Review: Google Nexus One Smartphone

The Nexus One is the best Android smartphone out there, and makes a good device for business users; we will keep the Google OS in the MWC spotlight, but voice quality issues in the US have been a problem

eWEEK has had Nexus One phones in both its US and European offices, and we believe it is easily the best Android device on the market.

Google loaned a Nexus One to Clint Boulton, of eWEEK US, on a T-Mobile account with a 4GB SD memory card, shortly after launching the phone – you can see him unboxing it here. The London office got its hands on another Nexus, loaned to a European colleague for a test drive.

Both of us agree that it feels perfect in the hand. The Nexus One is only 11.5 millimeters thick, and shorter than most pens. It makes the Droid (or the Milestone in the UK) seem clunky by comparison, which makes sense when you consider that the Droid weighs 6 ounces to the Nexus One’s leaner 4.6.

However, we like the way the Droid looks in the hand, though it is a bit square and dark. By contrast, the Nexus One, coated front and back with Teflon, is a drab gray – except for the screen which is gorgeous.

The Nexus One’s screen is 3.7 inch along the diagonal, and being a widescreen WVGA AMOLED (800 by 480 pixels) is crisp and bright – giving an experience comparable in a way to using an LCD screen for high-definition video. The Live Wallpapers make the device seem alive, with vibrant colours and scenes pulsing.

The Nexus One handles text messages well, and uses two microphones, to produce active noise cancellation, which gets rid of background noise making calls good.

In the US, we joined hundreds of users complaining that the service flipped back and forth from 3G to the (US-only) EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) network. One thing you need in any phone is consistency in wireless coverage, and Google is working on a fix.

In the UK we have had less time on the Nexus One, but we have not noticed any significant 3G coverage problems, presumably due to better 3G networks and no EDGE.

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The phone responds fast to everything we do, as the processing speed from its 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is impressive. In this respect it is better than the iPhone 3GS. Coupled with the great new Android 2.1 operating system, the processor quickly answered search queries, whether for pizza, local bike shops, bakeries or movie times.

Good battery life

Battery life is good. Fully charged, the device lasts about nine hours, with normal use of calling and other applications. In Europe, we found that under heavy use of the movie camera and other features, the battery ran down in about six hours.

the battery charges through a standard micro-USB connector, as specified in the ITU’s universal charger in order to reduce waste. It charges from mains or a PC.

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