Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Switching to the Nexus One

When Google announced the Nexus One last month, I felt it was an interesting development that has begun to change what an Android phone can represent. Some people will know that I have been, until then, rather anti-Android. There were two reasons: unimpressive hardware features (and uninteresting design too), as well as an open source development environment that I felt didn’t quite live up to the spirit of what open source was supposed to stand for. But, the first reason was beginning to fall apart with the launch of the Motorola Droid in end 2009, and now further so by the Nexus One. Finally, this is an Android phone that boasts features and hardware specifications expected of any decent smart phone of 2009 and what will come in 2010.

Despite what many other reviewers have said, I don’t think the Nexus One is the nicest looking phone. But it is certainly the best looking of any Android phone to date. (No, I don’t like how the iPhone looks either.) The fact that it now has really decent hardware, such as a superbly fast CPU, plenty of RAM, GPS, 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, etc, makes it a whole lot more attractive as a serious competition to modern smart phones. Yes, I’m not going to be sold on to any Android phone simply because it is Android powered. The Nexus One also has, finally, a decent 5 megapixel camera that has been sorely lacking in other Android phones (save for the recent Motorola Droid), and although I never believed it would outdo the likes of any modern Nokia, Sony Ericsson or Samsung camera phone, I think it will be “passable”.

So, I became interested to see if the Nexus One will work for me. It helped that there were some real Nexus One at work that I can touch and play with. The Nexus One’s camera is surely a downgrade for me. But I think, overall, it had enough pull factors to turn the decision in its favour. I also like the fact that the phone is branded and sold by Google directly, with “stock” but yet cutting-edge software that hasn’t gotten mutilated and maimed by any phone manufacturer.

I’m still not very trusting of Google. But I think they won’t turn evil in the next couple of years, or at least not for the lifetime of this phone. So I decided to take the plunge to try out living in Google world. I’ve not been much of a Google-citizen before this.

The other day, I wanted to sync my data, and Google was “down” (well, basically the network broke somewhere between my working network and Google’s network). I think this cloud business is rather smokey. But this cloudy business seems to be very popular, so I’ll go along with it for now.

Probably another attraction for me is the fact that the Nexus One was like a computer. Yes, Nokia has been telling us their phones are multimedia computers. But the Nexus One runs really like a Linux PC. This will definitely be interesting to people who like to poke their fingers into operating systems. It’s time for me to catch up on some new recent technology.

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