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Hands-on photos and videos of T-Mobile's G1

Gallery by Michael Oryl on Tuesday September 23, 2008.

t-mobile g1 · t-mobile · galleries · t-mobile news · android news · smartphone news · michael oryl

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Today at a T-Mobile event in New York I had the chance to spend some quality time with the new T-Mobile G1, the very first Google Android OS powered smartphone to hit the market. The G1 features a large half VGA (480x320 pixel) touchscreen display and a large, very spacious 5 row QWERTY keyboard. The addition of a trackball for navigation gives one impressions of a Sidekick like device with a touchscreen.

First up, that touchscreen. The G1 uses a capacitive touchscreen(INFO) display that is similar to the one used on the Apple iPhone. As such, it takes a fairly light touch to activate, though I found that it still lacked the predictable responsiveness of the iPhone. You will see in the video on the next page that occasionally I have to hit on-screen buttons more than once to get the desired effect. But scrolling and general navigation on the display is pretty good, and the handy trackball controller is more than adequate for when you'd rather not let your fingers do the walking.

The keyboard also earned less than a perfect score in my book, though like the display, it is still quite good. I really like the layout of the keys in general, I just feel that they have a bit too little travel when pressed. If not more travel, I think the keyboard keys could at least have used a bit more solid tactile feedback. Either way, people will quickly adapt to the keyboard and will probably find it to be quite good over the long run due to its large size.

The overall build of the G1 seems quite solid. Even the slick arc sliding display mechanism seems quite sturdy. The rear cover is a somewhat odd peel-off type, instead of relying on a traditional latch. it isn't hard to remove, but it is somewhat awkward. The dedicated home and back keys, along with the pair of call keys, have a nice feel to them. The squat shaped menu button is a bit odd, but it is very easy to press and is in an intuitive location.

On the edges of the G1 you'll find a dual-stage camera shutter button (half press for focus lock) and a traditional volume control.

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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