updated 07:40 pm EDT, Thu October 28, 2010
Google Nexus Two given unofficial hands-on
The recently uncovered Nexus Two may be a relatively modest phone if unveiled next week, a reported hands-on with a prototype hinted this evening. Backing rumors that the phone is made by Samsung, a source with purported access described it as resembling a touch-only Galaxy S but with a front camera and tapering on both the front and back. It may go so far as to include the same four-inch Super AMOLED screen, Gizmodo was told, but the build quality would be a step down from the Nexus One's metal to glossy plastic.
Software would likely be the distinctive feature. The device, whose name may change if it's released as expected, would be the first shipping hardware with the just-finished Gingerbread release of Android. Likely to be called Android 2.3, it should have a video chat feature similar to what's found in Gmail and with at least a passing resemblance to Apple's FaceTime. Many other features are still mysteries, though tight integration with Google TV and extra visual polish are probable. Samsung would keep to the stock Android rather than depend on the TouchWiz UI it runs on its usual Galaxy S phones.
The existence of the phone still has its doubts given official denials, but Samsung's November 8 event is due to center around an Android device and is unusual given that Samsung has already unveiled most of its main devices so far. The only other main candidate is the Continuum, a dual-screen, Verizon-only model.
When Google introduced the Nexus One, it had tried to position the device both as a way of shaking up the traditional carrier model but also as a form of rival to the iPhone that would have one company control both the hardware and the software. It was pulled half a year later after low sales and a lack of exposure, but Google may be eager to avoid repeating mistakes with retail launches and much more public attention.