It's Official: Google Launches the Nexus One

Google officially christened the Nexus One today with a list of the phone's features.

The Nexus One is the company's first foray into the Android hardware market, and Google is hailing its handset — which it built with HTC — as the "next evolution of Android," and is categorizing it as a "superphone."

Up front, we'd say the craziest thing the Nexus One has going for it is the fact that Google has enabled voice control for any text field. That means, if you want, you could forgo the virtual keyboard for a "voice keyboard," which will allow you to dictate to the phone, perform searches and give commands.

The Nexus One has an 3.7-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels (which is plenty crisp for a screen of that size), a speedy 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5MP camera with an LED flash and it's got two mics: one on the front and another on the back, which work together to eliminate background noise.

It's also got plenty of bells and whistles under the hood that app developers will be able to take advantage of, such as light and proximity sensors, a compass, GPS and an accelerometer.

It's running Android 2.1, the latest version of the mobile OS, so it'll be able to take advantage of all the apps and widgets you'd enjoy on another handset such as the Droid. Google has beefed up the phone's interface, though.

You'll control it with a multicolor virtual trackpad, and the Nexus One will offer 3D, interactive wallpapers and an improved app store interface. Google Earth is also on the phone — and compatible with the voice search functionality — and thanks to the Nexus One's 3D framework, you can perform fly-arounds, as if you're flying over the three-dimensional terrain.

So is it an iPhone-killer as Google hopes? Only sales will tell. Here's something Google has on Apple, however: you can buy a $530 unlocked Nexus One straight from Google's new webstore, which the company plans to expand to include other Android handsets. Or you can get the Nexus One for $180 with a T-Mobile contract today, with Verizon and Vodafone planning to carry the phone later this spring.

Nexus One, via Gizmodo and Engadget

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