G1 Complaints Grow, Then Shrink


No phone is perfect and after a couple days, a somewhat universal list of complaints for the T-Mobile G1 has sparked up on the web. I agree with AndroidGuys and IntoMobile on their list and echo it below:

  • No standard 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Video player other than YouTube
  • Lack of MS Exchange support
  • No tethering or desktop sync
  • No VoIP capabilities
  • T-Mobile capping bandwidth at 1GB
  • Amazon downloads have to come via WiFi

The most obvious problem was the 1GB data cap. Once you surpassed 1GB of data usage in a month, your internet speed would be throttled back below 3G and EDGE to whatever painfully slow amount T-Mobile decided was enough to jail you to.

Apparently T-Mobile heard those complaints loud and clear… they’re no longer capping data at 1GB but instead, changing their “Terms of Service” vocabulary to make decisions on a case by case basis. If you abuse the unlimited data system, you’ll get slapped, banned, pwned or whatever else – bottom line.

With that out of the way, lets move onto lack of MS Exchange support, no tethering/desktop sync and no video player besides YouTube. Do these not ALL sound like problems that could be solved by 3rd party developers? Andy Rubin said himself that MS Exchange would be perfect for an outside company to tackle.

Desktop syncing… Funambol is working on an application for that. YouTube player? There shouldn’t be any reason that a 3rd party can’t develop a video player… if YouTube is able to play videos, Android’s SDK should have the tools to allow for this. These might not be EASY but they ILLUSTRATE what Android is… you have every building block you need, if you want it, build it and download it!

I’m kind of disappointed about the 3.5mm headphone jack as well… I would have liked to carry this thing around as a music player. The VoIP and Amazon over WiFi things are a little less important than the others, I would think.

All in all thats a pretty short list of complaints. No phone is ever going to be “perfect” and I imagine thats why the “Dream” moniker wasn’t used. Its setting the bar too high. Its ASKING to be railroaded with snarky headlines like, “T-Mobile Dream is a Nightmare”. Why put yourself in that position?

All in all, if these are the only complaints – several which have already been addressed – than the T-Mobile G1 does a pretty darn good job at addressing the needs of consumers. And remember, this is only the FIRST Android phone by ONE manufacturer and on ONE carrier… we’ve got plenty more to come and plenty of applications on the way that will fill some of the “capability” gaps that been discussed so far.

Kudos for T-Mobile addressing the 1GB limit pretty swiftly. Even if the current resolution leaves somewhat of a question mark, they noticed the issue and addressed it and you have to give them credit for that.

And while the steady stream of Apple Fanboys persistently proclaim their superb power, the story that is unfolding illustrates that just the opposite is true. The iPhone App Store rejection letters to developers are now coming with a Non-Disclosure Agreement. What a joke.

Excuse me while I bask in the glory of openness.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. don’t forget, in some month this phone will be just the geek version with keyboard. promised are other phones and the market power and sharing market using diversification will make all this true. it will work in cycles and this g1 will serve as a first step to get a return of investment to build future devices. the consumer has to trust the platform and competition and market shouldn’t be artificially controlled.

  2. I agree — for me, the biggest annoyance out of you list was the lack of “real” headset jack, with the video player probably coming in second.

    Note that the Amazon-only-over-WiFi probably is only a restriction for the Amazon MP3 Store application. I would expect that one could browse the Amazon Web site and purchase MP3s that way — you lose any built-in integration with the Android media player, but you can probably download over 3G/EDGE without issues other than the fuzzy cap. And you can use that same approach to get MP3s from other sources (e.g., Magnatune) over 3G/EDGE if you so choose.

    And I think you’re spot-on with the summary: for the first phone of a series of devices, the G1 is pretty decent. People who get all worked up about the G1-vs.-iPhone comparisons are thinking solely of devices, not platforms. The G1 device will do OK, but Android is more than the G1.

    I’ll be curious if and how the G1 even connects to the desktop. Is there a USB cable? If so, does it mount the device as a disk (USB mass storage)?

  3. Complaint? As an existing TMO customer, $300 is too high. THe $179 pricepoint is being thrown around as though it’s reality. It’s not.

    This ensures I will not be an early adopter, and will wait until my contract is up – at which time I will carefully review the G1 and the iphone side by side.

  4. I remember seeing some video of an MP4 video player in action, so it’s not that far away. Even the headphone jack issue will be addressed once more manufacturers get on board and offer some alternatives. The announcement would have been less underwhelming if they had more than three apps to showcase, but I reckon the Market will be jam-packed by lauchtime.

  5. It seems that most people have over looked this but if you look at the application list you will see that there already is a video player there. http://www.appscout.com/2008/09/googles_android_app_market_23.php.

    I also noticed it on one of the youtube video’s when they were scrolling through the apps.

