G1 Google Android

17 Oct

There is a lot riding on the shoulders of T-Mobile’s G1 Android phone. In some ways, it carries the collective hopes of Linux, open source and Google fans everywhere. It’s open, collaborative and community-based, in other words, everything the iPhone and Windows Mobile aren’t. As so many onlookers crowd around this newborn phone, there’s no way it can hold up all of their expectations—and it doesn’t.

Body: The body was made by HTC, a Taiwanese company that makes Windows Mobile devices for Motorola, Palm and its own line. This phone is built just like those. The back is classic matted and grip-friendly HTC. The swivel-flip feels almost exactly like earlier HTC phones, only it extends out and then back in again, revealing the keyboard underneath. This motion gives a satisfying snap when opened, though it might be too loud in a quiet office.

Keyboard: It’s got numerous problems. First, it’s set so that the raised section on the right, with scroller ball and home and menu keys, is always in your way when you’re trying to type. This is annoying, even after you figure out how to work around it. The individual keys aren’t raised high enough over the body for easy touch typing, though at least the keyboard is backlit, in case you’re texting in the dark. The space and backspace key are tinier than we’d like. And it’s even more awkward than normal to type while charging the phone, because the miniUSB cable is in the way.

Buttons: There are five face buttons on the device—call, home, back, power/end and menu—and they’re all fairly straightforward. Hit home to bring you back to the home screen, menu to bring up a popup menu in your current app, and power/end button to lock your phone or hang up your call. That last part takes the most getting used to, since you’re naturally going to want to use the red power button to quit apps or end tasks, but all that does is lock your phone.

Trackball: It feels great, better than on the BlackBerry Pearl, and it clicks down solidly. Still, switching between the trackball and the touchscreen can get awkward.

Screen: The touchscreen is bright, renders text clearly and is, on the whole, pretty great. It uses capacitive touch, like the iPhone, so you use your fingertip, not a stylus, to poke around. There are cases when screen presses don’t register properly—they’re not too often, but often enough to be noticeable.

Battery: A full charge lasts about a day, mainly because push Gmail grabs the internet every time the account receives an email, and mine receives plenty. Couple that with 3G data browsing and app usage—which you’re most likely going to be doing a lot of—and you’ll need to get used to a mid-day charge at work. Thankfully charging from near empty to near full takes only about two hours.

Wi-Fi: The Wi-Fi range seems slightly to be on par with comparable smartphones (HTC’s Windows Mobile phones, iPhone), showing just about as many Wi-Fi hotspots in my house as the other ones did.

3G: I got noticeably decent browsing speeds, with an actual test registering 433kbps. This, of course, is only the case if your city has 3G access at all, since T-Mobile’s only just starting to roll out their network.

Camera: It’s passable and on par with previous HTC efforts. It does have autofocus, but other than that there’s nothing spectacular with the G1’s camera.

GPS: GPS is actually off by default, which produces a very inaccurate location when you try and find yourself on Google Maps. You’ll have to switch this on manually.

For futher information on the review of T-Mobile’s G1 Google Android phone, please visit Gizmodo.

source: Gizmodo


2 Responses to “G1 Google Android”

  1. Stefanie October 19, 2008 at 7:54 pm #

    Yeah, so we got to order these phones early and they keyboard isn’t that bad…to me, the typing aspect is just like the sidekick LX…it’s a great phone but I won’t be ordering one, just because I don’t have the money and we don’t have 3G in Idaho, so it’s not any faster than my phone is now 😦 Lots of people at work have it and LOVE it!!!

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