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Googlephone Nexus One leaks more news

On-sale date set. But not for you. Peon

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Google only admitted that its rumored smartphone was real about a week ago, and today comes word that the first units will go on sale at the beginning of next month.

Or so says an Engadget "tipster," who also supplied the gadgeteers with a long list of enticing specs for the HTC-built Android phone. But don't queue up outside your local Google retail store [Which don't exist. Yet. — Ed.]. Apparently, the first sales of the device will be by invitation only.

Among the tipster's revelations is one that will gladden the hearts of iPhone users: It appears that although Google will be selling unlocked versions of its new phone, it will also be - as expected - partnering with T-Mobile for 3G service. iPhoners can breathe easy, knowing that their already-struggling AT&T service won't be burdened by another possibly popular bandwidth-sucker.

And, for that matter, future Googlephoners can breathe equally easy, knowing that they won't be subjected to AT&T's service - although how well T-Mobile might handle the strain of massive dataphone use remains to be seen.

Although the spec-sheet supplied to Engadget don't specifically say so, it seems that the phone will, indeed, be called the Nexus One, despite the 'shock and dismay' expressed by the daughter of Phillip K. Dick, the sci-fi author who tagged his fictional androids (who may or may not have dreamt of electric sheep) with the term Nexus-6. Google filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark office on December 10 to use the name Nexus One for "Mobile phones."

Actually, The Reg would have preferred the name Googlephone, but marketeers we're not.

Although we reported the Nexus One's basic specs last week, today's report adds some color. The Broadcom-based WiFi support, for example, is listed to be a full a/b/g/n complement, a notch above the iPhone's b/g support.

Also besting the iPhone will be a removable battery, 5-megapixel camera, Micro SD Card support, and a 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED display (the iPhone's display is an HVGA 480-by-320 pixel, 3.5-inch TFT LCD). Although the tipster didn't tip exactly what flavor of WVGA the Nexus One would use, the display on its sibling HTC Touch Pro2 is a full 480-by-800, and the Android-based Motorola Droid is an even better 480-by-854.

At 11.5mm, the Engadget-reported Nexus One is slightly slimmer than the iPhone's 12.3mm, and at 130g it's a wee bit lighter than the iPhone's 135g - but call it a draw.

Also matching the iPhone's capabilities will be Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, GPS and cell-tower location services, an accelerometer, and a digital compass - but whether the Nexus One's digital compass will be any more accurate than the wonky one with which the iPhone is saddled is not yet known. ®

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