I’ve been reading a lot about the Android mobile operating system over the last year and couldn’t wait to give it a try. Well, with the arrival of the Nexus One, I decided it’s time to see if I can set aside, and possibly move away, from my BlackBerry Pearl.

On Monday night, I came home to find that my new toy arrived. I’ve used it for a day, and here are my first impressions:

Packaging and accessories
No surprises. The packaging is professional, and all the necessary accessories are neatly packed away. I’m not one for doing video unboxings, so here are pictures of what to expect when you order and open up the Nexus One.

If you really want to see a video unboxing then watch this video. It’s the best unboxing that I have seen of a gadget – EVER.

Build quality
The phone is well built. The look-and-feel mimics the iPhone, and people who saw the device remarked the same to me. The construction is solid, and the device has good weight to it – but not too much to make it feel awkward. The screen resolution is remarkable, the colors vivid, and images very sharp. It’s the best phone screen I’ve seen to date, which includes the Droid.

In order to take advantage of Android, you need a Google account. In fact, I would not recommend buying the device if you don’t have a Google account. After charging the phone, I powered it on, entered my Google credentials, and the phone instantly synchronized my contacts, gmail and Google Voice accounts. After that, the phone was ready to use.

Phone call quality
Having used a BlackBerry for 3 years now, I’ve come to realize I’ve been spoiled. Phone call quality (i.e. sound of call) is good, but it does not match the BlackBerry Pearl.

The touchscreen is better than most, but not as good as the iPhone. I’m used to a physical keyboard, so I’m having to adjust to the touchscreen keyboard. It works as well as the iPhone’s on screen keyboard, but other aspects of the touchscreen can be frustrating – particularly areas around the edges of the screen. An alternative to the touchscreen is the trackball, which some reviewers blasted but I like.

I briefly tried the navigation while driving around Santa Monica, and it works great. There’s no reason to ever buy a stand alone navigation device.

Web browsing
Since I’m coming from a BlackBerry, the web experience on the Nexus One is off the charts in comparison. After one day of using the web, I can see how browsing the web on mobile devices will rival, if not supplant, desktop browsing. It is especially enjoyable when viewing sites optimized for the mobile form factor (screen size and bandwidth).

Battery life
Poor. I’m used to going at least 3 days between phone charges. After only one day, I have a feeling that the Nexus One will need charged daily. I could also see how heavy use of the Navigation features or other applications could require spot charges throughout the day as well.

So what is my overall first impression after day one? I like it.

The real question: Can the Nexus One replace my trusty BlackBerry Pearl?

Changing to a completely new OS and form factor is going to take some getting used to. There are habits I’ve developed with my BlackBerry that will be hard to break. On the other hand, I can see advantages to switching. For one, the Google tool integration is awesome. If you rely on the Google toolset, the Nexus One, or any Android device for that matter, is a must have.

My plans for the next week are to get more comfortable with the device and to start to exploring the Android apps. Stay tuned for an update toward the end of the month.