  6. Voip for me is big – but solveable

    exhange – solved

    1gb – solved

    3.5 headphone – WHO CARES! first, it’s already confirmed the later shipped G1’s will have the adapter included. second,
    buy an adapter for $5, or buy headphones that connect directly to the thing – you’re spending $200+ on a phone, im pretty sure you can afford $5 – $20 more on a headset, SHEESH!
    to say “you would have liked to use it as a music player” – um, stop writing – you still can (hello, amazon mp3?) buy the adapter!

    no video player? – lies – it’s already on the android market – who cares not built by android team?

    side note – i LOVE the hard buttons – i have had a palm for 2 years, and use the hard buttons more than calling people (or maybe i don’t have friends?) either way, i heart hard buttons. and the trackball? yup, i rendered it useless, until i realized how much i use the 5 way navigation of my palm, and the enter key, OUUU! trackball is also an enter key.

    i heart big screen + hard buttons

  7. headphone jack adapter is already available all over amazon. $4 no issue here for me.

    “THe $179 pricepoint is being thrown around as though it’s reality. It’s not.”

    i got mine for that exactly. its real.

  8. What? How? 179? I have talked to several people who ordered and several who didn’t but none of us were offered a 179 option just $299. Who do you have to know to get the advertised price?

  9. @duncan
    Apparently that ‘advertised price’ is for Brand New T-Mobile Customers.

    Many long time loyal customers of TMO feel screwed. To me, it doesn’t really matter.
    I love the possibilities that TMO + Google + OHA equals.

    Like Mark Murphy said above, “People who get all worked up about the G1-vs.-iPhone comparisons are thinking solely of devices, not platforms. The G1 device will do OK, but Android is more than the G1.”

  10. I have two lines on my account… one is under contract (my sidekick lx) and the other isn’t (my girlfriends sidekick 3)… I was offered the G1 for $179 on her line and $299 on my line. In all honesty, I would have bought the phone for $300 either way, but I understand everyone’s frustration.

    If T-Mobile wants to launch a successful phone that can compete with the iPhone and roll out their G service, why not let your die-hard, loyal customers join in on the fun without spending an extra $130. This is a very questionable move and will surely hamper the G1 launch.

    And what’s the deal with saving the white G1’s for the release date!!!????!!!??? I’m guaranteeing your company the price of the phone + service until the midpoint of Obama’s term in office, and I can’t choose the damn color I want.

    No headphone jack?

    Stupid little nuisances! The phone will be a success regardless, but eventually all the shine will be on Android, and no one will care about T-mobile being the first – especially if they make dumb decisions like they did on the G1.

  11. Headphone jack aside, I’m actually glad they’re leaving up some core functionality to 3rd party developers. Gotta stop thinking carriers and handset makers. Android is a phone OS. Period.

    A completely open development platform is limitless. There are no kludgey, vanilla-flavored, locked apps to complain about. Give it a month or two and they’ll be a dozen applications for every hairbrained desire you can cook up.

    I think it’s genius for both Google and T-Mobile to stay away from apps. Let us, the consumer, decide what we need and want, and let the developers give it to us.

    I would rather pay $15 for a desktop syncing utility that does EXACTLY what I want, than a manufacturer-provided tool that tries (an inevitably fails) to be everything for everybody. And what’s even better is the fact that I know that if two years down the line I want to buy an Android-compatible Toshiba phone, I can still use my favorite syncing application with it.

  12. Regarding the $ 179 price:

    When I tried to upgrade my T-Mobile Wing phone for the G1 online I kept getting the $299 price, not the $179 as advertised. I called T-Mobile and asked a rep about not being able to get the quoted $179 price. She assured me that my bill will reflect the $179 price and also stated that others will have the same issue resolved. If you are getting the $299 price quote on T-Mobile’s website, definitely call the company and verify that your new bill WILL reflect the $120 discount. I hope you all have the same outcome as I did.

  13. I am upset I preordered mine on 9/23 and I called 10/14 to check status it says its backordered ! I spoke with a person and they confirmed ! I am an existing customer also I did get the 179 price but they do not know whe i will get it ! and I cannot cancel ! has anyone checked on theirs

  14. Hey, I waited an Waited for the G1, ( Thank you Jesus for gettin early Oct 17th) an I can say that its a Nice Look for Tmobile. The Only thing I’m complaing about is the Stupid Aim an Instant Messenger on the G1 phone..you would think that with all the technology they put in this phone, it would have a better instant Messenger then a sidekick Lx, I miss my sidekick Lx just for that. On the G,1 IM’in my Buddies, its like talken to myself ((haha)) cause my screen name pops up in reply instead of seein the persons name im talkin to is crazy… how da hell you mess up software like that…why didnt the makers see this before they put out the High an Mighty G1..

