I also can’t really complain about the data speeds on the G1 once it had an HSDPA connection. Downloads from Android Market were very fast, as were downloads via web pages. General web browsing and email were equally swift, although this is as much a testament to T-Mobile’s HSDPA coverage as the G1 itself.
But despite the fast data rates, the G1 doesn’t offer any form of video calling – there’s no front mounted camera on the device, thus ruling the feature out completely, even after future firmware revisions. In fact it’s not just video calling that’s off the menu, it’s any form of video recording whatsoever. I just don’t understand why a handset like the G1 wouldn’t offer video recording, when bog standard phones can manage it. I appreciate that the iPhone can’t record video either, but just because Apple has made a mistake, there’s no reason to copy it!
There’s a certain dichotomy about the T-Mobile G1. On the one hand it’s the first ever handset to sport Google’s cutting edge mobile operating system, but on the other, it feels like a genuinely dated device, considering what else is out there. Even taking Apple’s iPhone out of the equation, the G1 hardware just isn’t special enough. And when you compare it to HTC’s soon-to-be-launched Touch HD, the situation just gets worse. All I hope is that HTC and T-Mobile will be launching more Google powered phones very soon, and that the hardware can do justice to the software.
We’ve waited a long time for Google to let Android come out to play, and it looks like this new mobile OS has the potential to be a major player. Everything about Android bodes well for its future, while its open source nature should mean that it will evolve at an exponential rate.
But impressive as Android is, the G1 itself is far from the cutting edge handset I’d hoped it would be. That’s not to say that the hardware is intrinsically bad, because it isn’t. It’s even possible that the issues I experienced with signal strength and battery life are just glitches with my early sample. However, what can’t be ignored is that there are far better designed, better featured and better looking smartphones out there right now.
If you absolutely must get your hands on Google Android as soon as possible, you’ll probably buy a G1 and enjoy every minute with it. For everyone else though, it’s worth waiting until hardware that’s truly worthy of this new platform hits the scene.
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