After months of rumours floating around the web, Google has finally taken the covers of its entry into the smartphone market with the official launch of the Nexus One.
Here we take a quick look at what the blogosphere made of the announcement…
Declaring the Nexus One to be the, “Best Android phone yet”, Om Malik, writing on his GigaOm blog, said: “From a purely design standpoint, the Nexus One is within striking distance of its primary rival, the iPhone. While it isn’t as iconic as the Apple device, it is a well-designed, feature-rich product that stands apart in a sea of Android handsets.”
While connectivity and synchronisation are excellent on the phone, “One needs to make more of an effort on the Google Phone to get things done. I guess you can blame that on the lack of multitouch features,” Malik said, adding that the open source nature of the platform means that third-party apps do not integrate as well as Google’s apps.
“If there was no such thing as an iPhone, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that the Nexus One is the best touchscreen smartphone available. It certainly is the best Android device on the market, hands down. But compared to the iPhone, it’s not as smooth or effortless to use. Perhaps in time it will be,” Malik concluded.
TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington disagrees, and says that the Nexus One is a superior device to Apple’s iPhone. “This is the best Android powered phone to date. It’s also the fastest and most elegant smartphone on the market today, solidly beating the iPhone in most ways,” he says, adding that the touchscreen, “is the best mobile phone display on the market today, blowing away the iPhone’s 480 x 320 display.”
“Overall the Android is a superior mobile device, particularly when paired with Google Voice. Google is calling this the first of the Super Phones. And they may not be exaggerating all that much,” Arrington says.
Beyond the phone’s features, many commentators have suggested that Google’s decision to sell hardware direct to consumers is the most revolutionary step in this process. “Google’s biggest, most important announcement today isn’t the Nexus One smartphone’s feature set, specifications, or which carrier networks it will work on. It’s Google’s business model that matters. Specifically, it’s that Google — not your local phone store — is going to be the place you buy the phone from,” says Dan Frommer on The Business Insider blog.
“The big change — and the whole point — is that Google, not the carrier, is now the distributor. The carrier simply offers voice and data service,” Frommer continues. “How this helps Google is that it gets to market and sell phones to you in a marketplace without competitors — no iPhones, BlackBerries, or Palm Pres here — and gives carriers and incentive to compete over you, the customer.”
It also gives Google access to huge amounts of user data – which will help it protect its core business model of selling targeted ads through its search engine.
But not everyone is impressed. David Pogue of The New York Times, said: “The truth is, the Google news this week isn’t quite as earthshaking as Google seems to think it is. For starters, the Google app store is much smaller, featuring 18,000 fun little games; there are well over 100,000 for the iPhone.”
He goes on to list other issues with the Nexus One, such as the small amount of space for each app (“a tiny 190 megabytes of storage for downloaded apps”), the lack of, “any iTunes-style companion software”, “no physical ringer on-off switch”, and the lack of a, “multitouch screen like the iPhone’s. So zooming into photos and Web pages is awkward and hard to control.”