Features

#TBT: Nexus One was the first Google phone

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It’s 2010: Steve Jobs unveils the first iPad to a wary crowd; Samsung announces the first entry in the Galaxy S series of smartphones; Angry Birds is a worldwide phenomenon; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is incarnated by Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network; LeBron James decides to take his talents to South Beach.

And Google, amid much hype and hope, joins the smartphone revolution by coming out with the Nexus One for under $530 off contract. It’s the first Google phone, and while not as successful as later iterations, it will be seen by many as an integral part of Android’s trajectory.

Here’s an excerpt from Joshua Topolsky’s review on Engadget: “Never mind the Nexus One itself for a moment — there’s a bigger picture here, and it might spell a fundamental change for the direction of Android as a platform.”

That same year, my partner bought the One from a local seller she met online. The Nexus One gave me my first taste of Android and would later spark my ongoing, and sometimes turbulent, love affair with smartphones and consumer gadgets — a bridge that connected my past and my future.

Built by HTC — incidentally, the same company rumored to be making 2016’s Nexus devices — the Nexus One was a reference phone meant to show manufacturers how it should be done and what could be done with Google’s Android OS.

It had a distinct look and feel and a trackball that pulled double duty as a notification light. Underneath that glowing orb of crimson, azure, or emerald is a set of four backlit capacitive buttons for back, menu, home, and search. Yes, search. Because Google, that’s why.

Google Nexus One (1)

At 11.5mm thick and 130 grams, it was massive by current standards; but back then, it was praised for its thinness and lightness. It had a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass on top, with a depressing (but not at the time of its release) 800 x 480 resolution. The screen wasn’t that bad, though; in retrospect, I still prefer it over some displays I’ve seen on budget handsets.

The One had a single-core Snapdragon processor at the helm and 512MB of RAM and storage to keep things chugging along at a then-blistering pace. The limited storage capacity left me without room to install additional apps after pushing a custom Android ROM based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Google stopped software updates for the Nexus One four years ago, following the expiry of its two-year life cycle; it issued its last official software update with the release of Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread.

I browsed a couple of sites and did a few Google searches as soon as I powered the phone up (it still works!); interestingly enough, its internals aged well — despite the hardware taking a good beating over the years.

Come to think of it, I’m surprised the screen hasn’t cracked or shown any outward signs of owner abuse. The same can’t be said about the removable 1,400mAh battery, which can barely hold enough charge to power the One for a few hours.

The back also had a 5-megapixel cam with flash, and could record 480p video; the front lacked a camera for selfies. Image quality was, as you would expect, nowhere near the quality of today’s finer handsets, but the details were there. And without the benefit of perspective, I might even be inclined to say that I liked how some of the photos turned out.

Google Nexus One (2)

The Nexus One was a very good product, and it received positive reviews from critics and consumers alike. However, it wasn’t an iPhone; it wasn’t the paradigm-shifting device the hype made it out to be. And carriers refused to drink the Kool-Aid until much later, when it was clear the phone would flop.

Months after it was released, Goldman Sachs reduced their estimates of sales for the phone by 70 percent, effectively sending the Nexus One to an early retirement. By May 2010, Google was pulling it off shelves, offering it to developers instead.

But failing on a first attempt didn’t kill the Nexus. Google tried again in 2010, this time collaborating with Samsung on the Nexus S, which went on to become one of the most popular handsets of its time. Its successor, the Galaxy Nexus, was an even greater success.

[irp posts=”6825″ name=”Forget about Pixel and Nexus, where’s Android One?”]

Smartphones

vivo V25 and V25 Pro Unboxing and First Look

They’re more than just their color-changing glass backs

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Remember the color-changing vivo V23 5G and V23 Pro announced during the early months of 2022?

Well, these phones now have their successors.

The V25 and V25 Pro are vivo’s two newest smartphones.

They offer compelling hardware despite being in the midrange segment.

But what makes the vivo V25 different from the V25 Pro?

Here’s our two-way vivo V25 and V25 Pro Unboxing and First Look to know more.

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Features

Vivo’s road to becoming a top smartphone photography choice

Thanks to the X80 series, V23e 5G

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Earlier this February, vivo released the mid-range V23 5G series. Then, two months ago they introduced the flagship X80 series proving that the brand means business when it comes to becoming one of the top choices for mobile photography.

In fact, GadgetMatch already did two separate Camera Shootouts with the X80 Pro – one against the Huawei P50 Pro and another versus the iPhone 13 Pro Max wherein it matched up quite nicely when pitted against other premium flagship phones.

To recap, the vivo X80 Pro in particular sports a 50MP ultra-sensing GNV sensor for its main camera, with a 48MP IMX598 wide-angle camera, 12MP IMX663 portrait camera, and 8MP 5X periscope camera completing the setup.

The entire X80 series is also powered by ZEISS optics, with all lenses meeting ZEISS T coating standards. Aside from that, vivo also champions image stabilization with the Gimbal Portrait Camera, Active Centering OIS System, and 360-degree Horizon Leveling Stabilization for smooth photos and even videos.

Among the things that also stood out for the X80 series was its night photography and videography. These were made possible by the vivo V1+ Chip of the series which was designed to enhance night video denoising and HDR performance even under the most challenging lighting conditions.

vivo’s ZEISS Super Night Cameras across the entire vivo X80 series make them superior night photography options, which features such as Super Night Video and AI Video Enhancement

The vivo V23e 5G doesn’t lag far behind as well, with Natural Portrait Mode, AI Portrait Restore, and steady video shooting on its camera setup that includes a 50MP main, 8MP super-wide angle, and 44MP front camera.

So the next time you consider buying a smartphone for its mobile photography and videography capabilities, these vivo models should surely be on your shortlist.

 

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24 Hours Series

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4: First 24 Hours

With an unboxing of the Z Fold4 and its special S-Pen case!

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During the first of the Flip or Fold: First 24 Hours series, Michael Josh went around New York with the Galaxy Z Flip4.

In the second part, he now has the Galaxy Z Fold4 with him.

After unboxing comes the usual battery life test by bringing it around the streets of Manhattan.

Other than that, a mini camera shootout was performed against the Galaxy Z Fold3.

Watch our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 Unboxing and First 24 Hours video to know everything about it.

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