or software, for that matter -- that would make the phone significantly more interesting than other phones that have and will hit the market.

I'm not sure what the tech world was expecting, after all. Phones powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor have been a long time coming, and you can already get a 5-megapixel camera in the Droid. The Google phone looks pretty, but doesn't deviate much from the form factors on HTC's roadmap. The Android platform itself will evolve regardless of whose name is on the phone, and as Android 2.1 goes, so far we haven't seen anything to really get excited about.

The most interesting things about the Google phone are what we don't know.

First, let's not get ahead of ourselves: The only reason we know officially about the Google phone's existence is that Google said its employees are trying the phone out. All Things D reports from anonymous sources that T-Mobile will carry the Nexus One, but not exclusively, and according to the Wall Street Journal, Google will sell an unlocked version on its Web site. Still, it's unconfirmed that the phone will ever be sold to the public.

If Google plans to vend the Nexus One itself, I'm potentially intrigued. A phone free of wireless carriers' control opens lots of doors. Without a two-year contract, you could freely switch between carriers. You could even deactivate the phone for extended periods, say, if you were spending a few months abroad and wanted to leave the phone behind.

But even those things hinge on how much the Google phone would cost in unsubsidized form. $200? Wonderful. $300? Reasonable. Anything more, and the cell phone business model as we know it remains not revolutionized. And if that's the case, the Google phone, is nothing to go crazy over.

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Tags smartphonesGooglemobile phonesGoogle Androidgoogle phone

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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