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The Nexus One (at 130g) weighs a full 39g less than the Motorola Milestone, but matches the screen size exactly at 3.7-inches - but that's probably mostly dropped by losing the keyboard.
Like the iPhone, the buttons on the outside of the device are sparse. There are two volume control buttons, a power button and a scrollwheel. There are no buttons on the right side of the phone or underneath. Topside, there is a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
The scrollwheel is functional enough, although you might find yourself using the touchscreen more often. You can push the scrollwheel to select options on screen. We prefer the slightly more rugged scrollwheel on older BlackBerry devices - many of them have a texture that makes the wheel easier to use.
On the back of the Nexus One, where you'll see the rather large Google logo, there's a 5MP camera and a flash. This minimalist design gives the Nexus One a fresh, slim, and appealing look and feel.
The phone feels just about right in the hand, and no wonder: it is remarkably close in size to the Apple iPhone 3GS. As we mentioned, the Nexus One is perhaps a bit too thin and slippery for prolonged use.
On the surface of the phone, there are four buttons - and they are not only lit so you can see them in low light but use haptic feedback to register each press (they provide a slight buzz).
There's a back button, menu, home and search. For the most part, these touch sensitive zones are easy to find and use, but if you press near the bottom of the button, your press will not register.
Over time, you learn to hit the top of the button to make sure you don't have to press a few times to get it to work right. The haptics are helpful at times, if somewhat annoying on repeated use.
The Nexus One is not cheap. In the US the phone costs $529 without a contract or $179 with T-Mobile service, and it will be coming to Vodafone in the UK in the next few weeks, likely with a price tag around £350 - £400, but only via Google's dedicated phone portal.
One of the greatest strengths of this phone is the Qualcomm QSD 8250 1GHz processor, which runs lightning fast for games, apps, media and just about any task.
There are times when the phone hangs or pauses, but that is somewhat expected with the new Android OS. Another perk: the wallpapers are animated - we especially liked the one with the intersecting Tron lines.
In the box
The Nexus One ships in a white box with a curiously familiar 'jewellery box' compartmental design, cocking more than a snook to another big-hitting phone on the market.
There's a USB cable, earbuds, charger, a slim manual and the 119-mm tall device. The shape and size is definitely similar to the iPhone, without the thick and rugged feel of the Milestone or the more diminutive feel of the HTC Magic or HTC Tattoo phones.
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John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.