By Harry McCracken | Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 8:05 am
T-Mobile’s G1, the first phone to use Google’s Android operating system, doesn’t go officially on sale until October 22nd. But a bunch of reviews ave hit the Web. And since I don’t have a G1–I’m hoping to remedy that–I’ve been reading other folks’ takes on the device.
After the jump, highly-compressed summaries of three of the reviews I’ve checked out so far.
Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal: Keyboard just fair; T-Mobile data plan is cheaper than AT&T; smooth touch interface; flexible and customizable desktop; much easier to place a call than with iPhone; browser is good; has MMS and cut and paste; battery life about the same as iPhone; Android Market app store is good; it’s a brick of a device; skimps on memory; very tied to Google services and doesn’t support Microsoft Exchange; T-Mobile 3G network only available in 20 cities; iPhone 3G on AT&T consistently faster for data. Overall, a good first try.
Joshua Topolsky, Engadget: Charmingly retro-looking hardware; trackball better than expected; keyboard not bad but it’s a pain it’s the only way to enter text; proprietary headphone jack stinks; outstanding screen with responsive touch interface; sound quality is ho-hum; voice quality and 3G data spotty, possibly due to T-Mobile network; GPS not ready for prime time; camera disappointing overall; battery life as a media player not impressive; setup is amazingly easy; interface good if somewhat inconsistent; cut and paste is wonderful; notification system is great; display moves from portrait to landscape mode smoothly; home screen is well done; use of your Google Account throught software is a big plus; calendar is good but not great; contacts work well; Gmail is “amazing” as long as you can use Gmail; file attachment viewing is disappointing because it’s done by turning attachments into HTML; IM is good; no Flash; browser good overall with some usability issues; media player OK; YouTube fine; Android Market app store early but promising. Overall, not particularly impressive hardware, but Android is extremely promising.
David Pogue, The New York Times: Software isn’t as pretty or consistent as iPhone, but good overall; Android Market very promising; physical Menu button a big plus; zooming around in browser without multi-touch is a chore; two email apps (one for Gmail, one for everything else) is a hassle; no visual voicemail or Exchange compatability; can buy music from Amazon only over Wi-Fi and there’s no video player at all; heavily reliant on Google services and a Google Account; keyboard is so-so; camera is mediocre; battery drains quickly; device is homely looking; screen orientation doesn’t adjust automatically even though device has an accelerometer; skimpy storage; T-Mobile network is limited. Overall, an okay device but Android is good and very promising.
Lots of little differences in what those three guys liked and disliked, but lots of consensus, too. And their overall take is very consistent: The G1 is merely adequate as a piece of hardware, but Android is quite good out of the gate and there’s lots of reason to be excited about its future…