Editor’s note: Phonebooth OnDemand is the $20 phone system in the cloud – and he’s pretty opinionated, too (he even Tweets). With cool features like Find Me Follow Me, Voicemail-to-email with text transcription, and HD voice, he is feeling pretty good about himself right now (please don’t encourage him). Somehow, he got his hands – er, shelf – on a Google Nexus One.
I know a thing or two about phones, so when a Google Nexus One showed-up at the office, I thought I would give it a whirl. Look – while I love my Polycom HD desk phone family, I realize that there are some of you who just can’t be tied-down to a desk phone. That’s why I have the Find Me Follow Me feature, that can forward your office number right to your mobile phone (don’t worry, you can still use my awesome voicemail).
But, hey - that doesn’t mean I don’t have standards (I’m HD quality, after all). I don’t want my calls handed off to some second-rate dumb phone. I need smart phones, man. And so far, with apologies to my former favorite iPhone, I haven’t found a smarter phone than the Google Nexus One.
After seeing a host of me-too iPhone attempts hit the market, we now have a new smartphone that many (including this Phonebooth) believe will be the next iconic mobile device. Like the iPhone, the Nexus One tightly couples powerful and differentiated hardware AND software. Apple realized first that they must control the end-to-end “whole product” to create a truly unique and step-function better user experience, and Google has embraced this strategy with the Nexus One, freeing it from the competing agendas of carriers and handset makers.
What Phonebooth loves about the Nexus One:
- Beautiful OLED screen… a step function better in brightness and clarity versus the iPhone or any other smartphone in the market today.
- Natural feeling haptics….the most elegant, natural, and appropriately responsive touch feedback of any device I’ve used.
- Seamless integration with other Google services…Gmail, Gapps, Gtalk, Gvoice, Picasa and Maps are seamlessly integrated on this device, creating the first “out-of-the-box”, unified communications mobile device experience. Wait till you are scrolling through your Contacts log and seeing Gtalk presence and Facebook status updates all integrated in a great UI….it will inspire you to start dreaming of the possibilities of unified communications (again).
- Powerful camera…. an excellent 5 megapixel camera, with flash, that easily switches to video mode with a very elegant UI.
- Gorgeous pictures gallery… I look really good in pictures, so I love the new gallery with Cooliris technology.
- Turn-by-Turn Navigation… Google’s turn by turn navigator app, linked with GoogleMaps, works very well (seriously, I tried it) and will eliminate the need for purpose-built GPS devices. When my handlers are towing a Phonebooth, we don’t want to get lost.
We could all be better… and so could the Nexus One:
- Battery life… right out of the box, the battery life on this device is definitely on the far low-end of smartphones I have used. This will likely improve with firmware and OS updates.
- Stability…. I’m still getting blue-screen-of-death-like random crashes with this device on a fairly frequent basis. Again, I expect this will improve with firmware and OS updates.
- Data network…. My NexusOne is an unlocked device – but there is great incentive to use T-Mobile’s smaller 3G footprint network, as my AT&T SIM card in the device can only connect to their 2.5G EDGE network. This is a severe limitation to my web browsing experience.
- User interface not as intuitive as iPhone… the cost of Android’s flexibility is that it is just not as intuitive as the iPhone. Finger swipes that would seem to make sense sometimes just don’t work. Also, some of the icons they’ve elected to use aren’t nearly as clear as the iPhone.
- Yahoo Mail integration… at this time, certain Yahoo Mail accounts cannot be integrated via this device. Alas, this is a Google phone.
- App Store equivalent (Google Market) not as robust, yet… while Google Market for apps is well laid out and has a decent array of content, it is not yet near the breadth and depth of the Apple App Store. I expect this to normalize over time as well.
Finally, because I’m a SIP-based phone system, I wanted to have a little fun and see if you could run a SIP client on the Nexus one over WiFi. You can… check out SipAgent in the Android app market. Now, if my developers would just create a Phonebooth SIP softphone for Android, your Nexus One could BE your office phone. And what an office phone it would be!
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