Nexus One

I recently bit the bullet and ordered myself a new phone – a brand spanking new HTC/Google Nexus One.

These are a few comments after having the phone a few weeks:

The good stuff:

  • The screen is fantastic, very very sharp and excellent colour range
  • The phone is really fast most of the time
  • Contacts management is excellent, although the facebook integration needs a bit of improvement
  • The integration with google apps and services is fantastic
  • The range of Android apps available is pretty good
  • I like the live wallpapers, I’m looking forward to some more nice third party ones coming out
  • The web browser is excellent – I’m really looking forward to the full flash support coming over the next few months
  • Battery life – for this class of phone its excellent, I am able to get a full day out of it on light-moderate use.

The bad stuff:

  • The screen is hard to see outside
  • The bezel around the screen is too small considering the screen is touch sensitive right to the edge – if you hold the phone wrong and touch the edges it either ignores your input or clicks in a random location. This means its practically impossible to use the phone one handed
  • The ‘pattern lock’ screen is utterly useless – when you draw the pattern you can see the smudges on the screen of the pattern. There seems to be no option to use a standard PIN/button combination
  • The software still seems a bit flakey – but it is a brand new version, so hopefully this will get better in time
  • The facebook app leaves a lot to be desired
  • Lots of bugs related to the Messaging app – it seems to pick up the first word of some messages and make this the title/sender, so I have a number of messages with random titles

Things I want:

  • An Android DropBox app
  • Flash support
  • Multi-touch support – the phone’s hardware supports it
  • The ability to specify a border for the touch screen where outputs outside it are ignored – so I can use my phone one handed.

Some of my picks for the ‘best of android’:

  • Locale
  • Spotify
  • SMS Popup
  • SMS Backup
  • ShopSavvy
  • Shazam
  • Quickpedia
  • Places Directory
  • Meebo IM
  • KeePassDroid
  • Jewels
  • handyCalc/handyConverter/handyCurrency
  • Flood-It!
  • Daft Machine
  • ConnectBot
  • beebPlayer
  • Bebbled
  • Barcode Scanner
  • Alarming!
  • Advanced Task Killer
  • Astrid

Pay-as-you-go or Contract?

A phone like this consumes a massive amount of data, so my existing PAYG Three deal had to go – I hardly ever had a signal anyway. I contemplated a few choices, looking at contracts and what not. I eventually settled on two options, the T-mobile PAYG unlimited internet and texts SIM only deal for £10/mo, and the O2 deal which is similar but for £15/mo. After looking at the T&Cs and very very fine print, I ruled out the O2 deal as it only allowed for 200mb/mo ‘fair use’ – Fair? No… So I went with T-Mobile. While browsing their site I stumbled across another deal – a 6-month internet booster. The deal gives you 6 months of ‘unlimited’ (1gb/mo) internet on your phone for a £20 once off payment. So essentially £3.30 a month for unlimited internet. SCORE!

Closing Thoughts

Overall I really like this phone, it has a few annoying gripes that hopefully will get worked out, but its got a good solid foundation to build on with future iterations of the firmware. If you are after an Android phone, this is the one to get.

Mini aside

Apple announced their ‘iPad’ this week. Considering the hype this was a monumental let down. Essentially the iPad is a giant iPod Touch. It’s not even a bigger iPhone because it can’t make phone calls! There are plenty of rants about this device which I won’t repeat, however the one thing I think was their biggest mistake – no multitasking. What were they thinking

I think people are going to buy this expecting a netbook style device with a touch screen and be incredibly disappointed. I have been considering a tablet style device for a while and was hoping that the Apple Tablet would be the one, it’s not – in fact my shiny new phone does a better job – it will fit in my pocket!

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