Just after I commented on the T-Mobile G1/G2 speculation I realised one of my contracts was within the renewal window so decided I’d take a leap of faith and see what all the fuss over the G1 was about.
I’m a big admirer of T-Mobile’s business team and as always they got the handset out to me the following morning. After a couple of days playing with it I’m pleased to say I’m impressed with the general look and feel of the Android OS and the speed of the phone.
However, I was miffed that my handset only came with a 2GB SD card and not the 8GB mentioned on T-Mobile’s site. A rep tells me the 8GB card is a web only offer which is fair enough but I’m fairly sure that wasn’t mentioned on the site at the time and does mean you’ll need to pay out for a larger card if you want to store a decent number of MP3s and files.
MP3 and audio playback is of a very good quality but it’s a major irritant that the G1 uses the mini-USB socket for headphone connectivity and the bundled headphones/handsfree is shockingly poor quality.
Luckily convertors are available which allow the use of ordinary 3.5mm headphones but the logic of not including a standard imput or at least bundling the convertor is lost on me. Also, the pretty small card and the non-standard headphone issue means most users will need to pay out before they can use the G1 as an iPod replacement.
Text legibility is superior to most phones I’ve used (off the top of my head only my Ameo beats the G1) and the speed and functionality of the browser delivers on the promise of a phone designed for the web.
The App Market is a little underwhelming at the moment but this should get better when paid applications become available. To date the best app is the one published by The Telegraph newspaper. This is essentially a closed web browser confined to a styled version of the Telegraph’s online edition, the result is an easy to read new source without the need to zoom or sideways scroll around the site in the standard browser.
Despite the pluses I remain unimpressed with the lack of PC/Mac synching, businesses used to Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices are unlikely to want to sync with a free Google calendar and T-Mobile or Google need to reconsider this missing feature.
The absence of a virtual QWERTY keyboard is simply unpardonable, the physical board is very easy to use, even with large fingers like mine but quick text messages and short URLS would be much easier typed via the touch screen.
More on the little grumble side of things, I’ve also had a few instances where texts have arrived with no notification sound being played, concerning if, like me, you rely on your phone for urgent SMS messages.
Overall I’m impressed but can’t get over the feeling that the G1 could easily have been much better with only a small amount of effort.