On Tuesday, Google, Inc. unveiled its Nexus One smart phone at a crowded press conference in Mountain View, California. To say the device has caused hyperventilated speculation would be an understatement, with predictions ranging from the dethroning of the iPhone to revolutionizing the phone industry as a whole. Now that two major tech blogs have gotten their hands on the hallowed phone ahead of the masses, the speculation can turn to concrete debate. While TechCrunch's Michael Arrington says it's the much-awaited telecom messiah,  Engadget's Joshua Topolsky is more lukewarm. Here's the side-by-side rundown:


SOFTWARE

  • Awesome Features Arrington gives high praise for the phone's Android 2.1 software for its voice keyboard, attractive wallpaper settings and most importantly, its integration with Google Voice: "Google Voice is deeply integrated with the phone, as it is with all Android phones. That means you can assign your Google Voice number to the phone, and use it to make all outbound calls and text messages. In my opinion this is the single biggest selling point for Android phones, and why I won't switch away from the platform any time soon.
  • No Major Improvements, writes Joshua Topolsky at Engadget: "Android 2.1 is in no way dramatically different than the iteration of the OS which is currently running on the Motorola Droid (2.0.1). In fact, there is so little that's different in the software here, we were actually surprised. Of the notable changes, many are cosmetic -- if there are major underlying differences between this OS and the one on the Droid, we can't see what they are."
CAMERA
  • Wonderful, writes Arrington: "The phone's camera really shines. It has a large footprint on the back of the device, larger than on most phones. It's a 5 megapixel camera with a flash, but that description doesn't do it justice. The macro and low light features are top notch for a mobile phone."
  • Agreed, writes Topolsky: "One place where the Nexus One seems to be improving things is in the camera department. Not only has Google bumped up the speed of the camera app (which we're still not that stoked about in general), but the 5 megapixel lens and flash took sharp, detailed images with none of the HTC-related issues we've seen on other models. The focus of the lens was super speedy, and images came out looking more or less as we'd hoped."
BATTERY LIFE
  • Poor, writes Arrington: "I've found battery life to be woefully brief, even by iPhone standards. Officially the phone has up to 7 hours talk time, 250 hours standby, 5 hours of 3G Internet use, 7 hours of video playback and 20 hours of audio playback. Unofficially...Be prepared to keep this phone near a charger at all times."
  • Not Bad, writes Topolsky: "From what we've seen, the battery performs admirably. Thus far we haven't had any major shockers when it came to power drain, and that AMOLED screen seems to go easy on things even when cranked up to a pretty stark setting."
DISPLAY
  • Fantastic, writes Arrington: "Most of your interaction with the phone will be through the gorgeous 3.7 inch 480 x 800 OLED capacitive touchscreen. This is the best mobile phone display on the market today, blowing away the iPhone's 480 x 320 display. The screen is bright and alive, and an absolute pleasure to use."
  • Problems with Color Balance, writes Topolsky: "The big issue with the screen, though, is actually the color balance. We found colors on the Nexus One, particularly in the reds and oranges, to be severely blown-out and oversaturated -- a common effect with AMOLED displays like the Nexus One's."
SUMMARY JUDGEMENT
  • Believe the Hype, applauds Arrington: "This is the best Android powered phone to date. It's also the fastest and most elegant smartphone on the market today, solidly beating the iPhone in most ways. In this rapidly evolving market there is sure to be something better just around the corner. But if you are looking to buy a high end smartphone right now, this is the phone for you. The Nexus One is the Android signature device."
  • Nothing New Here, writes Topolsky: "The Nexus One is at its core just another Android smartphone. It's a particularly good one, don't get us wrong -- certainly up there with the best of its breed -- but it's not in any way the Earth-shattering, paradigm-skewing device the media and community cheerleaders have built it up to be."