Google Phone is a Go (aka Nexus One)

At first it was just a rumor. Then people came out saying they've heard all about it. Now Google is handing it out to employees! Apparently the phone will be available directly from Google. It will be made my HTC and will be called Nexus One.

Here's the rundown of what is known so far:

• The Wall Street Journal says it's made by HTC and called the Nexus One. It'll be sold online, directly by Google. You'll have to get your own cell service (which suggests it's an unlocked device). Curiously, the WSJ says, "unlike the more than half-dozen Android phones made by phone manufacturers today, Google designed virtually the entire software experience behind the phone." Sounds weird, since they designed the look and feel of the software on the Droid and G1 too, except that our source had told us before that the current Android we know isn't the "real" Android. Also odd sounding: that name, Nexus One. But maybe not that odd.

• Google confirmed they handed out "a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe."

• A bunch of Google employees tweeted stuff like the phone is "like an iPhone on beautifying steroids."

• It's supposedly an unlocked GSM phone running Android 2.1, powered by the crazyfast Snapdragon processor, with an OLED touchscreen (no keyboard), dual mics (for killing background noise), and enhanced voice-to-text powers. It's gonna be alllll Google branding. And it's probably coming out in January. Which jives with what our source saw a couple weeks ago, a huge screen running a brand new version of Android unlike anything out there.

• We heard it was referred to, at least in some capacity in the staff meeting where they were handed out, as the "Passion."

Yea! that's a lot of awesomeness for a phone that people thought didn't exist. Unlocked and open sounds just like Google's style. NOW, the iPhone might have some competition...[Gizmodo]

Here are some more pictures to drool over (click the picture for Engadget's gallery):

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