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Google's Nexus One compared to Apple's iPhone, Motorola Droid

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
New photos and a hands-on description have compared Google's custom-built Nexus One handset, rumored to be for sale to the public next month, with Apple's iPhone [updated with hardware specs].

Jason Chen of Gizmodo received some hands-on time with the hardware thanks to an anonymous source. He called the long-rumored, supposed Google Phone a "Droid killer" -- ironic, because Motorola attempted to position its Droid, which launched in November, as an "iPhone killer."

Chen said the Nexus one is slightly thinner and lighter than the iPhone 3GS. The back is somewhat rubbery, and feels less "cheap," he said, than the iPhone's plastic back.

"You can call the design the antithesis of the Droid: smooth, curved, and light, instead of hard, square and pointy," he said. "It feels long and silky and natural in your hand -- even more so than the iPhone 3GS."

Loading a Web page over Wi-Fi, the Nexus One was found to be the fastest of the three phones. The iPhone 3GS reportedly loaded a page "a few seconds later," while the Droid came in third. Chen said the results were consistent with a number of Web sites.

The Nexus One and iPhone 3GS reportedly had similar results with a Javascript benchmark test, though Mobile Safari on the iPhone scored better. The Droid came short of both handsets, with a score level at about 60 percent of its competitors.

The Nexus One screen was described as superior, with "vibrant" colors and darker blacks than its competitors. It was also said to be brighter. In comparison, Chen said the Droid and iPhone screens seemed "washed out."

"This is probably the best screen we've seen on a smartphone so far," he said. "Probably."

The Nexus One's 5-megapixel camera includes flash, though the picture quality was said to be unspectacular. The camera has autofocus, but does not have the tap-to-focus feature seen on the iPhone 3GS.

Google's handset also lacks multi-touch, was said to have mediocre music playback over its speakers, and call quality was not tested.



A run through of the Nexus One's interface was also uploaded to YouTube. It shows the speed of the phone and some of its new features.



Update: Engadget reported Wednesday morning new details and specifications on the Nexus One. They include:

Android 2.1
11.5mm thick
512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, 4GB microSD in-box expandable to 32GB
5 megapixel camera with mechanical AF and LED flash
HSPA 900 / 1700 / 2100, 7.2Mbps down and 2Mbps up -- in other words, yes to T-Mobile 3G and no to AT&T 3G, though you'll still be fine on EDGE
3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED display

The Web site was also told that the hardware will be available only by invitation at first, though details on how those invitations will be distributed were not known. It also added that T-Mobile will sell the device in the future, reaffirming previous reports.

Rumors of a supposed Google Phone have persisted for months, with various reports claiming the device will be made for sale in early 2010. Google supposedly designed the Nexus One hardware, which runs the company's Android mobile operating system, and contracted its manufacturing out to HTC.

Earlier this month, Google employees were issued the unlocked GSM phone, which has an OLED screen and runs a new version of Android. Google has been rumored to sell the device contract-free to customers starting in 2010, though wireless carrier T-Mobile is also said to offer a version of the phone under contract.
post #2 of 104
Hopefully iPhone OS 4.0 will move the goal posts a long way and make the copycats scramble to keep up.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #3 of 104
Let the races begin!

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post #4 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Hopefully iPhone OS 4.0 will move the goal posts a long way and make the copycats scramble to keep up.

Id say so on both the HW for the 4th iPhone and iPhone v4.0. This Google phone looks to have good aspects but its certainly no iPhone killer. It doesnt look even look like a Droid killer.
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post #5 of 104
And the Great Android Fragmentation continues . . .
post #6 of 104
I would actually consider this one a serious threat. About the only thing I see wrong with it is the lack of multi-touch. Browsing the web is so much easier without having to hunt for zoom buttons and to wrangle the screen into the right spot before zooming.

Unfortunately for them, the browsing is a big piece of the iPhone, given current mobile browser numbers being reported.

