The Google Nexus One Android phone launch and rollout has seen some highly bizarre twists and turns, culminating with the recent obliteration of Verizon and Sprint CDMA N1 handsets. When the HTC-produced Nexus One was originally introduced by Google, their intent was to modernize, or at least shake up, the way we do business in the US wireless market. But it hasn’t quite worked out like they’d envisioned. As ZNF readers are likely familiar with the 5 month tale (sluggish sales, FCC inquiries, reception issues, oh my), I’d like to focus specifically on the Sprint Nexus One. Which I’ve been anxiously awaiting.
In less than 60 days, Sprint went from Nexus One press release to ‘just kidding.’ Whereas I can kinda understand Verizon’s decision to offer the similarly speced and shaped HTC Incredible in lieu of the N1, Sprint’s upcoming EVO is an entirely different animal. First, the EVO will be the first 3G/4G phone. And we don’t yet know what that WiMax radio will do to battery life. We also don’t yet know how well network handoffs will work. Basically, the open Overdrive (3G/4G) issues make me uneasy. But, assuming no technical issues, we still don’t yet know what sort of additional fees the EVO may require to get that 4G coverage… along with tethering. On a more practical level, the 4.3″ EVO screen (similar to the HD2) results in a wider handset than the N1 with 3.7″ display. As it is, I already find the iPhone a bit too wide when holding it as a phone. HTC’s Sense UI skinning on the EVO is a wash. It smooths out the Android experience, but will result in slower core Google OS updates.
Sprint will be re-announcing the EVO today. Hopefully with pricing and launch timing details. But as compelling as they may be, I’m no longer sure what my next move will be… since I was dead set on picking up a Sprint Nexus One. I’ve been mostly satisfied with my iPhone (other than no background Slacker), but AT&T’s coverage dead zones and recent increase in dropped or not completed calls are killing me. Verizon doesn’t provide as good coverage as Sprint in the areas I frequent, and their $350 ETF is a gamble given my regular gadget rotation, but it’d still be a net improvement over AT&T. Which means a HTC Incredible may be in my future.