Here we are trying to get James Whatley, one of the most influential Nokia-fans on the planet, to play with and understand the new T-Mobile G1.
I was tickled pink on Friday to be able to give him the test one we were sent over by T-Mobile. This is the first ever handset we’ve received as a trial from T-Mobile.
Ben and I went and bought one each ourselves so that we had one to play with and experience. Dan Lane, on holiday in the North of England had exactly the same problem I had on Saturday morning in Central London: He couldn’t find a T-Mobile shop nearby. I was in London watching Josh Harnett fluff his lines in the new Rainman stage play. My other half is potentially interested in getting a new G1 so I wanted to swing by a T-Mobile shop. Unfortunately you can’t do that in the West End. Whilst there are bucketloads of Orange and Vodafone shops on every sodding street corner, the only T-Mobile shops nearby were in Clapham or Oxford Street. Not quite round the corner and far enough away to put my other half off the idea of walking too far amongst annoying crowds.
I cursed T-Mobile silently as I sat surrounded by fawning drooling women as Josh began to undress on the Rainman stage.
Dan Lane was going nuts in the North West of Yorkshire. I did a look-up to see where his nearest T-Mobile store was. I wanted to text him an address as I could feel his must-have-a-G1 quotient reaching breaking point from the IMs and emails being swapped between the team on Saturday. Alas, T-Mobile don’t have any stores within something like 100 miles of the North West of England.
I cursed T-Mobile again.
Meanwhile I began receiving IMs, emails and texts from Mr Whatley. As you no doubt saw on Monday’s MIR Show, he is taken with the G1.
He made quite a lot of comments about the actual handset but I asked him to focus his upcoming review on the concept of the device — the openness, the possibilities, the unified nature and the fact that ANYTHING he didn’t like on the actual G1 could more or less be fixed by a caffeinated teenager with an Android SDK.
For example, he lamented the lack of ShoZu on the device. Try PixePipe, I suggested.
I didn’t want James getting put off his review, or diverted, by silly stuff that actually can become very annoying.
There are a lot of people – Nokia fascists, in particular, still stroking their Nokia N82s and N95 8GBs who are hanging on every communique from Whatley. (See last week’s assassination of the Nokia N96).
They read my piece. They saw our video and they’re waiting for the Whatley view. They’re looking for Ben and Dan to weigh in — but Whatley is the first.
They’re expecting a few words from him on the fact that, yeah, the G1 camera doesn’t compare to an N82 and that, yeah, there’s not that much in the Android UK marketplace yet. They’re expecting some degree of experiential account from James.
And, er, he’s got to send his handset back.
Nixon McInnes, social representatives of T-Mobile, called to ask for the G1 back on Monday but I was out most of the day. On Tuesday I told James he needed to give it back and James promised to mail it when I got the delivery address. This morning I’ve asked them for the delivery address. Whatley will send it back this afternoon.
It really does wind me up when folk think that you just need a day or so to ‘review’ a device.
We’re not writing some piece of shite ‘it’s got this much RAM on it’ or ‘it’s got a whatever megapixel camera’. We’re not doing a mainstream media piece of puffery. Our readers don’t give a toss about that. They want to know what we THINK about it before deciding whether or not to acquire one themselves. And a big component of our coverage is being able to let Whatley sit and play with it and deliver a balanced view. Getting him to put down his array of Nokias for more than 5 minutes is a real challenge. I wanted James to sit and play with the thing and really use it.
So imagine my fooking annoyance when T-Mobile switched it off the G1 connection this morning. Disconnected!
What the hell do I have to do to get the guy to be able to focus on experiencing the handset?
I think I have to spunk just under 500 quid to buy him one on an 18 month contract.
Ergo what use is the public relations department at T-Mobile?
Next time I’ll just buy the sodding thing for him so we can get some decent editorial. My mistake.
We’ll bring you a slightly shortened piece from Mr Whatley later today.