Google Nexus One FAQ

Google's Nexus One live event is over, phones are starting to get into the media's hands (officially), and orders are going out. After the break: Everything you need to know about the Nexus One:

Whose phone is this? Google's? Or HTC's?

Make no mistake about it: The Nexus One is Google's baby; HTC's just the manufacturer. That's not to say this thing doesn't look and feel like an HTC phone, but Google is very much in charge.

How can I get one?

It's on sale now at You can but it unlocked (and unsubsidized) for $529, or with a T-Mobile plan for $179. For now, it's only available at

Update: The subsidized route is actually a little different if you're already a T-Mobile customer. Here's the official breakdown: (updated 1/14)

Tell me about the T-Mobile plan

If you go the T-Mobile route, you'll be getting the "T-Mobile Even More individual 500 Plan." You will have to be eligible for the service, and Google will check with T-Mobile during the checkout process.

With that plan, which costs $79.99 a month, you get:

  • 500 voice minutes
  • Unlimited nights and weekends
  • Unlimited T-Mobile to T-Mobile minutes.
  • Unlimited domestic messaging, including SMS, MMS and IMs.
  • Android Unlimited Web.

You also get a phone case, wall charger and USB cable. Shipping is free.

Explain the whole 'unlocked' thing.

The Nexus One is a GSM phone. That means if you buy it unlocked, you can stick any GSM SIM card into it, and it should work. That said: While the phone will work on AT&T in the U.S. and Rogers in Canada, it can't use their 3G service -- only T-Mobile's. The Nexus One does have WiFi, so there's that.

Unlocked also means "unsubsidized." Without a carrier picking up a big part of the tab, you'll be paying more for the phone up front. But you're not locked into a new contract (and thus the "unlocked" term), and you have more flexibility on service plans.

Will the Nexus One be on any other carriers?

Yes. It'll be coming to Verizon. No word on when, other than "soon." In Europe, the Nexus One is coming to Vodafone. Again, no word on when.

There has been absolutely no official world about the Nexus One being on AT&T (other than in an unlocked status) or on Sprint.

What flavor of Android is on the Nexus One?

The N1 ships with Android 2.1 and currently is the only phone with that version of the operating system.

So this is 'Flan' Froyo?

No. Android 2.1 is not "Flan" Froyo, the next big version of Android. Google's going alphabetically, and Android 2.0 is "Eclair." Android 2.1 is part of the Eclair line.

What kinds of bells and whistles do I get?

We're all used to telling phones to "call home." But with the Nexus One and Android 2.1, if you can type it, you can say it. Dictate an e-mail. Speak your text messages. It's that simple.

Also, the little trackball at the bottom of the phone will glow different colors depending on the event. Get an e-mail? That's one color. Voicemail? That's another.

The Nexus One also gets an updated user interface. Gone is the app "drawer," which instead becomes sort of an app Rolodex.

And do you like Google Earth? It's on the Nexus One, thanks to its Snapdragon processor and 3D graphics capabilities.

What about accessories?

They're not available yet, but we've seen desktop and car docking systems go through the FCC. Both are said to have Bluetooth. 

The desktop dock is now available for $45. (Updated 1/27)

Does the Nexus One have an app store?

Yep. It uses the Android Market, just like any other Android phone.

What are the technical specs of the Nexus One?