    Also, there is so many applications, which is good for each an everyones personal needs..but they should just put out the good ones an stop wasting there time with all the apps that do suck ass…Iphone I never thought was all of that..G1 makes Iphone look stupid rite now..cause for one when you use up all ya memory on the iphone, Im simply changing micro cards for memory ..Iphone users gonna have to buy another iphone to make more memory..haha stupid

  15. battery life, geez! it is short, use the web a lot… don’t know how the iPhone is… probably the same… will ask friend tomorrow… with this technology, I actually read now… everything, newspapers, wow, wait till they come out with books… cool… will have to be plugged in tho… for some reason the small print help more with my understanding of the content, weird…

  16. developing for the g1 is like pushing a rock uphill, a good chunk of the phone is locked off and growing, with no explanation. also i’m just delighted that i cant remove the amazon app…

  17. Please invent a battery that will last for a long time!!! All this high tecknowledgy and the battery can’t even last,why no blue tooth, what’s the use of having it when you can’t use it, and what about a little support when it comes to flash player, people spend good money on these phones.

  18. I’m very upset with the fact that the battery power never last long enough. Someone with the authority to invent new and I’m proved batteries please have a heart for the holidays!!!!

  19. How can I fight g1 crime with short battery life!!! Every time I’m on the web for more than 45 minutes I need to be recharged, I spend more time charging than g1 crime fighting. All of my villians make fun of me, g1 manufacturers please do somthing about this…..you know you could invent some type of Battery-Man viagra!!!!!!

  20. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am with the photo sending of the G1 phone! It is crappy, crappy, crappy! The photos never get sent via email or via text msg! And that’s if I’ve cropped them. I’ve spent time with service reps at the stores, and no one seems to know what the answer is. And after all this hype about the phone, I’m shocked there’s not more people complaining about the photo sending capabilities of this phone.

  21. My phone broke after it slipped out of my hand while I was sitting at my desk. The cost to replace it from the insurance company is almost the same as what I originally paid. I chose to just downgrade my plan and go to a cheaper phone rather than replace a phone every two months that’s as long as I’ve had it. I’ve seen iphones go through a lot more abuse and still survive. I have also seen cases where AT&T has replacd the phone if it did break to the extent that mine has.

  22. i think it really sucks i can not switch the internet off, while i’m at home/work, when i don’t need and could save battery. i like the mobile, since i travel everyday 2h in the train to go to work, but the fact i can not control these (very) simple issues annoys me a lot. i just can’t rely only on this mobile as i could on my previous, even with lower capacity…

    i pay the same, just would like to be more efficient and not waste energy!

    the other thing is that if i switch off to save energy in the night, the alarm doesn’t work :-s

  23. I love my G1. I’m using it as a remote right now! I know advancements will come, but I have a little complaint about the upgrade: the background on the pull out menu screens. May seem petty but I am a very visual person and I liked the translucent solid color fields that all my icons sat upon. I could still see the haze of whatever was behind and now it’s a stupid gray grid that reminds me of the blank backgrounds in Photoshop. Please make it classy and glassy again.

    Much Love D

  24. Here’s my complaint, and it’s a doozy: If you do manage to buy this phone on a pay-as-you-go-contract, it will break you.

    The Android appears to perform a silent communication every 5 minutes, even if you turn off google syncing. My pay-as-you-go deal charges 0.09 euro per minute, one minute minimum, per connection. Doing the math, that’s a little over 15,000 $/yr just to have the phone idle.

    The hack around this isn’t so hot: You install “apndroid” from Android Market, which lets you switch all non-voice communication off with a single icon click, and back on again as easily. Now you’ve eliminated the constant loss of credit, but your expensive smart-phone is an expensive dumb-phone, without even text messaging, other than when you explicitly turn it back on. And if you forget to turn it off again after, you’ll wake up the next morning with your credit run down to 0 and the phone unusable. Or maybe that same night, as fast as the credit drains.

    I’d like to hear a better solution to this, if anyone knows it.

  25. the g1 for t mobile sucks the phone does not save your phone number to your sim card so they say oh go to ur t mobile site and download them to the site and it saves all your numbers the trick is you have to manually type all your contacts in yourself so if you have 100 contacts on your phone you want to keep your have to take at least 20 mins in your day to do so. another defect when u clear your call list (outgoing and incoming)it deletes all your phone numbers after you saved them to your phone wtf i hate this phone.

  26. I’ve read most of the comments here. What I find utterly backwards is selling a phone that can’t be used without signing into google. I can’t get past the sign in screen. The only solution I found was to find someone else with a G!, use their SIM card, sign in to google. Then reinsert my own sim card, and the phone will be activated. Ummmm, I don’t know anyone else with T-Mobile who has a data service. I understand data has to be provisioned…how does that make it ok to disable the WHOLE phone. I can’t make calls; I can’t reach any menus…it’s absurd. Could there be separate servers for provisioning and signing in? I mean, I can wait for data. Why should I have to wait to make a call. So support says provisioning takes 2-48 hours. What kind of wait time is that??? It’s so crazy, it’s making me laugh now that I wrote all this out. Too bad I’m locked in a contract. I’d toss this thing immediately.

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