My Switch from the iPhone to Android [Part 2]

Hardware:

I’ve now had this phone for sometime. I love Android. I’m glad multi-tasking is finally making it’s way over to the iPhone with iPhone OS 4.0, because I don’t think I realized just how much I missed or wanted it until I had it again (Blackberry’s also have it). The Nexus One is fast, and nice to look at. By nice to look at I mean both with respect to the screen and the physical phone itself. The trackball, while I hardly ever use it for navigation around the phone, is very usefully as it doubles as a notification light. This was something that I always missed about my Blackberry when I switched to the iPhone for the second time, the ability to look at the phone and know if there is something new there waiting for you is nice. Also the charge light indicator is very handy, something also missing on the iPhone. I will say the strobing trackball is a bit obnoxious in a dark room... it's very bright. I'd be happy if the charge indicator light just flashed a little red, like the Blackberry. As far as voice quality goes, great. I have not, however, had someone on the other end ever say, "Hey are you using noise canceling techknowlegy, you sound so clear?" I don't know how effective or noticiable the noise cancelation micraphone really is.

The process of answering calls I find to be a bit shaky, and a bit annoying. You swipe, simalar to the iPhone, to answer a call but I find there is a delay from when the phone starts vibrating and ringing to when the call informatin shows up, and that sometimes you don't swipe 'well enough' and have to do it several times before the call is answered. Often I find myself wondering if I'll be able to answer it before the caller gets sent to voicemail.

While the screen is far birghter and easier to look at than the iPhone, it really does kill the battery. I've yet to determine which is more to blame, the multi-tasking or the screen, but battery performance seems significantly impacted by something. This is coming from someone who has been used to charging his phone every night and maybe sometimes once during the day; it's been a long time since I've had a phone I didn't need to charge at least once a day. It's also possible that my phone finds itself searching for signal too often, as coverage with AT&T in my area is spotty. Whatever it is, my battery life is short, annoyingling so. The upside is that it charges very fast. Even still, I'd like to have to plug in my phone at most once per day.

I've tried all sorts of things to help the battery... tried making sure that tasks are killed automatically and regualary, that the screen timeout is short, that bluetooth and wifi are off... nothing seems to be helping. I've even tried not running widgets, and if I do run them making sure that they aren't using the network or gps that often (12 hours instead of 3) - still, nothing. Feeling like I shouldn't have widgets up everywhere because it might drain the battery is very similar to not having widgets at all.

The softkeys (Back, Menu, Home, and Search) seem to be less responsive than I'd expect. If I want to go to the home screen I find myself automatically pressing home many many times to get the desired result - expecting the first press not to work properly. Typing on the touchscreen I don't see this problem at all, I don't know why the softkeys are any different. Maybe I haven't figured out the secret way to touch them?

I like the camera. I find it takes pretty decent pictures, and the LED flash is great. However, the LED flash really seems overly bright, and washes most subjects out completely at times, better than no flash at all though. There is also a significant lag from when you ask it to take the picture and when it's taken, do to the auto focusing and the LED flash. I also find myself wanting the camera app to recognize I have the phone in portrait and change the orientation of the app to match, but it seems to want you to shoot exclusivly in landscape. Not that it matters much, but I find taking a picture blindly is harder on the N1 than on the iPhone because of where the shutter release is placed and how awkwardly that makes you hold the phone if you and your subject are in front of the lens.

I'm pleased with my Nexus One. I wish that it worked on AT&T's 3G network. They now have a version that works on AT&T, but it seems to me that the discrepancy in 3G frequencies negates the advantages to GSM and being unlocked...? Why not either have the carriers decide on a standard frequency, or be the cell phone manufacturer producing phones that work completely on either network? It will be interesting though, to see what happens when the Nexus One becomes available on all networks in the United States. I think we'll start to see that as a growing trend. Blackberries are available on all netwroks, but each seem to have their own flavors and revisions. I would persoanlly like so see us get away from a place where the cariers are impacting the user's experince so much and into a place where they have to compete on a network strength and pricing alone, and leave the phone's up the the people who do phones.

Meanwhile no contract plans are becoming more and more available from all carriers... It's looking good for the consumer.

All this said, I can't wait to see what Apple has done to the iPhone with the new revision, most probably coming out this September.