HTC Google Nexus One!
The First Nexus Review and Lookback!
The Android Operating System is definitely one of the most expandable and flexible OS today. One of its families that are oriented to development is the Nexus line. The Nexus line is directly incorporated to Google and as long as the phone can handle the latest OS it releases, you can be sure that it will receive an upgrade.
Today I give to you a three year old phone and a phone which can be considered the ancestor of all the Nexus phones. I present to you the HTC Google Nexus one. I would like to remind you, this is NOT THE FIRST ANDROID PHONE, but it is the FIRST NEXUS PHONE. I have always been fascinated with the flexibility of Android as almost every branded phone I had have gone through a custom rom or two, that soft-bricking a phone no longer scares me. Personally, I only bought this phone for testing Jellybean on the first Nexus phone and test its performance three years after its launch. Unfortunately, installing a non-Gingerbread based ROM takes much knowledge and work; this led to me installing the latest available GB-based custom rom from xda developers. So after three years on the market, where does Google Nexus One stand and how does it perform with respect to today’s minimum standards? Read-on and find out!
PS This review also encompasses my new review approach. I don’t know which is better but I with this one I try to revamp my blog into a more mature one.
1. THE PACKAGE
1.1 The BOX and Contents
The box is quite big and it has a minimalistic design with the four corners representing the colours of the Nexus’ logo, Yellow, Blue, Red and Green.
HTC Google Nexus One includes a pouch, a USB Cable, a charger, manuals and a good headset. This package can be seen in almost every smartphone out there.
2. PHONE SUPERFICIALITY
HTC Google Nexus One sports a 3.7 Inch Screen and the buttons feel like phones of today. It features a volume rocker, a USB port and a power button, on the sides, bottom and top part respectively. The front houses capacitive touch buttons with a peculiar LED-Illuminated Trackball. The back has the 5MP Camera with Flash. From this phone you can see that in terms looks, minimal improvements have been made over the last three years. I don’t think bigger screens can be considered significant improvements physically. I know vast improvements have been made with respect to performance with bigger screens but we are looking at physical looks here not performance. We wave goodbye to the trend Nokia set of weird looking phones. No longer are we living in a world where almost everyone has their own quirky phone. Still, as long as you take good care of the unit, Nexus One does not look like a three year old phone.
3. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
3.1 Display (9.3 out of 10)
HTC Google Nexus One, as previously mentioned, sports a 3.7 Inch AMOLED screen and it has a 400x800 resolution. There are two versions of Screens for the Nexus Ones released, one with Super LCD and one with AMOLED. The phone on this review has Super LCD display which is theorized to have greater power efficiency and colour accuracy than the AMOLED display, while sacrificing the lauded colour saturation and deep blacks of the original display (Wikipedia). True enough, this phone does have good colour accuracy partnered with a vibrant, clear and crisp display. The 400x800 has been a staple for today, especially for rebranded phones but HTC Nexus One nails seems to have the best rendition of the aforementioned resolution due to its smaller screen size.
3.2 Multimedia (8.9 out of 10)
Branded Phones have always had the amazing powers of great multimedia playback. At first I was sceptical about its audio quality as it had been a three year old phone partnered with a brand I had not used. To my surprise audio playback with HTC Nexus One is amazing, the sound is loud and crisp and no distortion is noticeable at max volume.
As for Video Playback, The stock video player is virtually useless especially since the Operating System I use is the very outdated Gingerbread. Using MX Player Pro solves the useless Gingerbread Video player and play almost every video under 720p smoothly, that includes AVI files of 800MB (Though noticeable loading times before actual playback will be noticed). 720p videos and higher tend to lag so I advise playing videos higher.
With the reliable internet today, especially if you have a plan with Carriers, web browsing begs to be considered a multimedia playback function. With radio, music, video streaming and virtually everything on the internet, this function had to be included here. Web Browsing for Android over the past few years have always been said to be laggy and buggy, as with my minimal Web Browsing using the phone, I don’t find it to be troublesome, it’s definitely not as smooth as web browsing on today’s phones but it gets the job done nonetheless, also YouTube playback is fine.
