Google expected to unveil smart phone at conference

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SAN JOSE, Calif.Google is expected to unveil a new smart phone that it will sell directly to consumers.

The Web search giant has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning at its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
News reports indicate the company will use the event to unveil a phone
dubbed the Nexus One, which will run the latest version of Google’s Android operating system.

According to reports, the Nexus One will be
manufactured by HTC, a Taiwanese electronics company that has made
several Android phones, including the G1, which was the first such
device on the market. Purported pictures of the device suggest that its
design is similar to that of two more recent HTC devices, the myTouch
3G and the HTC Hero.

Google is expected to offer consumers two options for buying the Nexus One, according to reports. They can pay $180 for it if they sign up for a two-year T-Mobile contract. Or they can pay $530 without a contract.

Consumers may not have much choice in which carrier
they use the phone on, however. The Nexus One is expected to work with
GSM wireless technology, which is used by T-Mobile and AT&T in the United States, meaning you’d be able to place calls on it with either of those carriers.

However, its antenna for high-speed data access is compatible in the U.S. only with the frequencies used by T-Mobile,
so U.S. consumers who plan to use the device for surfing the Web or
using Internet-based applications will almost certainly want to sign up
with that carrier.

The Nexus One is expected to have a larger screen
than Apple’s popular iPhone and, like the iPhone, will rely on a touch
screen instead of physical keys.

The device will reportedly have a speedy 1-gigahertz
processor, include a 4-gigabyte SD flash card for storing programs and
media files and have a track ball for navigation, according to Engadget
and other tech blogs. It will reportedly run Android 2.1, which should
include incremental improvements over Android 2.0, the software that
runs on Motorola’s Droid, the most recent major Android phone to hit the market.

Buzz has been swirling around the Nexus One for weeks, ever since Google announced on a blog that it had handed out a new Android device to employees for testing. The Wall Street Journal initially reported that the device was the long-rumored “Google phone,” with both hardware and software designed by the search giant. The initial reports suggested that Google planned to revolutionize the mobile phone business with the phone’s release by selling it directly to the public.

More recent reports, however, have indicated that Google’s announcement Tuesday will be a more modest affair.

(c) 2010, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).

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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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