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The G1 Has Landed - In My Lap

posted 1 Nov 2008, 17:05 by Stephen Hind   [ updated 1 Nov 2008, 18:53 ]

I have a G1!

I am now the proud owner of a T-Mobile G1!  Being a big Google fan, and having everything in Google meant it was a natural choice, so I'm finding it very useful.

Since I've only had it one day I feel it's not necessarily appropriate to make too much comment at the moment, but I will give some first impressions.

First Impressions

Positives

  • All Synced Up - all my mail, calendar appointments and contacts are synchronised from the web to the phone and from the phone to the web (or the cloud, if you prefer).  This is very convenient and gives access to what I use the most in the palm of my hand.
  • Fast - it's very quick to use (apart from on one occasion I'll mention below) and very responsive.
  • Call Quality - I've used many a phone before and I found that the call quality is very good and exceptionally clear, which came as a bit of a surprise but it is a phone after all.
  • Intuitive - it does what you expect it to do, but (as I will mention below) doesn't do some things you might expect - I love the copy and paste, for instance.
  • Crisp Display - the display is great: bright, vibrant and crisp.

Negatives

  • Battery - wow the G1 likes some power!  I received it on the Friday morning, waited until it was fully charged and gave it a good hammering using WiFi, Bluetooth etc. and the battery was empty by the late evening.  Turning off the WiFi and bluetooth improves the battery life considerably
  • Slow when doing a big sync - I foolishly told the G1 to sync all of the e-mails in a label of my Google Mail (4505e-mails at the time of writing), so it was going to sync forever, even over WiFi from my 9Mbps Internet connection!  While it was doing this big sync it was sapping the battery like there's no tomorrow and the G1, and the Google Mail app specifically, was very slow and unresponsive: if I disabled the sync then the G1 became responsive again, so it was my fault really, but something you may want to know about.
  • Screen doesn't rotate when you rotate the device - I just don't get it - when you turn the G1 landscape the screen stays in portrait!  Now I know that the G1 knows which way it's orientated, as the free Pac Man game from the Market uses the accelerometer (the clever stuff that tells the G1 which way is up etc.) to control the little, hungry fella.  This means that it's intentional, but I have no idea why.
  • No Flash Player - now really this isn't down to Google, Adobe should have pulled their finger out - it's Adobe's baby.  The Android SDK has been available for ages so I have no idea why there wasn't a Flash Player for release - one thing that does come to mind however, Google may have wanted the player to be open source and Adobe may not have been happy with that, so Google may have to start from scratch (or another Flash Player project).  I have read comments in various forums to say they're working on it though.
  • No PDF support - again this is strange, but I'm sure something will be available very soon.
  • US Keyboard Layout - unless I have got the wrong version, I don't think so as everything else was right for the UK, they keyboard is in the US layout (double quotes on the K key, etc).  It's not true US as it's not a standard keyboard anyway, so they may brand it as an "international" qwerty keyboard.
  • No Video Camera - had Google not seen an iPhone?  Did they not realise it had no video camera?  I can't think of a reason why the G1 does not have a video camera, but it doesn't.  I'm hoping a video recording app will become available in the Market - if someone can make a barcode scanner then surely recording video wouldn't be that hard?
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