T-Mobile G1 Review

I bought a refurbished iPhone six months after it came out, unlocked it, and used it on T-Mobile.  The phone was plagued with lockups often four times a day, the signal strength was not great and I never really warmed to the on-screen keyboard.  The multi-touch was nothing short of amazing, and the interface simple and easy to understand, but at the time there was no application store so I had to rely on installing applications with the unofficial installer app.  I was impressed with it as a cool tech toy, but unimpressed in it as a phone.  Phones should never crash because their primary job is to be a communication device in any situation including emergencies.

Fast forward a year and then some from the iPhone release when Google and T-Mobile announce the G1, an Android based phone to rival the iPhone.  Admittedly at this point the iPhone had made significant advances in stability, application selection, and included things like true GPS in the 3G model.  After watching the press conference for the G1 I admit I was excited about the T-Mobile phone.  I wanted to pre-order it but then information started to leak out like the lack of standard earphone jack and inconsistent user interface.  Some called the phone buggy and unresponsive.  Others said it was ugly.  My interest faded quickly.

But then I saw some of the android application winners, some of which frankly amazed me, and after some more research on the design and operating system I decided to pre-order the G1 knowing I could return it in 14 days if I did not like it.

The Good:

The T-Mobile G1 has not crashed once in the 15 days that I have had it even after installing and running a large number of the marketplace applications.  This is a significant improvement compared to the iPhone.  The signal strength (I am in a 2G area) is the best I have ever had on any phone with T-Mobile or ATT.  The keyboard is fantastic and eliminates the issues I had with the iPhone on-screen keyboard.  The notification system that lets you know about system events as they happen like SMS message, email, application downloads, when you are in range of WiFi, or any other information an application wants to notify you about.

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