You'd think they would put some sort of multitouch to compete on a level playing field. Without it, they are still playing catch-up.
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post #7 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

I would actually consider this one a serious threat. About the only thing I see wrong with it is the lack of multi-touch. Browsing the web is so much easier without having to hunt for zoom buttons and to wrangle the screen into the right spot before zooming.

Unfortunately for them, the browsing is a big piece of the iPhone, given current mobile browser numbers being reported.

You'd think they would put some sort of multitouch to compete on a level playing field. Without it, they are still playing catch-up.

Even more than the multi-touch I am completely closed to this Google phone by the lack of double-tap to zoom into a webpage section. I think its often overlooked but I find this simple feature so usable that I cant imagine not having it.

The same goes for two fingers on a trackpad for scrolling on Mac notebooks. At this point the scroll bars can be completely removed from my Mac and i wont miss them.
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post #8 of 104
It is hard to understand how the back of the phone can be both silky and rubbery at the same time. The Nexus might feel good in the hand but it certainly is not silky!

The feel of the Iphone is amazing, so far nothing I have used has come close.
post #9 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Even more than the multi-touch I am completely closed to this Google phone by the lack of double-tap to zoom into a webpage section. I think its often overlooked but I find this simple feature so usable that I cant imagine not having it.

The same goes for two fingers on a trackpad for scrolling on Mac notebooks. At this point the scroll bars can be completely removed from my Mac and i wont miss them.

Double-tap is king. (I secretly desire to have that on my Mac.) Reverse-pinch feels clumsy in comparison to the elegance and simplicity of double-tapping. More phones should steal double-tap; it would certainly avoid violating any multi-touch patents.
post #10 of 104
It appears to be a nice phone, but I'll keep my sights on the next iphone, thank you
post #11 of 104
That is silly, it's like an uglier iphone. I don't like the lip on the bottom.

Seems like a similar phone to Apple's but a bit less pretty on top of being at a disadvantage with lower app quantity and quality. Nothing compares to the iphone app store.

Something has to be way better or way different to draw any attention away from Apple's strangehold.

My uncle's HTC HD2 is one of the nicest phones I've ever seen. Big beautiful screen really sets it apart, 800x480, made my iphone screen look small and low res. Also it's a beast in the specs department, has a nice 5MP cam and good overall slim design. There's one way to not be in Apple's shadow, just go for super high end luxury.
post #12 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Even more than the multi-touch I am completely closed to this Google phone by the lack of double-tap to zoom into a webpage section. I think its often overlooked but I find this simple feature so usable that I cant imagine not having it.

The same goes for two fingers on a trackpad for scrolling on Mac notebooks. At this point the scroll bars can be completely removed from my Mac and i wont miss them.

I saw the touch to zoom in the video. Was it not a double-tap, or was it single tap variant?
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post #13 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

And the Great Android Fragmentation continues . . .

Wow can we say read and regurgitate?

Thats kinda what happens when you have an OS thats completely open... people like htc come along and build their own little launch bars etc. Keep in mind here.. Google is the end all be all for android... their code branches are whats official.

I for one am happy there are competitors... I'd admit to being somewhat of an apple fanboy in the past, but lets face it, apple has treated the iphone as a tool to make money, and not anything else. I beleive its handling of software releases, or lack thereof has quite frankly been apalling.

"Let's release a phone thats really lax on features, and have the os locked down so end users cant fill in the gaps. Next lets abandon our current users, and current software so we can build some other new idevice that we can ream people for. "

I always thought having something like android around to keep apple in check was a fantastic thing... if apple thinks they are on top of the game, they wont do a damn thing to improve iphone or iphone software. IMO I think apple has dropped the ball big time with the iphone (specifically the iphone 3gs), and I hope they get schooled so that perhaps they will try and shed a bit of the arrogance going forward.
post #14 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

And the Great Android Fragmentation continues . . .

