06 April
2010

Here are the top 4 reasons why I am frustrated and disappointed about the Google Nexus-1 made by HTC. Two weeks ago I borrowed a Google Nexus-1 phone for a few days and last week I bought one. I was initially unhappy with my purchase (although I have gotten used to it).

All-in-all I would say the Nexus-1 is usable, but it has numerous rough edges and for such an expensive phone it was a substantial disappointment and frustration.

The key downsides are:

1 - Poor power management and power consumption. The first two days I had the phone, it went from fully charged in the morning to out-of-power before I went to bed. If you turn off the cell-phone radio, the GPS and the wireless and don't run anything intensive, then the battery can last 24 hours. It's not a very useful device in that case, however. This isn't just bad, it's utterly ridiculous and unforgivable.

Low battery -- this should be familiar to Nexus-1 users
Low battery -- this should be familiar to Nexus-1 users




2 - Limited or missing support for WPA-Enterprise ...


Wifi networks. There is lots of discussion on the web about this, but for commonplace network configurations for in professional environments and universities, Android is sometimes unable to connect. For me, this was a show-stopper! The very first iPhones had this limitation also, but that was a long time ago and Android has been around for 2 years.

3 - Excessive dependence on the cloud. This phone transmits and synchronizes data via Google. That means sharing almost everything with Google, which is a serious privacy consideration. Moreover, it means lots of data exchange and a need for a good data plan.

4 - A generally unpolished user experience. The worst thing in this regard is frequently laggy or erratic performance, probably caused by multiple applications using processor time at once. There are lots of other ergonomic rough spots thought: excessively small attachment icons in the gmail program (too small to click reliably), a quit button placed to close to an important key in some cases, inconsistent operating modes, etc.

The dependence on the cloud is Google's key business advantage. I can understand and accept it, but I am very squeamish about them having a bead on everything I do, including who I call and where I go. The absence of robust and complete WPA-Enterprise support is inexcusable -- the Android operating system kernel has the support in it, but the user interface is just too rough. The power management and laggy interface are both indications of what appear to be poor management choices and an absence of sound leadership. This are fixable, but entail hard choices that would limit some the the geekish features at the expense of an overall better (i.e. generally usable) experience.

All in all, this phone has served as an impressive illustration of the great ergonomic design and decision-making that went into the iPhone. I am not ready to buy an iPhone now, but the comparison of the iPhone and the Nexus one provides many object lessons in making though design decisions, and the Nexus-1 seems to come out the loser in several ways.

By Gregory Dudek at | Read (1) or Leave a comment |    
Comments
Re: The Nexus-1 Android phone: not a joy

Hey Greg -

Thanks for this review; your knowledge of software systems is evident as this is the best evaluation and explanation of the feature/issues I've found about the Android. It was helpful and appreciated.

Good weekend to you!

[ Thanks. -gd ]

Posted by: HamFan at May 30,2010 08:34
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