Summary [7.5 out of 10]
The T-Mobile G1 is an excellent "first-mover" Android-based phone from T-Mobile and is truly a "Google Phone". If you are already have most of your life on Google through one of their many handy and free services (Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, Talk, Picasaweb, etc.) the G1 is going to be a dream device for you. If you don't make use of the Gmail services or have most of your life scattered across many different services, the G1 will be an OK phone for you, but we'd suggest also looking at a BlackBerry or iPhone as well as there are some things those phones do better than the G1.
* Call-quality (both receiving and sending) is very nice. People I spoke too (in an A/B comparison between iPhone) said that the iPhone sounded just like a typical crappy cell phone and the G1 sounded like I was on my office phone. I also felt the volume of the G1 was louder when talking to people making it a bit easier for me to hear them.
* Google services integration is awesome. It's completely seamless, syncs over-the-air regardless of the data connection you have, seems to sync frequently so your contacts, calendar, email and IM are all always synced up. Also the synchronization is bi-directional, you don't have a "Read only" copy on the G1... you can change anything you want and see it synced right back to Google.
* Having a keyboard is very handy. The non-super-techy types that I lent the phone to for a few hours all commented that the physical keyboard felt and "made more sense" than a virtual on-screen keyboard to them like the iPhone or BlackBerry Storm.
* The trackball is much handier to have for selection than I anticipated. Also it's position on the phone is perfect for both landscape and portrait use. I was surprised (in landscape mode) how my thumb naturally fell right ontop of the trackball, making it much easier to navigate the screen without lifting my hand off the keyboard to press something.
* Micro-SD support - including the new 16GB cards that were released recently.
* Voice dialing - How does the iPhone still not have this. I also found the accuracy excellent, pretty much on par with what my BlackBerry had. I also noticed when you have multiple numbers for a single person, even though the voice-dialing result screen shows you all their numbers, it always puts the one you wanted as the first item, so it's easy to execute. Unfortunately if you like to drive with your phone in your pocket and call people, this might be an extra step some folks don't want.
* Back Button - Similar to the BlackBerry OS, the "Back" button always does what you think it should. If you read an email, and jump into a browser to check a link and click a YouTube link to watch a video... the "Back" button will move you backward through those contexts back to the original email as you keep hitting it. This has always driven me nuts on the iPhone - you have to go back to the home screen first, then back into whatever it was that you were doing.
* EDGE data performance seemed snappy on the phone. While browsing is certainly still just as slow as you would expect, the Chrome-based browser performed well and the background-sending/receiving of data in every other app gave an excellent user experience. Coming from a 1st Gen iPhone on an EDGE network, I was used to much longer lag related to data operations (like Maps or Email) so it did seem a hair more performant - or maybe just designed in a more streamlined flow, it's hard to say.
* Mobile YouTube was easy to use and looked great on the little screen. Playback started quickly and the interface was easy to use - I find the iPhone interface a bit too constrained.
* Basic UI for the Android apps on the G1 were very intuitive; I didn't find myself pointing out UI oddities left and right as I tend to do, everything just did what I expected it to and menu items were right where I thought they would be.
* Universal notification bar across the top of the screen became a huge "must have" for me. Going back to the iPhone is going to be painful after this (and dealing with multiple overlapping dialog boxes). Any time anything happens on the phone that you have notifications setup for (IM, Email, SMS, etc.) a notification icon is added to the bar that you can drag-down with your finger any time to view the contents of. It makes multi-tasking possible where as the iPhone is a single-context device.
* Operating system updates are downloaded over-the-air and you are prompted to install them seamlessly at your discretion. This is both over EDGE as well as 3G.
* Build quality was more solid than I expected. I expected the whole phone to be that "plastic cell phone feel", but the top sliding piece that has the screen in it is actually a solid feeling piece of metal with the glass-esque screen connected to a plastic body.
* The Android UI is a lot more polished and "sexy" looking than I thought it would be. It's not quite like the iPhone, but sexier than BlackBerry OS on the Curve or Pearl (I haven't spent enough time with the Storm or Bold to compare, but at first glance I'd say it's a bit nicer).
* We found most all of the Android applications and system design to be intuitive and flow nicely.
* It is nice to have a "Menu" button again. I got used to it on my BlackBerry as a source of secondary operations that you may want in any application, and missed it on my iPhone -- sometimes feeling like functionality was trimmed to far in the name of a "simple interface".
