Five Reasons To Get A Nexus One

Nexus One phone with the Android OS I’ve had a Nexus One for a few weeks and I can finally talk about it. It’s really nice – I’ve had a Palm Treo, an iPhone, and a G1 and this is definitely the best mobile device I’ve ever owned.

If you’re like me you’re probably tired of hearing about how every new phone is or is not an “iPhone killer.” To be honest, I really like the iPhone — I used to have one and my wife has one now. I’m not on the Android team, but I doubt they’re trying to “kill” any other devices – most Googlers like any mobile device with a full-fledged web browser.

That said, if you’re wondering which phone to buy, I think the Nexus One has the edge. Here are five reasons why:

1. The screen is really, really nice. This might sound a bit superficial, but the truth is I spend much more time surfing the web and reading than I do actually making phone calls. In my experience the higher the resolution, the less eyestrain. I also often use my phone to show people photos, and the Nexus One screen really does the photos justice.

I remember getting my iPhone and being amazed by the 480 x 320 pixel screen at 163 ppi. The Nexus One has a slightly larger screen, but much higher resolution, 800 x 480.

2. Voice input is awesome. Every time you need to type something, whether it’s an email, text message, or blog post, you always have the option of saying it. Today I texted my wife to let her know I was running late as I walked down the stairs from work – no need to look at the phone or spend time tapping out the message. That’s a pretty trivial example, but I find myself using it more and more in lots of situations just like that.

3. The video is actually adequate. This is the mobile phone I’ve seen that produces video that’s good enough to share with others. Here’s an example, and note that the lighting wasn’t exactly optimal:

We have a Canon video camera that we almost never use because it’s yet another device to lug around and getting videos off of it is a huge pain. I always have my Nexus One on me, and I can upload the videos directly to YouTube right after I take them. This means I’m getting a ton more video of my 1-year-old daughter and sharing it with family all around the country.

4. The photo gallery is nice, with great Picasa integration. I mentioned that showing off photos is a big use case for me, and the photo gallery is easy to navigate, fast, and looks cool too. It’s pushing me to use Picasa more even though I still prefer Flickr.

5. Multitasking is more useful than I thought. When the iPhone came out, I dismissed a lot of the criticism that it didn’t allow multitasking. How many different things do you expect to do at the same time on a small device? But as time went on, little task-switching annoyances started to add up.

I won’t run through all the possibilities, but my friend Wysz has a pretty good demonstration – he was able to get turn-by-turn GPS directions while listening to MP3s and streaming live video to the web. All on one phone. That’s pretty amazing.

Anything else? The Android Market is really starting to fill with cool apps, though it’s not quite as extensive as the iTunes App Store. I expect that to change as more people get Android phones. I wish I could write more about how developer-friendly the Android OS is, but I’m a bit ashamed to admit I haven’t made time to write a single line of code.

So, if you’re looking for a new phone, I completely recommend the Nexus One. If you really prefer a physical keyboard, take a look at the Droid, which has comparable specs to the Nexus One in a lot of ways. And honestly iPhones are still pretty cool, too, and I wouldn’t mind playing around the Palm Pre for a bit. This is the great thing about competition – right now we have a bunch of great mobile devices and mobile operating systems to chose from, and each is pushing the others to do better. If only we could say the same thing about the carriers.

If you have any Nexus One or Android questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “Five Reasons To Get A Nexus One

  1. Hey, have you heard about it’s compatibility with Microsoft Exchange Server? I really can’t find anything about this online. I am forced to use this at work and would like to go with a Nexus One.

  2. I didn’t know about the voice input, that is awesome! I usually don’t use my phone while I drive because it’s so unsafe, so it would be convenient to be able to text in the car!

    I’ve been testing something for work on about a bazillion mobile handsets in the last couple months, and I have to say the only other device I’d buy besides an iPhone (which is what I have now) is an Android device. None of the handsets are particularly sexy, but they all were the most functional, and usable.

    My only real complaint is I’d like the Android Market to be a little more like buying an iPhone app, but I think Apple has just shaped my expectations of what that experience is like and maybe if I’d never used an iPhone the Android Market would seem fine.

    Also my testing made me wonder why on earth anyone still buys Blackberries, they were by far the most difficult device to use and often the browsers were riddled with problems, I found old Nokia devices rendering web pages more adeptly.

  3. Reply to Jay – I haven’t hooked mine up to an Exchange server myself, but When I go to Settings -> Accounts&Sync -> Add Account I do see a listing for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, so the functionality is there. If anyone reading this has actually tried it out, add a comment and let us know if you ran into any issues.

  4. Reply to Beth – Have you used the Palm Pre or anything with their new OS? I haven’t tried it yet, Palm used to be really great back in the day and I’d love for them to put out competitive devices/software again. Otherwise I agree. It’s so hard to believe it took so long for mobile devices to get decent web browsers.

    I think you’re right that the Android Market could use some improvement, but hopefully it will get better soon. One thing I like about it is that Google tries to be permissive, removing apps for abuse and technical problems (viruses, phishing, etc.), while Apple removes / disapproves apps because… well, I couldn’t tell you why they make some of their decisions.

  5. I have not (we tested on it but someone else did that device.) I know a few people who have really raved about it, but they upgraded from older Palm devices so I’m sure they were largely familiar with the UI.

    I agree the Anroid Market will come into it’s own. Apple’s tight reigns over the app store hasn’t done as much for quality as I would have expected. (There is a LOT of junk in the app store) But some of the apps themselves look slicker with the Apple UI. And I’m pretty irritated about not having Google Voice on my iPhone ;)

    But features aside, I just think Android will see more love from 3rd party developers. That’s another big reason it would be my first choice after an iPhone. It’s expensive to maintain apps for many different platforms, so an OS used on a wide variety of devices is a sounder investment to many companies moving into the mobile space than a platform with an uncertain future. (Palm & Blackberry apps.) I also noted that while the Tmobile plan costs about the same as the AT&T iPhone plan, you get a little more bang for your buck with Tmobile.

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