Sep, 24 2008

Alright folks so I got a decent amount of time to “play around” with the G1 and I’m sure people are eager to know what the overall take is on the phone. Whats good? Whats bad? What do you like? What don’t you like? So… don’t hold me to any of these opinions as they could change in even the next few hours (I’m going back to play again after I write this post) but here are my initial thoughts/views:

The Looks

On PICTURES that I’ve seen online, the G1 looks kind of goofy. When you actually have the phone in your hand or are looking at it in front of you, its actually quite attractive. I’m sure all of you can relate… its not immediately photogenic but in person, this thing really does look quite good.

Part of the reason everyone was “hating” on the look of the phone was that little tail chunk at the bottom. I happen to like it…

The Tail Chunk At The Bottom

That little “chunk” serves a couple purposes that I don’t think you could fully appreciate unless it wasn’t there at all. First of all, it makes opening the QWERTY a little more easier and comfortable. Secondly, the trackball that is on the “chunk” is incredibly easily accessible in that position and makes browsing through options and scrolling through links VERY easy.

While perhaps they could have “hidden” the chunk a little better, overall I think it serves a pretty functional purpose. It works.

The Colors

To me there are only 2 colors… Black and White. I would consider myself slightly colorblind… I have trouble telling the difference between dark blues and black, dark blues and dark green, etc… But if that is the definition of colorblind I think most people are colorblind to some degree.

The brown just isn’t “different” enough to warrant its own color in my opinion. It looks very similar to the black… even the T-Mobile people had a hard time telling them apart. I was expecting a chocolatey brown and while I might not have LIKED a chocolate brown, at least it offered a good bit of variety. If you’re going to do a 3rd color, my thing is, why not make it completely unique?

The Feel/Build

Overall the phone seemed to be pretty solid and of good quality. I need to look at the weight compared to other phones with similar features/specs when I get a chance, but it seemed pretty light weight which I enjoyed. It felt really good in my hands.

The Keyboard

To be honest it was a little bit cramped – not as spaced out as my Voyager – but still MUCH better for me than using a touch screen QWERTY or typing. If the little “chunk” at the bottom weren’t there the Keyboard could be more spread out which I think would be hugely attractive for most people.

I heard someone complaining about the enter and delete key being right next to eachother which, although wasn’t an issue for me, could be an issue for some people. Overall I thought the keyboard had a pretty nice feel, but definitely not the best keyboard on the market.

The Screen

The resolution and quality on the screen seemed pretty amazing. From the default G1home screens to web browsing, the screen was very crisp and clear… a HUGE plus. This will be even more important when you’re using games, maps and applications on a daily basis. But my first experience with the screen was that it ROCKED.

The Applications

I’ll have more information about the applications tonight/tomorrow but the Android Market seemed integrated pretty beautifully. Selecting an app was easy, downloading was easy, launching apps was easy… it was a really nice integration. It will be interesting to see how they manage the Android Market when it expands and there are TONS of apps. I asked if there would be a web/online component and they had no response… but seemed to hint that eventually there would be.

I played with a couple of the applications listed and… I’m happy to say… they were A LOT of fun and I’m excited for apps more than anything.

The Touch Screen

I feel like some of the touch screen features COULD be more intuitive. They try some new things and perhaps they just take getting use to. I’m wondering if 3rd party developers could alter the way the TouchScreen UI works/looks by default. I think more than anything, it just seems like it’ll take some time getting used to the various features/options since the G1 is very “different” than most phones.

One Pretty Cool Feature

One thing that I REALLY liked was the dedicated search key. Regardless of if you’re surfring the web, in your contact book, in your calendar, in an application or WHEREVER you are, you can press the “search” button on the QWERTY and it will open up a search box that will search the specific area you’re in. Pretty cool and very useful… are there other phones that do this?


Alright, I’m headed back to HTC! I want to play with this thing one last time. Who knows when the next chance I’ll get to play with one… so I’m out of here! I’ll be back online in a few hours with more updates.

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