Skip to navigation

Google Nexus One review


Hard to distinguish from HTC's Desire, the Nexus One lacks HTC's Sense software and more practical controls, but shares its awful battery life.

Review Date: 11 Jul 2010

Price when reviewed: £500

Buy it now for: £220
(see more store prices)


Reviewed By: Barry de la Rosa

Our Rating 3 stars out of 5

User Rating 4 stars out of 5

Powered by Reevoo

Google's Nexus One is remarkably similar to the HTC Desire, which is no coincidence as both phones are made by HTC. Both share the same basic specification: 1GHz processor, 3.7in 480x800 screen, 5-megapixel camera and the latest Android 2.1. The Nexus One differs in design, and in the fact that it has only the basic Android operating system, without HTC's Sense interface.

That's not to diminish Android's built-in software: there's support in Android 2.1 for multiple Google and Exchange accounts, and all the basic apps are there for email, contacts, calendar and messaging. Google Maps Navigation provides free turn-by-turn navigation in a clear interface, and Google has integrated this into a Car Home app, which also incorporates voice search and contacts so you can quickly look up someone's address. A link to Amazon's MP3 store gives you access to over 9m DRM-free songs.

Like the Desire, the Nexus One's screen is gorgeous, although not quite as bright and colourful as Samsung's AMOLED screens. With a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a capacitive touchscreen, flicking through home pages or open apps is a breeze, and the virtual keyboard is responsive and has excellent word prediction. The camera takes decent snaps, although it lacks some advanced features such as anti-shake. Colours are sharp and vibrant, even with the flash, but there's noise in darker areas.

Instead of buttons for the common Android tasks such as Home and Back, the Nexus One has four touch-sensitive icons under the screen. It also has a rollerball instead of the Desire's optical touchpad, which is more likely to get clogged with grime. The two phones also share an annoyance - when they go into sleep mode, you have to press the power button, located inconveniently at the top of the phone, to wake them up.

The Nexus One also shares the Desire awful battery life, so you'll find yourself plugging it into the mains at every opportunity. Overall, we feel HTC stole the crown in this showdown: the Desire's trackpad, hardware buttons and Sense software trump the Nexus One's vanilla Android installation, and it's also better value.

Prev Next

User Reviews

Best Prices

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

< Previous   Reviews : Smartphones Next >
Sponsored Links


Award-winning Smartphones
Best Buy
Alcatel One Touch Idol S
Best Budget Buy
Nokia Lumia 610
Best Business Buy
RIM BlackBerry Torch
Apple iPhone 5S

Samsung Galaxy Young review

Samsung Galaxy Young

Category: Smartphones
Rating: 3 out of 5
Price: £116
Google Nexus 5 review

Google Nexus 5

Category: Smartphones
Rating: 5 out of 5
Price: £299
Nokia Lumia 1320 review

Nokia Lumia 1320

Category: Smartphones
Rating: 4 out of 5
Price: £281
Motorola Moto X review

Motorola Moto X

Category: Smartphones
Rating: 5 out of 5
Price: £264
Sony Xperia Z2 review

Sony Xperia Z2

Category: Smartphones
Rating: 4 out of 5
Price: £535
Sponsored Links


Also in this category...




Expert Reviews Printed from

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.