* The slide-out mechanism for the G1's screen is much sturdier than I thought it would be. I don't forsee this breaking down over time as it has a smooth operation to it and held firmly in place with two guiding pieces. It's also got a good amount of spring-tension to make the operation feel stiff/firm and not flimsy or chinsey.
* Replaceable battery - slide the back cover off and you are all set. You can replace the battery yourself. None of this Apple-crap where you send your device in for "service" to get the battery replaced.
* Form factor is large enough to consider this a "large" phone. The iPhone was a big phone, but skinny enough you didn't really notice it. The G1 is about 30-40% thicker feeling than the iPhone, so in your pocket, you absolutely notice it. I'd say if you are used to wearing tight jeans, trying to shove this down in a pocket and dig it out is going to be more of a pain then something more streamlined like an iPhone.
* Backlighting of all the keys (keyboard and main face buttons) is dim, uneven and times out quickly so it's easy to loose your orientation when ready before hitting another key. This is really annoying in normal-room-lighting, because the backlighting will always kick in (no sensor) causing the white lettering on the keys to almost become the same color as the key itself, so you suddenly cannot read the keys until the backlighting turns off or you hold the keyboard at an angle so you can read it. This an odd (and annoying) side effect of "all-the-time" backlighting that I had never experienced before on another device.
* Main face-buttons are all the same size, feel and are flush with the face so you cannot navigate them in the dark. You usually have to do something like hit "Menu" or roll the control ball to get the "back lighting" to wake up, then press the button you want.
* Screen display quality is slightly less fidelity than the iPhone (very minor). It's hard to tell, but none of us were "struck" by the beauty of the screen clarity, resolution or brightness unlike (for example) some of the recent BlackBerry Storm reviews that actually called out how nice the screen was. If the iPhone is just fine for you, and you don't need a noticeably improved screen, then this won't matter at all. Just pointing out that there isn't any improvement here.
* The touch-screen performance felt about 15% less accurate than the iPhone. Meaning you had to press a bit harder something or press it a few times before it "clicked", quick clicks with the finger or some slides didn't register right at first. This didn't happen often and for the most part the touch screen was just fine, no usability impact -- it's just that we did notice a hair of a difference in what would be interpreted as "accuracy" of the touch screen.
o ADDENDUM: As one of the viewers on our G1 video review pointed out, the less screen sensitivity was likely due to the protective film we left over the screen. A lot of folks still use screen protectors, so this point could still be important for them, but we wanted to make that clarification. With the screen protector off, the touch screen performance would be expected to be on par with the iPhone.
* From time to time we noticed the OS lag after a button push by up to 6 secs before responding. We've seen this on the iPhone as well (and BlackBerry), but on the G1 the pauses seemed more pronounced.
* No standard headphone jack. There is only the Mini-USB connection at the bottom of the phone or the choice of a Bluetooth headset - Unfortunately because of the poor battery life, we don't think a Bluetooth headset for the purpose of audio is a good choice here.
* The connection mechanism for the entire back plate of the phone (that pulls off like opening a clam) isn't as secure as you might like it. If you dropped this phone I could certainly see the back plate popping off and the battery falling out. A more purposeful latch would have been nice.
* Battery life is bad without WiFi and pure crap with it turned on. Overall, about 1/3 the life of my 1st Gen iPhone and on the verge of what I would consider "Something you should really consider if battery life is important". You are going to be plugging this in every night on easy use and if you are a mobile warrior type (few hours of calling a day, lots of map lookups, email, sms, IM'ing, etc.) you are going to need to have this plugged in during the day as well so as not to have it run out on you in the field. This bothered us.
Conclusion [7.5 out of 10]
The T-Mobile G1 doesn't seem to have flaws necessarily, more like shortcomings. Depending on the type of user you are, the G1 can be a dream-come-true device (Google-Services-dependent) or a disappointment (Media/Application-heavy user coming from iPhone); it just depends on what you need.
The T-Mobile G1 is a great first-attempt at a phone, but it's still just that: a 1st attempt.
The device itself and Android operating system felt and operated well, but you couldn't help but notice shortcomings in certain places (as noted above in the Bad/Ugly lists) that would all probably be fixed by more time in the oven. We fully expect to see a T-Mobile G2 (or whatever you want to call it) with a seriously refined Android experience and tweaked hardware provide an awesome smart-phone experience -- just right now with the G1, your happiness with it will depend entirely on how you want to use it.
on December 24, 2008
Having had this phone since the launch in September 2008, I have to say that I am hooked to Android. I have been with T-Mobile for a while now and they've been one of the best providers for me. The customer service is amazing. I have owned the T-Mobile MDA and an unlocked first generation iPhone on T-Mobile network, and G1 is the best of those 3 phones IMO.