Can you explain why?
post #15 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Even more than the multi-touch I am completely closed to this Google phone by the lack of double-tap to zoom into a webpage section. I think its often overlooked but I find this simple feature so usable that I cant imagine not having it.

The same goes for two fingers on a trackpad for scrolling on Mac notebooks. At this point the scroll bars can be completely removed from my Mac and i wont miss them.

At least, double tap to zoom in and zoom out works on vanilla Android 2.0
post #16 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Can you explain why?

I can tell you why he POSTED that, but I dont agree... 2 or 3 people (probably paid by <insert other wireless carrier>) who are utterly clueless, wrote factless articles about what they THINK is going to happen, and then lemmings go and read it as fact.
post #17 of 104
The supposely iPhone killers are allways compared by hardware features (how many people know what speed the CPU in the iPhone runs at, hardly any).

While it's the software that makes the difference which it much, much harder to copy/come by (including proper SDK, desktop sync software etc.)

Small software things like have Core Animation: meaning ever app can easily use the same nice transitions (flipping around etc) as Apples own apps, make a big difference. By giving all apps the same polish and shine.

So the Nexus will come and go (like every other iphonekiller) while the iPhone (leading years on the software side) will keep it's steady climb in marketshare.
post #18 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnyej View Post

I can tell you why he POSTED that, but I dont agree... 2 or 3 people (probably paid by <insert other wireless carrier>) who are utterly clueless, wrote factless articles about what they THINK is going to happen, and then lemmings go and read it as fact.

I also know why he posted it. But I'm trying that he explains why he's saying that.

But my experience with Quadra is that everything but Apple is a piece of crap.

Peoplo complains about teckstud but people like Quadra is not better. But they're with us, so they're good.
post #19 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnyej View Post

Wow can we say read and regurgitate?

Thats kinda what happens when you have an OS thats completely open... people like htc come along and build their own little launch bars etc. Keep in mind here.. Google is the end all be all for android... their code branches are whats official.

I for one am happy there are competitors... I'd admit to being somewhat of an apple fanboy in the past, but lets face it, apple has treated the iphone as a tool to make money, and not anything else. I beleive its handling of software releases, or lack thereof has quite frankly been apalling.

"Let's release a phone thats really lax on features, and have the os locked down so end users cant fill in the gaps. Next lets abandon our current users, and current software so we can build some other new idevice that we can ream people for. "

I always thought having something like android around to keep apple in check was a fantastic thing... if apple thinks they are on top of the game, they wont do a damn thing to improve iphone or iphone software. IMO I think apple has dropped the ball big time with the iphone (specifically the iphone 3gs), and I hope they get schooled so that perhaps they will try and shed a bit of the arrogance going forward.

Have you tested or even played with a 3GS? I thought it to be just a minor upgrade myself, until I actually had a chance to play with one for about 20 minutes. This thing is a screamer compared with my 3G, not to speak of Voice Control, the improved camera. The 256MB RAM also eliminated the need to use "Free Memory" apps before launching a game. The coating on the screen itself is a great feature, much easier to slide your finger over the surface and doesn't smudge as much. I know the next version is going to be even more awesome, but this is a HUGE improvement over the 3G in almost every way for me, well worth the upgrade.

Just my 2 cents.
post #20 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

I saw the touch to zoom in the video. Was it not a double-tap, or was it single tap variant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

At least, double tap to zoom in and zoom out works on vanilla Android 2.0

Yeah, I see it. Mea culpa. The Android-based phone I last used didn't have this feature but now that I think about it it had all sorts of problems so if may not not have been a SW limitation.
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post #21 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


The same goes for two fingers on a trackpad for scrolling on Mac notebooks. At this point the scroll bars can be completely removed from my Mac and i wont miss them.

+1 for that. Between the scrolling, and LaunchBar, I hate using a different computer if it is not similarly equipped. Those two things speed navigation by leaps and bounds.
post #22 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

I also know why he posted it. But I'm trying that he explains why he's saying that.

But my experience with Quadra is that everything but Apple is a piece of crap.

