My Impression of the G1 So Far

My views on the G1 are both filled with excitement and disappointment based on what I have seen on the webcast and what I have gathered across the internet. The first Android mobile phone seems to have the potential to be a runaway hit after its September 23rd launch and rightfully so it should.

The G1 with Android as the driver is a match made in heaven – that 3.7 inch screen is the center piece of the hardware; nothing beats a phone with a good screen unless it’s a phone with no screen [please let this be a reality]

What Is Hot

The OS: No doubt the Android operating system will be the selling point of the G1.  Even with that huge flaw which is the lack of Bluetooth transfer.  Speaking of, that has me wondering what was going on at the GooglePlex during development. Being open source and Linux at that, competing platforms are kinda like getting a double whammy punch, slap, kick…you get the idea.

Input Options: Finally a true, touchy feely phone that is not limited to finger play on the screen. The trackball and Qwerty keyboard is a welcome addition.  There’s not really a complaint of “too many input options.”  Most of us have our preferred method and a lot of you love the touch, but there are tons of people out there who would rather not use a touch screen for high tempo texting.

GMaps Streetview: Streetview on the G1 appears to be even better than its bigger brother on the desktop; the 360 compass just takes things to another level. On a truthful note by the way, Streetview is just a toy to me, merely a fun way to show off to friends because I can get to my destination quite easy with Google Maps without the help of Streetview.

WiFi/3G: What is a Smartphone these days without WiFi and 3G connectivity features? That’s right, a Dud with a capital D. The G1 has these locked, loaded and patiently waiting to blow.

Last But Not Least: Again I love the huge screen.  Seeing the phone in use sideways had my adrenaline rushing and I felt an overwhelming sense of desire to get my hands on a G1. I swear, if I was at the conference and got the chance to play with one I would have ran off somewhere never to be seen again.

What Is Bad

Looks Are Off: The G1 is no looker; I promise you if you’re out looking for dates for some hot chick you won’t even get to 1st base if she glimpses the G1 from the corner of her eye, best you keep that bad boy under heavy cover. If it rings, tell her that you swallowed a phone; she’ll likely be a dumb one so that stupid lie would make a pass

No BT Transfer: What the…hey, are you guys trying to put out an Open Source iPhone on us? Although I and everyone else following closely knew that it was not going to make the Android 1.0 release, I’m still bummed.  Here’s hoping that Android 1.5 or 2.0 is right around the corner.

No 3.55mm Jack: I’m so disappointed by this that if I go on about it I might catch a fit

No Flash Support: Why oh why does the G1 launch without Flash support? Whose fault is it?   Granted, it’s not terribly important on the mobile web at this time of writing, that’s not to say it won’t ever be.  I  am hoping Adobe releases an Android version soon.

Those are just a few of the pros and cons I see so far with the G1.  Obviously you guys will have your own feelings so lets discuss it in the comment area.  I hope other members from the OHA will do better on the hardware front.  Samsung where you at? Nevertheless, because the G1 is running Android that is reason enough for you to get one. Combining the fact that it’s open source with the growing developer community, I foresee that like any Google online service it will get better to near perfection.

If you are new to anything Android, well ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Android show and look out for our formal hands on reviews.

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  1. Correction: the screen is 3.2 inches, not 3.7

    My disappointment: the screen is 3.2 inches, not 3.7

    None of these are deal breakers with possible exception of the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack. We basically get to play with the developers’ phone and participate in a public beta. Yay! I’ll take that over waiting for a “proper” Android phone next year. I may fork out the full price of the phone to not be stuck in Tmob contract for two years… my feeling is Sprint will release an Androidized Touch Pro or HD 1st quarter next year…

  2. The biggest deal breaker for me would be a 2 year contract with tmo. I hope its available unlocked or can be hacked.

    I never use my iPhone for music so the missing 3.5mm jack isn’t a huge deal for me.
    The BT thing is a bummer, but at least theres hope for the future, and in the mean time, you always have the MicroSD. If I get an attachment on my iPhone that I need to move to a laptop in the field that doesnt have internet, I can’t, theres no way to get it off the unit.. I used that feature all the time on my Treo.

    Agree street view is more novelty than useful and the looks are, hmm, well, speak for itself.

  3. “The biggest deal breaker for me would be a 2 year contract with tmo. I hope its available unlocked or can be hacked.”

    But, it’s only made for the t-mo network. Unlock it for ATT, and you won’t get 3G

  4. i hope you’re a girl vamien.

    ” I’m so disappointed by this that if I go on about it I might catch a fit”

    really? catch a fit. hahahaha

  5. @donwon: I guess the term “fit” to you only goes so far huh? No need to get feisty man, shush.

