I’ve put this off long enough.
As you may know, earlier this year Google announced and launched their newest Android-based smartphone, the Nexus One. Android is the operating system, developed by Google, and is technically considered open-source. It competes head to head with Apple’s iPhone OS, the Blackberry platform, and whatever is Microsoft’s current Windows mobile platform.
Several years ago, when Apple first launched the iPhone, I wanted one. I lusted after it to an unhealthy level. The single problem was that the iPhone was limited to AT&T, for service. Yeah, there are technical means to make it work elsewhere. I’m not interested in that.
So I figured that eventually Apple would open up their hardware for use on other networks. As of March, 2010, they’re still only on AT&T. This extreme limitation forced me to first go with Blackberry for my first smartphone. A little bit of shrewd shopping, on my part, found that Amazon (my favorite online retailer) had an additional discount off the network’s contract price, if I was willing to go with T-Mobile. I was with the Sprint-handicapped-Nextel at that time. Since $50 was a sweet price for a brand new smartphone, I was sold.
I had that nice Blackberry Pearl for just over a year, and it served me quite well. The tiny keyboard worked, even with my Shrek fingers. The camera was lacking, but whoever expected their smartphone to replace a real camera? Not me. Everything else functioned as I expected. It simply worked. I had an iPod for real mobile music, and the social networks hadn’t really taken over our mobile systems yet. It was a simple skiing accident that brought about the demise of the Blackberry Pearl. It wasn’t crushed, like you might expect. No, it got wet. Really lame, on my part.
The real victory of the Blackberry Pearl was our family’s adoption of T-Mobile. We fell in love! Seriously. Their customer service was great. They have not once made me feel stupid, or that they’re trying to trick me into something I don’t want. In fact, several times they have volunteered to walk me through my service plan, and helped me choose a LESSER plan, to save me money, based on my past usage. Even when I really, really wanted the new Google Nexus One, and couldn’t qualify, they took a serious effort to help me not just understand the rule, but why I was being limited. I was still frustrated, but not at T-Mobile. It just made sense.
Still holding out for the iPhone, I was bummed that I needed a new phone, but didn’t have the iPhone as a choice. In that bind, my mother-in-law had an old GSM Motorola Razr that she loaned me, until we could make a better decision. A swapping of the SIM from the Pearl, into the Razr, and I was in business. Yes, I went backwards, by several years, but I had mobile phone service.
I actually stuck with that Razr for several months. I was frustrated, but it kept working. As I was able to save up the money, I eventually decided to lower my standard, and go ahead and make the move to AT&T, just so I could have the iPhone. When the time came, my wife had decided she wanted that nice phone too, and we took the humbling walk-of-shame into the AT&T store. Low and behold, we’re not good enough for them. Yup, they wanted a huge deposit, just to open an account with them. Hear me correctly. The lower standard, lower quality, crappy mobile phone company wanted me to give them MORE money, in order to bring my business to them. I guarantee that this is NOT how Steve Jobs wants his iPhone to be adopted.
So, we were sent packing.
What a blessing.
Our hearts back with T-Mobile, we set out to research other options. Being a huge Google fan, I had heard the chitter chatter about Android. I knew that one day they’d launch and that it would probably be a great platform. As I looked into the Android platform more closely, I realized that they were on the cusp of launching their first phone, the T-Mobile G1. I had seen the development models that they had given all the Google employees, and had made available for purchase. I knew what to expect. Early on, I had considered the iPhone’s lack of a physical keyboard not as a feature, but a failure. My past experience with the Pearl has shown me that I wanted the physical keyboard, and the G1 offered that feature. The more I read, the more I decided that Android would serve me well.
Within months of the official launch of the G1, we were onboard. The wife and I both picked up one, and we really did love them from the first moment. I downloaded all the apps I could, and constantly pushed that little under-powered G1’s system to the limit. I knew it was really a beta product, but I didn’t care. I was head-over-heals for the Android family. Without reviewing the G1 anymore here, I’ll just leave you with the idea that I had decided that the Android platform was my present, and my future.
This started out as my first review of my new Nexus One. Then, I realized that I wanted to give you some backstory. There.
Upcoming…Nexus One, the first month.
Go check out my Unboxing of the Nexus One to hold you over!