Peoplo complains about teckstud but people like Quadra is not better. But they're with us, so they're good.

You know if you people would just go and Google the word "fragmentation" in the context of computer hardware and operating systems, half the posts you're making here wouldn't be necessary. It's an old concept that anyone who calls themselves technically knowledgeable should know.

The relevance of the concept of fragmentation, to an article about how the just announced Google version of an Android phone is actually a "killer" of the version of a Google Android phone announced just a few weeks ago should be pretty darned obvious also.

If you are that thick, I'll spell it out for you. Both phones are designed as "iPhone killers" but both phones compete primarily with each other and each is individually more likely to kill each other off than they are the iPhone.
post #23 of 104
Is Google turning into the next Microsoft? Great people, great ideas, lack of follow-through? The "Droid Killer" comment is hardly ironic; it is a statement of fact, albeit tongue in cheek reflection on iPhone killers. Killing the iPhone is a lot of work, but killing the Droid only takes a little bit of effort.

And... at the same time, killing the Droid gives Apple a huge opportunity with Verizon if contract negotiaitons are still stalled.
post #24 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

You know if you people would just go and Google the word "fragmentation" in the context of computer hardware and operating systems, half the posts you're making here wouldn't be necessary. It's an old concept that anyone who calls themselves technically knowledgeable should know.

The relevance of the concept of fragmentation, to an article about how the just announced Google version of an Android phone is actually a "killer" of the version of a Google Android phone announced just a few weeks ago should be pretty darned obvious also.

If you are that thick, I'll spell it out for you. Both phones are designed as "iPhone killers" but both phones compete primarily with each other and each is individually more likely to kill each other off than they are the iPhone.

Mmmm, thanks for knowing better than me what I think and what I know.

But I have asked Quadra why he always writes the same in all the threads about Android. I'm not asking for what explanation means, I'm asking him why he says that.

Ooohhh, perhaps I'm not the only thick here
post #25 of 104
http://www.russellbeattie.com/blog/a...ou-think-it-is

Android is splintering, just not how you think it is...

Not to be too condescending, but I think it's amusing to watch the old-school techies in the past couple years finally get around to paying attention to the mobile market that I've had been ranting about exclusively for the better part of the past decade. Tim Bray has a post today about the Android OS, dismissing the idea that there's splintering going on, or that it's a big deal if there is.



http://gigaom.com/2009/12/07/android...fragmentation/

Android Steps Closer to Fragmentation

Wind River announced today a commercial version of the Android platform that comes with pre-integrated apps and global support and is optimized for Texas Instruments’ OMAP 3. But the offering represents one more step toward a dangerously fragmented Android universe . . .


http://androidandme.com/2009/11/news...ion-look-like/

What does Android fragmentation look like?


Android fragmentation is real and it is not going away. Ask any developer and they will tell you about the difficulties of supporting multiple versions of Android and their different screen sizes.
post #26 of 104
http://www.itworld.com/personal-tech...-fragmentation

Sprint's Android updates highlight fragmentation

December 11, 2009, 07:40 PM — IDG News Service —

Just as Verizon pushes out the first operating-system update to the Droid, Android version 2.0.1, Sprint says its Android phones will get the 2.0 version as late as June next year.



Posts from fellow members included:



http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...0&postcount=20

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...7&postcount=25

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...3&postcount=30

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...0&postcount=65

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...8&postcount=80

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...4&postcount=16
post #27 of 104
The most interesting thing with the next iPhone I think is going to be the screen. It seems pretty clear that 2010 will be the year that iPhone OS breaks out of 480x320. Although the current SDK allows developers to programmatically determine the current screen size and adjust (and I suspect most UIKit based apps will tend to "just work"), I've seen a lot of developers hard-code for 480x320@163dpi, especially for games.

