Google unveils its unlocked Nexus One phone

What do you get for $529? An unlocked phone with all the bells and whistles

Google on Tuesday unveiled its Nexus One, an Android smartphone designed by its own engineers and available directly through the company without a cell phone contract.

The unlocked phone is priced at $529. And here's the disclaimer on what networks will support it directly from Google:

"Nexus One device is unlocked and will recognize SIM cards from any mobile service provider using the GSM standard, but is incompatible with the frequency band used by the AT&T and Rogers networks for 3G data (see below). Additionally, the Nexus One is incompatible with CDMA networks such as Verizon and Sprint. We are working hard to provide Nexus One phones optimized for the Verizon network - please stay tuned. The Nexus One for Verizon will not be a GSM device, so it will not be compatible with T-Mobile, AT&T, or other GSM networks."

So, you can pay big bucks and basically do without 3G or, if you aren't locked into a contract, you can pay $179 for the Nexus One if you sign up for a two-year contract for T-Mobile and the "T-Mobile Even More individual 500 Plan." (Then again, if you want T-Mobile, you can also get a variety of G1 or myTouch Android phones from that provider as well. If you want Verizon, you've got the Droid).

Nexus is manufacturered by HTC, as is the myTouch. So why buy the Nexus One? Well, maybe you work for Google, in which case, you would trade in your current Android phone for the Nexus One, so you couuld show your face around the Googleplex.

The company points to these features out as its big sales pitch for the new phone: Dynamic noise suppression from Audience, Inc., a 3.7" OLED display and a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset to make it fast.

I'll point out, too that it is using Android Mobile Technology Platform 2.1 (Eclair). It includes an assisted global positioning system (AGPS) receiver, a digital compass and (of course!) an Accelerometer. (Eric Schmidt did learn a thing or two about cell phone design from all those Apple board meetings.)

It supports Wi-Fi (b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR plus A2DP stereo Bluetooth. It includes a 5 megapixel camera and captures video at 720x480 pixels at 20 frames per second. Other widgets include a clickable trackball, micro USB port and micro SD slot. And it weighs in at 130 grams.

Will it kill the popularity of the iPhone? No. Only a mistep by Apple can do that.

Will it wipe the BlackBerry from its role as enterprise favorite? Probably not.

But it is a contender. Android's open platform contrasts greatly with Apple's control-freak approach. Android can now be had on 20 devices, with 59 operators worldwide in 48 countries.

Please visit the Google Subnet home page for more news, blogs and podcasts. Sign up for the weekly Google newsletter. (Click on News/Google News Alert.) More blog posts from Google Subnet: Subscribe to all Google Subnet bloggers or Follow Google Subnet on Twitter Julie Bort on Twitter.

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