I said in one of my previous comments that I was going to give an update on my G-phone after I’ve had it for about a month. Today is about 30 days after I received Mimi so here’s my update. I figured that I’d get the pros and cons out of the way first and then go into them in more detail.
Forums: The various G1 forums have kept me well informed about my phone for the most part. So much so that I knew more about the phones than the people selling them. I’ve gotten detailed information and reviews about several applications, rumors, and future things coming to the phone. I also found more than a few wallpapers and ringtones for my phone by browsing the forums and I learn something new almost every visit. The G1 fans and volunteers have done the phone a great service. Keep up the good work!
Keyboard: Flip the touchscreen up and you have access to a qwerty keyboard. Great for typing out longer messages. My fingers are a bit too thick to allow me to be a speed demon on the keyboard and the backlighting could stay on a bit longer but all in all I like it. It’s funny though, iPhone people clamor for a real keyboard and G1 people are clamoring for a virtual keyboard (for shorter messages without having to open the keyboard).
Memory: The on-board memory is a joke but fortunately the G1 also uses upgradable microSD cards. I think they’re as high as 16GB at the moment. It comes with a 1GB card but stock is rarely good enough for me so I upgraded to a class 6, 8GB card. Higher the class the faster the card. Put in some time searching for the card. You could go the easy way and pick up a card from T-Mobile but you’re going to pay too much and if you really have money to waste like that I’ll send you a link to a cheaper card and you can send the rest of the money you were going to spend to my Freaky Deaky Fund. It will give you a decent amount of movies (once properly encoded and formatted) and music you can hold on the G1.
Google integration: Depending on which side of the paranoid fence you sit on this can either be good or bad thing. For the sake of argument I’ll list as a good thing. Gmail e-mails are pushed directly to your phone (the execution of it varies). Most of the time (70%) I’ll receive gmail updates on my phone before I do on my computer, sometimes the computer tells me first. Gtalk, Google Maps, and pretty much anything Google related that has a mobile application will find it’s way to the G1.
Applications: No, I’m not crazy, um well you can’t prove it anyway. I know I have the apps listed as both a pro and a con. There are some pretty good apps that I use fairly often. The apps are still relatively young on the G1 and I expect them all to improve over the next few months. A few of my favorites are: Locale, is a program that changes your phones based on certain conditions like proximity. You can set it to change your default ringtone from “She Swallowed It” to something more work appropriate when you get within a mile of your office, for example. Once you live it’s back to good stuff. Shazam, identifies the song playing on the radio and gives you a link to purchase and download it from Amazon.com. Ringdroid, lets you edit and create your own ringtones from the music on your phone. Shop Savvy, allows you to scan barcodes when shopping and compares it with other local stores and online shops to see if you’re really getting the lowest price. Flashlight, pretty much does just that. It keeps your screen on and allows you to use it as a flashlight until you turn it off.
Lack of quality games & apps in the marketplace.
Reviews/rating system needs to be maintained better.
Lack of video & video playback options.
Notifications are kind of haphazard.
Battery life: The G1 has the absolute worst battery life of any cell phone I’ve ever had, period. If you play games you use up the battery. Text, you use up the battery. Watch videos, you use up the battery. I’m suspicious that if I even stare at the phone for too long I’ll use up the battery. Hell, just for typing this I’m sure my phone’s battery is draining. Fortunately, it comes with two charging options out of the box. You can plug it into an outlet with the wall charger or into your computer with the mini USB adapter/charger. I also use the car charger that came with my GPS unit. If you play with your phone frequently, and you probably will, don’t leave home without some kind of charger. There’s some debate if conditioning the battery really improves the life. I don’t think it hurts. Turning off bluetooth, GPS, wireless, and dialing down the screens brightness should help a bit.
Lack of quality games & apps in the marketplace: I think this problem mainly exists for two reasons. 1.) the operating system is new and people are still learning it and 2.) most of the big developers are waiting to release applications next year when they will be allowed to actually charge us. Right now everything in the marketplace is free. As a result a lot of the things currently available are on the simple side and there’s a lot of redundancy in some of the apps. The games are kind of bleh at the moment but I’ve found enough that interest me enough to download them. Again, I think a lot better apps and games will be available starting in January 2009, so don’t let that scare you off.
Reviews/rating system needs to be maintained better: Not so much a problem of the phone but it’s hard to trust the ratings when people rate it down because they don’t know what the application does, how to use it, or figure out they have no need for it. The reviews are also filled with dumbasses with nothing better to say than first and people that hate dumbasses who proclaim first. You really have to search for insightful reviews and theirs a limit of 120 words, I believe, for the reviews so don’t expect a lot of in-depth reviews in the actual marketplace.
