Peter Chou (HTC CEO), Andy Rubin (Android main man) and Google’s VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra hosted a rather important press conference at Mountain View, California today. The Nexus One was revealed and yes, Google will be selling it themselves. It’s already received pretty major coverage and you’ll no doubt see it on the 10 o’clock news tonight too.
Reporters sat down, opened laptops and pointed their wall of Apple logos at Google top brass. The announcement revealed that the Nexus One was the first of many handsets to be sold direct by Google on their own web store. They will also be selling it along with selected partners – T-Mobile has it at $179 (around £111.61) plus Verizon will be coming onlne soon too. Here in Europe Vodafone will be discounting it after buying one of their plans this Spring. You can also grab the handset unlocked right now in many parts of the world for $529, which is £329.83.
During the Q&A session many asked about the multi-touch or rather, the lack of it. The removal of this facility appears to be due to the Apple multi-touch patent in the USA, and it’s not totally clear whether it’ll get the facility abroad. You may remember that the Motorola Droid has the same problem, but got the multi-touch mojo when it got renamed and sold seperately here in Europe as the Milestone.
We know about the techy stuff. HTC CEO Peter Chou stepped up and detailed the 1Ghz CPU 3.7″ OLED display, trackball, GPS, accelerometer, light and proximity sensors and a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash. There’s also something we weren’t aware of – active noise cancellation which uses two microphones on the device to suppress background waffle. The software – Android 2.1 (Eclair) has nifty features including the ability to speak to your phone and have it type out your emails. This appeared to work particularly well during the demo and actually learns your voice as it’s processed in the infamous Google cloud. Many were amazed to see Google Earth on the Nexus One too, which did a great job of mimicking the full computer-based app.
Google top-brass were keen to roll out a new term – the “super phone”. Although many reviews aren’t quite calling it “super”, it does mark the start of two-pronged attack into the smartphone market by Google. Android for manufacturers and networks and the full Google Android Nexus phones for consumers direct. So, take it for a spin, soak up the specs or just go ahead and buy one.