or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Review roundup: T-Mobile's G1, the first Android-based handset
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review roundup: T-Mobile's G1, the first Android-based handset

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
T-Mobile and Google lifted their embargo Thursday on reviews of the G1, the new HTC-developed iPhone rival that will be the first handset to run Google's new open-source Android operating system when it goes on sale for $179 at T-Mobile shops on Oct. 22.

We've rounded up reviews of the new touch-screen handset from three major media outlets, noting some highlights from each review.

Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg

"I have been testing the G1 extensively, in multiple cities and in multiple scenarios," wrote the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, who believes the device will cater to different users than Apple's iPhone. "In general, I like it and consider it a worthy competitor to the iPhone."
The G1’s biggest differentiator is that it has a physical slide-open keyboard, which proved "only fair." Keys are too flat, hard to see in bright sunlight, and somewhat obstructed by bulge in the body of the G1 on the right side.
The touch interface is fast and smooth. Programs pop up when you drag up a tab at the bottom of the screen. New messages notifications can be seen by dragging down the top bar of the screen.
More flexibility in organizing your desktop than on the iPhone.
It's easier to place a phone call on the G1 than on the iPhone. You can just start typing a number randomly from the home screen. There's also a virtual phone keyboard so you don't have to use the physical one.
Unlike the iPhone, the G1 offers copy and paste of text, and the ability to send photos directly to other phones without relying on email.
T-Mobile allows you to unlock the G1 after 90 days and use it on another carrier's network if you pay their substantial early termination fee.
Battery is about the same as the iPhone for mixed use and must be recharged just about every night.
The Android Market (App Store rival) works well and unlike Apple, Google says it isn't blocking any programs. (However, it was also revealed Thursday that Google has embedded a kill switch into Android just like Apple has with its iPhone OS.)
One of the G1's downsides is that it's "a chunky brick of a device," Mossberg says. "While it’s a bit narrower than the iPhone and feels OK in the hand, it’s almost 20% heavier and nearly 30% thicker. It also has a smaller screen and doesn’t accept standard stereo headphones."
Memory limited to 1GB. Beyond that users need to shell out for a larger memory card. During his tests, the G1 warned Mossberg that it was running out of memory -- something he's never witnessed on the iPhone.
Only to get contacts and calendar items into the phone is to synchronize with Google’s online calendar and contacts services. Users MUST have a Google ID to use the handset.
No Exchange support, can't sync directly with a Mac or PC, and media files must be synced over through manual drag-and-drop.
Touch user interface is inferior to the iPhone's. No flick, pinch, or zoom with fingers. Doesn't automatically change orientation. No video player.
T-Mobile offers 3G services in only 20 cities compared to AT&T's 320.
A promotional video for the HTC-developed T-Mobile G1.

The Associated Press' Rachel Metz

"While it's far from perfect, the G1 powered by Google's Android operating system is packed with plenty of consumer-oriented features that may even make iPhone fans take notice," writes The Associated Press' Rachel Metz.
Don't lose the tiny included 1GB microSD card, because you'll lose all your photos and songs and have to buy more storage.
Has compass and "Street View" feature in Google Maps which the iPhone does not.
Good-looking browser that is simple to navigate, and the device's screen is clear and sharp.
T-Mobile's relatively new 3G network is more impressive than AT&T's, but this could change once it actually has to carry the load of more phones.
Talking, Web surfing and content downloading can quickly run down the battery, forcing avid users to tote around a charging cable.
Android Market works well but there are only about three dozen applications and 10 games.
"Barcode Scanner" that uses the G1's 3-megapixel camera worked well.
The G1's Amazon.com online MP3 store app is easy to browse and offers quick downloads of songs free of copy protection.
Video and song playback is hampered by lack of standard headphone jack. Instead, an "uncomfortable earbud headset" is included that plugs into the mini USB port that is also used to charge the phone.
MSNBC's Suzanne Choney