  • Display: 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen at 800x480 pixels.
  • Processor: Qualcomm QSD 8250 (Snapdragon) at 1GHz.
  • Memory: 512 of storage memory (ROM), 512MB of program memory (RAM). Comes with 4GB MicroSD card, expandable to 32GB.
  • Size: 119mm long, 59.8mm wide, 11.5mm thick.
  • Battery: 1400mAh; is removable. Up to 10 hours talk time on 2G; 7 hours on 3G. Up to 290 hours of standby time.
  • Weight: 130 grams with battery.
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n. (Update: 802.11n is there, but turned off, for now.)
  • Bluetooth: 2.1 + EDR and stereo playback.
  • Radios: GSM/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz); HSDPA (download) up to 7.2Mbps; HSUPA (upload) up to 2Mbps. UMTS 1/4/8 (2100/AWS/900)
  • Location: Assisted GPS, with cell tower and WiFi triangulation.
  • Camera: 5 megapixels, with autofocus and 2x digital zoom. LED flash.
  • Just ordered mine, can't wait until I get it in my hands!
  • Actually, a quick question- If this needs an android unlimited web package to run on Tmo, what will be needed on AT&T? They have an apple data plan, and a blackberry data plan... But no android data plan... Sorry for being a newb
  • So long as you have a data plan with AT&T, you should be good. But we'll check.
  • Actually with ATT they have 3 separate data plans (Apple, BlackBerry, and Other Smartphone) Im gonna guess you would need to have the other labeled or you might get some problems listed on your bill. But "You don't have to take my word for it!" Personally I just ordered it and am saying goodbye to AT&T...It's been nice but lets face it, I live in the tri-state area and with T-Mobile's new infrastructure upgrades and MUCH cheaper plans it was an obvious switch! I cannot believe they are already in the works with 21MBs (I think this link with Google had something to do with the upgrades)
  • I really looked into the T Mobile plans for the N1. They're not cheap. T Mobile is not a good network, the only way I would consider it is if it were at least $20 cheaper than VZ or ATT. So the N1 on Verizon would probably be worth waiting for. With a family plan and two other non-smart phones, it's only $10 more a month for a Droid on Verizon right now. The Nexus One is a pretty good phone, but since the Droid is getting upped to 2.1 in a couple weeks and the N1 may not arrive for 3 months, that seems like a better move right now. Not at all sure I want to be stuck in a high dollar plan on T-Mo for 2 years just to get a cool phone.
  • Completely lame release. Little new except Verizon. Way overhyped as a product. Will get 2.1 on Droid later anyway, which is most of what is new.
  • Speaking for myself: I agree it is hyped.
    But to me this is the perfect phone.
    -The lagging in apps/games annoys me.
    -Crappy cameras annoy me (auto focus, flash, quality are needed).
    -Phone slipping through my hand.
    -Bad battery annoys me.
    -Bad screens/design/touch response/build, suck.
    -Call quality is also annoying. The nexus one seems like it will cover all of those points, making it the best smartphone to date. It will answer everyones complaints on their current phones. Wait for all the reviews and issues.
    If the camera and battery suck then I would wait until something better comes out.
  • this phone is a bad mother u know what i mean all the hype is true dont let the iphone users sway u my boy got an i phone untill he played wit the nexus 1 now he has a nexus 1 too the down loads are som much faster web pagers open up so much quicker and the live wall paper just makes t look smooth on a scale of 1 to 10 i get it an 11
  • The really remarkable thing about the Nexus One at the Google web store is the business model behind it.
  • [deleted]
  • I went through the motions of ordering a phone through the Google web store. I couldn't get much details on the TMO plans. Very few options. There was no way to add other phones to my plan and get a family plan which I need to do. So if you want to do stuff like this you have to go to the TMO store - except the N1 isn't available there of course. You can also see all the plan options on the TMO website - but likewise the N1 is not available there either. So I guess you have to just order the phone and then try and get the plan straightened out and adjusted to your liking by TMO after the fact, only without really knowing beforehand if the options you want are available and what the cost will be. It's good that the phone is sold directly by Google I guess, but it would be far better if it were also available in the stores and on the carrier website. Having Google as the only seller actually sucks. If this is also true for the Verizon version, buyers are going to have the exact same problems. Not sold. This is not empowering the buyer, it's making things worse. Plus, the phones are still in reality pretty much tied to their respective carriers. No advance there. Good idea in theory, but in practice - worse than what they have now.
  • Besides android 2.1 and a faster cpu, what makes it worth buying over my cliq,,,same os, same apps from the market,,,basically the same aren't they?
  • RAM. I've long believed that low RAM on all the available phones was ruining the Android experience. This thing has double the RAM of even the Droid. It will make bouncing between apps (and even accepting an incoming call while you're working in another app) more smooth.
