The Too-Fast Aging G1

tmobile_g1I like my G1. It is, by far, the best phone I have ever had. I love how it feels in my hand, not too light or too heavy; it fits just right!  I even got used to the keyboard. At first, I didn’t like the lip on the phone as it made getting to the keyboard challenging. But… I adjusted. The pictures, video and voice recording capabilities are good enough for me. It does everything I need it to do and I only recently took off those protective covers on the main screen and camera. My kids aren’t allowed to touch my phone and my “dad sensor” goes off if they are within reach of it! If phones had new-car smell mine would reek of it! My phone rocks!!

I am being told now, much to my dismay, that my trusty companion is obsolete. It’s barely a year old and already scheduled for the trash heap. When did this happen? When did my phone become a wild opposum? (They have a one year life span, look it up!)  This is the first phone I have ever owned that outlived its hype. All my other phones were collecting dust in the “junk drawer” along with some change, pencils, some paper clips and that garage door opener I can never find long before they were publicly called out as “old” or “uncool.” The Android tsunami is coming though and it looks like the G1 is being carried away by the undertow.

The worst part of all this is that I’m with T-Mobile and my Android options are the Cliq and myTouch 3G. Not the worst options in the world but I want the Droid. Not only is my phone suddenly old and uncool, so is my carrier! I am all for technology moving forward but I’m having a hard time keeping up.

The ups and downs of G1 ownership have been wild this week.

  • Down – Reading that the G1 may not get Eclair!
  • Up – Seeing a video showing it DOES support Eclair.
  • Down – Reading another article about Eclair being dog slow on the G1.
  • Up – Learning the the life span of a wild opposum is 1 to 2 years.
  • (Ya, “up’s” have been getting harder to find.)
  • Down – Reading the title “Aging G1” on an article.

I will likely hold on to my G1 for a while. Both because I like it and ’cause I’m cheap. Hopefully we get Eclair. Hopefully something “Droid-ish” comes down the T-Mobile pipe. Hopefully I remain cool and hip even though my phone is “old.” No really, I’m cool and hip!

  • Yeah, I hear ya…we're in the same boat. Except for the fact that my shiny new Droid ($99!) will be arriving at my door sometime tomorrow afternoon. I'm justifying the expense of paying T-Mo to let me go by the fact that, with the improved coverage that Verizon offers at my home, I'll be able to cut off my land line. That and that it's very, very cool. : )

    • Jose

      Thanks for the comment Davest010…

      *may Droid screen cracks*.

      Hope you have a great day

      *may a virus infect your pc*

      I'm sure you are going to love your new Droid

      *may Starbucks get your order wrong today!*

      Sincerely, Jose


      I recently wrote an open letter to all Droid owners – hopefully it will get on the site soon. I can't wait for you to read it! 🙂 I'm a little bitter, but happy for you. I would move off Tmo but with five lines and a family plan I think it would KILL me. I have to wait until early 2010 for Sholes on Tmo…. I hope!!!

    • Jose

      Thanks for the comment Davest010… I wrote this amazingly perfect reply but somehow it got lost. Odd. Anyway I will tell you that I'm not at all bitter (I'm lying) and I hope you enjoy your new Droid (and that the screen cracks within a week).


      I did write an open letter to all Droid owners that I hope you see and read on AndroidGuys soon! 🙂

      I really am not all that bitter… ok, just a lil 🙂

  • @BMcCluskeyNYC

    I hear you… I've been living with a cracked-screen G1 because:
    a) It was out of warranty
    b) I didn't have insurance
    c) I love Android
    d) Couldn't justify the myTouch 3G as a good-enough upgrade
    e) The Cliq's Motoblur has "too much" going on.

    But, here comes the Behold II. My savoir. A T-mobile android device finally worth the upgrade… in 8(?) days…. 😀

  • Josh

    I don’t think that Eclair won’t come to the G1. Not official but with Custom ROMs. The only reason why they say it won’t will be compatible, is the internal memory. I have a rooted G1 (cyanogen) with Apps2SD and I have a lot of free space on my G1s internal memory.

    I’ll take my G1 into my grave.

    • Jose

      I have been to chicken to root to date BUT if it gets me 2.0 – I will do it!!

  • Sean Martin

    You think you've got it bad? I just got my G1 in July….right before the next gen T-mobile android phone came out. Granted, it was a premeditated move based on the price-drop of the G1 and the lack of keyboard on the then new t-mo phone but dang. I've got Droids popping up all around me and I'm feeling a little phone-fickle right now.

