Jan 05 AT 3:50 PM Taylor Wimberly 36 Comments

Google Nexus One Android gathering recap

Google just wrapped up their Android gathering at its headquarters in Mountain View and we have a short recap of the event. When an archived video is available, we will get that posted.


Google VP Mario Queiroz kicks off the event with a short recap of recent Android related news.

  • The Open Handset Alliance has 13 new members (including including China Telecom and HTC).
  • Android is now featured in 20 devices on 59 carriers in 48 countries in 19 languages.

HTC CEO Peter Chou then took the stage for a few minutes, but didn’t say anything too revealing. “This is one of the best HTC phones we have designed.”


Next up, Google engineer Erick Tseng went over all the Nexus One hardware features (most of which we already knew).

The specs he touched on included (full spec list here):

  • Display: 3.7 in AMOLED
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 1 GHz
  • Trackball: Multi-color notifications
  • Sensors: Light and proximity to offer power saving features
  • Thinness: 11.5 mm (same as a #2 pencil)
  • Camera: 5 MP with LED flash
  • Audio: Stereo bluetooth, 3.5 mm headphone jack, active noise cancellation

It was also revealed during this period that users can customize their phone with a special engraving on the back of the device. Engraved phones will ship within 72 hours of placing your order.


After the hardware was described, Mr. Tseng covered some of the software highlights which included:

  • The Nexus One will be the first phone to feature Android 2.1. This is still part of the Eclair build and is not considered Flan.
  • New native application News and Weather
  • Live wallpapers which are interactive
  • 3D and media additions like the new Gallery application
  • Voice input via the speech-to-text button on the virtual keyboard
  • Google Earth app is now available

Google Phone Store

Towards the end of the event, Google unveiled their new phone store located at http://www.google.com/phone

Starting today, customers can purchase an unlocked Nexus One for $529. Users can also select to get the phone with a 2yr T-Mobile contract which lowers the price to $179.

Starting in Spring 2010, Verizon and Vodafone will also support the Nexus One device.

Additional carriers and handset makers will be added to the Google phone store throughout 2010. Motorola was one of the partners mentioned that would sell phones through Google.


When the event was over a short Q&A session was hosted by Andy Rubin, Mario Queiroz, Peter Chou, and Sanjay Jha. I’m sure someone will post the full transcript by the time this post is up, so I will touch on the important notes.

  • Google is working on a secure encrypted solution to allow developers the option to install applications to the SD card.
  • When asked about multitouch features (pinch zoom), Google totally dodged the question.
  • Google refers to the Nexus One as a superphone, not smartphone.
  • Motorola will update the Droid to Android 2.1 (no word on the CLIQ). Mr. Jha said that backwards compatibility slows innovation so don’t hold your breath on CLIQ getting Android 2.x.

Andy Rubin also hinted at the possibility of a subsidized (free) Google Phone sometime in the future. He said they have no intention to build hardware and that launching the Google phone store was a baby step in their Android strategy.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://schwiz.net schwiz

    I’m so pissed that they don’t subsidize if you have a family plan with Tmobile :*(

    • parrisp

      I was so excited for this phone but will not be getting it because I have a family plan. I am really disappointed with Google and how they chose to sell this phone…

    • http://Website Gary

      You know, you do still pay the cost of the phone: Contract prices are higher than non-contract prices. The only difference is that you pay the money upfront.

      In fact, depending on the plan, it’s CHEAPER to buy the unsubsidized phone and get the non-contract plan.

      I’m seeing folks at different sites rant about the subsidized option and fail to do some basic math. You never get something for nothing, and the idea that a subsidized phone is cheaper than a unsub phone is shortsighted.

  • http://Website anticip8

    “Starting in Sprint 2010….”

    Was Freud invited to this event? :)

  • http://Website lordhong

    I also have t-mobile family plan, and i need an individual plan to get the subsidized phone??? ridiculous…

  • http://Website dethduck

    So….nothing about an FM tuner?

  • http://Website Holden

    I would have paid double the subsidized price up to $300 for the phone but $530 is ridiculous!! I currently pay $75 a month for 1000 mins, unlimited web and unlimited text. I get screwed either way. I G1 is painfully slow but i guess I have to stick with it for now.

  • http://www.everythinglegit.com Ramon

    Why couldn’t some one asked about the G1 getting 2.x ??!!!!!

