Google Nexus One Released
The highly hyped Google Nexus One phone has finally been revealed today and is now available for purchase directly from http://google.com/phone. That is, if you live in the US, UK, Hong Kong or Singapore. The rest of the world misses out for the time being as Google will not ship to other regions (although some imports are sure to trickle through).
Google has stated that they're looking to expand this to Verizon in the US (it's all about the US) and Vodafone in UK/Europe in the near future. No word as to other regions just yet, but it appears what Google is trying to do is enhance the public presence of Android and increase general public awareness.
That is, Google is offering to sell Android phones directly through their web-pages where customers can choose one of many Android models from different manufacturers and one of many different carriers available in their region, or outright unlocked. The Nexus One (HTC) will be just one of many. Likewise, T-Mobile, Verizon and Vodafone will be just the first of many carriers that will be directly linked.
It would also make sense if Google took this opportunity to ensure some sort of conformity for all phones sold through this distribution model. That is, all running the same version of Android with the same interface and receiving updates simultaneously. This consistency is much needed if the Android Market Place App Store equivalent is to have any chance of explosive growth. At present, it's impossible for developers to predict what Android version people are running, what hardware is available, how much memory, how much graphic processing power, screen resolution, size and ratio, keyboard or other input methods, etc.
As for the Nexus One itself, full specs are available here. Reviews so far are good but not great. There's nothing particularly revolutionary about the phone or software, just a marginal hardware upgrade over the Droid and Milestone. Other phones will be available in the coming months that match and surpass it's specs including the HTC Bravo and Sony Ericsson X10.
If you're lucky enough to be in one of the regions that it's available in then it's a good outright buy. But if you have no choice but to import via other channels, then it's probably best to wait a little longer to see how this new distribution model develops. Although, knowing a little about how Australian telecos work I wouldn't hold out for a carrier plan any time soon. Best us Aussies can hope for is that Google decides to ship the phones to us unlocked for full outright price.