T-Mobile G1 Utica NY
Long Beach, NY
Electric Equipment & Supplies Dealers, Cell Phone Equipment & Supplies, Cell Phone Repair & Installation
New York, NY
New York, NY
Miller Pl, NY
The T-Mobile G1 is the first mobile handset to feature Google's open-source Android operating system. As such, it's arguably the most interesting development in mobile phones since the iPhone's appearance two years ago.
First impressions of Android are good. When you first turn it on, you'll have it set up and synchronised with your Gmail email, contacts and calendar in just a minute or two. Emails are pushed to the phone by default, so you're alerted as they arrive.
This simplicity extends to the rest of the interface. Common shortcuts, a clock and 'widgets' feature on the home screen, while other applications are a finger drag away. As with the iPhone, icons can be placed not only on the main home screen but also a pair of supplementary ones to the left and right.
The onboard web browser works extremely well, rendering all the websites we visited quickly and accurately. Dragging your finger to pan or using the trackball to flick between links on a page makes navigation simple.
Despite the 480 x 320 resolution, the screen feels cramped, and you have to do a fair bit of zooming in and out, which isn't as intuitive as it could be and is certainly no match for Opera Mobile 9.5's double tap to zoom or the iPhone's pinch gestures.
Simple email works well. You get push with Gmail, plus standard scheduled retrieval for third party POP3 and IMAP accounts. It's best with the former, however; this preserves all the cool features of Gmail, from threaded conversations, through labels and stars, to the powerful search utility.
What's up, Docs?
However, while you can view office documents, there's no way to create and edit documents out of the box, and no note taker preinstalled either. Surprisingly, Android only allows you to view Google Docs, not edit or create new ones.
Fortunately, the Market Android's equivalent to Apple's App Store already has a generous selection of free games and applications available for download.
In terms of its core specification, the G1 is reasonably well-endowed, as we've come to expect from HTC-made handsets. There's HSDPA, Wi-Fi, assisted GPS, Bluetooth, plus an accelerometer for games and rotating the screen.
But despite having autofocus, the image quality from the 3MP camera is ropy, while the physical design of the handset is chunky and heavy. There's a decent keyboard tucked away under the sliding screen, but battery life is poor.
There's clearly more to come from Android, but for now, this is as good as it gets. And it's certainly an intriguing glimpse.
How does the T-Mobile G1 compare with its smartphone rivals? Find out in iGIZMO's Top 5 Mobile Phones feature
Copyright 2009 Dennis Publishing All Rights Reserved.