    • http://blog.tenkely.net Tenkely

      I was wondering the same thing or if any older devices would get it… thought I heard something about HTC upgrading existing devices but failed to specify, could just be the hero (which we already knew).

  • Altephore

    I am on a family plan as well…. It is absurd for them to not subsidize for family plans! What sense does that make Google?!!

  • http://blog.tenkely.net Tenkely

    I am considering this a major FAIL.
    Basically Google opened an online Best Buy with incredibly poor upgrade paths for current customers and even worse plans (ooh that’s catchy I’m trademarking that) that make customers downgrade to get this phone. I feel your pain on the family plan users being shafted the hardest as I am in the same boat. I was hoping to score two N1s today, now I am unable to get even one.

    Don’t get me wrong, as far as hardware and software is concerned Nexus One dominates, but man, talk about making it incredibly difficult to get your hands on if you are not in the press or don’t run an Android dedicated site.

  • http://Website Marcelo L

    WARNING: If you do upgrade from a single line to this phone on TMobile…..you will have to pay $379 along with being saddled with a contract for 2 years and the cheapy phone plan.

    Why would ANYONE upgrade ? Why would anyone who didn’t have a contract simply not just CANCEL their service. And restart. Other than fear of not keeping their phone #.

    And T-Mobile CUSTOMER RETENTION says they are absolutely POWERLESS to work out a better deal, since Google is the one selling it. This is why it’s a game changer, because it gives the carriers an OUT of having to compete. It’s the Saturn of Phone Plans…..this is how much it costs. Either you purchase it outright this way, or you don’t. You always have the alternative of buying it for FULL retail if you don’t like it.

    Is anyone from the FCC watching ? Is this thing on ??!

    • http://Website Nick Podges

      Marcelo, IMO this is actually a much better model, and should be the standard.

      realize that google is changing the game. they are taking power from the carrier.

      now, the carriers must compete to have the best network, because ANYONE can get the same phone for the same price.

      do you realize the actual cost of a device like this?
      typically, carriers subsidize the phone, because they charge roughly 25-30 dollars MORE per month on these phones — over two years, that’s ~700 dollars more.

      this has always been the case. the consumer doesnt see the real cost of the device.

      if other phone makers start using this model (and others will) , you will see increased competition between the carriers and lower prices for consumers.

      incidentally, the only plan google offers is 79.99, which includes 500 anytime minutes.

      if you use t-mobiles new non contract plans, 79.99 gets you unlimited minutes, unlimited sms, and unlimited web.
      (and the contract 79.99 plan is 59.99 w/o a contract)
      so, you save $20/m = 480 dollars over the contract.

      i’d say the pricing structure makes sense.

  • davynoto

    They failed on this phone.. It’s not particularly greater than the Droid, it’s on an inferior network (even though it’s faster), and Google is basically giving a big ol’ “Fuck You” to Moto, HTC, Samsung…

    • http://Website ari-free

      hmm how are they hurting motorola, etc if it’s not much better hw, not cheaper and not on a better carrier?

    • XenosNS

      How is HTC being hurt when they are the manufacturer of the device? Sure, they have their own branded devices separate from the N1, so unless you buy a android phone from moto or Samsung, then HTC wins both times.

  • Royalness

    Why are people asking for an FM-radio? There is an app for that (sorry, bad phrasing).

    I was wondering, in the specs, it shows that your phone will last longer when you use internet via wifi rather than 3G. Is this true? How can this be true? Does it still count the battery usage that you have with your connection to the 3G network (for phone data)?

  • http://Website Mike Leahy

    “Mr. Jha said that backwards compatibility slows innovation so don’t hold your breath on CLIQ getting Android 2.x.”

    As a serious developer putting out an advanced 2D/3D API/framework that runs on all Android devices in the wild this pisses me off. This is mostly just laziness and the weakest justification for 80% engineering. There are modern software architecture techniques that could reduce the impact of non-core API changes. For the most part 2.1 is non-core oriented and bunch of candy.. See my longer post on this other N1 post on A&M:

  • http://www.haskinsphotography.com Nick

    Check this out Taylor:
    I wouldn’t take “your not eligible” for an answer, so I called T Mobile. A nice guy named Josh changed my rate plan so that I could be eligible to get the Nexus One for $180. We currently have a family plan, so he changed it to 2 single even more plans. He says, congrats go order your phone.

