The gPhone, Hardware And All

Nexus One gphone

A little over two years ago, the world — or at least a whole lot of geeks — waited with baited breath for the revelation that Google would be entering the mobile phone market. The eventual announcement proved a curveball, however, as what the search giant unveiled were plans for an operating system, not a handset. Now, that curve has finally straightened.

Tempered though it was by the Open Source success that is Android, disappointment has lingered among some over the gPhone that was not. As of yesterday, however, those grieving their Google handsets can finally dry their tears: Company executives announced Tuesday morning that the gPhone is finally a reality.

Christened the Nexus One and manufactured by HTC — the acknowledged expert in Android phones, with nearly half of those available to its credit — the handset is what most observers would expect. It offers tight integration with Google's suite of web services, including a new Google Earth application and GPS-integrated Google Maps. It also adds voice-control options not found in previous Android offerings. While voice-based searching has long been available in Android, as has a limited set of other voice features, the Nexus One offers universal voice-to-text capability — wherever there is a text field, you can speak your way into it.

The usual lineup is present as well: Bluetooth, 5-megapixel camera with flash, accelerometer, integrated social networking, a virtual keyboard, and WiFi, among others. One unique feature is noise-cancellation, made possible by a pair of microphones on either side that allow the phone to automatically adjust to ambient noise level. It's 1GHz processor — Qualcomm's Snapdragon — is an item of note, as is the inclusion of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, something sorely missing on most offerings on the market. The obligatory full-feature tour is available from the Googlephone site, along with a YouTube channel filled with its own share of demos, tours, and feature overviews.

Google is well known not just for innovation, but also for deviation — from the norm, that is — and the Nexus is no exception. Unlike the vast majority of mobile devices on the market, the gPhone is not carrier exclusive, and can be purchased direct from Google for a bargain-basement $529. At the moment, T-Mobile — which offered the original Android-based G1 — is the only provider offering a US-based service bundle, and will happily subsidize the price down to $179 in exchange for a two-year contract. Additional carriers, including Vodafone in Europe, are in the works. The move, while hardly a first, is an interesting one, as it begins to break the lock-in that guarantees providers a captive audience.

By all indications, the Nexus won't be a one-off shot, either. The company's announcements speak of "connect[ing] Google's online users with selected Android devices" and "a simple purchasing process, simple service plans from operators, simple and worry-free delivery and start-up." Whether or not the Nexus and its progeny will live up to Google's pronouncements — "superphone" is the word-of-the-day it would seem — remains to be seen, but it is certainly poised to join Android in making a noticeable dent in the mobile phone world.

______________________

Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Open source software

Cihp's picture

The gPhone, Hardware And All post thanx;)

General

shawnmichle's picture

I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be
sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with
everyone.The initiative taken for the concern is very serious and need an
attention of every one. This is the concern which exists in the
society and needs to be eliminated from the society as soon as
possible.
==================================
Serve Technology

General

shawnmichle's picture

I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be
sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with
everyone.The initiative taken for the concern is very serious and need an
attention of every one. This is the concern which exists in the
society and needs to be eliminated from the society as soon as
possible.
==================================
Serve Technology

$529 is a bargain??

quixote's picture

Open source software must pay a lot better than I thought. Nobody tells me anything.

Im sure the hardware costs

Anonymous's picture

Im sure the hardware costs are responsible for the majority of that amount :)

But will it work in Canada?

Anonymous's picture

But will it work in Canada?

That's a tall basement you've got there ....

CarlF's picture

... can be purchased direct from Google for a bargain-basement $529.

I can buy two netbooks for that price. How is it a "bargain"?

It's cheaper than retail for

Steve23940928439034534's picture

It's cheaper than retail for an unlocked iPhone and the two netbooks don't fit in your pocket or get internet where there is no wifi.

Psst-- it's "bated" breath.

Anonymous's picture

Psst-- it's "bated" breath. Unless you eat worms :)

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState