According to NASA, a Nexus One (or any other superphone/smartphone for that matter) has enough proximity sensors, video and picture quality, as well as apps and processing power to be a low-cost satellite. That’s right, you can gloat to your friend that you own a satellite phone:
The purpose of flying the Nexus One is to find a low-cost satellite solution. The radio, processing power, sensors and cameras in smartphones potentially have the same capability as those in satellites. The idea is to drive down satellite cost by using off-the-shelf products and components. Today’s satellites are the size of Greyhound buses, but I believe they are going to get smaller and more frequently deployed. This is a first-step effort.
In order to see how tough the Nexus One is, they simply strapped it to a rocket and blasted off. In fact, two phones were sent, one of which crashed due to landing failure. Both handsets reached 1,800 MPH, which is Mach 2.4; the speed was measured by the Nexus One’s accelerometer. Above is the video that would make any owner of an Android phone, boastful (in a good way).