Google’s Phone – Facts and Rumors

  • Last week, Google doled out Android phones to employees. It admitted as much in a blog post Saturday morning, which used Silicon Valley’s always-appetizing metaphor of eating one’s own dogfood to explain that the phones were being used to test “new mobile features and capabilities.”
  • The phone apparently is the one in the photo above (which I stole from this Twitpic). That would appear to make it a version of an upcoming HTC phone known as the Passion.
  • It’s got a trackball, obviously. If it’s a Passion variant, it also lacks a physical keyboard. It’s a GSM phone, which means it’ll work on AT&T and T-Mobile but not Verizon or Sprint. And Engadget has some more photos and says that it runs Android 2,1, adds “3D elements to the app tray,” and has Web-OS-style previews of all the home screens. In another post, it says it has MicroSD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 7.2mbps down and 2-MBps up.
  • It’s named (or at least code-named) the Nexus One.

  • TechCrunch says it’ll be sold unlocked–direct by Google and at retailers–and adds the following details: “The phone is ‘really, really fast,’ says someone who has seen one in action. It runs on a Snapdragon chip, has a super high-resolution OLED touchscreen, is thinner than the iPhone, has no keyboard, and two mics. The mic on the back of the phone helps eliminate background noise, and it also has a ‘weirdly’ large camera for a phone. And if you don’t like the touchscreen keyboard, a voice-to-text feature is supposed to let you dictate emails and notes by speaking directly into the phone.”
  • All Things Digital’s Peter Kafka is reporting that Google plans to sell the phone without a subsidy from a wireless carrier–but that T-Mobile will help market it. He doesn’t have much in the way of details.