The Nexus One is but one superphone

This week, not only did we see our first official glimpses of the Nexus One, we were also introduced to a new classification of handset.

The Nexus One is a superphone James Martin/CNET

If you watched Tuesday's Nexus One press conference, you would have noticed that the Nexus One was not the only thing announced. Yes, we got our first official glimpses of the long awaited "Google phone," but we were also introduced to a new classification of handset.

I'm referring, of course, to the term "superphone." That moniker was used more than a couple of times to describe HTC's latest Google Android handset. Whether or not you like the term, it does signal the beginning of a new era of mobile technology. So what constitutes a superphone and are there more out there?

If we look at pure hardware specifications, the Nexus One is not in a class of its own, nor is it the first handset of its kind. Take, for instance, the Acer Liquid A1. Like the Nexus One, it features a 480x800-pixel high-resolution screen, a proximity sensor, and a Snapdragon processor.

The Windows Mobile-based HTC HD2 also resembles the Nexus One on paper, with its 1GHz chip, 512MB ROM, and 5-megapixel camera. In fact, the three handsets match up very closely if you put them head to head. So, if it's not just about hardware, then it must be the Android hiding inside.

The latest builds of Android offer some great enhancements that we have yet to see in other mobile platforms. The voice-enabled keyboard for any text field and built-in Google Maps Navigator are but two features that elevate handsets like the Motorola Droid and Nexus One above others.

For all the Droid does, however, most of the Android phones slated for 2010 will do more. As we look to the rest of the year, it's a safe bet that handset makers are going to continue to innovate with all that Android offers. That's not even counting what can happen when developers start playing around with SDKs.

There's no doubt that the second generation of Android handsets is already in full swing. Just today, Lenovo announced its first Android handset, another 3.7-inch beauty with a Snapdragon processor. Even though it has Android 1.6 under the hood, the handset features things not commonly found in today's phones such as two cameras, gesture support, and a dock with a keyboard.

Let's not forget Sony Ericsson's Xperia X10. Once it arrives, it will be neck and neck with some of today's high-end phones. And even though it will ship with Android 1.6, it boasts an impressive 8.0-megapixel camera, a massive 4.0-inch display, and gorgeous UI. Once phones like the Xperia X10 are updated to Android 2.1 and beyond, there will be an entire army of superphones. Fortunately for Android fans, it appears you'll be getting the best selection of handsets.

 

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