Now that I’ve had a week with the Nexus One, I figured I should update my first impressions. What better way to do this than to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Web Browsing: Awesome, especially on sites that are optimized for mobile. I won’t ever go back to a non-web enabled phone. It’s just too convenient when you are out and about to be able to access information in real-time. If you’re thinking about upgrading to a web-enabled phone, stop reading this and go get one, now!
Display: Incredible. The colors and sharpness are outstanding. I’ve been letting the phone automatically adjust the brightness based on lighting conditions, and I have had no issues under various lighting conditions.
Navigation rocks: For my use, the navigation works great. I’ve read the reviews of people who say it’s not perfect, but they forget that it’s free. For a free navigation app, it does everything I would expect and more. I particularly like the fact that when you get close to your destination, it brings up the street view – a nice touch.
Voice input: From my limited use thus far, I really like it. I’ve used it for inputing points of interest into the nav, and it hasn’t missed once. My next experiment is to try sending text messages and e-mails.
Camera: Very good. I might as well put my point-and-shoot on Craigslist. It’s also very easy to share pictures via e-mail once you take them.
Google apps: The integration with native Google apps – gmail, maps, voice, etc. is done really well. As I mentioned in my first impressions, if you use the Google tools, you need to get an Android phone.
Trackball: I like it. It’s probably because I’m used to the trackball on the BlackBerry, but it comes in handy, especially if you need to touch an area of the screen that is really small in a website or app.
Keyboard: I miss a real keyboard. I’m getting used to the on screen board – turning on the “vibrate on keypress” under the Android keyboard settings helped alot.
Battery Life: It’s much better than I first thought. It only becomes a real problem if you’re using Bluetooth, doing a lot of navigation, or heavy web browsing, but even my BlackBerry Pearl’s battery drained rapidly under those conditions. Under normal use, you can go 2 days between charges. The reason I put this under bad is that the battery indicator is horrible. When the meter is at 75%, the battery is actually at 50%. And when the meter is at 50%, the battery is at about 20%. I’ve run out of battery a couple of times thinking I had more battery left than I did.
Don’t trust the battery indicator!
The Screen: It’s good, but it smudges easy. And as the smudges collect, the screen doesn’t respond as well. Based on my limited experience with the iPhone, the Nexus One screen is not as good. Don’t get me wrong, it’s serviceable, but it could be better.
Lack of multi-touch: Multi-touch pinch-and-zoom it’s so intuitive that I don’t understand why they insist on leaving it off of the Android browser. It’s a real hassle to have to double tap to zoom, and it just isn’t intuitive. If you hack the phone, or to use the proper term – “root” it, you can add multi-touch, but I’m not confident enough to take a chance on bricking the phone.
Careful! The screen smudges.
After one week, it’s the best device I’ve ever used. It clearly holds its own with the iPhone and is a bit better in my opinion. The only things the iPhone has on the Nexus One is the touchscreen and number of apps available, but I think the apps are highly overrated as all the productivity apps I want are available on Android.
The Nexus One has the BlackBerry Pearl on the ropes
So, after round one, the Nexus One has delivered the goods and has my old BlackBerry Pearl on the ropes. I still need a bit more time before I officially declare a winner, but it has a huge lead that I don’t think my BlackBerry can overcome.
Stay tuned for a wrap-up review later next month.