4 Weeks with the Nexus One

As I had a layover in the New York (when traveling from Chile to the Netherlands) on the 14th of January I decided to buy a Google Nexus One by having an American colleague buy one for  me a couple of days earlier. In the end I payed because of sales tax 560$ (390 euro). However I think it is not a bad price compared to the fact that the cheapest unlocked Motorola Milestone/Droid is 469 euro in the Netherlands. Compared  to an unlocked iPhone at 641 euro it’s even a better deal.

Sofar I’m very happy with my purchase though I have to say that typing on a touch screen is something you have to get used to  (I had a Nokia E71 and a BlackBerry 8800 with physical keyboards before this) and I probably will never gain the typing speed that I had with a physical keyboard.

12 Things I especially like about the Nexus One

  1. The screen. The AMOLED technology and a resolution of 800×480 shows a really vivid image
  2. The touch. The cover of the Nexus One has a cover with a bit of a rubbery feeling. So it nicely fits in the palm of your hand and it does not slip
  3. The looks. It looks much nicer in person than on photos on the web. In my opinion the iPhone looks kind of outdated next to the Nexus One
  4. Android Market. Many nice free apps are available and the best thing for paid apps is that if you uninstall it within 24 hours you get your money back. So you can just try out paid apps for a day without paying.
  5. Speed. The applications are very responsive. I guess a 1 GHz SnapDragon CPU helps here
  6. Integration. The phone is really well integrated with Google Services. E.g. when you searched for something on your PC on google maps those searches automatically will appear as a suggestion as soon as you type a few letters
  7. GMail. I’m a big fan of GMail. I love the archive and search concept instead of filing. On a mobile phone this concept is even handier. In normal email programs I need to decide what to do: delete or move it to a folder and moving to a folder usually requires several clicks.
  8. Accounts Sync.You can setup several accounts from which you can sync data. The Nexus One can sync data from your Google account, Facebook and Exchange out of the box. Nice thing is that things like contacts get all merged into the address book on the phone.
  9. Battery Time. This is actually much better than I expected. Like many others on the first day I used the device and just after applying the multi-touch update I had horrible battery life. The battery was sucked empty in a few hours. However that seems to be a problem that the software has to tune in. Now for instance I’ve been using the phone for 13 hours. I had only a few phone calls and checked email a few times but the the battery charge is still 78%. Even with more intensive days I can easily make a day. The Nokia E71 I had before I really needed to charge every evening otherwise the phone would drop dead on me.
  10. Grass Live Wallpaper. A bit lame I know but I like it anyway.  You see grass moving by the “wind” and depending on the hour of the day you see the sun rising, sunset, stars etc.
  11. It’s largely build on open source and uses open source development tools.
  12. Linus likes the Nexus One

6Things that can be improved on the Nexus One

Actually I think it’s a very nice device but there are a few items that can be improved.

  1. Exchange Sync. It only syncs your inbox. This is for me a showstopper because I always move emails in my “Archive” folder after I read one. It doesn’t sync your exchange agenda. (Contacts are synced). Ideally the Exchange agenda would appear in the normal agenda app alongside your Google calendar data. I’d think Google will add these features quickly because otherwise they’ll have a problem with corporate market (I’m now using TouchDown of Nitrodesk as an alternative. Though it has most things it is not really integrated that well with the Android OS and moving a message to a folder is taking 4 clicks :-( )
  2. Speaker Phone. The normal voice quality is really good, probably due to the dual noise canceling microphones but the quality of the speaker phone I’m not that happy with. I find it difficult to understand and the Nokia E71 scores much better on that.
  3. Power Button. The power button is sticking out a bit. Because of this I already had the phone turn on by accident because I was sitting and moving my legs. I think the power button should have been made such that it is impossible to turn on the phone by accident. I have to admit that the time it happened I had the the power button on the open end of the sleeve that comes with the phone. Now I put in the phone the other way around and have not had the problem anymore
  4. Ringer Volume/Vibrate/Silence . With the physical volume buttons you can set the ringer volume. If you move the volume down the one but last setting is vibrate and the last one is silence. This sounds logical, but it can easy happen to you that push the volume button now and then by accident and then your setting changes. I always have my phone on vibrate but it happened to me that I accidentally put it to silence :-( and missed calls. I now downloaded an app from the market which forces the silence settting into vibrate. So I don’t miss calls, but this is not ideal. In my opinion silence and vibrate should be set through a menu setting and you need to disable the settings also from the menu. From that moment on the volume buttons work again for the ringer volume.
  5. Touch buttons. Below the screen there are a couple of touch sensitive buttons. It happened to me a few times that while I was typing an email I’d touch the home button or so by accident and my message would dissapear. I have to admit that it didn’t happen to me lately. Probably because I’m more used to the touchscreen now. However in the end I would have preferred that the Nexus One had normal physical buttons below the screen.
  6. Speech recognition. Maybe it’s my English but for me it does not seem to work that well. Though I also know that general speech recognition without any training is extremely difficult to do well

For me these are just things that can be improved. Overall I’m like Linus a Happy Camper