T-Mobile's G1, the first Google phone

Discussion in 'News and Article Submission' started by xzKinGzxBuRnzx, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. xzKinGzxBuRnzx

    xzKinGzxBuRnzx The Feature Man

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    Google create there first phone. Its taking aim at the iPhone though. Which do you believe would be better? I love my iPhone and have only seen just a few that would be better than it. Though this one seems close, just not as close as I would want. The G1 will be hitting the market October 22, 2008 retailing at $129. That's cheap for everything it does. If it's jailbreakable or unlockable so that you could use it with AT&T instead of T-mobile I would buy it. Though where I live I only get AT&T. Will anyone plan to buy this?

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    Watch out, Apple. The G1 may not be as sleek and sexy as the iPhone, but its peppy, easy-to-use touchscreen interface makes mincemeat of all the other iPhone wanna-bes, and it packs in some killer features—like 360-degree Street View—that the iPhone has yet to match.Granted, I've only had a few minutes of hands-on time with the T-Mobile G1, so this doesn't count as a review—we're just talking first impressions here. But first impressions count, and the G1 ($179, available October 22) scored big during my brief test drive. (Click here for full specs and details on Tuesday's announcement.)

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    So, let's talk about the hardware first. As I mentioned in my initial post, the G1 is slightly bulkier and heavier and—well, let's just say it—a little uglier than the slim, sexy iPhone. Weighing in at 5.6 ounces, I could definitely feel the G1's extra bulk in my hand, although at just 0.6 inches thick, the G1 should fit relatively easily in a jeans pocket.

    The G1's 3.17-inch screen is slightly smaller than the iPhone's 3.5-inch display, and at first glance, its interface looks a bit dull compared to Apple's red-hot handset (and unfortunately, my shaky photography skills don't help). But beneath the G1's sliding display, we get a surprise—a full, Sidekick-sized QWERTY keypad, perfect for those who don't want to deal with a touchscreen keyboard. There's also a trackball, a Home key, and physical Call and End buttons.

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    While the G1's main screen isn't quite as eye-popping as the iPhone's, the Android-powered display was surprisingly responsive—a quick flick of my fingertip opened a windowshade of applications, while tapping the status bar at the top of the screen instantly revealed e-mail, SMS, and voice-mail alerts. Indeed, tapping and scrolling around the G1's various menus was a seamless pleasure, akin to what you'd expect from an iPhone. And while leading iPhone competitors like the Samsung Instinct always felt a bit sluggish to me, the G1's peppy interface responded quickly to my every touch.

    Of course, you'll get the most out of the G1 if you're using Google's suite of online applications, all of which sync automatically the moment you sign in. The push Gmail client features threaded messaging, just like you'd expect online, and you can star messages, organize them with filters, and even conduct Google searches within the e-mail client itself. You can also use the client to check your POP and IMAP accounts—no full-on Exchange syncing, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, third-party developers are free to create their own Exchange syncing apps for Android.

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    The G1's dialer and contact list immediately grabs all your online Google calendar info and contacts—and for those with IM accounts, the G1 will indicate which of your contacts happen to be signed in for chat, an "online presence" feature familiar to anyone with a Helio phone. As with the iPhone, you can flick your contact list with a finger, spinning it roulette-style. Nice.

    The Android Web browser on the G1 immediately takes its place as one of the top mobile browsers I've seen, right next to those on the iPhone and Nokia Nseries handsets. Pages rendered quickly (over Wi-Fi, at least) and perfectly; a tap brings up zoom in/out controls, while a touch-enabled magnifying glass lets you quickly scan lengthy Web pages. (No multitouch-enabled "pinching," however.) See a picture you want to save? Just touch and hold; a contextual menu pops up with a variety of options, including saving the image to the phone.

    Coolest of all, though, is Google Maps on the G1, complete with GPS and Street View. In the demo I saw (over Wi-Fi), maps loaded quickly, as did Street View images, and they refreshed almost instantly as I dragged maps and images around with my finger.

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    The best part? Using Street View with the G1's built-in compass. Say you're facing north; you hold the G1 in front of you, select Street View, and you'll see your street from a north-facing vantage point. Turn east—with the phone still in front of you—and the Street View image follows. Angle the phone skyward, and Street View moves likewise. Way, way cool (and impressively fast and responsive, to boot).

    Disappointments? Well, the G1's music player is no great shakes; it'll play your standard MP3/WMA/AAC/Ogg Vobis files, but the bare-bones player interface can't hold a candle to the iPhone's. (At least you can buy MP3s wirelessly using the bundled Amazon application.) Also, there's no video player—then again, as T-Mobile reps kept repeating, there's nothing stopping third-party developers from building one (or many).

    And while the G1's three-megapixel camera tops the iPhone's 2MP shooter, the G1 doesn't come with built-in video recording—although (yep, you guessed it), third-party developers should feel free to fill the void.

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    Indeed, the T-Mobile reps I spoke to said that any and all of the G1's main features are open to third-party development—the dialer, the e-mail client, the music player, you name it. Again, that's the beauty of the open-source Android OS (versus Apple's we-must-control-everything approach).

    Of course, the G1's biggest drawback may end up lying squarely with T-Mobile—or, more specifically, its nascent 3G network. When the G1 goes on sale next month, only about 21 markets will be covered by T-Mobile's new HSDPA network—so if you're outside those cities, you'll have to make do with poky EDGE data or Wi-Fi.

    Overall, however, I'm pretty impressed. I wasn't that wowed by the G1's uninspiring design, but Android shows a lot of promise, and its peppy performance on the G1 is a huge plus.

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  2. Safinn

    Safinn Addict

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    Saw this on newsround lol. I can't believe what google are doing. They will probably become the biggest company ever soon. The phone looks cool and has great features.
     
  3. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    I think this is very promising as the device’s os is open source, in a few years time the android os will probably have a lot of applications for it like the Nokia Nseries and Windows Mobile phones do.

    I used to really like the Nokia phones because you could install what you wanted on them with little restrictions, now applications have to be signed and with newer firmware updates Nokia are making it more difficult to install unsigned software. Im interested in seeing how Google do things, its looking very interesting.
     

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