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Now it’s been out a while, what do you think of the G1?

G1launch106

Hi there, Ed Hodges here. From the videos! Well, more precisely, from the recent Phone Calling Under Water video feature that Ewan published last month.

I’ve just got my hands on Ewan’s very own G1. I have to say the software’s brilliant! AND I love the response the handset gives to the touch with smooth scrolling and responsive ‘touch-thru’ to the next screen. Even more impressive is the speed it loads Google’s applications. For instance, opening Gmail (which being Ewan’s has thousands of messages in it) occurred instantly, then, setting up the ‘Compose’ screen took milliseconds too…. beautiful – Something Microsoft Windows would do well to heed. So far the software reacts at the speed of thought 😉

However, the hardware is different, it’s nice and all that, but very ‘plasticky’ (spelling?). I’m also not that fussed about the resolution of the screen, it doesn’t take much to see the pixels and many of the icons can look blocky. The screen rotation mechanism is good, giving a satisfying ‘snap’ when opened or closed, however, it feels a touch insecure when open. The biggest let down about the whole experience is the QWERTY keyboard. The tiny keys are more or less flush and take a concerted effort to locate visually rather than semi watching the screen. They don’t give particularly good feedback and I felt I was typing slower than I would normally with more nispakes.

Finally, the phone feels unbalanced when using the keyboard, the base of the phone which sits on the right hand side when in landscape, forces your hand away from the keyboard and makes it more difficult to use fast – while on the left hand side there is a lot of space between the edge of the phone and that fat part of your palm below your thumb (what’s that called? anyone?). As a result, you can find yourself pushing the handset across from the right to left when trying to type fast or reach keys/the screen with your right hand.

So, software is bloody impressive, as we’ve all established and swapping between applications and screens is super fast – brilliant! The handset…. meh, next! With HTC bringing out such beauties as the Touch Pro and HD, I don’t know why Android was put in that brick.

That said, I’m looking forward to the upcoming Mobile World Congress, which is where, I suspect the next announcements about new handsets and perhaps Android upgrades will appear. After all, you’ve got to allow time for handset manufacturers to work out the best form factor for such an amazing open platform…

I’m looking forward to seeing what Samsung have to offer in terms of Android. What about you? Have you used or seen a G1? Viewpoints? I’d like to hear them!

Ed

24 replies on “Now it’s been out a while, what do you think of the G1?”

I recently had some interesting discussions with Android owners, and in regards to the email application, there seem to be a couple complaints, mainly:

– no access to Hotmail and/or difficult access to non-Gmail accounts
– minimal ability to handle attachments

As with the iPhone, a number of consumers are beginning to use Momail to get around these issues – and appear happy with the solution.

I recently had some interesting discussions with Android owners, and in regards to the email application, there seem to be a couple complaints, mainly:

– no access to Hotmail and/or difficult access to non-Gmail accounts
– minimal ability to handle attachments

As with the iPhone, a number of consumers are beginning to use Momail to get around these issues – and appear happy with the solution.

I love my G1, I love it almost enough to glue a proper camera to the back of it and call it perfect. Seriously, everything I've ever done on a mobile I can do faster, more efficiently and more satisfyingly on my G1 and it goes on to do so much more – except take photos.

I love my G1, I love it almost enough to glue a proper camera to the back of it and call it perfect. Seriously, everything I've ever done on a mobile I can do faster, more efficiently and more satisfyingly on my G1 and it goes on to do so much more – except take photos.

I'd be pretty excited, but I'd want a good test before shelling out any cash to ensure it wasn't as buggy as Samsung's earliest efforts with Symbian such as the Innov8 which also (alarmingly) lack user-initiated firmware updating.

That's strange – the G1 has a very capable POP and IMAP client completely separate from the GMail application. Attachment handling is poor, admitedly, on the this client, but good via GMail.

Or is this just a clumsy plug for Momail? 🙂

Good base software, with a few minor usability issues that I'd forgive in a v1 product.

3rd party apps lack the visual clarity and visual polish of even early iPhone apps but the variety and growth is impressive. Some stability problems – plenty still reset my device.

Hardware is a train wreck – poor build quality, poor battery, poor ergonomics, poor camera, bad design.

T-Mobile – Good c/s, dire signal, dire reliability, fast data, frequent access problems, excludes diverts from bundled minutes.

Will be leaving T-Mobile and HTC as quickly as possible (baring miraculous improvements), but Android is my OS of choice for now.

I'd be pretty excited, but I'd want a good test before shelling out any cash to ensure it wasn't as buggy as Samsung's earliest efforts with Symbian such as the Innov8 which also (alarmingly) lack user-initiated firmware updating.

That's strange – the G1 has a very capable POP and IMAP client completely separate from the GMail application. Attachment handling is poor, admitedly, on the this client, but good via GMail.

Or is this just a clumsy plug for Momail? 🙂

Good base software, with a few minor usability issues that I'd forgive in a v1 product.

