Monday, May 10, 2010

A few days with my Nexus One

It's been about 4 years since I've gotten a new phone. I've gone from a tiny Samsung T-509 to several used blackberries. I got tired of the slow performance of old blackberries running the newest software loaded with hundreds of contacts. I have been contemplating a new model blackberry for some time now. Then several of my friends got Android based phones and I made the switch.

I've only had it a few days. I'd have to say initial impressions are mostly good, but there are certainly some issues. Below I've outlined notes of specific features.

Stability Issues

In the few short days I've had my phone, I've have my phone reboot on me once, and I've had to reboot my phone another time because no one could hear me when I talk. These stability issues bother me, but I am hopeful that software updates will help with that.


The screen is 800x480, but each pixel has only two subpixels (red and green, or blue and green alternately). All the technical specs aside, the screen is bright and clear. I've seen a few older YouTube videos taken with low resolution camera that looked a little grainy, but I see that as a "good problem."


The phone came with 4 gig SD card, which was preloaded with some music. At some point I will swap that out for a 32gig or larger card. Unfortunately you need to remove the battery to remove the SD card. I'm waiting for the day when phone manufactures include one internal and one external memory card slot on their phones.


The browser looks and performs well. My only complaint is that it has a hard maximum number of windows you can open. This in and of itself is not a problem. The problem is when you click on a link that opens a new window after reaching that maximum, the dialog does not have a button that takes you to the window list.

Exchange 2008 Outlook Web Access renders as tolerably as one would expect it to on a non IE browser. I have not tried faking my mime type to see what happens.

Car Dock

The car doc has tiny, but decent, speakers. The speaker phone functionality works great. I can do all sorts of things I shouldn't do in a moving car when it is locked, like watch youtube videos. This is good because the fiancée can tilt the phone towards her and watch videos.

GPS Navigation

The short version: its a tolerable standalone GPS, but not as good as my nuvi 250.

The longer version:

Unlike my Nuvi 250, it announces street names. I find this especially amusing in New Jersey. It announces every designation for a road, so when I am at the part of 1&9 that is also the Northern end of 440, I feel as if it is announcing to me a member of the European Royalty.

When I miss a turn it chimes instead of uttering "recalculating" in a judgemental voice. I actually like it when I am yelled at by my GPS for making a mistake. I might have made the mistake because I could not get over to the exit in time, or I might not have been paying attention.

The NUVI is a far superior HUD. The Nexus One has no speedometer, and I don't like the map display. Of course unlike the NUVI, this things will probably improve in time via free software upgrades on the Nexus One.

So despite having an adequate GPS with free map updates, I might actually pay to update the maps on my NUVI.

App support

The marketplace has plenty of apps. A few I've made use of are Twitter, Urban Spoon, Yammer and Opera. Yammer is a twitter like application for internal use at companies, that my employer uses. More important than all these is of course the lightsaber app.

One application I was not able to find is something that can view Visio diagrams. However, it seems that no such app exists for any mobile device.

Google Applications

Gmail support is Great. I can place shortcut to labels on the desktop. Some google applications don't have actual apps such as buzz and reader. However, google did a very good job with customizing the browser experience for these on the android browser, that it is unnecessary.


The phone has a 5 megapixel camera. It can take video. The YouTube apps has a record button that lets you record and upload right to YouTube. The pictures seem ok to me, but I have no concept of good photography. Judge for yourself:

Self Portrait

French Bread

Caffine Free Diet Coke

Drinking Vessels