We tested the new Google Nexus One running the Android 2.1 software upgrade right here in Sydney.
Getting access to a Google Nexus One isn't that easy in Australia yet -- Google won't 'officially' ship them here. However, we managed to get one on loan through Mobicity
(cheers guys!) and tested it with a Three SIM card.
First off, let us say that we think this phone is really the first Android handset that has what it takes for mass-market acceptance. It's technologically advanced
, good looking and easy enough for people who aren’t geeks to use.
The Google Nexus One can only be purchased through Google's new online phone store
and at the time of writing official purchases are restricted to people who live in USA, United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong.
We say "officially" because there are still ways to get your hands on a Nexus One in Australia which we will outline later in this article. The current model of Google Nexus One supports 7.2Mbps HSDPA data and UMTS Band 2100mhz/900mhz as well as GSM so it works best on Optus and Vodafone/Three in Australia. Telstra customers can use the Nexus One but lose the ability to access fast Next G speeds as it doesn't support the 850MHz radio band Telstra uses.
This new Google direct sales model aims to sell Android phones direct to the public with a heavier Google influence on features, bypassing mobile carriers who often delay phone releases or want to modify features for branding or other reasons.
In theory this is great for customers because there are fewer companies in the supply chain adding their margin to the phones eventual price but it also means that people who buy the Nexus One outright and have issues with the phone won't get any help from their mobile carrier, instead having to deal with Google or HTC for a fix. Still, going through mobile carriers is usually more painful than going direct to the handset manufacturer anyway, so for many people this won't be a problem anyway.
After unboxing the Nexus One, we manually entered our Australian mobile carrier's access point name (APN) details. (All Android phones require a data connection to set up the phone with your Google Account on initial startup, and the UK model we had for review didn't have APNs for Australian mobile carriers built-in.)
Thanks to an Australian Android fan, iMuse, you can find all the necessary APN details to use an imported Android phone on Telstra, Optus, Vodafone etc at http://sholes.id.au/apns/