  • this looks really nice but why would i switch to this from droid? I'm going to turn it on and literally see the same thing I see now. I'll be happy when droid gets 2.1.
  • I'm confused. You can buy an "unlocked" version now, but there will be a version later that will support Verizon's CDMA network. Will the "unlocked" version then change to some magic version that supports both CDMA and GSM? Or will you have to choose your flavor of "unlocked" phone?
  • Doubtful. The Verizon version likely will be just that - a Verizon version. Unlocked will remain GSM. (CDMA phones don't have SIM cards to swap, so unlocking's kinda moot)
  • cant wait to get 2.1 on the droid.
  • talked to tmo rep...only can get this phone through google, unlocked or with a plan through tmo
  • I have read on some other sites that TMO is charging $379 for existing customers even if they are eligible for an upgrade. Can anyone confirm this?
  • I can pretty much confirm that this is crap. I've been on the phone all day with T-Mobile trying to figure out how to get all this to work together since I don't have an eligible upgrade. If they were charging $379, they'd've said something.
  • GermanPhoneGuy You are asking such a dumb ? that is like asking do you want a corvette or a lambo i mean it has way way faster CPU then cliq and more ram and more then likely Google will keep updating there phone to make it better bc its there own phone and they probably want to make it better then the rest of the phones and also not important but it has 3d capability and for sure more talk time then most android phones. Basically i think this is a great phone its better then any android phone on the market if you want great quality phone from a great company and have a bad ass phone get the nexus one !!
  • Seriously... Is 500 minutes the ONLY plan available... Wtf??? I use 500 min almost a week... This is not good for a true business user and no way that will work for me.. I WAS looking forward to a new phone but that aint happening unless I can get an unlimited plan. RrrRrRrrrrrrrrrrrr.
  • 500 is NOT the cap. You start with the 500 minute plan because that's the least you can get. Call up T-Mobile and they'll be MORE than happy to give you more minutes.
  • Unfortunately, if you buy the device for $179, the 500 minutes plan is the only option. Just spoke with T-Mobile while trying to activate my Nexus One. Looks like i'll have to wait on this one.
  • As a current and long-time T-Mobile Family Plan subscriber, it looks like there's nothing here for me without spending $530 or committing to a two year contract AND switching calling plans. It would have been nice to offer a path for current users to keep their current plan and provide 1- and 2-year contract upgrade paths, like they did for the G1 and myTouch 3G.
  • Does anyone know how to get their hands on one prior to making the purchase decision (other than to find someone that bought one)? Even though you can't buy one at a T-mobile store, will they have one to demo? Definitely interested, but don't want to tie up $530 waiting on a refund if I don't like it.
  • Now that is a GOOD question.
    Aren't there a few people out there skeptical enough to insist upon a demo before shelling out a half-thousand dollars??
  • Is that freq band compatible with the European UMTS/HSDPA networks or is 2100 AWS different?
  • So, this means I can buy 2 unlocked Nexus Ones (me and the wife) and go with the T-Mobile "Even More Plus 750" plan at $110/mo rather than shelling out $160/mo for two subsidized individual plans, right? Over two years, that's a savings of $500 going without the commitment but paying for the phone up front.
  • But that means that you spent an extra $200 over the two years - (529-179)*2-500 = 200.
  • I did the math...based on the plans he would save 1200 over 2 years minus 700 extra for the 2 phones up front, which is a total savings of $500 (160-110)*24-2(530-180)=500 -Math Wiz :)
  • What some of you are missing with the significance of this product is that this is more then just another android phone. The average consumer has no clue what Android is. This is Google's phone. The fact that the name "google" is stamped on it will give this phone significant mindshare with consumers. Up until this point, Apple has little competition in that area. I think this is the death nail for Palm.
  • Right, what people is missing is this isn't some miracle no no. What this is is a way to console the fragmentation worries first and foremost. By setting a standard, coming up with the Google Phone checkout, and saying only 'approved' versions will get in's making sure that each device will be ready for true across phone usage. This to me, is just the brand new era of OHA and making it work more closely. If you watched/read the liveblog you would see that they were touting the OHA more and more. So they are trying to build upon what is already built and just make it more stable before it gets out of hand.
  • My Droid has "Google" stamped on the back of it, how is this different?
  • Agree with you on the nail in the coffin for Palm. I have already thought they would get lost in the noise as Android takes off, but this really does it. It doesn't matter how supposedly great web OS is- it will get lost in the noise too.
  • It is NOT the death of Palm. Palm showed at their CES Keynote that they are back, in a big way. In some ways, they are in a better position than Android is, at the moment. Typed on my DROID, FYI.
