April 25, 2010 (tech,gadgets)
Why I returned my Nexus One

I was really looking forward to the Nexus One phone.  I used a Droid Eris (also an HTC phone) a few months ago and loved the phone, except for the battery life (much worse than my iPhone) and the fact that it was on Verizon (no reception at work).  See my review of the Droid Eris.  When I heard of the Nexus One, I hoped that it would be a major step-up from the Droid Eris, since it was Android 2.1, with built-in Exchange integration and all the latest OS goodness from Google.  Unfortunately, it is missing a bunch of features.  Read more for the blow-by-blow.

Reasons for returning my Nexus One

  • Soft keys alone are not good. The four navigation keys on the front of the N1 are not very responsive and I often have to hit the area twice to get a response.
  • When you press the trackball (which sticks out higher than the face of the phone), it wakes the phone, so with the phone in your pocket, you often turn on the screen without knowing it, which drains the battery.
  • When you are listening to music, and the phone is locked, you cannot control the music player on the N1 without unlocking the phone. Both the iPhone and the HTC Sense enabled Android phones provides you with music controls on the locked screen.
  • Although you can get exchange email working, the exchange calendar does not synchronize. You can install third party exchange solutions like Touchdown, but then you have two sets of contacts and the whole integrated experience goes out the door. HTC Sense on other Android devices provides Contacts, Calendar and Mail features with Exchange.
  • The dialer does not ‘find’ the contact as you type the name on the dial pad. So you have to scroll to a contact to dial it. On Windows Mobile and HTC Sense on Android, as you type the digits on the dialer, the contact list filters to only show people with names or numbers that match as you type. Really a must have for a phone. I even had that feature on my Nokia E71.
  • Typing on the on-screen keyboard is not as accurate as the iPhone. I am not sure why that is, but the keyboard is a bit narrower, and I also suspect that the lack of multi-touch has some effect on the speed with which you can mash the keys with two thumbs. Or maybe I am just too used to the smart correction on the iPhone.
  • I found the build quality a bit shoddy. The panels didn’t line up very well causing ridges between the battery cover and the front bezel.
  • Sound was a bit thin compared to the iPhone
  • Camera is slow, flash is not very good, pictues look worse than iPhone’s
  • Internet Browser is pretty good, but doesn’t support flash yet (although there are ways to get that working)
  • Standard Android Music Player is not nearly as impressive as HTC’s player
  • Navigation in Google Maps is super cool.