Millennia ago, an ancient Greek philosopher asked the questions, “Which smartphone reigns supreme? Does the Nexus One outclass the iPhone? If I have an iPhone, should I switch? Where are my pants?”
The Nexus One is the new smartphone officially announced last Tuesday.
Pre-announcement, the Internet was ablaze with rumors: The Nexus will be an iPhone killer.
The Nexus will make the Motorola Droid obsolete. The Nexus became self-aware on August 29, 1997, at 2:14 a.m. EDT, and is sending robots into the past to kill John Connor.
But, does the Nexus One live up to the hype?
Well, yes and no. Unlike other over-hyped smartphone launches, this one is actually selling.
While it isn’t as awesome as some of the Internet hype indicated, people are still interested in buying it instead of grabbing a tub of cookie dough ice cream and eating through the disappointment of another crappy smartphone.
But, is the Nexus One an iPhone killer?
Long story short, no. Google did a lot of things right and, if you are in the market for a smartphone, it is definitely an alternative to the iPhone, especially if you want to avoid AT&T’s shoddy 3G network.
If you already have an iPhone, though, you will gain nothing noticeable in switching. And of course, the iPhone’s app store has about 10 times as many apps as Google’s.
But, here we come to a key difference in the two smartphones.
Yes, the iPhone has a plethora of apps and, for the standard user, all is well with the world.
But for those of us who feel that our phones, not our eyes, are the windows to the soul, the lack of customization and the large numbers of banned apps on the iPhone feel rather constricting.
It’s actually ironic. Apple, the company whose original advertising campaign and continuing image promotes being different from the flock, now forces its customers to all be the same, and conform to its heavily enforced phone-identity.
I can just see a Nexus One commercial now, someone throwing a hammer through an iPhone, “so 2010 won’t be like 1984.” Or something to that effect.
Google’s Android mobile operating system is an open one, meaning that the average Joe is able to do what he sees fit with his phone.
If he wants to download an app that totally changes the look of the home screen, then that’s his business. This, I think, is great.
However, the things that are banned at the moment on the iPhone are not things that most people are going to get anyway, so, for them, nothing of value is lost.
But, that is not the only way Google is shaking things up.
The release of the Nexus One is an early stage of Google’s long-term plan to take everything wireless carriers hold dear, set it on fire, and dance about the inferno playing a cheery, toe-tapping fiddle tune.
Today, wireless companies work by making deals with phone manufacturers (Motorola, Samsung, HTC) and operating systems (Windows Mobile, Android) and bundling it all so that if a consumer wants to buy the newest, best smartphone, they are forced to use the carrier that sells it.
This is how companies like T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T make money. So even if you hate AT&T, if you want an iPhone, you have to use them.
Google, being the oxy-moronic pro-consumer big business that it is, decided that this system sucked for everyone except the wireless carriers.
It wanted to give some power back to the little guy, the one actually buying the phones.
While the Nexus One can be used only with Verizon or T-Mobile, Google’s plans involve eventually having the manufacturers sell the devices online, allowing the consumer to choose any operating system and carrier, forcing the companies to compete for your business.
Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like a very admirable thing to do.
In fact, it seems like a much better system than we currently use.
I will go so far as to say this: If you want to be a truly righteous, awesome individual, buy a Nexus One, and support Google’s New (cell phone) World Order.
My final word is this; the iPhone and Nexus One are both great phones, and they are pretty much comparable in most cases.
But if you value customization and a pro-consumer philosophy, go with the Nexus One.
Another option could be just to wait a few more months and see what other cell phone will come out that will top both the Nexus One and the iPhone.
Or just save your money and put it towards college tuition or some other not -so-important thing.