Now about the G1: I had been looking forward to the first Android phone ever since OHA was announced in late 2007, and the G1 has met (if not exceeded) every single thing I had come to expect from Google and Open Source community. Android, as the phone operating system, is rock solid with great features and extremely easy to use. Android Market (equivalent of the Apple App Store on the iPhone) is already full of great applications to cater to many tasks that you might want to add to your phone. Games such as PACMAN, Divide and Conquer, Hold'em and applications such as AK Notepad, Compass, Sky Map, ShopSavvy, TuneWiki, iMeem, Video Player are some of my favorites. There is also a service named Voxofon Call Router which lets you make long distance international calls by dialing the number directly and it does the rest. Their rates are very competitive and quality is one of the best I've seen.
And of course, default included applications such as Maps, Browser, GMail, IM and Calendar are awesome and I use them all the time. I had debated about getting the data plan, because I have not had one for a while now, but Android makes it totally worth it. The G1 has almost become my inseparable companion wherever I go. And the most important aspect of a PDA phone, the phone, itself is great. Call quality is the clearest I've seen until now, speakerphone is pretty loud as well, contact management and auto-sync with GMail contacts is great.
The hardware is very solid too. The phone itself feels very well built in the hand and the back has a "matte" like finish, which enhances the grip on the phone. Sliding mechanism is unique and works very well. A real physical keyboard is awesome, esp for people who IM/Text a lot.
And as everything in the world, nothing is perfect. Few cons I've noticed until now: -
1. Not very satisfactory battery life. If you do not use any data services and use the phone just for calls, battery lasts about 36 hours, but with any sort of data usage on the phone (which is the whole point of a PDA phone), the battery would barely last you through the day. Keeping one charger each at home and office comes in handy. GPS drains the battery pretty quickly too.
2. T-Mobile 3G network is not available at many places still.
3. Not very pretty! I guess that lies in the eyes of the beholder (or beer holder?).
on December 15, 2008
Like another reviewer, I too evolved from the Tmobile Dash and although I like the simplicity of having the Dash sync with my Outlook Adress Book, this to me seem too small a gripe to not praise such an absolutely well thought off idea that is a phone and so much more!
Wanting to avail of our upgrade option, I got the blackberry 8320 for my wife (as she tends to use her cell phone at home alot and wifi calling feature was perfect for her) and since I've been waiting for that all around internet phone, I got this one and it certainly did not dissapoint. To make my review a little more direct to the point, I've listed down the PROS with the corresponding CONS...
INTERNET Phone at it's best! I can surf, read emails, chat do online banking as if I was on a tiny laptop! I love how I can actually see what movies are showing and where as well as see actual showtimes!
Google MAPS is awesome! You can pinpoint your location or it would show you a range of where you are and you can find whatever stuff you need around you like shops, restaurants, a place of business, etc. without having to call 411 ever again!
KEYBOARD is very helpful especially when a virtual keyboard may be too small for your fingers. I rarely hit the wrong letters and I didn't find the build to be flimsy, but one has to be a little careful when opening it up as it litterally springs into action and this sudden jerk may cause the phone to slip out of your hands! We need autorotate though (see cons)
DIALING: I find dialing easy enough especially since it logs in/out/missed calls. All I have to do is press the green button and I can scroll through my call log without having to have to go to my contacts, and when you do, your contacts is just a tab away! There is an Icon that you press to access voice command. I have since copied this onto the desktop for easy access... A long press on the bluetooth re-dials the last number dialed. but... see CONS
ADDRESS BOOK is great once set-up! and comes with a ton of information options for a single contact.. No one can hide from you once they're in you contact list!
CALL QUALITY: I find the call quality to be absolutely brilliant and loud and I have never experienced anyone mis understanding what I was saying from my end so I guess that's good. Quality is great on the speakerphone as well as my jabra jx10.
APPLICATION MARKET: A few great apps available for download FREE! I will have to agree that the apps out there are a little "out there". This shouldn't make you think that there are no great ones! I've downloaded almost 20 useful apps which I find very helpful for my taste. Be mindful that the community is very young and the potential for wonderful apps are endless given the open source nature of android!
