I Saw the Nexus One… I Failed


Nexus OneIf all you’re looking for is a picture of the phone, you might as well stop reading right now, because that’s the part I failed at. If you’re interested in a story about how I saw the world’s hottest, unreleased, phone that may change the way we do mobile, please read on.

While minding my own business on the E train this morning (that’s in NY, by the way), I saw a guy playing with his iPhone. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, I looked away and continued bobbing my head to the unbelievable sounds of A.F.I.’s Crash Love. A minute or two later, my eyes made their way back to this gentleman’s hands, where I was shocked to now see a sexy, sleek, extremely thin, Nexus One. It was the most beautiful piece of hardware I had ever seen. It made his iPhone look like an oversized brick. The trackball was tiny (in a good way), and the touch-sensitive buttons seemed minuscule in comparison to the large and beautiful screen. Unfortunately, I was too overwhelmed to analyze the phone before screwing up my photo op, but I can say this… It looks a million times better in person.

Here’s how it went down… Instead of composing myself, pulling out my phone, and snapping a picture, I, idiotically, acted like a little girl who just saw her favorite actress. I immediately turned to the guy and said, “Is that the Nexus One?” To which he responded, with a large grin, “No.” I began questioning, “C’mon man, I know it’s the Nexus One.” He then proceeded to put the phone back into his pocket, said “No comment,” and left me feeling like the biggest idiot of the century. I had just missed a golden opportunity to snap a photo of the unreleased Google Phone that the entire world is busy scratching their heads over.

This could not be the end! I would not back down! I refused to go down in history as the dude who missed the picture of Nexus One. I got a seat right in front of him and, once again, began asking him questions. “Look, I respect the fact that you aren’t supposed to admit you have the phone, hence the reason I didn’t snap a picture of you,” (clearly not the case), “but can you at least tell me if you like it?” Once again, “No comment,” with an oversized grin. I began once more, “I guess Google really wants to keep details hush hush, don’t they?” Finally, some insight, “Yeah, they do,” he responded with another smile. “That must mean there’s some sort of surprise about it that they don’t want people to know yet.” To which I got another smile.

It was the last smile that made my day. Could Google be swearing people to secrecy for a reason unknown to the masses? Could the phone actually operate, VoIP only, if one wanted to use it that way? A lot of pictures of the phone show it out of service but using Wi-Fi, so who knows? Could those dogfooding it be privy to an even newer version of Android that adds even more functionality to an already incredible platform? So many questions are flying through my head. I just can’t help but kick myself for handling the situation in such a foolish way. Maybe I’ll try getting on the same train tomorrow in some sort of disguise, in hopes that I see the mystery man once more.

Oh, but I did grow a pair by the end of my ride. I borrowed a pen and wrote my name and email address on a small sheet of paper. As I walked out of the subway car, I turned to the guy, handed him the paper, and apologized for bothering him. I told him I write for AndroidGuys, and asked that he contact me if and when he’s allowed to speak about the phone. I said I’d love to interview him. He seemed receptive; but more likely, he was just being polite.

My fingers are crossed. I hope you can all forgive me for not getting a picture. I will never make that mistake again! I will tackle the guy and pry the phone from his scrawny little fingers if I must. Not really, but it just goes to show you how committed I am to rectifying my failed encounter. Oh man, I’m so excited for this phone. T-Mobile’s service better not blow.

TO THE MYSTERY MAN ON THE ‘E’ TRAIN: If, by some chance, you’re reading this, know that I wish you well in the dogfooding process and envy you with the passion of a thousand passion fruits (hey, that’s a lotta passion). You are a strong individual for not succumbing to my coercion, but I ask that you please grant me an anonymous interview. You may contact me via twitter @dailyharangue (fakers, don’t waste your time, I’ll require proof), or email me at the address I gave you (that’s your best bet). The world wants to hear from you, and I’d greatly appreciate your time. Either way, thank you for making my day.


  1. Man, what an encounter. I don't know if I could have restrained myself as you did. Hopefully you get an anonymous email and all will be well with the world.

    • I was one of the early adopters of the G1, but I returned it within 14 days due to the battery life, proprietary audio jack, and responsiveness of the software. By any chance did you see a 3.5 mm audio jack?

  2. To Quy- wow man, you missed out on a great phone. I was also an early adopter and although the battery life remains an issue (ugh!)- on ALL smartphones except Blackberry, the propriety audio jack means nothing once stereo Bluetooth was introduced. I’ll NEVER go back to wired headphones again! The responsiveness in Android 1.0 was quickly addressed in 1.1, 1.5, and again in 1.6. My G1 has the best keyboard in the biz and with T-Mobile’s service, I only pay $75 a month for unlimited talk and data. Not to mention Google Navigation!!!

  3. E train makes sense. Google's offices are in 9th Ave and 16th Street, and also Penn Station.

    I would rob the guy and see if they have some sort of remote-wipe features built-in, hehe, just kidding 😉

  4. this article reads like a scene from a western where the kid realizes he met the guy with the gun that he used to shoot the famous bank robber.

  5. you can use google voice with the phone…but cant you use google voice with other android phones?..I have been using it for awhile on the Mytouch.

  6. I understand that you feel bad about your failure to capture a photo of the phone, but building meritless hype on the basis of a few smiles is not the way to rectify the situation in my opinion 🙁

  7. I am assuming not…though thats not written in stone…When I use GV on the N.One it is the same as when I used it on the Mytouch…it asks if i want to make a call with or without it.

  8. How's T-Mo's service and 3G speed? Does it work well? I'm scared to use T-Mo, as Sprint has made me very happy for the past 4+ years.

    Also, does the phone get updates directly from Google? Meaning, would there be no wait to get the latest and greatest updates? Or would T-Mo make people wait for them till they decide to roll them out?

  9. What if the big hush is Google not just announcing the phone, but with it, a VOIP service? Sure we have Gizmo and what not, but then once Google enters a scene, they tend to out-do everyone else. I for one would love to see that happen.

  10. The guy wouldn't show it because Google is being a hardass this time, people have lost their jobs for showing it off (I think Google is psychic).

  11. Also, how stupid can they be, planning a VOIP-centric phone, without a front camera? Free video calls is the best thing about VOIP. This is why I'm looking forward to the front-cam equipped Xperia X10…

  12. You wrote your name and number on a piece of paper? Seriously? Ever consider getting business cards with your website logo and contact info on it? Looks a tad bit more professional…..

  13. You're actually logged on and started writing this to inform us that you did *not* knock the guy down, took the phone and ran off to play with it in an obscure location so you can relieve the world of all the questions that are flooding our geeked up minds? D-'oh!

    Oh well, at least I got my Droid to keep me happy until this thing is released, gets hacked and gets its firmware migrated to the Droid which clearly is superior for me if only because of the fact that it has a keyboard 🙂

  14. HTC is in our building and I know they have three of them..less than 25ft away but apparently the two people that have had the opportunity to see have and feel these are under strict orders not to show this at all.

  15. I ran into a guy today in South Orange County at a Walgreens that was talking on his shiny new Nexus One. I spotted the android guy holding the flag looking thing on the back of his phone. He was none to happy for me to approach him and comment on his Nexus One. As soon as I walked up to him he hung up and stuffed his phone in his jacket. I said nice Nexus One. He said I can't talk about it goodbye in an annoyed tone. Oh well but I can say this phone is WAY better looking in person. It looked like he was talking to a piece of cardboard – referring to thinness not looks. It was really thin and very expensive looking not plasticy like in the photos.