    Still love my G1…I'm not gonna look, I'm not gonna look….aw crap, there's ANOTHER Droid!!!

    • Jose

      Ha! I haven't seen a Droid yet. Not sure what I'll do when I DO see one, but whatever it is I will make sure there are no witnesses! (smile).

      Phone-fickle is a GREAT word by the way. Well done!

  • Jose

    I think I'm going to wait for the Sholes(Droid) in the first quarter of 2010. Rumor is it will hit Tmo then… hope so! Sorry about your cracked screen.

  • Malcolm

    I agree with Jose. I have not rooted yet but if the G1 does not get Eclair, I will be rooting. Hoping like crazy Tmobile is able to push an Eclair OTA update.

    • Jose

      The sound of panic you will hear if the G1 can't officially get 2.0 is Malcolm and I finally rooting our phones!! 🙂

  • Jonny

    The G1 was on the verge of being outdated when it was released–the hardware, at least. But you have to admire its working-class qualities. It might not be pretty, but it gets the job done. The one thing it has going for it is an active community building custom ROMs. This phone would probably be deader than a doornail already if not for that.

    • Jose

      My G1 is pretty…. 🙂

  • Marcelo L

    The problem, is with TMo. So long as they keep CHOOSING to be the LCD ( Least Common Denominator ) in the "upper-tier" carriers, they will continue to do it to the customer who REALLY are their best marketing. Android wouldn't be where it is now if not for the venerable G1, let's be honest, it proved "It can be done. It might be a little rough, but it DOES work."

    I really cannot get over that TMo let an opportunity like this go. And now, after being with them for 10 1/2 years, I'm actually thinking of decisively of making the jump. I'm tired of getting the "left over" phones. The "oh, we have this(??!?) phone ?" phone.

    TMobile….you asked the wrong question. It's not JUST about the plans ( which by the way… a work…stink ), it's about the PHONES. Go ahead and nickel and dime me, but PLEASE for the luv'a Mike, give me a phone that has the features we want..Geeze.

    • Jose

      Rumor is the Droid will be available through Tmo first quarter of 2010, but I feel your pain Marcelo. I'm sticking with the 'Mo, for now.

  • Sam


    I was in the same situation. I have 6 lines w/ TMO and have been w/ them for 5 years, but ported my line to Verizon this past week to get a Droid. No regrets here. I am more of an AndroidGuy than I am a TMO one so I took the plunge. Along w/ Android 2.0 and Verizon's network I can justify the just barely higher plan cost and the TMO ETF. I also converted my TMO MyFaves 1800 FamPlan to the new Even More Plus 1500 (just $5/line for shared minutes) w/ Unlimited Text and w/o my data plan I think I'll break even w/ the Droid and possibly save a little money going forward.

    Hope this helps,

  • anakin78z

    The thing I don't get is that I keep hearing Tmobile goes for cheaper phones. But the Droid is $199, and the Droid Eris is $99. The Cliq is $199. The click is way inferior to the Droid. How are they the same price? (Ok, sure, Droid is 199 after a 100 mail in rebate, but you can find it for a lot cheaper other places). That just doesn't add up to me.

    • Jose

      Hm, that's a good point. An apple-to-apple cost comparison does look odd when you compare the Cliq to the Droid. Not sure what to say – good point anakin78z.

  • 1. "Learning the the life span of a wild opposum is 1 to 2 years." – AMAZING…
    2. You can always root your G1 if you get screwed… Just a thought 🙂

    • Jose

      Hey Benjamin…. ya, I will do it if I get confirmation it will run 2.0 flawlessly. Scared to though – won't lie.

      I would have thought those angry lil creatures lived longer huh? 🙂

  • scratchiti

    I actually think the opposite has happened with the G1. All of a sudden, being an Android phone means something to most people, and you're part of a larger group.

    • Jose

      I actually noticed my first G1 today in the wild. Poor guy was sitting down eating breakfast with his G1 on the table and I freaked him out bt stopping and asking him about it! Hahaha. I agree in the sense that my G1 run Android and suddenly Android is super-cool. But hardware wise the G1 is being left behind…

  • Jose

    Grrrrr, Sam, stop complicating my life! (smile). Maybe a call to 'Mo to see exactly what my "opt-out" cost will be. I'll keep you posted… 🙂

  • Dalamar

    For those thinking about rooting, it is Super Easy! Plus the options are amazing. I’m running 1.5 but in a Hero based Ron that is Fast AND Stable. I’m sure 2.0 will be an option for rooted users, but I prefer the Sleekness of SenseUI.