MESSAGING: Is tied together which makes it so simple to see history on a conversation. Email application is great too. I am now able to get, reply and delete emails on both my gmail and my yahoo account which I've set-up on the G1!
CAMERA: 3mp quality is a great feature and shoots fine but (see cons)
MULTIMEDIA: Music player is ok.. speakers are good enough to listen on. Stereo earphones does the job but a good set of earphones will rock your world! I use the lenntek sonix (see my other review on that one) I heard complaints on the earphone dongle and lack of direct output earphone jack but I actually find the dongle very helpful as I am able to use my good earphones when making or recieving calls as the mic itself is installed on the dongle!
INTERNET needs Flash Player which is currently underway. I've read that the Flash player should be available early next year.
Google MAPS somehow can't accurately pintpoint where I was even with the GPS on. I Have yet to try it when I'm actually out on the streets it maybe because I was indoors when I was trying to use the GPS option.
KEYBOARD bad: because of having to slide up the keyboard, you can never fit the G1 into a sleeve type jacket permanently. Tmobile stores do offer those hard plastic clip-ons that does the job of scratchproofing your phone though. A lot of people also find "having to open to type" an annoyance, but I read somewhere that a virtual keyboard is actually on it's way as well as an autorotate; automatic screen rotate when you rotate your phone from landscape to portrait onrientation.
DIALING: Bluetooth one press doesn't automatically go to Voice Dialer. You have to access the phone's voice dialer option to say a command like "CALL HOME"... the Voice dialer has a hard time understanding what you're saying especially when dealing with non-american sounding names, just immagine how confused your phone will be after you say "call Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD"...
ADDRESS BOOK: You'll have to export and copy your outlook adress book and import it in your google site and like one of the reviewers had mentioned, you will lose the mailing address information! what I do is cut and paste any outlook address info I have on my PC onto my online adress book while I'm on the Computer and let the phone sync from my google address book that way.
CALL QUALITY: No cons just yet... Great everything device that actually functions as a phone!
APPLICATION MARKET: A few odd-balls out there but who cares? They're not forcing you to download anything you don't like? So I really can't judge the phone for that.
MESSAGING and EMAIL: Like I said is great but the emails will need to be upgraded to link with microsoft servers to make corporate users happy. I think this is in the works too.
CAMERA: 3mp quality is fine but lack of a built-in flash makes the camera feature useless in low light conditions as focusing suffers in low light too! A video recorder would have been a nice added feature (video capture is great on my wife's blackberry 8320)
MULTIMEDIA: Music player is plain and simple and I think the Iphone wins on that one! Lacks a Video Player but there's a bunch of players out there on the market waiting to be downloaded for free... But this should have been something that came with the phone! Earphone dongle can be troublesome for some! My main concern though is I can never listen to music while charging the phone! Why does HTC push on having the charger share the same port with the headset/usb cable!
I am quite happy with this purchase and even though this is the 1st generation, I like the GUI and the simpllicity of navigating around the menus and functions. I have never read the manual nor did the need for me to look something up ever arised! I am almost certain that others will follow suit! and if a better phone with the android ever comes out, which I'm sure it will, I will simply have to upgrade to that after a year or so! but right now I'm enjoying the G1 and this phone right here is the FUTURE!
Camera Flash, Tmobile wifi/hotspot Calling, A good Video Pre Installed Player, Video Recorder, Virtual Keyboard, Dedicated Headphone Jack.
on December 23, 2008
Have had this phone for three days now and think it is awesome.
-The touch screen is very responsive
-The full qwerty keyboard works very well
-The camera works very well
-The market place for apps has tons of useful apps for free (For example the barcode app which allows you to scan a product in a store and check online to compare prices right then and there)
-The customizable home screen is very cool so you can organize your apps how you want
-The phone feels good in my hand and the track ball is very handy
The Android software altogether is very solid and fun in my opinion and I highly recommend this phone as I have enjoyed it alot.
on February 19, 2009
I'll admit, in the initial rush of excitement, I rated this highly. I was enamored by the GPS, the strong tie to Google applications, and the potential of the platform.
Well, the honeymoon is over, and this phone is officially a bust, a block of unrealized potential and frustration borne of an inability to manage simple tasks like dialing and managing calls.