    I hop online to order the phone and it only gives me a $150 discount. I call back TMobile and the guy says that the Google site is not showing the right price, and to call HTC support directly to order the phone.

    I call HTC and the chick tells me that I am not even eligible for an upgrade because I have to be a NEW T Mobile customer. I told her thanks and called back T Mobile for a 3rd time.

    This lady apologized to be and says they have a note in their system telling them to tell people that Google’s site is giving the wrong price, and to try again later. She says I should be getting the phone for $180, and this has been confirmed by 3 different people at T Mobile.

    Google’s site is not showing the right price, so I wonder how many people ordered their phone and paid too much?

    I’m still checking back, but the fact that I went from a family plan and not being eligible to having this plan and being eligible makes a world of difference.

    So, before my billing ends on the 22nd, he says to call back T Mobile and get our family plan “back dated” so it basically get’s changed back to the way it was before I got the phone. When it’s all said and done we don’t loose anything at all changing plans, only the $180 for the phone.

    • http://blog.tenkely.net Tenkely

      Damn. Sounds like a lot of work… but let us know if it all works!!!

  • http://androidmom.blogspot.com/ Android Mom

    Hi! I upgraded from the iPhone to the Nexus One. I made a little video of the features. So far, I LOVE it! I loved my iPhone too, but was sick of dropping calls all day.

    Mommy Has a Nexus One:

  • http://Website Juan

    OK, as always! Google and TMOBILE did the same thing that APPLE and AT&T did with the iPhone.
    I live in Puerto Rico, this is US territory, we use the same US$ as in the main land, I have a G1 with TMOBILE service, but when I go to http://www.google.com/phone I get this massage: “Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country.”
    What is wrong with with you people?

  • http://www.haskinsphotography.com Nick

    I would love to know if anyone else is having problems with Google’s site showing the wrong discount prices? I don’t think it’s me if I was told by 3 T Mobile reps that they have notes on their system telling them that the Google site is showing the wrong pricing and to tell clients to keep trying back.

  • http://www.haskinsphotography.com Nick

    This is so frustrating. Apparently the $379 is right..on Google’s end. But yet I keep being told by T Mobile that that price is wrong, and even though I’m an existing customer that I should get it for $179. I guess my next step is to call T Mo a 4th time and speak to a supervisor?

    • http://blog.tenkely.net Tenkely

      This whole event was frustrating. I can only imagine what you went through on the phone…
      I also am tired of hearing people say , “Just buy it unsubsidized, it will cost you less in the long run”. I get how that works, I really do, but the issue is that not everyone can afford that high of a cost up front, that’s why we have subsidies. Seriously, should people say the same thing about homes? Pay it all up front so you save money on the interest… geeze, wouldn’t that be nice. I’ll ask my employer to pay me my annual salary in advance too! …whoa sorry blacked out there for a minute.

  • http://www.haskinsphotography.com NIck

    Just got off the phone with T Mo for a 4th time. She says that a rep was just on a conference call with Google because other people are changing their rate plans and not see the FULL discount as well. She wouldn’t tell me whether the full discount is $150, or $350.

  • http://Website NQ Logic

    Google is moving down in the stack to challenge B2C opponents with an open architecture and new sets of standards. In creating a post-revenue business model, Google can only manage success if consumers accept a co-branding and outsourced manufactured device … NQ Logic recommends reading about the rest of the new Google’s mobile strategy at http://www.nqlogic.com

  • http://www.westsideschmitts.com Android Jedi

    I also have t-mobile family plan, and i need an individual plan to get the subsidized phone???

    I’m Pissed.

  • http://Website TobtheGiant

    So how much do you actually Pay if your an existing customer with TMobile? I havent upgraded in like 4 years and I have an individual plan .. but it says im not eligible.

  • http://Website sean

    save the drama for ya mama

  • Pingback: Android and Me()

  • Pingback: Android and Me()

  • Pingback: Android and Me()

  • Pingback: 7 reasons to choose the Sprint HTC EVO 4G over the Nexus One – Android and Me()

  • http://risingproductsearch.com RisingProductSearch

    I’m very excited to hear Google Nexus One. And I like Android because it has multitasking capabilities.

  • Pingback: Nexus One spotted with AT&T 3G bands | Android and Me()