Volume: Call volume is pretty good, however, if you’re anywhere even moderately noisy and your phone is in your purse or pocket then turn check the vibrate and ring function or you’re probably going to miss quite a few calls. Unless, you have the ringer turned all the way up, which is rude and obnoxious by the way, the ringer volume is just too low. I think at least in part it can be blamed on the placement of the speaker. Just placing the phone screen up will cause the sound to be muffled and partially absorbed by the surface it’s placed on.
Camera: Even though the camera is a higher resolution than the one in my RAZR, I still like the RAZR’s camera better. First off, let me state that a cell phone camera in most cases will be owned by a dedicated digital camera of the same resolution. There are some phones with great cameras but I’m not trying to spend that kind of money on a cell phone. Feel me? Anyway, the G1’s camera has a tendency to underexpose the pictures. I usually “sweeten” the pictures I take with camera phones anyway but I find that I have to do a little more with my G1. It doesn’t have a flash and in low light conditions you can pretty much save yourself the trouble and not even try to take the picture. In general the G1’s camera is on the slow side to take the picture. If you don’t have a steady hand or your subject is impatient your pictures could end up blurry.
Lack of video & video playback function: Currently the G1 doesn’t record video. Kind of sucks if you want to shoot an impromptu video of you giving your girl a pearl necklace or that footjob she’s been promising you. From what I’ve heard the G1 has the capability to record video and it shouldn’t take more than a software update in the future. Why this functionality wasn’t included out of the box is beyond me. The phone can play YouTube videos so I can get my fill of barely legal chicks dancing around in their cute little panties. There are also applications that can be downloaded to play any movies and videos you have saved on your microSD card. Now if you want to watch something like movie trailers on QuickTime for example then for the moment you’re S.O.L. Video conferencing is theoretically possible on the G1 and that along with other video playback functions should be available with future updates.
Notifications are haphazard: I have tones set to play whenever I receive e-mails or text messages to my phone. Sometimes they play and way too often they’re not. This can be resolved a lot of times by turning the phone off and back on. It’s fairly annoying to check your phone to find out someone sent you a text 45 minutes ago and you got new e-mail about an hour ago that you’re just now discovering.
Signal: The signal with this phone can be kind of wonky. Whenever I’m on the 3G network in my apartment I rarely get above two bars. When I’m using Edge I usually get five bars. Outside on 3G I usually get the maximum amount of bars. What bothers me is that sometimes the phone will just completely lose a signal altogether in my apartment. That hasn’t happen on any other T-Mobile phone I’ve had while living here other than during the blackout. Reception is generally excellent in my area so it’s either the network or the internal antenna on the phone. It’s never for more than a couple of minutes but when you can’t finish a download or send a text because you have no signal it can be frustrating.
Security: The phone doesn’t use a numeric code to lock down your phone. Instead you choose a pattern using the touchscreen. Not so much a con because I think it’s cool. You can make some pretty complicated security patterns with it. I’m giving it a con because for the moment it’s just not enough. You either lock down all access or none. It would be nice to be able to let someone play Light Racer on my phone without them being able to access any alleged dirty pictures I may or may not have on my phone or the pornos I plan on uploading to my phone eventually. I’m almost certain this application will show up on the marketplace sooner rather than later but I’m a bit dismayed that someone didn’t think to include this on the phone by default. Every dude I know and a good portion of the chicks has pics, texts *cough* Kwame *cough, or somthing on their phone that could bring them some sort of grief, misunderstanding, or trouble if the wrong person or people snooped through them. I’m just saying. I would never have anything like that mainly because chicks are being stingy with the freaky pics at the moment on my phone because my angelic nature wouldn’t allow it. *shines my platinum halo* It’s hard being the epitome of sweetness sometimes.
All in all, I like the phone. People I’ve shown it too generally think it’s cool. I think Google, T-Mobile, and HTC dropped the ball by not debuting the Android operating system on one of the sexier phones already out or designing something new. I think most of the problems are due to the O.S. and T-Mobile’s 3G network being so new. As an early adopter kinks, flaws, and other problems are expected. While we get bragging rights of being first we also are the first ones to discover the kinks that need to worked out. Overall even though I have some complaints, I knew of the potential for them in the first place so none of it is a deal breaker for me. I have a critical mind and the cons will almost always be longer than the pros for me, it’s just my nature, so don’t let my little list scare you away. If you don’t mind spending a little time learning about your phone then the G1 could be for you. If that sounds like too much work then early adoption probably isn’t for you.
Anything else you want to know? Just ask. If I know I’ll share.