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Review roundup: T-Mobile G1

By / October 16, 2008

'Tis the season for attractive smartphones. The Instinct and iPhone are racking up sales. The Blackberry Storm rumbles toward us. And, one week before the T-Mobile G1 goes on sale, the reviews have finally rolled out. This first "Google phone" boasts the new Android operating system, a web browser, QWERTY keyboard, touch screen, online store, GPS – oh yeah, and it makes calls, too.

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So, is this new all-in-one phone worth the hype? Here are the pros and cons:

The inevitable comparison

"I have been testing the G1 extensively, in multiple cities and in multiple scenarios. In general, I like it and consider it a worthy competitor to the iPhone. Both devices run on fast 3G phone networks and include Wi-Fi. Both have smart-touch interfaces and robust Web browsers. Both have the ability to easily download third-party apps, or programs. But the two devices have different strengths and weaknesses, and are likely to attract different types of users. If you've been lusting after the iPhone's functionality, but didn't like its virtual keyboard or its user interface or its U.S. carrier, AT&T, the G1 may be just the ticket for you." [via The Wall Street Journal]

The software

"The Android software looks, feels and works a lot like the iPhone’s. Not as consistent or as attractive, but smartly designed and, for version 1.0, surprisingly complete. In any case, it’s polished enough to give Windows Mobile an inferiority complex the size of Australia.... The Home button opens a miniature computer desktop, with a background photo of your choice. A sliding on-screen “drawer” contains the icons of all of your programs; you can drag your favorites onto the desktop for easier access, or even into little folders." [via The New York Times]

The keyboard and screen

"With its awkward slide-out keyboard, the phone is difficult to type on. It also lacks features we are coming to regard as standard on contemporary smartphones. Unlike other big-display, touchscreen phones, the screen orientation does not change when you rotate the handset, and the display can only be used horizontally when the keyboard has been slid out. You can use a BlackBerry-like trackball instead of touch to navigate the screen, but I found this hard to use with precision." [via Business Week]

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