Sounds like Google has a huge announcement planned for 1pm Eastern time today and it’s causing a huge stink on the net. Google is finally going to officially announce the release of their phone, the Nexus One.
Details about the Nexus One are slowly being leaked on the internet. The Nexus One was designed by HTC, who has a close relationship with Google, but the phone will be directly marketed by Google. The Nexus One will supposedly have a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 3.7-inch 480×800 display (compared to 480×854 for Droid and 480×320 for the iPhone), 512MB RAM, and expandable 4GB microSD card, 5-megapixel camera with flash, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, compass, and proximity sensors. It is also rumored to be slimmer than the HTC Droid Eris and the iPhone.
Nexus One will be running Android 2.1 right out of the gate, the latest version of the OS. Some of the new features in this version will be a faster UI, a improved picture gallery, and 5 screens instead of 3.
So far, the Nexus One will be available on the T-Mobile network. It will retail for around $530 unlocked, but if you sign a two-year contract with T-Mobile you can get the phone for $180. People that work for T-Mobile are speculating that there will be just one price plan for the phone – $80 for 500 minutes, free weekend and in-network, and unlimited text and data. Sounds like the typical plan for smartphones these days. The phone could come out on the market as early as today, so keep an eye on the Google and T-Mobile sites.
Although the phone sounds awesome, I’m not buying into the hype that it’s going to be as mindblowing as everyone thinks it is. From what’s been leaked already, it sounds like it’s going to be another cool Android phone, but it looks very similar to an iPhone. Who knows, maybe making a phone that looks like an iPhone with the Android open source OS will convince some iPhone fanboys to switch. I absolutely LOVE my Droid, but part of the reason I love it is because it DOESN’T look like or act like an iPhone…and, of course, it can make phone calls!
But, I’m glad we are continuing to see new Android phones released out into the wild and they will hopefully provide some good competition amongst themselves and for Apple.
UPDATE: Here is some additional information we learned from the actual Nexus One Event. Google has announced a hosted web store for Android phones at http://www.google.com/phone. You will need a Google account to buy the phone because you have to use Google Checkout. But, you will need a Google account for the phone anyway, so it should not be a big deal. Also, the current contract for the Nexus One is with T-Mobile, but Verizon and Vodafone will be added this spring. More devices will also be coming down the road as well. The official price of the Nexus One is $529 unlocked, $179 with a 2-year contract at T-Mobile. You can also get the Nexus One ENGRAVED if you so desire.
And for all you CURRENT Droid owners, you will be happy to know that all indications point to Android 2.1 being released for the Droid in the next few days! This update should include all the goodies that are on the Nexus One like 5 homescreens, Live Wallpaper, App Drawer, Photo Gallery, and Google Earth. Woohoo! And even MORE exciting is the confirmation that future versions of Android will allow apps to be installed on the SD card instead of the 256MB – 512MB internal storage the phones have now! Loving my Droid more by the minute!
It also seems by reading Gizmodo that existing T-Mobile customers are feeling burned when trying to purchase the Nexus One. Existing customers who should qualify for the $180 2-year contract price are actually seeing prices around $379. It seems the details on the actual prices for existing customers were “glazed” over a bit. Here is the actual Nexus One pricing which shows the $179 price is only for NEW customers of T-Mobile. Expect to pay $279 or $379 for the phone, dependent upon if you are adding or upgrading your existing plan. Yikes! That should have been made more clear! I purchased my Droid for just $300 - $50 new every 2 discount - the $100 mail-in rebate ($150 total) through Verizon just about a month ago. Seemed expensive at the time, but now sounds cheap!