The list of features is impressive, but it falls down in a variety of ways, all of which amount to a two-star rating. To wit:
-it has voice search, which works... poorly, as poorly as it handles voice dialing;
-the SDK is open and source for the OS is public, and this has led to... numerous fart apps, rehashes of the example code from the SDK, and some really awful programming;
-it has multitasking, which is terrific except is slows down task switching, and leaves apps resident that do not make sense (Klaxon? Slider Puzzle?);
-it can handle 16Gb micro SD cards... and then forces you to install all apps to the device and not the card;
-it is based on Debian Linux... and forces you to write apps only for its Android model of Java;
-it has a GPS and Google Maps... but turn-by-turn is restricted due to licensing and no small amount of collusion with TeleNav, who's offering turn-by-turn for $10 a month. Funny, shouldn't it be free after ten months then, since a standalone GPS would get you exactly that for a one-time payment...?
-it has the code for multi-touch, but doesn't implement because of a little more collusion, this time with Apple;
-it has a camera, which doesn't handle video and its shutterlag is measured is seconds. And oh, by the way, the pictures are terrible...
I could go on, offer a litany of reasons and little items, but the fact is the potential is remarkably unrealized from what many consider a source of innovation. Taken from this perspective, it's easy to see that all Google did was cut down a Linux distro and come up with a proprietary variant of Java. I can't do it, but it's been done before, ad nauseum, at every academic institution offering a CompSci degree. There no excuse for such delay in major updates, and the collusion with competitors makes this a half-measure device.
As a PDA, it's slow and has less app support that a WinMo or Nokia S60 device. As a phone, it's nearly impossible to "just dial" and the capacitive screen is a pain for big fingers. In fact, call me an advocate for capacitive screen bans worldwide and give me back my stylus/ pinky nail/ pen cap. On the whole, this phone is just a whole lotta smoke and one very unreflective mirror...
on December 16, 2008
I've heard many refer to this phone as the iPhone killer; in turn, I've heard many iPhone die-hards harshly criticize this phone. In truth, neither is accurate. The G1 is not the iPhone killer; Android is. Android is the operating system that runs the G1, and others to come.
Truth be told, this may not be the phone for everyone. If you want everything an iPhone can do, then by all means, go spend the money and get an iPhone; if you want something that acts like a Blackberry, then buy a Blackberry; if you want a camera, go buy a frickin' camera. Especially if you want everything right out of the box. But if you like seeing the innovation behind developers coming up with stuff, then definitely, the G1 is for you.
In many ways, I like that right now it doesn't "have" certain things (actually, it "has" just about everything, it just hasn't "learned" how to use them); I like it because it is fascinating to see people come up with the stuff that the G1 is lacking right out of the box. And that is the beauty of open source. Keep in mind this has only been out barely two months. Give developers a few more and you'll be amazed at what they come up with.
The phone itself has a great, sturdy feel; the display is beautiful and well-designed; and the qwerty keyboard is tiny but you get used to it. And just about every day there something new on the Android Market that lets you do something new.
So, go in knowing what your expectations are. If you want a phone that does everything an iPhone does right now, buy an iPhone. If you want the first-gen hardware of an exciting, extremely flexible phone that will eventually far exceed everything else, then hurry and get the G1.
on January 24, 2009
The phone is simply great. I have an iPhone as well and I prefer this phone. The iPhone is a little better looking but this phone is more functional and I found the interface much more intuitive to use. The pattern password is much easier for one-handed operation when answering calls on the go. The full keyboard is so much easier to use and you don't loose half the screen. The track ball is great for clicking those small links that some pages have that are too small or to close to some other link and is also handy for quickly scrolling around around a web page. The removable micro-SD card is a big feature over the iPhone as you can upgrade the memory easily and it also allows you share data between devices the without connecting to a computer.
The design issues I have had with the phone are the protective pouch that comes with it. If you hold it around the seams the phone can slip out so, when removing from a coat or jacket pocket, the phone can drop on the floor and I find it difficult open the cover over the micro-SD slot without using the corner of a credit card. But these are far outweighed by the good features which makes this the best phone you can buy IMHO.
I've found the T-Mobile service is better than Sprint or AT&T in the bay area of northern CA and the network connection speed is good (there always seems to be an open WiFi host spot available). As you'd expect the integration with G-mail and G-calender is excellent. The compass integration with Google's street view (point the screen in the direction you are looking and compare what you see) always gets a "wow!" and is actually quite useful as well. Another nice touch is when using the "my location" feature with the map tool it automatically scrolls the map when you move near the edge. The one thing that is done better on the iPhone is integration with Microsoft exchange servers (but with the free software development tools I might just write my own app). Speaking of which, if you want to write apps for it, it's a dream. Google have provided a fantastic set of tools, via an Eclipse plug-in with a phone emulator, for software development and they are free.
