Google's Nexus One details: what we know so far

For all that we know about the Google phone, its business model — arguably the most interesting thing — is a question mark.

Google's pretty good at keeping its Web and search developments secret, but it's quickly learning that hardware's a different beast, as details on the Nexus One, a.k.a. the Google Phone, are leaking all over the Internet.

The Official Story

Google has developed an Android phone exclusively for its employees, for the purpose of testing and collecting feedback. An unnamed hardware partner has created what Google calls a "mobile lab" to "experiment with new mobile features and capabilities," with employees around the globe chipping in. Everything else you've heard, from the name to the photos to the specs, comes from unnamed sources via the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Engadget, Gizmodo, Boy Genius Report and others.

The Specs

According to Engadget, the Nexus One measures a little over 0.45 inches thick, and has a 3.7-inch OLED touch screen. It could possibly run Qualcomm's 1GHz QSD 8250 "Snapdragon" processor, and has 512 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM and a 4 GB microSD card included, expandable to 32 GB. The camera has a 5MP sensor, mechanical auto focus and LED flash, and could also include 2x optical zoom (this wasn't mentioned in a hands-on report from Gizmodo). Unsurprising frills include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, accelerometers and a compass.

The Interface

I'd recommend you check out the YouTube video, which was uploaded yesterday. The Android 2.1 interface isn't a dramatic change over Android 2.0, but it looks smooth given the shaky camerawork. A hands-on report from Gizmodo notes that the phone is considerably faster than the Droid, and even beat out the iPhone in multiple Web page loading tests. The screen is also noticeably better than that of the Droid, despite being the same size and resolution. This could be the rumored 1 GHz processor at work. Multitouch was not evident in the browser or map.

The Carrier

Reuters has reported that in addition to the usual carrier subsidy route, Google will sell the Nexus One unlocked and unsubsidised, but all signs point to T-Mobile as the carrier of choice. The HSPA 900/1700/2100 support cited in Engadget's specs suggest that only T-Mobile's 3G service will work on the phone, so AT&T users would be stuck with the slower EDGE.

The Price and Release Date

A T-Mobile source tells PC World that the carrier won't have anything to announce at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, so don't hold your breath. We don't know how much this phone will cost, and suggestions that the Nexus One will subsidise itself with ads are just speculation. A rumor at Android and Me says the price will be US$199, but it's a vague report that doesn't describe how the subsidy will work. For all that we know about the Google phone, its business model — arguably the most interesting thing about it — remains a big question mark.

Ginny Mies contributed to this report.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Motorola Droid

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?