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08 January 2010

Upgraded to Google Nexus One

Yesterday I ordered the unlocked Google Nexus One.  During the checkout process, the first thing that will catch your attention is that they ask you for two lines of text to engrave onto the phones.  While I understand that this is most likely an attempt to cut down on after-market sales, I engraved my name and email address onto the phone (a bit better than Contact Owner IMHO).  The second thing you notice about the checkout process (unless of course you pause at the $520 price tag) is the free overnight fedex shipping.  Now, we might think that the engraving and the shipping are really cool *free* features -- but since this phone cost $120 more than the last one I bought from them, I think they just upped the price to cover it.

My new phone arrived noonish today.  It's packaged nicely and very compartmentalized.  Now, I had a 16 GB microSD in my old phone and this new phone had a 4GB one with it.  Not only was I not going to do that, but it is completely useless IMHO since almost everyone seems to run out of room rather quickly.  For a $500 price tag, I'd really expect them to put a little more effort into satisfying the customer out of the box.

Now, I could have used the 16GB from the old phone -- but that phone has some other uses lined up for it; so instead I decided I needed a new one.  I'd much rather have a 32GB but those seem a bit vapourware-ish at the moment.  Even the 16GB I had to go to Radio Shack (and take their last one) as neither Fry's or Best Buy had anything larger than 8GB listed on their site.

So swapping out the microSD, putting my SIM (from the old phone) in and adding the battery; the phone was ready to start charging... for hours... I can't tell you how impatient I was getting as I saw my phone tell me I had incoming calls.  But I waited.

Configuring the phone was extremely easy.  I assume it was reading the APN information from my SIM since I didn't have to set it this time [though I did print out these instructions just in case].  I did have to configure the Wifi again (which took awhile because I forgot that MAC-filtering was enabled on the router).  The other one that was tricky was Google Voice.

Now, I've had a Google Voice account for a few years now.  I got one when I was planning on moving to Massachusetts to get my grad degree.  I don't use it much anymore, but I still have it.  So, I told it to go ahead and configure itself to be my voicemail.  It kept giving me errors (connection problem or invalid mmi code) and it turns out that the problem was having the wifi connected.  I figured this out because I tried to enable it via the google voice website (they tell you what number to dial) and it gave me errors...  when I disabled the wifi temporarily, it went right through.  I think it was trying to place the call via the wifi -- but I am really not sure.

Overall, the look and feel is very similar to the old phone (which I think is still running Android 1.5).  The Live Wallpapers are kinda cool, but I ended up leaving mine on the Nexus default one.  They do give you 5 screens now instead of 3 -- which is really helpful since there are some HUGE widgets that you can't resize.  Take the news and weather widget for example.  I don't care about the news ticker on my phone, so I told it weather only.  Result?  1/4 of my screen filled up with it telling me that it can't display the news.  I have a similar problem with the calendar widget -- it takes a LOT of real estate with no options to show it differently.  Maybe it's just me, but these widgets could use a GWT makeover. I mean, they are both Google after all.

One of the other nice things was under the Settings menu, if you go to "About Phone" you can look at the battery status.  What's so cool about that, you ask?  How about that it shows you which applications are eating how much of the battery, in a sorted highest-consumer-first kind of way?

Something that will take awhile to get used to is that it is more like the iPhone in terms of physical buttons. I have to keep reaching up to the top of the phone to turn it on/off whereas with the old one the buttons were within thumbs reach.

It also has a car dock mode.  I haven't seen the new accessories for this phone yet; but the car dock mode can be used without it.  It features voice navigation/dialing/etc [like every other text box in the system] with turn by turn audible GPS.  The first time I tried it, it worked beautifully.  The second, third and fourth time I couldn't get her to speak.

And speaking of voice searching...  There is a Voice Dialer.  Don't say "John Smith" or you'll keep canceling and saying it over and over and over again.  Read the screen, follow directions.  Say, "Call John Smith" and it will probably find it.

Overall, the new phone is lighter weight, nice brozeish tone, much thinner, bigger screen.  I'd say lighter than the iPhone, slightly better look it it, thinner.  Compared to the ADP1, it is MUCH thinner, bigger screen, more aesthetically pleasing.  Some of you may wonder why they got rid of the physical keyboard -- but honestly, that thing was the biggest reason I switched phones.  Since I had first bought an iPhone, I have hated having the extra weight and space taken up by a pointless keyboard.  The ONLY time I found it useful on the ADP1 was when I consoled in as root and was wandering around the filesystem.

1 comment:

  1. My biggest complain so far is that the battery on the IDLE phone didn't even last a day. I emailed customer service about it -- but, I noticed that everyone else is now complaining about the same problem.