Engadget says Google's Nexus One is no iPhone killer

Review says Nexus One is comparable to Motorola Droid; Formal unveiling on Tuesday

An early review of Google's Nexus One smartphone published Saturday on Engadget.com concluded that the device is "not really" an iPhone killer.

Google Inc. is expected to formally unveil its new smartphone during a Webcast tomorrow.

The review by Engadget.com Editor-in-Chief Joshua Topolsky notes that the Nexus One is "not really" an "iPhone eviscerator." The smartphone built by HTC Corp. "is not really very different than the [Motorola] Droid in any substantial way."

Topolsky did say that the Nexus One is "definitely, noticeably faster than Motorola's offering, but it's not so much faster that we felt like the doors were being blown off. Don't get us wrong, the phone cooks--but it's not some paradigmatic shift for Android."

Topolsky notes that the Nexus One doesn't have multitouch capabilities, despite support for the feature in Google's Android 2.0 mobile operating system. Otherwise, his review generally confirms much of what has previously been reported by various sources about the device's hardware and software of device.

The review, like other Nexus One reports, includes few details about marketing plans for the device or its cost.

Reports in mid-December said that Google would sell the device unlocked from carriers, as well as through T-Mobile USA at a lower price. Analysts in mid-December questioned the wisdom of unclocking the smartphone, noting that Nokia's effort to unlock its smartphones hasn't caught on the U.S.

Topolsky's review includes a somewhat mysterious comment noting that the Nexus One is a T-Mobile device, meaning it won't work over a 3G network if taken to AT&T, which also provides GSM service in the U.S. Thus, it's not clear how unlocked the Nexus One will be. Google has not responded to questions on the reports.

Topolsky's review confirmed earlier reports that the Nexus One runs a 1 Ghz Snapdragon CPU, which offers the ability to run multiple complex applications at once. The next-fastest processor on the market is a 600 Mhz chip running in the Palm Pre. HTC "appears to have built a superphone" with Nexus One, ABI analyst Kevin Burden noted in December.

Tuesday's announcement presumably will disclose pricing for an unlocked phone, a T-Mobile phone and other details.

Engadget's review includes these specs: Nexus One runs Android 2.1, with a 3.7 inch display, 512 Mbyte of ROM, 512 Mbyte of RAM and a 4 Gbyte microSD card that can be expanded to 32 Gbyte. It also has a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, but other than calling it "very slim," the review does not list exact dimensions or weight.

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
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