  • @Rob. I like the mixing of "nail in the coffin" and "death knell" ;-) Grammar Nazi-ness aside, I think you're right about palm.
  • Keeping an eye on my order.. can't wait until it says shipped so I can finally dump the iPhone. I was considering the Droid, but after seeing my friend's I had no interest.. little too clunky & "bricky" for me. I'm actually using a MyTouch 3G, instead of the iPhone, right now since I like the Android OS SO MUCH better than iPhone, but because of the speed & small screen I haven't been confident enough to put the 3GS on Ebay. I have a feeling I'll have my iPhone for sale in the next few days. ;)
  • I'm asking for a deaf friend who uses data only plans. If she buys the phone from Google (non-subsidized) would she be able to use T-Mobile's data only. Since she doesn't use voice at all, the plan for $79.99 is definitely not attractive to her. Sprint has plans for deaf people, and T-Mobile had data only for the sidekick, but keeps quoting her the $79.99 for the N1, even without voice. Thanks.
  • That's a great question!
    I would call T-Mobile, she may have to end up signing up for the $80 plan and then having the plan adjusted by T-Mobile reps..
  • As a UK resident can anyone confirm that if I purchase an N1 unlocked I will be able to use my existing Orange UK simcard, or do I have to wait until a UK specific device is available. Just curious as the prices are all quoted in $'s and not £'s. Plus I need to be able to 3G on it. Any info would be appreciated.
  • Well as long as it falls under those 3G bands, you can use it. The EDGE is covered, as long as a GSM phone is quad-band, it will work under the minimalist conditions. But for of course need to check which bands Orange uses and see if they match with these bands.
  • i guess its all good what google is trying to do, but they should have at least put something on the phone to make it mouthwatering, some exclusive software that i just gotta have. my phone runs well as it is, and like i said there isnt any apps on the market that the n1 can run that my current phone cant, i need a reason to upgrade, not just so i can wait a second less for my app to open... am i missing something?
  • A trackball?! Don't waste your money. Even BlackBerry has abandoned trackballs because they get dirty and stop working.
  • For me the trackball on the MT3G is just a nice notification light, I never use it as a trackball. It's REALLY nice having that thing light up when you get a message... especially in a movie, meeting, library or any other place that you need to keep the thing silent.
  • The nexus one will work on all UK networks at full 3G speeds because they all use the 2100MHz band
  • Are you sure? I think 2100 AWS might me different that UK 3G (maybe the uplink freqs are different?)
  • The biggest thing holding me back is the onboard ram, only 512. What I like the best about the iphone is you can have 16gb or 32gb dedicated to whatever you want, if I have to worry about what is on the sd card and will it take longer to read or process or not even work off the card, I don't like that. With over 5000 contacts on my iphone and music, that's a lot of data that is just there and ready to use, no extra area to pull from. Maybe my thoughts on it are stupid, but that's what will hold me back. That and I also want to hear about some people's use of the phone with all the buttons on the back, my fat fingers and tiny buttons, I like just one button and all touch baby, maybe HTC could do just the track ball and ditch the buttons.
  • The 16GB/32GB memory that you're referring to on the iphone is actually hard drive space, not ram. N1 has more RAM than the 3GS. However, you can install apps/media to an micro SD that is easily accessible by your phone. The ram and processor of the N1 is far more superior than the RAM/processor in the iphone.
  • The 3GS has 512MB of RAM, just like the N1. What was it again? And purchased apps through the android marketplace cannot be stored on the card (not without a hack anyway). So there, 512MB vs 32GB, guess who wins? There are games in the app store that don't even fit on that phone! If you want to do blind bashing or trolling, do it right!
  • nobody is blind bashing. do your research. better yet, do you have an iphone 3gs to confirm the 512mb of ram, i do and nowhere in it does it have 512mb of "So there, 512MB vs 32GB, guess who wins?" LOL...thats not even a contest, let alone, those are two totally different types of memory...lmao...blind
  • Google is moving down in the stack to challenge B2C opponents with an open architecture and new sets of standards. In creating a post-revenue business model, Google can only manage success if consumers accept a co-branding and outsourced manufactured device ... NQ Logic recommends reading about the rest of the new Google's mobile strategy at
  • Can anyone confirm if this phone can be used only as a wifi voip phone (google voice/gizmo5) without any data or voice service? I want it for around the house or where there is wifi, but don't want to pay for any service. I already have a company provided touch pro 2, and have been wanting an android phone that handles voip well.
  • So i am either switching to verizon or tmob to get this... but i will get it!!!!!
  • what if i have a unlimited voice and data rate plan with tmobile and i what to buy the g phone at a full price, will i have to change my rate plan?