If nothing else, it'll mean lots and lots of updated AppStore apps, and probably the dumping of iPhone OS 2.2 for good (and thus speeding up and simplifying development).
post #28 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnyej View Post

I can tell you why he POSTED that, but I dont agree... 2 or 3 people (probably paid by <insert other wireless carrier>) who are utterly clueless, wrote factless articles about what they THINK is going to happen, and then lemmings go and read it as fact.

Are you saying that very differing hardware (from different manufacturers) and differing software versions, with the potential for different hw/sw combinations AND add to that the fact that carriers can enable disable features of Android as they see fit is not going to create a fragmented market.

You only have to look at Windows Mobile to see why this is going to fail miserably.

The OPENNESS of the platform isn't important, as your average joe (more of them than geeks/nerds) really could care less about it being open-source.
post #29 of 104
http://androidandme.com/2009/11/news...ion-look-like/

What does Android fragmentation look like?

Android fragmentation is real and it is not going away. Ask any developer and they will tell you about the difficulties of supporting multiple versions of Android and their different screen sizes.

So what exactly does Android fragmentation look like?










Android visitors to androidandme.com

The above data was generated by Google Analytics and it shows the number of visitors to our site using Android devices. This data was collected between November 6, 2009 (Droid launch) and November 21, 2009.

Nearly 50 percent of Android users are running version 1.6, 26 percent are on the new 2.0, and the remaining 24 percent have 1.5.

Android 1.6 leads the way because the HTC Dream (G1) and HTC Magic (myTouch 3G) phones have been out the longest and sold the most units. T-Mobile has updated both of these devices to Android 1.6 and HTC has made the 1.6 images available on their developers site.

Im a little surprised to see Android 2.0 is the second highest used version. There is currently only one phone (Droid) with this build, but we have heard reports of over 250,000 units sold already. The Droid is being heavily marketed towards the hardcore geek and this site also leans towards the hardcore user so that might be the reason for the elevated numbers.

Android 1.5 has the highest number of devices available right now, but it is coming in 3rd in usage. There really is no excuse for the carriers and handset makers to be shipping phones with the outdated Android 1.5. I know some of these phones have custom UIs (Sense UI, Motoblur, TouchWiz) but they should be easily updated to Android 1.6.
post #30 of 104
Will this phone only be available to T-Mobile customers?

If so, how will it compete with the Iphone or the Droid?
post #31 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

Mmmm, thanks for knowing better than me what I think and what I know.

your welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post

But I have asked Quadra why he always writes the same in all the threads about Android. I'm not asking for what explanation means, I'm asking him why he says that.

I guess you didn't read what I wrote very carefully.

The broad answer to your question is that he *doesn't* actually only post about fragmentation, but even if he did, the more ironclad response is ... because it's extremely relevant.

It's not only the number one problem facing the Android platform, it is the exact thing that this particular story (above) is about. why would someone not post about Android fragmentation, when that's what the AppleInsider story the thread is attached to is about? If you're gonna take Quadra to task for always talking about Android fragmentation, you should have at least chosen a thread that wasn't about that.

If, (like teckstud for instance), Quadra was to pepper a thread about something completely different, with his "pet issue" of Android fragmentation, then you'd have a point.

People complain about teckstud "going on about the same thing" because the thread will be about cars or market share, and he'll invariably pop in with "but what about matte screens!" or something similarly irrelevant. It's not the same thing at all.
post #32 of 104
For the love of all things holy and techy . . . THIS THING IS VAPORWARE! V-A-P-O-R-W-A-R-E! Real people haven't touched it yet, put it in their back pockets, dropped it getting out of their cars, run multiple (NEW) apps at the same time, etc., etc., etc. Until then, it doesn't exist as reviewed! It's a Potemkin Village and nothing more.

Let's look at it again in a couple of months after ten thousand teenagers and "regular people" have had their way with it. Even then, IT'S VERSION 1.0 of the device and clearly just a copy of the iPhone. Let's see how well they do with that!
post #33 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

The most interesting thing with the next iPhone I think is going to be the screen. It seems pretty clear that 2010 will be the year that iPhone OS breaks out of 480x320. Although the current SDK allows developers to programmatically determine the current screen size and adjust (and I suspect most UIKit based apps will tend to "just work"), I've seen a lot of developers hard-code for 480x320@163dpi, especially for games.

