Google’s New Phone Has Limited Appeal, For Now

Amid all the hype on Google’s new Nexus One GSM mobile phone based on the Android software stack, we predict these touchscreen phones made by HTC won’t be flying off the virtual shelves.

Not any time soon.

Nexus One
Nexus One

Consumers can buy an unlocked Nexus One directly from Google for $529 without signing up for a cell phone service or in the near future get it subsidized for $179 by T-Mobile provided you sign a two-year contract agreeing to fork out $80 a month.

Let’s now look at the two options.

American consumers will not pay $529 for a cell phone, at least not in any large numbers. Not in this horrible economic climate.

U.S. consumers are used to getting phones free or at best paying $199 (16GB) or $299 (32GB) for the sleek Apple iPhone.

Plus the Nexus One will initially not work on Verizon, Sprint or AT&T’s faster 3G network. It will work only on T-Mobile and AT&T’s slower network.

Not in the iPhone Class
At first glance, we don’t think the Google Nexus One phone is in the same class as the iPhone.

For instance, Nexus One has very little onboard storage, meaning you have to buy separate Micro SD cards to store your music, apps and other stuff. Not good. iPhone has a minimum of 16GB, most of which can be used to store your favorite music, videos, pictures or wateva.

Then there’s the issue of 100,000 applications available for the iPhone.

Google claims 18,000 apps support its Android phone but we remain skeptical even of this much lower number.

T-Mobile Way
Now for the second way to get the Nexus One – from T-Mobile.

Well, if we are going to pay $80 service fee a month, why would we want to go with an insignificant player in the U.S. like T-Mobile instead of going with leading U.S. cell phone operators like iPhone partner AT&T or Verizon.

Later this year, Verizon and UK-based Vodafone also plan to offer service on the Nexus One. Whether they will also offer subsidized Nexus One phones is less clear.

Besides the U.S., Google is taking orders from the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Technical Specs
By the way, here are the key specs for the Nexus One:

Hardware Features
* Display: 3.7″ AMOLED 480×800 WVGA display
* Thinness: 11.5mm; Weight: 130g
* Processor/Speed: Qualcomm Snapdragon 3G QSD8250 chipset, delivering speeds up to 1GHz
* Camera: 5 megapixel auto focus with flash and geo tagging
* Onboard memory: 512MB Flash, 512MB RAM
* Expandable memory: 4GB removable SD Card (expandable to 32GB)
* Noise Suppression: Dynamic noise suppression from Audience Inc
* Ports: 3.5mm stereo headphone jack with four contacts for inline voice and remote control
* Battery: Removable 1400 mAh
* Personalized laser engraving: Up to 50 characters on the back of the phone
* Trackball: Tri-color notification LED, alerts when new emails, chats, text messages arrive

Software Features
Nexus One runs on Android 2.1, a version of the platform’s Eclair software.

* Google Maps Navigation: offering turn-by-turn driving directions with voice output.
* Email: multiple Gmail accounts; universal inbox and Exchange support.
* Phone book: aggregate contacts from multiple sources, including Facebook.
* Quick Contacts: easily switch between communication and social applications.
* Android Market: access to 18,000 applications.
* Enter text without typing via a voice-enabled keyboard for all text fields: speak a text message, instant message, tweet, Facebook update, or complete an email.
Reviewers who have played with the Nexus One think this feature is crap and needs a lot of improvement.
* Tell your phone what you want it to do – Search Google, call contacts, or get driving directions by just speaking into your phone.

15 Responses to "Google’s New Phone Has Limited Appeal, For Now"

  1. guruji   January 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Get the phone from T-Mobile for $179, terminate the contract and pay the $200 penalty. Now you got the phone for $379 (the desi recipe for cheap stuff)!!! But I suspect that there would be some restrictions on this.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: Get the phone from T-Mobile for $179, terminate the contract and pay the $200 penalty. Now you got the phone for $379 (the desi recipe for cheap stuff)!!!

    Boy, you are a true desi. 😉

    Bet you rip off even the Biryani Cart and Kwik Meal Cart fellas in midtown.

  2. Jump a Lahiri   January 5, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    for 379 you wont get the unlocked phone, will you?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: for 379 you wont get the unlocked phone, will you?

    Likely not.

    The $179 T-Mobile Nexus One phone presumably comes locked.

    The $529 Google Nexus One phone is unlocked though, i.e. if you buy it directly from Google.

    But Guruji and his desi compatriots will surely figure out a way to unlock the T-Mobile. 😉

    We don’t think this iteration of Nexus One will go anywhere.

  3. guruji   January 6, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Before you terminate the contract, call T-Mobile and tell them that you would like to unlock the phone, as you are planning travel overseas and you would use your phone. They will email you instructions to unlock the phone. And you can terminate the contract after unlocking – long live desis!!!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: Before you terminate the contract, call T-Mobile and tell them that you would like to unlock the phone, as you are planning travel overseas and you would use your phone.

