Review of Android G1

For over two years I have been using a Windows mobile based cell phone the T-Mobile MDA.  This phone was a mixed blessing.  It was not the best cell phone, the touch screen was a little difficult to use, it was slow.  The great part was getting email and contacts that could be synchronized with Outlook.   You could look at web pages but most did not look much like the site on a computer.  Overall I was a little disappointed with this phone.

My MDA died a few weeks ago my MDA died, it would turn on and back off again.  Different battery the same thing.  My contract was over so I could get a new phone at a discount price.  What to get?

I knew I wanted a phone that would allow email and Internet connection so I could stay connected and work where ever I wanted.  The iphone is one of the most popular smart phones, and a new one came out last October, the Android G1.   Android is an open source operating system for Cell phones from Google.

I am an existing T-Mobile customer, I have used an iphone, most things work great but like most Apple products if Apple thinks the feature is worthwhile it works well if they do not it does not exist.  The onscreen keyboard works better than most but is still not great, but Apple will not add or allow for an external keyboard.  I have never gotten into the ipod music so this is not a big feature.  So I decided to get a G1.

It connects to the t-mobile 3g network so it is fast on the Internet.  The web browser works great.  There is a build in hidden keyboard on the phone so typing is easy and accurate.  You can zoom in and see the whole page or zoom out where you can more comfortably read the text.  The main email is gmail, I had an account already, and I have been using more and more google features.  I have been using Google calendar for over 6 months.  I link it into Thunderbird for email.  I setup my gmail account as a proxy for my main email accounts so now they come to my phone.  The contacts and calendar sync with Google .  I also found a plugin to sync Google contacts with Thunderbird so now my contacts are in sync.  Maps work great, the gps will find you, but I usually know where I am.  The street view is neat (although I do not know how practical it is) you can spin around and see the scene change.

There were a couple things that had to be worked out.  The gmail on the G1 does not allow for you to select multiple messages, but then I found that I could use gmail on the web to manage the messages.  I can even us gmail on the web on the G1.  So now read the bulk of the email online and just depend on the phone for a few messages.  Last weekend I was out of town, the only email I had was on the G1.  It worked slick and I could keep up on the mail.

On the down side, the applications you can get for the G1 are not as slick as the iphone, and the audio system sounds great but is much more cumbersome than the Ipod experience.

Overall it works well for me.  I think the things I do not like will be improved in the future.

If you are a geek like me, you should consider a G1.  If you are into ipods tunes and are generally more of creative type you will probably be much happier with an iphone.


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