Google today is expected to unveil a new cell phone at a press conference at the Googleplex at 11am. Unlike Apple, which guards its secrets jealously, Google has actually allowed its engineers to take the Nexus phone "out into the wild" and show it off to bloggers and technology reporters. Engadget shot this video of the phone.
The phone is smooth, with round corners, a camera lens on the back with a flash and a roller trackball on the front. There is a discrete power button on the top and volume control on the side. It will, of course, run Google's Android operating system. The actual device is made by HTC but will be branded as Google.
Google powers many cell phones with its Android operating system already; phones like the Verizon Droid. What makes this Google phone different? Hard to say. It's possible Google engineers feel other cell phone makers and providers have not taken full advantage of the Android OS and want to show what it can truly do with no outside interference.
It's also possible Google will use the Nexus simply as a way of researching mobile search. Remember, Google does many things simply for the research value. For instance its Google Voice system, which allows phone users to recieve voice mails as text messages, doesn't make the company any money but it does allow Google a great deal of insight into the challenges of turning voice into words.
Perhaps it can use a base of Nexus users as a way of examining how people use mobile search.
We'll have full coverage of the Google announcement as it happens.