  • In point of fact, I do believe that the iphone does have ram. It was accidentally leaked when the iphone 3gs made its debut. See article below from wired: "Apple has flatly refused to tell anyone just what chips lie inside the iPhone 3G S. In fact, while Apple insists that the “s” in 3G S stands for speed, it could equally well stand for secrecy. But T-Mobile in the Netherlands apparently didn’t get the memo, and has gone ahead and posted the hardware specs on the product page for the new models. The relevant numbers are 256MB RAM for the OS, double that of the 128MB in the original iPhone, and a 600MHz processor, up from the pedestrian 412MHz of the first two models. The added RAM alone probably makes a huge difference — if you have ever added memory to a Mac you’ll know how much OS X loves it some extra gigs to play around in. And that processor neatly leapfrogs the second-gen iPod Touch’s 532MHz. It also shuts up anyone comparing the iPhone to the Palm Pre, which has the exact same number of megahertz: 600. Of course, this never really mattered — as soon as the iPhone goes on sale it will be torn apart like a gazelle being set upon by hunger-crazed lions and the innards cast across the floor for all to see. We wonder just how long the T-Mobile site will keep this information up. The entire article can be found here
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  • I WAS going to post this on the ZDnet 'Hands On' piece, but apparently their log on system is flaky in Chrome. Sooo.. I'll post it hear and see how far it gets. :) --- 1) Comments on the limited app space with / without hacking it? ( ..and what were they thinking?? This close [] to an iPhone killer. Is there some reason why they don't want to force Apple to raise the bar??) 2) GSM vs. CDMA for Verizon.. What exactly is the point of buying it unlocked if it's not truely portable? Are there any other big carriers in the US this $600 phone will work with (with / without 3G)? 2a) Isn't 4G right around the corner, or has it been re-labeled as the faster 3G stuff they're talking about? 3) (Does this answer question #2?) What kind of co-branding, crapware / bloatware or sneaky lock-down tricks (re: security certificates, et al.) can we expect in the locked / unlocked versions? (I'd prefer to download '5 Faves' if I need it, not have it 'hacked' into my system.) 4) Is the wi-fi stable if you're more than 12 feet from the router? I also fully intend to use this as a VoIP phone at home. 5) It might be a deal breaker if I can't hack it into being a modem for my laptop. (which someone already mentioned). The only excuse I can see to shell out hard cash for an overpriced data plan would be to get truely portable wireless into my laptop (without shelling out an extra chunk of $$ towards an extra service plan for the privilege of using a PCMCIA / USB adapter). 6) Any crystal ball guesses on when we might see a version with a keyboard? (..and PLEASE tell me they're not going to adapt that corny Pseudo-qwerty format / gimmick i see on the new Motorolla phone!) 6a) Hmm.. how about one of those fold up keyboard accessory things, will one of those work on this? 7) Comments on the portability of video (into / out of), given the freaky size ratios of recorded video? I would have thought the Bios would auto-adapt this, but I've read that the recorded video size chops out the chunk where the on-screen buttons are so..? Thanks in advance for whatever feedback you can offer! p.s. Sorry, but I honestly couldn't give a rats ___ about the multi-gesture support or whatever it's called. The feature might be important to some folks, but I kind-of like having nice little buttons and things on the screen to show me what's happening ;)
  • Where is the google earth
  • WTF with the Price ME DON'T Like price!
  • Wish to have one. But I think this one is very costly for me.
  • Will this phone play flash video?
    One of my biggest beefs with the iPod touch / iPhone is that they do not because of Apple's inability to get anything done with Adobe.
    Has Google / HTC fixed that?
  • From what I understand you can only putchase a Nexus One with a T-Mobile individual plan. They will not available with family plans.
  • QUESTION: My carrier is T-Mobile and I am on the family plan so tried to go the the Google site to purcase a phone and was denied the phone price of $179. Is the Nexus one available to members of a family plan who are due for an upgrade or is it strickly limited to the major account holder?
  • oops... see the above reply. :)
  • What do you do if you don't have enough money on your card to buy the phone but you apply to buy the phone anyway. What will happen.
  • BTW Just so everyone knows this FACT !! You are NOT married to the $79.99 plan this phone comes with , I have since upgraded my plan and added 2 other lines to my account with 1500 shared minutes and unlimited everything else . You can pretty much make the switch to any other plan AFTER your intial sign up ( I waited a few days ) Just FYI
  • I just want to know the key differences between the eris and the nexus. I already know that speed is a big factor. What else? Im updating on the 24th. Thanks guys!
  • In a word: Snapdragon. Much, MUCH better processor. And the AMOLED screen is incredible, too.
  • Is that it? The speed?
    The screen clarity/quality is better too? I need a little more information that would convince me to spend a whole month's rent.