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Review of T-Mobile's Google Android powered smartphone


Review by Michael Oryl on Thursday October 16, 2008.

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

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There are some problems with the UI, though. For starters, none of the default apps on the G1 seem to allow users to select multiple items at one time for tasks like delete or move. This is painfully obvious in the email app, but also applies to contacts and other apps as well. The keyboard's delete key can't be used to easily delete an email or contact, either, which seems strange since the space bar can be used as a "next page" key when navigating lists in those same apps.

Then there are other features that simply seem incomplete. For example, it is possible to add a new folder to the home screen, in which app shortcuts or bookmarks can be placed. That's a great way to organize. The problem is, every folder is called "Folder" and cannot be renamed. But I do approve of the way that the folders, which pop up over the desktop, can be left open when the user slides over to one of the other home screen views. Another minor issue is that when an application is removed from the phone, a simple process, any shortcuts to it that were on the home screen's desktop remain, even though they no longer function.

[Update: You actually can rename the folder, it's just not obvious how. Once the folder is open, long press on the folder window's title bar. A name pop-up will then appear. -editor]

In general there are a number of features on the phone that still feel very new and somewhat incomplete. The email application being the most obvious, perhaps. But overall the system is very slick and user friendly, and we have hopes that Android's open source nature will lead to rapid fire updates for the G1 that will address these problems over the next few months. It isn't as polished as Apple's iPhone UI, but even the 1.0 release of the Android system found on the G1 is sure to intrigue, and please, a lot of people.

Conclusion

Whether you view the T-Mobile G1 as a success or not will depend largely on your expectations. If you are a hard core smartphone user that travels in enterprise circles and expects to find a huge assortment of software available for your device, the G1 will not be for you. At least not yet. But if you are more of a T-Mobile Sidekick type person that is just looking for a fun phone that offers good calling and mobile internet access, then the G1 could well be the perfect cell phone for you.

This is especially true if you are one of the Google faithful that uses that company's services for things like mail, calendaring, IM, and maps. The G1 ties in tightly with these Google services, and will likely support others in the future.

The G1 hardware might not be as slick looking as an iPhone, but the UI has that same kind of look and responsive feel that will please users. And if you are heavy into messaging, nothing beats a hardware keyboard. Even the G1's average QWERTY keyboard puts any on-screen virtual keyboard we've used to shame.

Even though we love the new OS and are pleased that there are no real deal breakers in the G1, there are enough small issues and 1.0 type features that keep us from giving the G1 our highest rating. But with that said, the G1 is certainly a device that deserves your consideration, especially if you are in the market for a mobile internet device that also happens to be a very solid phone.

You'll find a gallery of sample photos shot with the T-Mobile G1's 3 megapixel camera on the following page.

Recommended (explanation)
Great display, fantastic call audio, easy to use
Mediocre keyboard, short battery life, weak IMAP/POP email client, incomplete Bluetooth support, no included video support
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brian hop @ 3:46:55AM EDT on Tuesday June 2, 2009

I don't know why anyone would knock this phone...I would rather lose my right arm than loose this phone..unbelievable user interface,the apps rock.from nav4all,(which is a totally free navagation app,the tom-tom is over hundred bux)to starmap which enables you to really see what you are looking at when you look at the stars.everything and I mean everything rocks about this phone.so what if I can't delete multiple items at once that's just longer I get to play with it...I LOVE THIS PHONE..

Jermey Mcfrazier @ 9:37:03PM EDT on Monday August 3, 2009

Yea i was just wondering between the new sidekick lx and the G1 hich one is a better choice im reall into phones and i have friends tht tell me one is better than the other more the sidekick lx because of the fact tht the camera is a 3.2 mp and you can watch videos on youtube which you can do the same on the g1 but i also heard tht the g1 doesnt have flash??
im just really confused on to which one i should get..

snelks @ 11:48:31AM EDT on Tuesday August 11, 2009

I read this review and the my touch review and decided to buy the G-1 they are quite similar but the dual keyboards on the G-1 made it a no brainer to chose it.

sunny @ 6:51:53PM EDT on Friday April 23, 2010

i am looking for a t-mobile g1 touch screen only

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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