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Google Nexus One Review

HTC Nexus One US

Posted: , by PhoneArena Team



By now we’re very familiar with Android, so we’re only going to high the highlights and what has changed in Android 2.1.  2.0 brought a major visual overhaul, along with other nice features such as possibilities for Facebook integration and Quick Contact, but 2.1 really takes the visuals to the next level.  The application drawer is gone, replaced with a button that prompts the apps to fly in and arrange in a grid.  The stationary home icon on this screen causes the apps to fly out and returns you to the homescreen you were on.

Another cool feature is live wallpapers, some of which you can interact with.  The Nexus live wallpaper has TRON-esque lights running through the grid, and when you touch the screen a pulse emanates in four directions and colors from your fingertip.  The Water wallpaper ripples on your touch, and the Spectrum and Waveform wallpapers interact with any music playing on the device.  Some of them, like Magic Smoke, have settings that can be customized.  Our favorite was the subtle Grass wallpaper, and at night (the background changes with time, much like iGoogle themes) there was an astonishing depth of field between the homescreen icons and wallpaper behind them.

The home screen and main menu of the HTC Nexus One - Google Nexus One Review
The home screen and main menu of the HTC Nexus One - Google Nexus One Review
The home screen and main menu of the HTC Nexus One - Google Nexus One Review
The home screen and main menu of the HTC Nexus One - Google Nexus One Review

The home screen and main menu of the HTC Nexus One

The user now has five homescreen pages to work with, up from the original three.  Motorola’s MOTOBLUR interface already allows for this, and HTC’s Sense UI gives the user unique scenes, each with seven pages to work with.  The stock Android builds have always bored us, but the minor tweaks and improved visuals of 2.1 does a lot to remedy this.  Still, we found ourselves longing for the improved contact handling, visuals and custom widgets of Sense UI.  In our opinion Android was meant to be customized, the stock build is merely a canvas with which to work.

One thing we can say is that 2.1 flies, though we’re sure the 1GHz Snapdragon power plant has more to do with it than any software upgrade.   Everything from 3D effects to animations to opening apps to loading webpages is noticeably faster than the DROID, and much faster than the Hero and ERIS.  Even the Samsung Moment and its very respectable 800MHz processor is significantly slower, but Android 1.5 likely shoulders some of the blame on that one.


One of the standout features of Android 2.1 is the speech to text feature now available in any (yes, any) text field.  This means you can dictate emails, text messages, web searches…you name it.  As awesome as this is, it is still maddening to realize that Bluetooth headsets cannot be used with this service, and can still not be used to launch or control voice dialing on Android.  Google, how can you get so many things right and this basic feature so wrong?

Google Nexus One Review
Google Nexus One Review

The Gmail app is still the best on any device and since the launch of 2.0 we really appreciate being able to have multiple accounts integrated into it (honestly, who has just one account these days?!)  The email client supports POP, IMAP and Exchange out of the box ensuring compatibility with just about any service out there.  The messaging app remains unchanged.

The onscreen keyboard remains very good, but we found ourselves missing the keyboard options afforded by Sense UI.  Call us crazy, but we still prefer T9 to QWERTY in portrait mode, and there are some people (God love ‘em) who even like the compact QWERTY keyboard.  Whether or not you agree with this, options are always a good thing and HTC’s soft keyboards are the best in the business.

Google Nexus One Review
Google Nexus One Review

  • Options

posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. barmalei (Posts: 20; Member since: 08 Dec 2009)

Certainly a very decent smartphone, but I can't get past the uninspiring design of both exterieor and the UI (I totally agree with this conclusion: "The enhanced UI is nice, but we still want Sense"). When I am paying 530 dollars plus tax for a phone that I am planning to be using daily for the next 3 years, I want something more aesthetically pleasing like HD2 or Xperia X10 - even though it takes both forever to reach U.S. markets, and they will also be more expensive than N1. I also prefer to have some physical buttons on the phone (programmable if possible), and the trackball sort of looks useless. In any case, the more competition - the better.

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 08:21

2. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 872; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)

How is it that you guys have never once mentioned the fact that Android phones do not truly go full screen in the web browser, since that status bar is always there?

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 08:59

3. Legacystar (Posts: 131; Member since: 31 Dec 2009)

i'd rather keep the notification panel that way im not inturrupted while web browsing

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 10:01

4. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)

The Dolphin browser on android has that option

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 12:43

5. rishibawa (Posts: 4; Member since: 13 Jan 2010)

agreed, love the notification bar, I'll sacrifice a few pixels of browsing for that

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 15:41

8. uk786 (Posts: 47; Member since: 30 Dec 2009)

I've got an Android phone [HTC HERO] and the browser definitely goes full screen!

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 15:13

6. vzwman (Posts: 385; Member since: 26 Oct 2009)

Nexus 1 sucks!!! DROOOOOID

posted on 15 Jan 2010, 06:16

18. Galen20K (Posts: 545; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)

nope, you suck

posted on 16 Jan 2010, 20:05

21. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

Haha. The Droid is done already. If I was to go Android, the Nexus One would be the one.

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 15:25

7. runner4life928 (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Jun 2009)

This reviewer is def in Columbus, OH haha

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 16:24

9. DNA (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Jan 2010)

Why doens't phonearea know this? The only reason multitouch isn't enabled, is because Apple has a software patent on it. In Europe software patents aren't allowed, so companies can use it. Blame it on Apple...

