After using our Nexus One for over a day and comparing it to an iPhone, we can draw some initial conclusions. (Obviously we will do a full blow by blow comparison after we finish testing it.)
You've probably read that the Nexus One is nothing ground breaking or anything special. We tend to disagree. The most special thing about the Nexus is its incredibly tight integration with almost all Google services (duh) — and like its Borg namesake, the Android OS links those services together to work as one. On the iPhone, it's a hodge-podge of apps working with each service separately.
We can say that the phone is pretty much useless with out a Gmail, Picasa, and YouTube account. For example, in our case we use Gmail for all our email, but our Mac's address book and calendar for contacts and scheduling. So we had to import everything into Google – no sweat. (We will have a guide for importing data at a later date.)
You know about Google Mobile's voice recognition: we think it's one of the best implementations out there. Well, on the iPhone, we don't even use it. Remember, it's a pain to launch another app, and it won't run in the background. The Nexus has vox-rec integrated into the phone, and it makes work flow a breeze. If you're driving, don't type your text message – just click the mic icon on the keyboard and speak. So far, voice recognition for us has been 99% accurate. Same rules apply for making calls, performing searches, etc.
One notable exclusion on our Nexus One is a lack of multitouch support. (This may only affect US-bound phones; the EU version reportedly does support multitouch). So far, the only place we've missed multitouch is in the browser; we are so used to pinch-in and pinch-out while Web-surfing that it's a hard habit to break. Performing those gestures in a Nexus browser windows merely gives you a zoom in/zoom out option with the zoom tool.
Day One conclusion: We really have to split this, for two types of users.
On the one hand: Let's take my wife, who uses an iPhone mostly for calls, texting, maps, searches, some web browsing, occasional apps, music on Pandora, and the odd video or picture viewing. If I give her a Nexus One, she would not miss a beat: either phone would do everything she needed. Actually, the fact that Nexus has a Navigation app and great voice recognition would make her like the Nexus more than her iPhone.
On the other hand, us hard core iPhone users are still on the fence as to whether we would switch 100%. We are way addicted to apps, and love the sheer volume of quality games on the iPhone. In all honesty, right now the size of Google's apps store and the availability of games is the main differentiating factor for us.
On the third hand: as heavy users of Google services, their tight integration on the Nexus One is addicting.
So with one day of use under our belts, Google's first phone is a strong opponent to Uncle Steve's pride and joy. By the end of the week, we'll know if it's the vaunted "iPhone killer" you've been waiting for.
Tomorrow we will dive in into music and video management.(things changed, day 3)