3rd party apps lack the visual clarity and visual polish of even early iPhone apps but the variety and growth is impressive. Some stability problems – plenty still reset my device.

Hardware is a train wreck – poor build quality, poor battery, poor ergonomics, poor camera, bad design.

T-Mobile – Good c/s, dire signal, dire reliability, fast data, frequent access problems, excludes diverts from bundled minutes.

Will be leaving T-Mobile and HTC as quickly as possible (baring miraculous improvements), but Android is my OS of choice for now.

well it'd need to be touch and more importantly responsive, any touch device that comes out that doesn't have the power to react quickly whatever it's screen resolution frustrates me immensely – yes HTC Diamond and Nokia 5800 I'm talking about you.

Another thing it seems is that it would have to have the 320×480 screen resolution as so many of the apps, mine included, have element locations and sizes hardcoded to improve their appearance and wouldn't work very well at all on a different screen resolution without some tweaking. Imagine having a shiney new Android device with a shiney new 640×480 screen and then finding out none of the apps in the Marketplace really work with it, ouch.

I am a day 1 G1 adopter. The software has exceeded my expectations and is a pleasure to use. Then I am already a gmail and google apps devotee, but the ability to search thousands of emails, both sent and received in seconds over the air is simply awesome.

The hardware. We know that the “dream” really is a budget device from HTC. That said, all the chip sets inside really do work very very well, particularly the 3G and GPS radios. This totally distinguishes the hardware from the iPhone which pales by comparison in these two areas. The performance of non assisted GPS I have experienced in the wilds of rural Somerset is excellent. There is a bug I have noticed though, occasionally the maps app will just FAIL and freeze giving a connection error message. This is fixed by a reboot, hopefully there will be a fix for this soon, or perhaps it is a T Mobile issue. I have a few issues with T Mobile but this is not the forum for them. The middle section of my keyboard does appear to be sinking into the device, it is still working though.

I love the browser, the ability to have different windows open is genius. This makes using multiple online services like dabr etc brilliant. Now if everyone could code their sites to open links in a new window on Android we'd have major progress in the mobile web. It is worth commenting that having google gears enabled is a massive win when traveling at speed on trains etc. Technology that just works, thank you.

Geekyouup raises a very valid point about developing for the screen size. This is something that needs some major thought to get round in the next generation of Android phones. If you really want to impress normobs and even promobs with your G1 I would highly recommend grabbing his Newtons Cradle app from the Android App Store.

My three months with the G1 have totally convinced me that Android is going to go from strength to strength this year. I am very much looking forward to seeing what the likes of Motorola, SonyEricsson and Samsung bring to market.

I am a day 1 G1 adopter. The software has exceeded my expectations and is a pleasure to use. Then I am already a gmail and google apps devotee, but the ability to search thousands of emails, both sent and received in seconds over the air is simply awesome.

The hardware. We know that the “dream” really is a budget device from HTC. That said, all the chip sets inside really do work very very well, particularly the 3G and GPS radios. This totally distinguishes the hardware from the iPhone which pales by comparison in these two areas. The performance of non assisted GPS I have experienced in the wilds of rural Somerset is excellent. There is a bug I have noticed though, occasionally the maps app will just FAIL and freeze giving a connection error message. This is fixed by a reboot, hopefully there will be a fix for this soon, or perhaps it is a T Mobile issue. I have a few issues with T Mobile but this is not the forum for them. The middle section of my keyboard does appear to be sinking into the device, it is still working though.

I love the browser, the ability to have different windows open is genius. This makes using multiple online services like dabr etc brilliant. Now if everyone could code their sites to open links in a new window on Android we'd have major progress in the mobile web. It is worth commenting that having google gears enabled is a massive win when traveling at speed on trains etc. Technology that just works, thank you.

Geekyouup raises a very valid point about developing for the screen size. This is something that needs some major thought to get round in the next generation of Android phones. If you really want to impress normobs and even promobs with your G1 I would highly recommend grabbing his Newtons Cradle app from the Android App Store.

My three months with the G1 have totally convinced me that Android is going to go from strength to strength this year. I am very much looking forward to seeing what the likes of Motorola, SonyEricsson and Samsung bring to market.

I find the touch response a little “iffy” having to re-touch several times in order to get a reaction. the device is relatively quick although T-mobile non 3G service in US is slooooow. Integration with Google account is very handy and a top feature – ie. one click access to gMail and Gmobile apps. Best of all, the Android market is great and linstaling apps is a breeze, although search doesn't work very well! Would I buy one… indeed!

I find the touch response a little “iffy” having to re-touch several times in order to get a reaction. the device is relatively quick although T-mobile non 3G service in US is slooooow. Integration with Google account is very handy and a top feature – ie. one click access to gMail and Gmobile apps. Best of all, the Android market is great and linstaling apps is a breeze, although search doesn't work very well! Would I buy one… indeed!

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