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Google Nexus One - Display, UI and Verdict
The few issues that do arise with the UI aren't the fault of the Nexus One specifically, but rather derive from Android. The interface still doesn't have the same sense of coherence that iOS exhibits, nor is there the same level of visual flair - even Windows Phone 7 looks set to trump Android in that regard. We're more than prepared to forgive this lack of polish in exchange for Android's notifications implementation, though. The simple, but very functional drop-down list works brilliantly, and augments Android's multitasking ability into a much more usable affair that it would otherwise be.
As much as we're pretty much converted - through out use of iPad's and iPhone's - to a web without Flash away from the desktop, we won't deny that Android 2.2's inclusion of mobile Flash is very good. Video played smoothly on every site we looked at, and we were able to fully bask in the glory of annoying, garish animations, too. Labelled as a beta it may be, but this is a Google beta, so it's nigh indistinguishable from production-ready.
Really pushed to find fault, we'll admit we'd prefer it if the browser defaulted to not displaying Flash elements until asked to, or at least offered that functionality as an option. That niggle aside, Google's initial implementation of mobile Flash on Android gets our unreserved applause.
Somewhat raining on this parade, however, is the knowledge that the Nexus One isn't anything special. Competent, well made, attractively designed, the Nexus One is all of these things, but so are a number of other Android devices. In fact, the HTC Desire might almost be called the Nexus Two. But the real issue is pricing. As much as we'd like to think the Nexus One will get cheaper, at the moment it's more expensive than a Desire or a Galaxy S. And they've not been abandoned by the companies selling them.
Even though Google isn't planning to sell the Nexus One itself any more, that shouldn't be considered a poor reflection on the handset. The Nexus One is a great pairing of the best version of Android yet and excellent hardware. If you can pick one up for cheap in the wake of Google's decision to cease selling the Nexus One directly, you'll not be disappointed, but for the moment it's a little pricey for all but hardcore Android devotees.
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