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Google Unveils Its New Phone

Google Unveils Its New Phone

Jason Mick

January 05, 2010

Google took the stage at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (10 a.m. PST) this afternoon at its headquarters in California for a little announcement. Okay — a BIG announcement; Google has unveiled what it calls the “next stage in evolution for the Android” — the much rumored Nexus One (N1) smartphone, fondly nicknamed the “Google Phone” by the blogosphere.

The company calls the new phone a member of a new class of devices called “superphones” — ultra-capable, web-ready phones. Mario, VP of Product Development at Google took the stage to personally introduce the phone. He describes, “[We’re often asked] what if we work even more closely with our partners to bring devices to market to showcase the great software technology we’re working on at Google.”

He says the N1 is the answer to that question and the “exemplar” of what can be done with Android. He also revealed the hardware partner, stating, “The Nexus One was designed in very close partnership with HTC.”

Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, then took the stage to fill in the hardware details. The phone features a eye-catching 3.7" 480×800 AMOLED display (bigger than the iPhone’s 3.5" screen and higher resolution than the iPhone’s 320×480). The phone is also powered by the 1 GHz Snapdragon QSD 8250 processor from Qualcomm, as rumored. That makes it on paper faster than the the current generation iPhone 3G S, due to the latter’s underclocking (which is powered by a Samsung S5PC100 ARM Cortex-A8 833 MHz CPU underclocked to 600 MHz).

Whereas the iPhone features a plain nondescript home button, the Nexus One’s bottom interface device doubles both as a trackball and a button and a multi-color LED notification device. The phone also features a wealth of sensors to enrich the performance, including light and proximity sensors, compass, GPS and accelerometer (it draws the iPhone in this category).

The phone is 11.5 mm thin and a mere 130 grams (narrowly beating the iPhone 3G S in both categories). It features a 5 MP camera with LED flash, MPEG4 capabilities, and one-touch YouTube uploads. The phone features stereo Bluetooth, a 3.5mm headphone jack (four contact points for microphone and remote), and active noise cancellation. A second microphone in the back of the phone provides active noise cancellation during phone calls. To top off the sweet hardware package, you can get custom engraving on the metal bezel on the backplate.