I also liked that I didn't have to provide my credit card number to download a free app from the android market place.
Favorite free apps: Compare Anywhere, Compass, Bubble, Punch-O-Meter, Trap!, MisMisMatch, Lexic, Quote Pro.
A definite buy.
on February 23, 2009
The device is much better looking in person than in photos. It looked awkward to me before I actually handled one, but I absolutely love everything about the physical appearance in person: the "chin" at the bottom is much more subtle, the back is a nice rubberized finish which makes it easy to hold, and the device is small enough to fit comfortably in my pocket (jeans included). Overall the phone just feels very well-built.
The keyboard is outstanding. I never considered the idea of getting a touchscreen-only device, and the G1 keyboard is excellent example of why. It looks like the keys are too small/flat, but the spacing makes it easy to type. I am more accurate on this keyboard than I was on my Motorola Q9c. The only issue is that the right side "chin" requires that you wrap you hand a little in order to get to the far right keys, I have large hands so its not a big problem for me, but if your fingers are shorter I could see it being awkward.
The phone also includes a trackball as another navigation option. I have found myself using it a lot for one-handed web surfing, as it is more accurate than your finger on the screen. It was an excellent and thoughtful addition to the phone.
There is no headphone jack, only a mini USB connector. My phone came with an adapter for the USB connector that allows you to use in any standard headphones, and also has a microphone for hands-free use. This ended up being better for me, because I can use my higher-end headphones for music and calls without switching plugs or carrying a seperate mp3 player.
The call quality is great with the earpiece, speakerphone, or included headphones. I have never had any complaints about the quality of my voice; I have even hooked the phone up to my car stereo for another hands free option, and again I have had no complaints about quality.
I am in a 2G only area, and having moved from 3G is slightly painful, but surfing is still acceptably fast, and the network has been extremely reliable. The T-Mobile unlimited G1 plan is very reasonable compared with the data plans from other carriers (I shopped around a lot before I settled with T-Mobile).
Once you get used to navigating the menus and get a feel for how the phone works, I can guarantee you are two taps away from anything you want to do. It's a very well laid out operating system.
The only real downfall for this device is the battery. It's a given that with advanced devices, you are going to have to trade between features and battery life. However, this is a phone that is dependent on data for most of its advanced features and a higher capacity/2nd battery should have been included with the phone. With no GPS enabled on a 2G only network, I can go from 7AM - 10PM on a single charge but I have to charge the phone nightly. I probably listen to music for 1-2 hours, and do some surfing, light texting, and maybe 20-30 minutes of calling? I think most people would consider me a light user, so I would honestly have expected to charge the phone every other day.
WiFi will KILL the battery as well. When I'm home and I leave Wifi on I get about half the performance as above.
Despite the battery I woldn't trade this phone for anything. I love the synchronization with Google services, it has made my life much easier.
on March 25, 2009
I moved from a 10 month old blackberry curve 8320 to this, and paid handsomely for it. I am now at the end of my 2 week return period and I'm going to keep this (although I don't know WHAT to do with the blackberry...)
Let's get these out of the way:
-TERRIBLE battery life. I mean terrible. I have to disable damned near everything (3G, GPS, wifi, bluetooth, dim the screen) just to make it 8-10 hours. Unless you work a government work day, you'll need to carry a charger with you. And the charger for it is not foldable... although, they sell a nice car/AC charger for, like,, [...] bucks...
-No UMA (!) Big problem, especially since my previous phone had this. Means I can no use a phone in my basement computer office. Worse, I've had to sign on to ... Skype.. and there very affordable but questionable quality services, just to have a phone on the rare occasions that I'm... you know... at my (by which I mean: bank's house)
-Ungodly bad battery life.
-Not a super pretty case. Big, unshapely, weirdly shaped. decalgirl.com can go a long way in making it more interesting looking though. Although the decal you pick one night you may have to embarrassingly defend as "not girlish". Get some skulls or something on it...
-No camera flash. High resolution camera, but all your photos will be super blurry (but contain many, many, pixels). Again, previous phone had this.
--Yay, look how many bits of blurry pictures we gave you!
