Alright folks, I picked up the G1 and took it a spin for about 10 minutes, highlighting some of the areas/issues I thouight were most important to discuss. This is by no means an in-depth review but should give you a pretty good idea how I feel about the G1:
I’ve been reading reviews all over the web that still hate on the “chunk”. I’m an absolute fan of the hardware… chunk included and I’m not sure how others are not. It seems pretty obvious to me that a physical keyboard is easier to type on than a touchscreen, especially with some of the laggy touch screens out there. But I was suprised to hear people like Michael Arrington from TechCrunch say touch screen typing in general is faster?
Apparently the number of input options confused some people, but I think it was more of a “getting used to” thing. I mean, with the keyboard open you have a full touch screen, keyboard, trackball, a bunch of helpful dedicated buttons and plenty of keyboard shortcuts to boot, all within a couple inches.
Not only that, but the position of the trackball and back button seem perfectly placed. My thumb naturally sits perched on that “chunk” and I have instant access to the back button, home key and most importantly for me… the trackball.
Honestly, the placement of the trackball is pretty impeccable if you ask me. In conjunction with the keyboard you can be surfing the web and scrolling through links without even THINKING about it. Its just natural. It makes sense. It works. Some of it comes down to plain old preferences… I just don’t understand how somebody couldn’t prefer this!
The hard-to-get-to placement of the MicroSD card was somewhat irritating but most people aren’t going to be going in and out of there much so it shouldn’t be a big deal. Personally, I was just nervous I might scratch the phone trying to get in there.
I go through all the dedicated buttons as well: Call Button, Home Button, Back Button and End/Lock Button. They all serve strong purposes and you’ll be using them a lot… hence their location. I’m a fan of the dedicated keys, for sure. Especially the one I left out… the MENU button.
The MENU button is a screen/app specific menu button that will provide a menu for the screen you are currently on. Are you in GMAIL? Okay it brings up your GMAIL menu options. Browsing the web? Brings up Menu options like GO TO URL and BOOKMARKS. And if you’re in an application or game? Developers can utilize the menu button as well, providing their own informative/navigational menus to make your life easier.
One thing I’m not a huge fan of that others WERE a big fan of… the LOCK mechanism where you can draw a shape. Personally, it was just too much. I don’t feel like unlocking my phone every 2 seconds and since the phone is so awesome and can do so much… I find myself wanting to use it every 2 seconds. I’d like to see the option to lock certain AREAS. So for instance, you could lock your photos, GMAIL and a certain folder on your desktop or something. I think that would be a great addition (3rd party app?)
I also go through the UI a little bit and some of its neat features like adding widgets, moving/deleting icons, pictures on desktop, etc…
Stay tuned for lots more in the next week or so. I intended to have a TON more information and videos up by now but you guys have no idea how long it takes to record, convert, edit, re-convert, upload videos (or maybe you do). Unless its just me (or my computer) it takes WAY too long.