    Still, the OS and the possibilities it offers is the best thing the G1 has going for it, and I’m also surprised there is no video recording

  6. “The G1 is no looker; I promise you if you’re out looking for dates for some hot chick you won’t even get to 1st base if she glimpses the G1 from the corner of her eye, best you keep that bad boy under heavy cover.”

    If a girl gets put off by the kind of phone one posseses, I would count myself as lucky for not having to deal with someone so shallow.

    I really don’t get why people seem to be screaming this phone is ugly. Form follows function, and I’d rather have something that functions well and let the looks fall where they may. The iPhone looks great but works like poo. How far will those looks get you when the device freezes, or apple doesn’t allow the app you want?

  7. The headphone thing was bothering a lot me until I saw that all you need is an adapter like this:

    Yeah. So that’s no longer a huge issue for me, now it’s a very tiny one.

    All the software complaints I’ve been hearing including but not limited to Bluetooth Transfer, Stereo Bluetooth, Video recording, Desktop sync, MS Exchange and SIM lock to T-mobile can and will all be solved very quickly by developers.

    The biggest remaining complaint I have is that it doesn’t look as pretty as the Touch HD but admittedly, the more I look at it, the nicer it looks. I also heard reports that it looks better in person.

    We’ll have to see.

    My dilemma now — Do I buy one at launch or wait for sexier hardware?

  8. I find it funny that after the premiere of Android, Apple has allowed over the air download of music program for Iphone. Anyone else see that commercial today.

  9. The big deal breaker for me is the screen resolution. With all the newer windows mobile screens have 2x or more the resolution, I don’t really want to step backwards.

    I think I’ll hold until at least a 640×480 model comes out (or even better 800×480 like the touch pro hd or xperia)

    I’m also really wanting to wait until some real GPS navigation software comes out (like TomTom or i-go). Again I’m used to these on WinMo and it would feel like a step back.

    TTS and voice input would be nice too….

  10. yeah. I’m not crazy about the hardware either… but it would be the first smartphone I’ve purchased (read: step forward)

    As a side note… I’ve seen some novel input methods such as slide-touch keyboards that will likely be able to be added on on top of the OS. I’m sure voice input must be on someone’s todo list if it’s not being worked on already.

  11. I don’t have a problem with the G1 hardware – to be honest I was beginning to think that the initial handset would be a couple of years behind HTC’s other handsets, simply because Android (I believe) is not so greedy with the resources – the fact that it is on par with the Diamond in terms of operating memory and processor is good news.
    But the features appear to exist to make Google your mobile life – and this is the downside to it all – this would have been, possibly, the ultimate phone if Google had kept their interference limited to making it work, as opposed to making it work for them.
    As for the bluetooth transfer – I think that this is down to Google and Apple having the same idea of doing their utmost to avoid the whole file sharing thing.

  12. “The G1 is no looker; I promise you if you’re out looking for dates for some hot chick you won’t even get to 1st base if she glimpses the G1 from the corner of her eye, best you keep that bad boy under heavy cover.”

    Wow. I don’t know what the author of this article has to do to get a date but if a girl is rejecting you over your G1, then she either works for apple or she’s looking for a reason to reject you already.

  13. Well to tell you the truth, while the hardware was a full-on let down, the software isn’t amazing either so far.

    The browser, Android’s strongest asset, showed choppy scrolling and zooming when compared side-by-side to the 2 year old Safari.
    The UI forgets to flips to landscape when it should.
    Touch response time is a bit slower than 1st gen iPhone.

    Google seems to be relying on 3rd party developers to fix/enhance the software…. I don’t know it’s a feeling.
    The hardware is a totally different story…

    Many phones are hyped, but few live up to it.

  14. The only things putting me off are the lack of video playback and office suite software, that and the apparent lack of wma compatibility. Sure Quickoffice is coming, but that will cost a lot, and there are plenty of Nokia’s that can access it via a £15 upgrade fee. If OpenOffice were to announce an Android version, then that would be of interest.

    Back on the hardware front, I actually do like the appearance of it, bar the menu button – I think the brown looks the best, I prefer the silver keyboard to the black one.

  15. Let’s get this clear…

    Those who want to use their own headset will be able to with an adapter that is available for around $5.95.
    There is also an 411.95 adapter available that has a mic and button so you can return to music after a call.

  16. This is a poorly written article that might pass on a personal blog, but is disappointing to see on a site trying to cover the Android platform.
    Not only does it fail to offer any new or interesting analysis of the G1, it also gets the most basic specs (screen size) wrong, and fails to correct the mistake even after it’s pointed out in the first few comments.
    Hopefully, as the Android platform improves, so too will the quality of articles on this site.

  17. What new analysis can the author give when he himself don’t even have a G1? Notice that his impressions are taken from what he sees and hear on the web?

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