-Apple's (bastards, dicks, WHORES) patents required the removal of many features that the hardware supported (and that any dude could of thought up anyway, without so many BLASTED lawyers around, trying to stab them in the neck so as to steal their wallets and socks) but cannot be included for 'legal' reasons. This includes multi-touch and automatic screen re-orientation based upon accelerometer readings. UPDATE: screen re-orientation has been re-allowed based on the duh-wtf precedent.
-You *must* swallow the Google kool-aid to even begin to use this. Seriously, you can't even turn on the phone the first time without having a gmail account. That will be a problem for some. For me, that's fine. Please Google... take my kidneys, I'm sure it's for the greater good...
-Terrible on-phone calendar software. And I mean:... TERR-I-BLE!
-Does not come with todo list software. Cause, you know, it's REALLY complex...
-Weird connector (doesn't use standard mini usb), must have dongle to use headset or headphones. UPDATE: It DOES use the standard USB connector, they're just playing like they're making "Killing Shapes" or something...
-No stereo bluetooth, not that I've ever needed that.
Wow, lots of cons, eh? Why am I keeping it then, especially when previous phone is as good or better in many areas?
-Android OS. I believe (hope...pray...UPDATE... pray, pray, wish, dream, accept) this is the future of smart phone OSes. Relatively open (you still need an unlocked phone to run custom versions of OS), and there is a lot of development activity going on. (UPDATE:... heh, heh.. ha... <sigh>)
-Lots of good free apps and games. The ones that aren't free are cheap and easy to buy. You can even easily uninstall and get instant refunds for paid software you don't like.
-Tight integration with Google apps. This is a con for some. For example, the contacts on your phone? They are the same as your gmail contacts. I don't mean they are a copy of your gmail contacts, I mean they ARE your gmail contacts. A change made either on the phone or web app reflects on the other, they are constantly syncing.
-Browser is great. It's a 'real' browser. Unlike the Blackberry, pages load fast on 3G, 2G, wifi, or... er.. "edge". I guess that's 2G. Great font anti-aliasing and zooming makes it all the easier to use. Seriously, the fact that I can play on the Dragon Go server is impressive.
-Screen is gorgeous. Can be very bright, but you'll be so paranoid about your battery you'll end up keeping it dim all the time. Good resolution.
-Very nicely integrated Google maps.
-Touch screen works very well, for the most part. I have trouble getting things on the edge to register sometimes, but overall it's very easy, even fun, to use.
-I love hardware keyboards. I wish this one had better raised keys, but I appreciate that the numbers are different keys than the letters, common punctuation like commas and at symbols are accessible without alt keys. Backlit, and easy to type fast on once you get used to it.
-The swivel screen/keyboard mechanism adds a lot of bulk, but it's a solid feeling mechanism. Like click open a switchblade or something. Easy to open and close with one hand.
-Trackball is nice to have to supplement the touch screen.
-Easy and cheap to expand memory via micro sd cards (even comes with 1gb card)... SUCK IT APPLE. In the FACE! Er... the [...]! Er... the [...].. FACE! Yeah, the [...] FACE!
-You won't lose it in the giant pile of identical iPhones at work. Seriously. ("I have an iPhone! Oh yeah, well I have a [...]! I guess that makes me a more uniques flower than you!)
-Don't have to use AT&T!
-Don't have to use AT&T!
-Don't have to use AT&T!
If you are going to have to pay near full price anyway (like I did), try getting an unlocked "developer" phone instead. You can also do this if you don't have/want T-Mobile.
on November 30, 2008
This phone absolutely rocks, and I can't imagine what the other reviewer was using, or expecting - in more than 5 years this is the first phone to make me actually switch - something that *none* of the iPhone, Verizon Glyde or Verizon Voyager (the leading touch screen competitors) could do.
The Google G1 phone completes what the iPhone lacks - it's what the iPhone *should* be, but isn't. The G1 has a qwerty keyboard in addition to the touch screen, has voice dialing, and copy and paste - none of which the iPhone has (shockingly, when, for example, copy and paste are such fundamental functions).
And, unlike the Verizon contenders, the email function is awesome, *and* - and very important for me - applications actually continue to run in the background if you need them to - and you can effortlessly switch between applications (the Verizon phones exit you out of email, instant messengers, and other applications when you try to switch).
In fact, for a version 1 device, I'm incredibly impressed with just how good it is. As I said, it's the only phone in 5 years which has been able to get me to permanently switch devices.