"The first thing I noticed about the T-Mobile G1 Android phone right out of the box is that it pretty much looks like all the other black-slab, touchscreen phones that are trying to emulate Apple’s iPhone," said MSNBC's Suzanne Choney.
Not as fluid and simple to use as the iPhone, but Google is off to a good start.
Web pages are rendered realistically and quickly, even on T-Mobile's 2G network.
The screen is "not as good a quality as on the iPhone."
In addition to a touch-screen, it has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a trackball, which means "more fiddling around [and] remembering which tool to use."
Does not have the uniform ease of the iPhone’s finger swipe/touch approach.
G1’s QWERTY keys are too small, even for little fingers, presenting some of the same problems people face with the iPhone's keyboard.
The slight curve at the bottom of the G1 means it's less likely to fall if wedged between your shoulder and ear like an iPhone.
Has voice dialing feature, which iPhone doesn't.
Has a 3.2-megapixel camera; the iPhone a 2-megapixel camera. But neither phone can record video.
post #2 of 25
Looks good for a 1.0 device. Hopefully the competition between Apple and Google will lead to good things, and the long needed death of Windows Mobile.
post #3 of 25
Nice ad, sucky phone.
In my area T-Mobile sucks more than At&T, and this is a cheap, let's test the market, phone is no iPhone.
Having said that, the competition can only inspire Apple to do a better job, and accelerate the updates.
bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #4 of 25
Does anyone know what the navigator.userAgent is for Android phones? I want to detect it on a website.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Does anyone know what the navigator.userAgent is for Android phones? I want to detect it on a website.

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 0.5; en-us) AppleWebKit/522+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/419.3
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Video and song playback is hampered by lack of standard headphone jack. Instead, an "uncomfortable earbud headset" is included that plugs into the mini USB port that is also used to charge the phone.

MSNBC's Suzanne Choney

Oh my. Good luck trying to charge the battery and listen to your music or watch a movie in the car while you plug in the charger to keep from running the battery down. That is just crazy stupid!

This thing is thick as a brick and has room for tons of ports, but people will not bitch about that they only bitch about Apple products.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

Oh my. Good luck trying to charge the battery and listen to your music or watch a movie in the car while you plug in the charger to keep from running the battery down. That is just crazy stupid!

Actually you can buy adapters that have ports for both headphones and power (and some even have a third port for USB). Still though, things like this just go to prove that some these companies make phones first, and every thing else is an after thought. I think that's the biggest point people miss about the iPhone (due it's stupid name), that it's a mobile computer with a cell radio and "phone" application.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
post #8 of 25
This phone has been hit with an ugly-stick, but had Apple designed it I would have purchased it as it has features I still desire, and so does my wife. T-Mobile is crappier than AT&T. Google will probably buy Apple in the long run.
post #9 of 25
Something inside me is telling me "the iPhone benefits from a competitor like this as Apple will be pushed to develop and enhance their device with features and solutions they keep ignoring."

Still... G1 did receive the ugly stick, didn't it, CREB.
post #10 of 25
I am curious to find out how many minutes it will take before the first rogue app (we let anyone, even your hacker grandmother, place an app on our app store!) wipes out a boatload of G1s!?

It's sort of like those nightclubs that let anyone in--there are usually five or six floor-clearing fights by the end of the night.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

T-Mobile is crappier than AT&T.


By what scale? T-MObile consistently gets better ratings in customer service. Moreover, my iPhone running on T-Moble's network sounds clearer then my friend's running on AT&T. Finally, T-Mobile isn't selling out to the government and isn't installing back door DRM.
post #12 of 25
Everyone's gripe is with the phone itself. How pointless!

This platform could run on any fucking phone so focus on the software, not whether the goddamn headphone jack is made by a bunch of codpieces. Then again, the only thing that runs the bastard platform is indeed the modified Dream, which seems like a terribly stupid beginning strategy.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

Google will probably buy Apple in the long run.

Apple is worth more than Google - about 8% higher in market value. It's hard to buy a company that's worth more than you are.
post #14 of 25
"..... and the long needed death of Windows Mobile."

Mybe Win Mobill can be saved if the iPhone had a boot camp app.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
if wedged between your shoulder and ear like an iPhone

Do not do this with an expensive smartphone!

