Nexus One : The Google Phone is here. Should we care?


Google unveiled today the much anticipated Nexus One, the so called Google Phone. And once more is demonstrated that rumors about the Mountain View company’s products usually have a solid basis. We’ve seen rumors about GBrowser ant it has come in the form of Chrome and this was also true for other products or acquisitions.

Back to the Phone. It looks very neat and it has some nice features (running on Android 2.1), but the hardware that is incorporated is the most pleasant surprise. It has a Qualcomm QSD 8250 1 Ghz processor, 5 megapixel camera, built in AGPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G and more.  Iphone has now a very strong competitor and i’m sure that the hype will drive many people to head out to and buy it asap.

Now a personal opinion. Although everyone at Google tries to convince us that mobile web is the future i don’t believe that. Sure thing its handy to have so much computing power and access to the internet in a phone but for me and other power users this is true only when we travel. No one will be able to convince me to use such a phone for everyday web browsing. That is because i really hate typing on such small keyboards or onscreen. Maybe i’m old fashioned but i grew up with keyboard typing and i’m very good at it. I can type with 10 fingers without looking at the keyboard  with an astonishing speed. This way i save time and do my job and my reasearch easily.

I could not imagine myself writing this blog post from a mobile device. Staring at a small screen and using a pen to type or even fingers on such a screen it just not for me. Yes i use my phone to browse the internet but i do it on occasions when i travel, and have no choice, but only then. And when possible i use a laptop connected to the phone to do my browsing.

So until they invent a phone to which i can say commands verbally and the thing responds to me, the webphones remain just toys. Way too expensive toys. I rather carry my laptop!

  1. I agree with you that for the moment smart phones are not the “web phones” in the sense you described – namely to be used for browsing instead of computers. It is somewhat the same opinion that I have of netbooks – usable only for internet access and not for other stuff that power users might need their computer for.
    However I find smart phones pretty handy for other stuff, such as the plethora of applications that they can provide, for example you cannot go shopping with a laptop and have your shopping list on it, also the location based services and applications can come real handy – for instance you can store the location where you left your car in a parking lot and when you return you will be guided to it, or you can use it for a nice trip journal. Even augmented reality is a hot topic nowadays, with browsers like Lyar you are able to get on display info about places, buildings or whatever you are looking at.
    There are also the games and the document readers that you may use for killing time playing your favorite game or reading your favorite comic book, so browsing the web on the smartphone isn’t everything in my opinion.
    Btw, regarding voice commands, the new 2.1 version of Android supports text to speech via a button from the virtual keyboard, which means that you can enter text vocally almost everywhere you would enter it by keyboard. From the demos I’ve seen so far, it works pretty well for English, and with little editing you can type SMS messages or emails – a thing I simply dread on a phone :).

  2. You have some points there but those things are useful only for some people. For example i never make shopping lists. Reading on a phone … only when i travel and i’m bored by the landscape. Games maybe.
    Also if i need a GPS i will buy a GPS because its cheaper, i don’t have to change it every two years and has much better GPS capabilities then a phone. That is valid for a camera too. I have a 5 megapixel camera right now in my phone and it still makes worse pictures then my 5 years old 4 megapixel regular camera.
    A phone must do two things: to make a call from A to B and to be a modem.
    Putting all that stuff into a phone (GPS, Camera and so on) its just plain useless if i have to change it every two-three years because a new OS version is out for my phone and it won’t run on my old phone. I have to throw out a camera, a gps and what not, every two years? A camera and a GPS i was charged for as a plus for the phone.
    I’ve already seen this movie with PC’s.

  3. Well, I still believe it’s open for discussions and for most people it’s useful. Proof of this is that last year the smartphone industry was among the fastest growing industries, and all this in a period of economic turmoil. Leaving the economic factors aside, GPS on Android for example has even a free application in the likes of Google turn by turn navigation application, but also big players such as Navigon or Wayfinder or even Tomtom have intentions of providing GPS navigation applications and these cost just about a normal GPS does. Also I don’t think there is a quality issue for GPS device vs the gps phone such as in the camera. GPS is GPS, it just needs to pinpoint your location with enough accuracy. Also it can be used for other location based services and I don’t only refer here to turn by turn navigation, but other apps that may use your location for various other useful things such as showing you the closest restaurant or hotel and I’m sure there are lots of things that can be done on a location enabled phone that has a pretty accessible SDK than on a GPS device with no access to it’s API’s.
    So, for me phone GPS is good enough, I don’t see any reason to buy a device for for that just to have something more to carry around and misplace :). Besides, regarding changing the phone every 2 years in order to change the os, in Android’s case that is not the issue. There are currently enough devices that support all versions of the system and you can easily flash them with whatever version of the os you want – even with modded ones.

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