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Published: October 28, 2008 at 6:04 PM
I’ve been at it for one week with my Android-based, T-Mobile G1. I admit that every time I get a new cell phone I either get a tinge of buyer’s remorse or end up comparing it to my previous phone more than I should. The G1 is no exception. When I pulled the G1 out of the box, my initial impression was that it was a bit clunky, bulky and even heavy. I know comparing the G1’s size to a Motorola RAZR (which it’s replacing) isn’t exactly fair considering what the G1 is capable of, but a precedence had been set.
What the G1 lacks in aesthetics, it more than makes up for in functionality. Sure I would love the G1 to be the same size as the RAZR, but my concerns that the G1 would be a brick in my pocket subsided as I familiarized myself with the Android interface and started making use of the features that I cursed my RAZR for not having. I also felt better when I had a chance to compare the G1’s vitals to a friend’s iPhone. The weight of the two devices is very similar and though the G1 is thicker, the QWERTY keyboard that adds to the extra thickness is totally worth it.
Once I got over the dimension shock, the only real issue I had with the G1 is battery life. If you’ll be using your G1 heavily throughout the day, you’ll need to keep a charger handy. Even with recommended settings to extend the battery life (GPS, brightness, WiFi and auto sync settings turned down or off) the phone eats up the charge quickly. I would imagine that if you took the phone on a trip to use as a reference guide and were out of the hotel all day sightseeing, you wouldn’t make it into the evening without needing a charge. I’m not sure how this compares to the battery life on an iPhone, but I could definitely see it being an issue at some point.
What I don’t see being an issue is the Android Market. There have been dozens of new applications added since theG1 launched on the 22nd and every time I check the Android Market, the application and game libraries seems to be growing. Obviously some of the applications are more useful than others, but it’s nice to know there’s no shortage of developers working on the Android platform. I’ll blog a more detailed account of some of my favorite applications later in the week, but want to include a quick real world example of how the G1 is making a difference in my life.
I downloaded one of the first applications available in the Android Market, named QuickList, to create a running grocery list throughout the week. If you’re wondering why I don’t just write a list out, I’ve tried and since my list isn’t at my hip at all times—like my phone—I always seem to forget something. As I navigated the aisles of my local Publix this weekend, checking off the list items as I add them to my cart, I didn’t have that usual “I’m forgetting something” feeling that comes over me right before I check out. When I cleared those automatic doors I not only felt confident that I got everything I needed, I also realized that for once, I didn’t forget the garbage bags!
In the end, my week with the G1 was as much of a learning experience as a realization that the device has the ability to change the way people live their lives. It’s not that the G1 can make you a better shopper, a healthier eater, an accurate tipper or even more productive, but it gives you the tools that put you on the right track.