It looks like the pricing details for the Nexus One Android phone have been leaked. Gizmodo is reporting that the handset will indeed be sold by Google, unlocked for $530. T-Mobile will subsidize the phone down to $180 with a two year contract, but it will still be sold through Google. So clearly, Google will not be selling the phone at cost or giving it away as some had speculated. This bit isn’t all that surprising, assuming the information is correct.
What is strange are some of the rules for purchase. First, there’s only one plan, the $39.99 Even More + Text + Web for $79.99 total cost. If you are on a family plan, Flexpay, SmartAccess, or KidConnect plan, you must purchase the phone for the full $530 unsubsidized price. Only 5 Nexus One phones can be purchased per Google account. Not that that would stop you from making more accounts. Weirdly, you also have to acknowledge in the terms of sale that the phone is made by HTC, not Google.
Finally, if you opt for the subsidy and cancel the account before 120 days have elapsed, you have to pay the difference between the subsidized and unsubsidized price. If that isn’t workable, you can return the phone to Google. This charge is authorized at the time of purchase. If these details turn out to be accurate, are you interested? More importantly, do you buy that this is the real deal pricing?
Relying on an anonymous tipster, Engadget is reporting that the Nexus One will come equipped with Android 2.1, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.1 2.1 (and A2DP Stereo Bluetooth), a digital compass, an accelerometer, a 5-megapixel camera with a 2X zoom, 512MB of memory, and a 4GB Micro SD card. It will be able to handle JPEG, GIF, and BMP images; MP3, MIDI, XMF, iMelody, Ogg Vorbis, and WAVE audio; and MPEG-4, H.264 AVC video. No word on what talk and standby times are. The Nexus One will be for use only on GSM/EDGE systems (and will be quad-band). (Engadget posted a full set of specs, if you too can’t wait for Christmas morning.)
But, it probably matters little, because there’s not going to be one under your tree, now or any time soon. Engadget also reports that the initial round of sales of the Nexus One will be by “invitation” only. Whose to get the invites Engadget doesn’t know. But they do say that T-Mobile, at some point in the future, will be offering the Nexus One for sale.
Mobile tech blogger Tnkgrl had a few minutes with the new Google Nexus One phone. Her full report gives some new insight into the much talked about device, and also confirms some things we’ve heard before. She was not allowed to take any new photos, but we’ve all seen the phone by now.
First off, there is no multitouch in the browser or maps applications. We can assume it has the same multitouch APIs as the Motorola Droid has. The Android 2.1 interface has five home screen panes instead of the three seen on previous builds of stock Android. Any Android user will tell you that’s a welcome improvement. We can pretty well tell from this that the rumors about the “Google Phone” running the “real” Android were wrong. This clearly seems to be an evolution of the existing platform. The interface is also quite snappy, being described as “Faster than the Droid”
On the hardware front, the device is rocking a 3.5 or 3.7 inch OLED display of the same resolution as the Droid. Overall, the phone apparently looks very nice and is thinner than you might expect. The GSM radio is for T-Mobile 3G bands. It runs EDGE only on the AT&T network. HTC has finally moved to MicroUSB for the data/charging port. There are also some gold contacts on the bottom of the handset, these may be for a dock of some sort. Based on what you've heard so far, Is this a revolution or just another phone?
With over 50 new Android phones poised to hit the market next year its hard to ignore the reality that the platform is picking up not just in popularity, but in variety as well. Some argue the open approach is Androids greatest strength, while iPhone loyalists would have you believe the lack of a singular vision is its biggest weakness. Either way, Google has been able to sit back and observe the changes in the market since the G1 first launched, and the company finally has an answer for even the purist among us, meet the Nexus One. Sporting a speedy Snapdragon processor running on Android 2.1, it also features a 5.0 MP camera, and two microphones to assist in noise cancellation. The hardware itself will be manufactured by HTC, but the phone was designed, and will be sold by Google itself as an unlocked carrier independent device.
The Nexus One represents a pretty significant game changer not just for the wireless industry, but for a multi billion-dollar company that has never sold a single piece of consumer hardware in its history. With so many high profile handsets on the market already Google will need to compete not just with iPhone’s, Blackberry’s, and other Androids, but with the media perception that they are nothing more than a software company. Failure to hit a homerun on their first attempt could end up doing little more than alienating competing companies who just recently adopted Android, and now find themselves in a head to head battle with the OS maker itself.
Leaked Photos on Twitter and a January 2010 release date are pretty convincing evidence of the phones existence, but Google has yet to come out formally to confirm or deny the exact specs. I hate to drag out a tired old metaphor, but is the iPhone killer finally here?