    • Jose

      I'm still chicken…

  • Nick

    I'm not too worried about my G1 being "obsolete," as it's rooted and I feel certain that a fast Cyanogen mod of 2.0 will come out. While I would love a Droid, I'm not going to switch carriers every time a new phone comes out. Next year the Droid will be old news and some other carrier will come out with a fancy new phone; does that mean everyone should switch again? Just give it time, T-mo will come out with another great phone soon enough. In the meantime, Cyanogen is looking out for us and making out G1's just as good. As for being 2.0 slow: my current install of 1.6 is faster than the standard OTA install, that's saying something, right?

    • Jose

      Ahhhhh, the voice of reason. Thanks Nick. I'll stick with Tmo and root, until someone says I should jump to Verizon! 🙂

  • nishC

    What's maddening to me is that T-Mo kind of ushered this Android thing in, and then didn't keep up with the goods. If you get a first-of-its-kind phone, why not follow up with the best? Sure the MyTouch and Cliq are cool, but Droid blows them out! Ugh!

    • Jose

      Toughest thing to do is stay ahead of the pack once you get there, right? I have faith in the 'Mo though (mostly cause it would cost me way too much to leave em) 🙂

  • Got a ADP1, things go fast but hopefully we will get 2.0 to the Dream as well. Interesting read, totally get your "dad sensor" even tough I don't have any children.


    • Jose

      Haha, I've pretty much honed my dad-sensor down to a few inches. ANY of my kids get THAT close and they get the dreaded "dad-look". It's super scary! 🙂

  • Zack

    Think of not buying the Droid right now as SAVING MONEY! And when your 2-year contract with TMO is up in a year, you can get an Android that's far better than the Droid.

    • Jose

      More rational thinking!! Thanks Zack!!

      Save money – must save money,

      but you want the Droid,

      NO I don't,

      Yes you do,

      No, I can live without the fancy docking station,

      How can you live without Google Navigation?

      UGH, the voice inside my head is really starting to bug me!!

  • Malcolm

    i hear a lot of people say rooting is easy but i have also ready the the memory card has to be partitioned…and causes a lot of people difficulty. i will have to be patient and see if tmobile delivers the 2.0 ota update. dont want to have to deal with a partitioning issue because i can see myself getting frustrated if it doesnt work.

    • Jose

      Malcolm, my brotha from another motha 🙂

    • Ray

      Actually, the current ROM from Cyanogen supports Apps2SD without requiring any paritioning of the SD card. I have no clue how, but I read it on their Wiki page. You may want to look closer into it.

  • Ratnok

    Come on now, it’s not that bad! The G1 is still awesome (because of Donut) and the white G1 is still relatively attractive. The Black and Bronze looked like bricks coming out of the box at launch- they were NEVER cool. The Samsung Behold II looks to be your answer and the Sony Experia X10 is rumored to be coming out on T-Mobile. That phone will run all over the Verizon Droid and the iPhone. Just wait for it. Savor the ride. Don’t prematurely eject.

    • Jose

      But, I want the Droid….

      My finger is on the eject button, but I know I won't push it!! 🙂

  • SiI

    Droid is cool… but Snapdragon phones will be better (e.g. X10).

    But I'm also betting HTC will pull a G1-esk (touch w/qwerty) Snapdragon phone out of the bag in Q1 next year – then the droids will be jealous!

    And let's see how Flash 10 is implemented first, cause I reckon the processing power of the droid will stuggle c.f. 1+Ghz processor and only 256mb RAM.

    • Jose

      Great point about Flash 10. Pretty much a MUST have moving forward and most likely would choke the G1's proc.

  • AndroidAutobot

    I completely disagree. Have you SEEN that flimsy thing? (The Droid) come on ppl. Lets be rational. A) the Droid’s screen is pretty incredible. B) it has 2.0. Okay. Those are both good things… but THAT’S IT. That’s all the thing has to offer. They keyboard is crap compared to any other full qwerty android device (no texture at all) and its hella ugly. Just as much if not more so than the G1.

    You’re willing to be nickell and dimed for a flimsy piece of plastic, and nickel and dined for 2 years by fascist pigs that charge $15 for echange e mail, $4 a month for visual voicemail, $20 to change your service from one phone to another, and another $10 just to transfer your contacts from one phone to the other, and that kinda nickel and diming is just the tip of the iceberg (need I mention the $350 early termination fee?)