If nothing else, it'll mean lots and lots of updated AppStore apps, and probably the dumping of iPhone OS 2.2 for good (and thus speeding up and simplifying development).

Yes, I'm always wary of the hardcoded dimensions. Most do that for simplicity, but there is no excuse for doing so, and I think it's the biggest issue with rendering when certain things change in the SDK.

I can only imagine Apple upgrading the screens when they can make it an exact size increase (i.e. 2x, rather than 1.667 for 800x480). Going 2x to 960x640 would reduce a lot of compositing artifacts on up-scaling.
post #34 of 104
The enclosure of the google phone sure looks nice EOM
post #35 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Are you concerned because you are thinking about buying an Android based phone? If not why do you keep bringing up this worthless point.

It's hardly worthless. It's relevant to the Google discussion. It's a concern for some and it's worth noting because google is taking the exact opposite road (almost WinMo-like) to Apple's model. Contrasting both models is not only relevant, it's important.

Ask AppleInsider why the keep posting Google articles.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post


But my experience with Quadra is that everything but Apple is a piece of crap.

Not necessarily. But if it doesn't have an Apple logo on it, I'm immediately suspicious. The device is "guilty before proven innocent", and judging by what's come out of Apple over the last decade and what's been copied and churned out elsewhere, a healthy dose of suspicion is certainly warranted, at least at first blush.
post #36 of 104
What an odd thread. Who cares what Google are doing, I'm sure they'll have great phones running Android. iPhone basically has three things that Android doesn't, and maybe never will have.

1) Apps. Loads of them. More than 100,000 available and 2 billion downloaded. Some companies are making up to $1 million a month in sales, something that Google won't get overnight

2) iTunes/iPod. Love it or hate it, iTunes is the defacto music manager and this is the one single thing that would keep me, even if all other things didn't count. I don't want to carry a $300 phone and a $300 iPod around with me. It's just not plausible for me to move over 800GBs of music and video to another format or manager, I think a lot of other people are the same

3) Standards. There are 3 iPhone models and aside of speed, they can all pretty much do the same thing. The problem with the many different versions of Android is that apps will have a hard time staying compatible or being performant on each. OK, so Command and Conquer is slow on the 1st and 2nd gen iPhones, but it works. Some games will be 3GS only, but as a developer, you know everyone who bought an iPhone since July has the same model. You only have to look at the state of WinMo to see what eventually happens when you have 20 different OEMs using different implementations of your OS. Even RIM has a relatively stable OS release/look and feel, which is why they've been so successful.

When all is said and done, Apple and Google may end up owning more than 50% of the market between them before too long (at least in the US and EU), and some people will always want to multi-task regardless of battery life or ease-of-use, which is fine. But the terms "iPhone killer" or even "Droid-killer" are nonsense. These phones are here to stay for a very long time.

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
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Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
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post #37 of 104
I think Android is going to have some trouble hitting a bigger critical mass if they keep eating their own young. The Droid was super hyped a month ago now it's almost completely forgotten because the Nexus One is getting all the hype. In another month we'll move onto something new. It's not all bad but as a consumer it's tough to figure out when and what to buy. There's always something better just a month or two away.
post #38 of 104
Speaking to the speed, notice that then the tables scroll, there is no async delay, which means that the images are pre-loaded or cached. The iPhone is that fast as well in that situation.
post #39 of 104
Quote:
"In comparison, Chen said the Droid and iPhone screens seemed "washed out."

Another way to say it is..."Next to the Droid and iPhone, the Nexus One seems garish and over saturated."
post #40 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Are you concerned because you are thinking about buying an Android based phone? If not why do you keep bringing up this worthless point.

Oh, you are back, wonderful.
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