That method worked great with giant 80s phone handsets. Now, please stick to earbuds for hands-free talking.

P.S. Re Google street view (too cool) and GPS heading: both are coming to iPhone from Apple in a future update. (Not sure if the heading will be displayed in Maps - I assume so - but it will be exposed to the use of third parties apparently.)
post #16 of 25
Did you see the clip? Funnerer, Smarterer, Betterer? What sort of english is that - or is it another language? So unoriginal.

Oh hang on, they missed out snappierer......
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sausage&Onion View Post

Everyone's gripe is with the phone itself. How pointless!

This platform could run on any fucking phone so focus on the software, not whether the goddamn headphone jack is made by a bunch of codpieces. Then again, the only thing that runs the bastard platform is indeed the modified Dream, which seems like a terribly stupid beginning strategy.

YEAH !!! How dare we look past the hypothetical prowess of the platform and focus on the actual product sitting in our hands?

McD
Why does somebody ask me a question, I can never understand, I can never provide the answer, but believe I can.
Reply
Why does somebody ask me a question, I can never understand, I can never provide the answer, but believe I can.
Reply
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

This phone has been hit with an ugly-stick, but had Apple designed it I would have purchased it as it has features I still desire, and so does my wife..

I think you should stay with her then.
post #19 of 25
As far as hardware goes this is a windows mobile device that HTC put up for use with Android. Its not been designed specifically for android bu t merely been put out there to get a foot in the door (a big fat wedge in the door LOL)

I think that future android devices will be slimmer and better featured. Well here's hoping.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Something inside me is telling me "the iPhone benefits from a competitor like this as Apple will be pushed to develop and enhance their device with features and solutions they keep ignoring."

Not just the copying and pasting kind ... Apple doesn't copy obviously useful features from the competition. Look at the iPod and competitors that claimed they would overtake the iPod because they had some or other feature that Apple lacked. Apple ignored them, and where are they now?

Sometimes arrogance wins despite the odds.

In any case the iPhone was never going to win on features but on usability. Has Android attacked it on that front, or is it yet another Zune?

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

Reply

Philip Machanick creator of Opinionations and Green Grahamstown
Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

Reply
post #21 of 25
No one is mentioning how slow the G1 browser loads from 3G

http://www.viddler.com/explore/engadget/videos/73/

The iPhone seems a *lot* faster.

C.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

In any case the iPhone was never going to win on features but on usability. Has Android attacked it on that front, or is it yet another Zune?

Umm... Are you asking if the G1 / HTC Dream product is yet another Zune or if Android in general will prove to be another Zune?

To me the G1 / HTC Dream implementation is a sort of advanced beta, proof of concept and live test bed all rolled into one. On that premise the G1 itself is awesome for early adopters (and a few others) and I can't wait to see what's next. If the G1 / HTC Dream is as good as it's gonna get then it's way worse than the Zune.

I suspect though that in the near future we're going to see a variety of hardware from various manufacturers running varied ports of Android with different feature sets at a number of price points. I would also look for manufacturers to try and differentiate themselves not only in their hardware but in proprietary software and added value type features and 3rd party partnerships.

If and when that happens some Android models will compete with the iPhone and some will not. To some extent I think the "smart phone" market becomes somewhat analogous to the computer world and the Mac vs. PC scenario.
Love The MAC, Hate On The FanBoy
Reply
Love The MAC, Hate On The FanBoy
Reply
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

I think you should stay with her then.

Awesome
post #24 of 25
It remains to be seen how strong of a product HTC has built on Google's platform for T-Mobile's network. I think it will be a success in terms of sales and interest in future generations of Android devices. I think it is likely to fail to knock iPhone off top of everyone's wish-list. To me this isn't "failure", but since it is the measuring stick many will use it will seem that way. We'll see. SO fun to have new choices, though!
post #25 of 25
I'm a TMobile customer waiting for the iPhone to come over officially so I can get a nice upgrade discount. But this G1 phone definitely has me interested. Best thing about it is the open source. The keyboard is nice too. The iPhone needs to flip the keyboard to make it easier to type messages.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Review roundup: T-Mobile's G1, the first Android-based handset