Engadget has gotten their hands on Google's Nexus One phone and while further details will be forthcoming at Google's press event on Tuesday, they have a pretty in depth preview.
The most important takeaway is that despite the iPhone-launch-esque frothing of the technology media at large, this is not a revolutionary phone. A couple weeks ago, I posted my disagreement with TechCrunch et al, saying that the Nexus One (in contrast to the TechCrunch headline) doesn't change much at all. And now Engadget confirms:
The thing that's struck us most (so far) about the Nexus One thus far is the fact that it's really not very different than the Droid in any substantial way.... Don't get us wrong, the phone cooks -- but it's not some paradigmatic shift for Android.
Furthermore, Android's chief limitation in the new smartphone arena persists:
One other note: multitouch has not been included here, so while the functionality is supported in Android 2.0 and up, we're still dealing with a one-finger-at-a-time experience... which leaves something to be desired when you've got a beautiful touchscreen like this to play around on.
As expected, Google has not split Android onto a new trunk for Nexus development, though they have advanced the OS somewhat - mostly in terms of small efficiencies aimed at improving overall usability. It remains to be seen, however, if those changes will remain exclusive to the Nexus line or distributed to all of the Android models.
Last and certainly not least, it looks like the Nexus will be a T-Mobile device - so much for the grand unlocked plan. It also won't be compatible with AT&T's 3G network, which further compromises its portability.
Engadget will be posting a full review shortly - this is just a collection of their first impressions. Nonetheless, it's clear that the Nexus One is not a game changer.