3.3 Camera (9.2 out of 10)
HTC Google Nexus One has a 5MP Camera and shoots with the resolution of 2592x1944 with typical size from 700kB-1.2MB. Phone’s Camera has been important part of my life as I like to snap photos every now and then. Again, I had little expectations with the camera due to its age but I was caught off guard with the stunning quality of photos taken, the images are crisp, sharp and accurate on normal light settings. Unfortunately for low-light and when flash is used, the photos does not compare with normal lighting condition. It’s not bad but keeps in mind that this is a three year old phone and I can assure you this one is the best on its time. Just keep the lighting normal and this will serve you well. Lastly, the phone has considerable delay between the press of the shutter and the actual photo taken, this is due to the Auto-Focus, so don’t expect this phone to be useful in stolen shots.
3.4 Gaming (5.3 out of 10)
Android is known for its huge number of games and its ability to run on it virtually any Android-powered device. Sadly for the Google Nexus One it had to be one of the slowest phones in terms of gaming I have used. I did not try playing any HD Games as I am 100% sure I will be disappointed or worse, it won’t run, and NBA, the only HD Game I play, does not run on Gingerbread. Playing Temple Run 2 is tolerable but I won’t recommend this phone for gaming, stick to Videos and music playing.
3.5 Speed User Friendliness OS (8.5 out of 10)
HTC Google Nexus One officially runs up to Gingerbread 2.3.6 but developers have found a way to run up to the Jellybean OS, though much work had to be done and I did not want to brick my phone so I stayed with GB. Sporting Android, the interface is very user friendly and the learning time will be mere minutes, newbies will navigate through easily.
In terms of speed, Nexus One is definitely not a slouch but you can see and appreciate how much the speed has evolved and improved over the last three years. When navigating or scrolling, significant lags maybe noticed, but I don’t think this is such a bad thing. I also have now is a 2012 released Lenovo A65 and as far as performance goes, Nexus One outperforms and outruns it in every aspect.
Probably the most important use of a cellphone for us Filipinos is not the aforementioned but for calling and especially texting. Texting and calling feels the same as any other phone but I had a hard time texting as its small screen often made me mistype words a lot, be sure to check words especially for fast texters, as lags are apparent when you are texting quickly. Don’t fret though, a number of Keyboard apps is available on the Market to suit your taste, personally I use Smart Keyboard for its Calibration feature.
3.6 Battery (8.8 out of 10)
The battery of Nexus One is above average. Sporting a 1400mah, by today standards, may seem small but Nexus One has a small screen as far as usage is it lasted me a day. With minimal use, like pure texting, it can last three days, but with multimedia playback; it was able to last only a day. By today’s standards that is definitely impressive considering the bad reception battery has had in terms of battery.
As a part of my new format, I will include this part for Phones’ extra feature that sets it apart from other phones. As for the Google Nexus One, I find no feature to set it apart rather than its legacy being the first Nexus phone and its ability to be customized with numerous custom roms and ability to run Jellybean.
Nexus One the First of Many! (8.33 Out of 10)
HTC Google Nexus One, despite being a three year old phone still packs quite a punch by today’s standards; it can outperform low end phones and perform quite as well as mid-range phones. With the numerous Rebranded phones available on the market one would ask why would they choose a three year old outdated one over a more powerful rebranded phone, well its always falls to personal preference, with the questionable after sales support of some rebranded phones, sometimes being assured to a known brand maybe better. As for me, I selected this phone to mainly try JB but it turns out I tend to like it more than I intended. I have been consistently looking for a backup phone and this may have finally be the one. Great music playback, fairly powerful video prowess and a good camera. Nexus one maybe phased out but second hand markets may have this available, if you’re looking for a little multimedia player Nexus One is recommended, partner the aforementioned with a great display, this is one heck of a phone.
As of now, I currently have no funds for an Omega HD, as I am now enjoying being unemployed. Rest assured I will be back after a few months, maybe after the boards. So for now, my blog entries will all not be about rebranded phones.
What do you guys think of my new format? Hit me up in the comments on FB