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 21:30

13. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)

thats not true, look at the hero and the pre/pixi. it may very well be true that google doesnt want to get into it with apple, but there are two htc devices currently available in the us (pre and eris) with a third one coming (hd2) that have multitouch.

posted on 14 Jan 2010, 06:18

15. Hlorri (Posts: 40; Member since: 07 May 2008)

Apple has U.S. Patents on specific interactions (e.g. pinch to zoom etc), not on multi-touch technology itself. That predates Apple's interest. Even though software patents are not (yet) honored in the E.U., companies that manufacture cell phones for the US market must honor US patents. Conversely, it is also true that U.S. companies doing business in other places (e.g. Europe) must honor patents in markets they are present. This often leads to cross-licensing agreements between several patent holders, or alternatively, court battles.

posted on 16 Jan 2010, 20:06

22. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

But what about other phones that have multitouch like the Palm Pre and G1 (I believe). How come they don't have to pay any attention to the patent?

posted on 20 Feb 2010, 12:33

31. supermarioshirt (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Feb 2010)

that's not it at all... they just came out with a software update supporting multitouch and it works just fine.

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 17:19 1

10. Sufcc (Posts: 33; Member since: 28 Jul 2008)

Yep, what DNA said. Multitouch works fine in third party apps, like Dolphin Browser and Picsay Photo editor.

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 19:24

11. rigo (Posts: 8; Member since: 13 Jan 2010)

totally agree, HTC can do a lot better than this, of course google is paying for what they want (options) just got it a week ago and my hero (chin) still beats the N1 when it comes to fun, also quality of calls and even power buttom, my phone sometimes it goes on while in my pocket when I have just turned it off, no bueno...I mean how expensive is to have some cool animations, apps security, and original design.. notice how most android phones have several options that are all the same, not sure if this has something to do with the OS but come on these phones are not cheap, google could not even afford to have a different clock widget than the o.g. android phone, give me a break Xperia x10 that's a step up, hopefully it will have some privacy settings in general, and hopefully it will be withing the Tmobile USA frequency for 3g. sorry guys get emotional about phones looking alike in models, just like the cars, after 5 years they only change head lights and tail lights haaaaaaaaa haaa

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 21:22

12. Galen20K (Posts: 545; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)

you're way off, your hero is WEAK. Nexus One BLows it out of the water in EVERY respect.

posted on 13 Jan 2010, 21:32

14. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)

ive got both. the nexus one is way faster and the screen is amazing, but ill be keeping my hero at the end of the day.

posted on 14 Jan 2010, 11:01

16. BeBoo (Posts: 12; Member since: 13 Apr 2009)

What is everyone's obsession with SenseUI? Just because it's made by HTC doesn't mean it _needs_ SenseUI. Not to mention, this is a Google Experience phone, like the Droid...

posted on 17 Jan 2010, 09:08

24. Hytch (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Nov 2009)

Being completely impartial to the various camps here (i.e. I just don't care), I really do think the UI looks a bit 'meh' and clunky, compared to Sense. It's reminiscent of the Symbian OS, and doesn't seem as visually rich or streamlined as a phone with a 1GHz CPU in could have. Thoughts?

posted on 14 Jan 2010, 20:53

17. dandv (Posts: 3; Member since: 23 Sep 2009)

WTF "top heavy" and "slips out of our hands"!? I've had the Nexus Once since the day after it was launched, and never have I felt that it slipped or jumped anywhere.

posted on 20 Jan 2010, 22:23

26. darthray (Posts: 72; Member since: 04 Nov 2009)

because the spokesman has fat hands with sausage fingers.

posted on 15 Jan 2010, 06:17

19. Galen20K (Posts: 545; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)

I love how jealous people have to hate lol TOo funny!

posted on 15 Jan 2010, 23:38

20. gomets15217 (Posts: 38; Member since: 13 Jul 2008)

ok, just throwing this out there: voice recognition that works THAT well is obviously extremely awesome. however, if you are going to talk to your phone to text, MAKE THE PHONE CALL.

posted on 16 Jan 2010, 20:07

23. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


posted on 17 Jan 2010, 21:30

25. vmatikov (Posts: 55; Member since: 28 Jan 2009)

i'm kind of considering replacing my iPhone with the Nexus One. and i'm a die-hard iPhone user... so that's really saying something. lol.

posted on 20 Jan 2010, 22:24

27. darthray (Posts: 72; Member since: 04 Nov 2009)

I cant wait to get this on verizon! my first smartphone.. ready to get rid of my lg dare. Love it but ready for a new adventure.

posted on 21 Jan 2010, 11:51

28. bigfoots (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Jan 2010)

I got this phone but it was locked to tmobile. after searching forever I finally found a thread in the forum saying you could get unlock codes for it herehttp://www.unlockcellphonecode.com/product_info.php/code-unlocking-mobile-cell-phone-p-72 got my code and am now using an att 3g sim card! thank you. I love this phone!

posted on 14 Feb 2010, 21:46

30. diz1211 (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Feb 2010)

Hey there!! I also have att! I see you got the NEXUS....am I hearing you right that you whent to the web page and are able to use the phone now on the att 3g system?? Please respond to my e-mail cdm1161@yahoo.com if you can share this with me. Thanks coz this is the phone I want but not if it is stuck on 2g for att. Thanks in advance

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HTC Nexus One US

HTC Nexus One US

OS: Android 2.3.4 2.2 2.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display3.7 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (252 ppi) AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.69 x 2.35 x 0.45 inches
(119 x 59.8 x 11.5 mm)
4.59 oz  (130 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 10 hours talk time

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