Over the weekend Google handed out a new Android-based mobile device for its employees to test out. Then came the tweet that got mouths salivating and more than a few people’s nether regions tingling.
“A friend from Google showed me the new Android 2.1 phone from HTC coming out in Jan. A sexy beast. Like an iPhone on beautifying steroids.”
Sigh. And so began the hype-engine for the “Real” Google phone, the legendary iPhone-killer foretold in wizened blogger speculations and teased with pic after pic of possible looks for this, the mobile phone messiah. So far only a few media outlets have gotten to touch the fabled device and so far the spec information is few and far in between. Engadget reports that the phone called Nexus One has an OLED touchscreen with add 3D elements to the app tray and a card preview system similar to Web-OS. A few folks that claim to have played with the device are adding a 5 megapixel camera to the mix. The phone will naturally be running on the Android 2.1 and will feature the brand spanking new Google Goggles.
The thing that has everyone ready to jump on this phone like its the last chopper out of ‘Nam is the fact that Google will be selling the Nexus One directly to consumers without the assist of a wireless service provider. Which means that you can have the cool new phone that everyone’s buzzing about without having to jump ship from your current phone service provider, most likely incurring the wrath of heavy early termination fees. And with all the hype swirling, Google has a proverbial “Field of Dreams” on it’s hands. If it’s affordable, they will come.
So what do we have? A few pics of a relatively uninspiring phone design-wise. I’ve seen a few callouts on how it slimmer than the iPhone. That’s cool and all, but until I see some solid specs, I’m not getting gassed about a skinny phone. Maybe I’m being a hater right now, but as much as I love shiny new tech and its untold promise, I’m not beat to get all excited about idle speculation. I mean how many times have we watch the tech media fall in love with a gadget based on pretty pictures and strategically-worded press releases only to tear it to ribbons in scathing reviews when the product finally debuts? Umm, Barnes and Noble’s Nook anyone?
I’m excited about Google potentially shaking up the way American consumers currently purchase phones. If the Nexus One can live up to the fanfare and tech god worship being heaped upon it, we could possibly be on the cusp of a new consumer model that empowers the buyer. While it’s important that this phone packs serious heat in the feature and spec categories, I don’t need it to be an iPhone killer. I need it to be a “I’m only with this service provider because of this cool phone” killer. Until the phone hits my bony-ass fingers and I get to play with it, I reserve my right to be wary, caustic, and downright crotchety.