Nexus One Emerges as Less than Revolutionary

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-01-06 Print this article Print

5. It will be one of many

According to Google, this first device is one of many devices that will be a part of the Nexus One program. The company said other phones that meet certain standards can use the Nexus One moniker. In other words, look for the Nexus One platform to be more than just a single device that was designed by HTC. There's no telling what could come from the Nexus One, but it's looking like that line of products will be the most full-featured of any Android devices on the market.

6. Where are all the apps?

Although the Nexus One has many new features that will set it apart from other Android devices, it still works with applications from Google's Android Marketplace. There's just one catch: Google's store has far fewer apps than Apple's App Store. As with other Android devices, that smaller selection of apps could prove to be a mark against the Nexus One.

7. Turn-by-turn directions for the traveler

One nice feature that Google brought to the Nexus One is a built-in GPS service that works on Google Maps. It also provides turn-by-turn directions. That's no small addition. In order for iPhone owners to have the same functionality, they're forced to pick up TomTom's app, which will set them back $99. Google's built-in GPS feature adds significant value to the device.

8. It's expensive

Unfortunately, the Nexus One is expensive. Unless users buy the device with a plan from T-Mobile for $179, they will be forced to shell out $529 for an unlocked version. Granted, that means users can put that device on an existing plan with a GSM carrier, but considering that the iPhone is available for much less, it might be a hard sell to some who don't want to use T-Mobile's service.

9. Tethering? Not so fast

Google said in its press announcement on Jan. 5 that tethering support, which lets you use your mobile phone to connect another computer to the Internet, is not currently available in the Nexus One. The company skirted the issue a bit in its question-and-answer session, but that omission could prove to be a problem for Google as it attempts to bring its devices to the enterprise. It should be noted that tethering is often a carrier issue, but it's a glaring omission, nonetheless. Hopefully Google or HTC will be able to add that feature in the future.

10. It's not revolutionary

In the end, the Nexus One is simply not revolutionary. Rumors swirled before its announcement about all the revolutionary features the device would offer. But when it came time to actually make the announcement, Google unveiled a device that, at least on paper, can't quite match the iPhone. And considering just how expensive it is and the state of the world economy, it might be tough for customers to justify spending $529 on a device that lacks so many integral options.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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