    Could you also please provide step-by-step instructions on how to rob a billion $$ without the FBI on our tail? 😉

  4. chaitu1987   January 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

    liked your new look. attractive. better than the plain old one.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    This is the Tabulicious look. 😉

  5. Jump a Lahiri   January 6, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Guruji – Can’t they relock it once a contract has been broken.. I believe ATT has made such tricks AND the non-commitment phones useless .. if you get an iPhone, you are stuck with ATT.. or atleast that’s what I understood So why go through the pain of buying a 600$ phone or breaking the contract (unless you are planning to permanently leave US)..

    SI,
    The whole page has changed.. did you change the appearance (very unSIlike) or the wordpress upgrade brought these cosmetic changes.. I like the fact that it shows the message we typed even if it is pending for approval.. instead of blinding assuming that we did the Submit button correctly.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: The whole page has changed..

    Yes, the changes are in response to suggestions/whining/complaints from Elnino Aurora, you & many others in the past.

    We’ve upgraded the WordPress software plus found ourselves a new theme.

    For instance, readers can see recent comments on the left side. We’ll try to implement more user-friendly features as we familiarize ourselves with the new software.

  6. Jump a Lahiri   January 6, 2010 at 11:30 am

    yay! I love the timestamp in the Original post. 🙂

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    ?? No understand.

  7. Jump a Lahiri   January 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    SI says:
    ??

    JAL Responds:
    “Posted by SearchIndia.com at 7:22 pm”, it says at the bottom of the top 🙂 I had requested you to put a timestamp, and you had said “Parkalaam”.. now you have implemented it. thx!

    I can now keep better track of your shenanigans.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    There are still some glitches relating to the timestamp we need to address. 🙁

  8. kreacher   January 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I logged into SI today and what did I see?

    You folks are using a theme I designed!!!

    Let me know in case of issues / feature requests (you can use my support forum, if you please)

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Pl Check your ‘Coffee Account’ for $100 of Lattes. 🙂

    Some six months or so back, in the course of our desultory wanderings online we first stumbled upon you. Read about you, family, marriage et al before quietly slinking away.

    And then to our surprise, a few months later as we were scrubbing our readers list one day who should we trip over a second time! One of the many surprises life flings at you.

    As you might have noticed, some of the SI blog Readers have been whining about wanting this or that feature. Since we were mostly busy writing we usually shooed them away.

    But we finally bit the bullet and decided to upgrade to the latest WP version. This decision obviously meant we had to spend a considerable bit of time last week searching for new themes.

    We shortlisted a few themes. Finally nepotism won out and in a masochistic moment we became ‘sufferers.’ 😉

    Note to all the other SI readers:

    Folks, if you don’t like the new look of the SI blog y’all know the ‘kreacher’ to blame or if you see some bug we strongly encourage you to vent your spleen on this kreacher’s theme forum. 😉

    Alternatively, to use a contemporary analogy you can always rue that Chetan Bhagat is not the only idiot to have escaped the IIT Delhi wildlife park. 😉

    • Jump a Lahiri   January 6, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you kreacher and SI.. I like all the enhancements.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      You are almost welcome. 😉

  9. kreacher   January 6, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks for the Benjamin Franklin!

    Genuinely appreciated!

    I guess I can have my coffee, indulge in some of my fiendish fetishes and pay for hosting.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: I guess I can …..indulge in some of my fiendish fetishes

    Is that your welt-anschauung? 😉

  10. yourmate   January 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    What guruji mentioned has been 2 year old activity (Since Iphone was introduced) for us Desi Folks. Lots of people in India are running a thriving business of unlocking Iphones!!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: Lots of people in India are running a thriving business of unlocking Iphones!!

    Why are we not surprised that Indians always have a thriving business when it comes to unlocking [anything]. 😉

  11. Jump a Lahiri   January 7, 2010 at 7:54 am

    welt-anschauung?.. now if there is a preview button.. i can check if the welt comes in red before posting.. dictionaries of the world have listed “weltanschauung” as a single word. Google spell checker didn’t know that word, instead it suggested “Zubeneschamali”

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Just use the font tags for adding color.

    2. You write: dictionaries of the world have listed “weltanschauung” as a single word.

    We toyed with the word, keeping in mind Kreacher’s note on ‘fiendish fetishes’ and added a red color to the welt (what one gets on the derriere from fetishes) after splitting it from anschauung via a hyphen. 😉

    All in context, sweetie.

  12. Jump a Lahiri   January 7, 2010 at 10:47 am

    ha, nice wordplay there.. I don’t have much experience in that area, you see.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: I don’t have much experience in that area, you see.

    Neither do Ajith or Abhishek with acting, real acting we mean. 😉

    • Jump a Lahiri   January 7, 2010 at 10:50 am

      it doesn’t seem to be allowing font tags in comments (i used the same tags that you used in your red color).. probably to deter maniacs like me from abusing it.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Yes, just checked and it didn’t let us use colors in the comment when we logged on as a member.

      The WP developers are a smart bunch. 😉

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