So Google has finally officially announced its very own Android-powered, $529 (unlocked), Snapdragon-powered phone. In a nutshell: it's very thin, very high resolution and very quick. TechCrunch provides in-depth coverage of the launch event and Michael Arrington seems positively enamoured by it.

The phone certainly seems capable and a joy to use (see the official google demo) but all that power and resolution comes at a price: battery life seems pretty poor, even for smart phone standards.

While Android still has a way to go to reach the iPhone's momentum (especially on the app front), one can safely say that Apple finally has some serious competition. Google releasing their own (albeit HTC-produced) phone means they control the experience and can set the benchmark for other Android phone makers.