Tuesday, September 23, 2008

T-Mobile G1: Epic Fail

There was a lot of buildup for the first Google Android phone and we get this?!

The T-Mobile G1 was unveiled today. And I'm not impressed.

Check out that picture. The keyboard is even bigger than the screen! It just looks clumsy.

It has a 3.1MP camera, GPS mapping and up to 8GB of storage with a memory card (which means there's either little to no onboard memory and you'll have to get an 8GB memory card).

Now, what surprised me the MOST is that T-Mobile has really bad 3G coverage. In fact, there's NO 3G coverage in Hawaii right now.

Look at the map on the left. There's no dark blue which is 3G. And there's really scattered EDGE coverage, which is horribly slow anyway.

In fact, T-Mobile concedes that when the phone will start selling on October 22nd, only 21 cities (more than likely all on the mainland) will have 3G coverage! And people complained about the 3G coverage for AT&T!

So, if you live in Hawaii and you dreamed of owning a Google Android phone, you have a SEVERELY gimped mobile phone which was supposed to be geared toward using the internet.
Now, I know what you're saying. The iPhone guy is just being negative. Actually, I was hoping for a phone either as good or superior to the iPhone. Better mobile phones on the market will force the iPhone to become better. I really believe that. At least until the Blackberry Thunder comes out, it seems that Steve Jobs can rest on his laurels - unfortunately. The Samsung Instinct, the LG Dare and now the T-Mobile G1 have failed to put forth a serious competitor to the iPhone.


Michael said...

Wow, such negative comments from a guy that probably never held the G1 in his hands. I got the G1 10/20/08 and it's a pretty damned good piece of hardware. All the features work with EDGE, albeit a bit sluggish. Android works nicely and you can tell it's geared towards browsing the net on the go. CNET did a head to head test with the 3G iphone & the G1: G1 was 33% faster than iphone 3G when loading the same page. There are many variables (different browsers, number of users on each 3G network, etc.), but G1 still won. The GPS/Google Maps app is really cool as are the other apps available in the app store. Putting media on a G1 is easy (drag & drop), but it doesn't play songs bought on itunes. The touch screen is responsive and the keyboard is a nice thing to have also. I DO agree with him that T-Mobile doesn't have 3G in Hawaii and per a T-Mobile customer service rep, there aren't any concrete plans for 3G in Hawaii this year, but HOPEFULLY in Q1 of 2009 or Q4 at the latest. Me and all other T-Mobilites in Hawaii will keep our collective fingers crossed.

Clay said...

Sorry for the negative review. But, I have seen the G1 in action (although obviously I couldn't have held one in my hand at the time of the review).
3G is a dealbreaker for me. That's why I didn't get the first iPhone. No 3G, no deal.
Also, in that CNET speed comparison, it was done in San Francisco which is notorious for slow 3G speeds. Note that the number of users on a 3G network makes a difference. Here in Honolulu, we get pretty good 3G speeds just because the network here can handle the amount of users. Also, I would think that the Google browser is better than Safari so loading pictures might be faster. Frankly, I don't care for Safari as a browser. But, it is pretty. :)
For the first Google Android phone I was disappointed. I was even considering holding off on the iPhone. I don't like that you need to use the mini-USB port for your headphones. Is there any onboard memory? Or is it off of the microSD card? The Samsung Instinct had a hard time loading pictures off of the microSD card. I do like 16GB of flash memory. Even though there's no card slot, 16GB is way plenty for me.
I really like the Google Android concept which encourages software development.
Does Google Street View work in Hawaii? I tried to use Street View on Google Maps and I couldn't find any street views in Hawaii.

Clay said...

By the way, Engadget did its own iPhone 3G vs. T-Mobile G1 speed comparison and came out with entirely different results:

In general, I take speed comparisons with a grain of salt because speeds vary by location and the amount of people on any given network.