Google nexus one

The uphill battle for any Android device is not whether it can outclass Windows Mobile, or work more intuitively than a Nokia phone running Symbian, or even compete with the Palm Pre (which has its own set of challenges finding an audience).

And there isn't even a battle for the business market, which is practically owned by BlackBerry devices.

Instead, the comparison always comes back to the Apple iPhone - is the Nexus One the best smartphone on the market, and if it is not, how far back from the number one device does it fall?

We liked

Slim, stylish and full-featured, the Nexus One feels almost exactly like an iPhone in your hand. The 5-megapixel camera is a major upgrade from the early days of washed-out photos and choppy videos and elements like the responsive touchscreen and Facebook contact imports are a real boon.

We disliked

The Nexus One will get slippery after a day of use; it lacks the special coating that makes the iPhone less grime-covered.

There were also a few times we tilted the phone and it failed to go into landscape mode, and we pressed an icon or button and the touchscreen did not register our click.

Some reports - which we did not experience on our review device - suggest problems with the keypad and with getting customer support for the phone, which is inevitable when you have a new carrier model with the Google phone shop.

Verdict

We think Apple should not be too alarmed. The Nexus One is a great phone, easily one of the best Android models we've used. There are thousands of apps available, the touchscreen is smooth and fluid - but the reality is that the overall experience has a few low points.

There are times when the Nexus One reveals itself as less than perfect, especially when an app that has worked fine (like the one for the camera) suddenly won't start any more.

There were also a few times when the tilt function didn't function correctly, or when a finger press failed to register. These are minor issues, really - but issues the iPhone does not have, and as such it's not going to be the iSlayer that we were almost starting to expect.