    Face it. The Droid has a killer screen, Android 2.0, a flash, but that’s it. The Cliq has a much nicer keyboard, is a much better looking phone in my opinion, and motoblurs social networking integration is WAY more practical to me than anything Android 2.0 has to offer that 1.5 doesn’t. NOT to mention how the cliq WILL EVENTUALLY have 2.0. Lets not be hasty ppl. The obvious choice in my opinion is the cliq. Anyone buying the Droid simply because of the hype, not rationally thinking about their decision might as well buy an iPhone if they’re going to be so impulsive and not think about the soul selling deal theyre making with the devil. That is Verizon Wireless. Have fun mortgaging your house in order to keep your cellphone bill current. Ill do just fine with my cliq and $80 a month for unlimited everything and coverage that suits me just fine, thank you very much =) chumps. =)

    • Jose

      Can I get an AMEN? Haha.

    • I like this guy!!! The truth I enjoyed reading his comment and agree with it.

  • AndroidAutobot

    Sorry, didn’t mean to be so harsh. I get a lil too fired up sometimes. I do however still stand firmly in the points I brought up with that post. Don’t be chumped dude =) the cliq is a way better deal and a much nicer phone other than the screensize, which is sufficient since you’re already accustomed to the G1 to begin with.

    • Jose

      No worried AndroidAutobot, I noticed the =) and took the comment in the spirit it was intended!! I would love the Droid, won't lie, but I know Im sticking with T'Mo. All's forgiven Double-A 🙂

  • Jak Crow

    As long as htc or tmobile release an updated SPL to repartition the phone, the G1 will have no problem with room for future updates.

    • Jose

      I'm more worried about processing power to handle everything future updates will do, but we will see.

  • Travis Harris

    Want to breath life back into your G1 try running KingxKxRom's hero sense Hybrid…. Its fast very & stable I wanted the hero but now Im good…. I can hold on to my g1 for another 7 or 8 months maybe longer… Warranty up you might as well root ur phone and then you'll be able to do what they are telling you your not going to be able to due….. This rom has all the functions of the hero… even Java animation on the widget… give your G1 some sense.. LOL

    • Jose

      I will be in touch Travis. Thanks for this!!!

      • Travis Harris

        Im working on install the new google nav from 2.0 now..

  • Keith

    The Droid would be PERFECT IF it had a full keyboard! Unlike the G1, there is no row for numbers 1-0.

    • Jose

      I agree Keith and I have hereby concluded I am sticking with Tmo and waiting for that "perfect" phone. If Sprint gets it though – Im bolting! 🙂

  • James

    I agree with AndroidAutobot on everything except the cliq… The droid is not that great, and verizon sucks, but I will definitely be waiting for something better to come along. Here's hoping for a G1 hardware refresh!

    • Jose

      G1 hardware refresh…. I think our only real hope for that is through rooting….right?

  • Nick

    I agree with AndroidAutobot, people are just jizzing over this because it's 2.0 and has a high density screen. Just the natural evolution of screen technology, more will come with these higher resolutions screens. The keyboard really does blow: if you listen very closely you can hear on each keypress…fail, fail, fail in a tiny weak voice. The Droid looks clunky because it's the first of this generation, like the G1 was clunky. Expect them all to shut up in a month or two when things like X10 & Liquid start showing up.

    • Jose

      Lots of love for AndroidAutobot!! fail, fail, fail… hahaha – thanks for the comment Nick!

  • johnkzin

    The only things that would have made the G1 better, IMO, would have been a 4.1" 800×480 screen, a dpad, and a much bigger battery. But, even with those problems, the G1 is still pretty much my favorite phone. And until someone else has an android phone with a 5 row keyboard, that feels like the G1's keyboard, I doubt I'll be upgrading.

  • Hey, only *slightly* off-topic, but who better to ask than the droids?

    We have an Earthcomber version that works fine on G1. Can some of you (us!) who have the Cliq or Droid or even the Touch go to the Market and d/l it (it's a free app) and tell me if it works well or if there are any hitches in finding things around you? I'd be most grateful.

    Search for "earthcomber" or it should be under Lifestyle. Let me know which phone you tried. Thanks much!! – Jim Brady / email to [email protected]

  • Yeah tech like this does age too fast. They'll have to bring in more apps and rev up the specs

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