Google workers are trying out a device that "combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities", vice president of product management Mario Queiroz said in a blog post.
Google is seeking feedback in a process it refers to as "dogfooding" in which innovations are tested internally before being offered to the public on the basis that employees should be willing to "eat our own dogfood."
"This holiday season, we are taking dogfooding to a new level," Queiroz wrote.
"Unfortunately, because dogfooding is a process exclusively for Google employees, we cannot share specific product details. We hope to share more after our dogfood diet."
The Android-based mobile devices are being shared with Google workers worldwide, according to Queiroz. A Google Australia spokesman confirmed local employees would be testing the phones but had not yet received the handsets.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported Google planned to sell its own mobile direct to consumers as soon as next year, bypassing wireless operators in a rare strategic move.
Called the Nexus One and made by smartphone maker HTC, the phone will run on the search giant's Android operating system - around which Motorola and other cellphone makers have built devices - and will be sold online, the newspaper cited persons familiar with the matter as saying.
The official Google blog post came a morning after Google workers evidently excited about getting "Google phones" exchanged comments on wildly popular microblogging service Twitter.
"ZOMG we had fireworks and we got the new Google phone," one Google worker said in a tweet. "It's beautiful."
ZOMG is texting slang that originated as a typo of an acronym for "Oh My God" but has come to be used when the phrase is meant a bit sarcastically or while stating the obvious, according to the online Urban Dictionary.
A growing number of US telecom carriers and manufacturers have been adopting Google's open-source Android software in bids to challenge the Apple iPhone and Blackberry from Research in Motion.
Technology industry tracker Gartner predicts that Android-based smartphones will capture 14 per cent of the global market by the year 2012, as compared with a mere two per cent today, according to a report in Computerworld.