T-Mobile's G1 Android rivals Apple iPhone in coolness points

T-Mobile recently began offering the newest iPhone competitor, the G1 Android in the U.S. This beauty has a full touch screen, flip open QWERTY keyboard, and trackball. These features alone make the G1 easier to use than the iPhone, but it gets even better.

It comes standard with Google's mobile Chrome Browser. Like the Apple iPhone, an embedded version of Google Maps is included, but unlike the iPhone, Google Maps Street view is also included and even cooler, it automatically syncs with the G1's built in compass to generate a directional view by simply turning the G1 in the desired direction; but it still gets better.

ShopSavy allows the user to compare retail prices to prices available for the same product on the Internet and at local stores. No longer is it necessary manually look-up the ISBN of a book found at a chain book store to determine if it is available at a reduced price on-line or at another local store. Now one only needs to photograph the bar code with the built in camera and the G1 automatically searches the Internet for the best prices. This works for other products too, by the way.

T-Mobile and Google lifted their embargo Thursday on reviews of the G1, the new HTC-developed iPhone rival that will be the first handset to run Google's new open-source Android operating system when it goes on sale for $179 at T-Mobile shops on Oct. 22.

We've rounded up reviews of the new touch-screen handset from three major media outlets, noting some highlights from each review.

"I have been testing the G1 extensively, in multiple cities and in multiple scenarios," wrote the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, who believes the device will cater to different users than Apple's iPhone. "In general, I like it and consider it a worthy competitor to the iPhone."
The G1’s biggest differentiator is that it has a physical slide-open keyboard, which proved "only fair." Keys are too flat, hard to see in bright sunlight, and somewhat obstructed by bulge in the body of the G1 on the right side.

More flexibility in organizing your desktop than on the iPhone.
It's easier to place a phone call on the G1 than on the iPhone. You can just start typing a number randomly from the home screen. There's also a virtual phone keyboard so you don't have to use the physical one.

T-Mobile allows you to unlock the G1 after 90 days and use it on another carrier's network if you pay their substantial early termination fee.
Battery is about the same as the iPhone for mixed use and must be recharged just about every night.

One of the G1's downsides is that it's "a chunky brick of a device," Mossberg says. "While it’s a bit narrower than the iPhone and feels OK in the hand, it’s almost 20% heavier and nearly 30% thicker. It also has a smaller screen and doesn’t accept standard stereo headphones."
Memory limited to 1GB. Beyond that users need to shell out for a larger memory card. During his tests, the G1 warned Mossberg that it was running out of memory -- something he's never witnessed on the iPhone.

Touch user interface is inferior to the iPhone's. No flick, pinch, or zoom with fingers. Doesn't automatically change orientation. No video player.
T-Mobile offers 3G services in only 20 cities compared to AT&T's 320.
A promotional video for the HTC-developed T-Mobile G1.

"While it's far from perfect, the G1 powered by Google's Android operating system is packed with plenty of consumer-oriented features that may even make iPhone fans take notice," writes The Associated Press' Rachel Metz.
Don't lose the tiny included 1GB microSD card, because you'll lose all your photos and songs and have to buy more storage.

Android Market works well but there are only about three dozen applications and 10 games.
"Barcode Scanner" that uses the G1's 3-megapixel camera worked well.
The G1's Amazon.com online MP3 store app is easy to browse and offers quick downloads of songs free of copy protection.
Video and song playback is hampered by lack of standard headphone jack. Instead, an "uncomfortable earbud headset" is included that plugs into the mini USB port that is also used to charge the phone.

"The first thing I noticed about the T-Mobile G1 Android phone right out of the box is that it pretty much looks like all the other black-slab, touchscreen phones that are trying to emulate Apple’s iPhone," said MSNBC's Suzanne Choney.

In addition to a touch-screen, it has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a trackball, which means "more fiddling around [and] remembering which tool to use."
Does not have the uniform ease of the iPhone’s finger swipe/touch approach.
G1’s QWERTY keys are too small, even for little fingers, presenting some of the same problems people face with the iPhone's keyboard.

Has a 3.2-megapixel camera; the iPhone a 2-megapixel camera. But neither phone can record video.Another sure-to-be-favorite is the Shazam application. This amazing program allows you to "expose" the phone to a digital music source, like a song on the radio and it will use the song's digital "fingerprint" to identify the name of the song and the artist and find it on the Internet for you to purchase as well. Unfortunately, it only works with recorded music so singing to your phone will not work. (And yes, it is also available on the iPhone and Windows Mobile as well).

Other great features include a built in version of You-Tube, a 3 mega-pixel camera, USB headphone jack, an accelerometer, email, IM, text messaging, and everything else you would expect in a modern PDA/Phone. As with all new products, it can't be all good news so expect the occasional glitch at first, but at an entry price of $179 (with two year T-Mobile service commitment), expect the G1 to be a serious rival to Apple's iPhone.


  1. Manuel said...:

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  1. I like your blog features.This is one of the excellent and good information. Android is one of the best mobile applications compare to others.

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