Ah…one of the perks of working for a mobile technology company.  I got to play with the G1 phone, which runs on Google’s Android mobile operating system.  The verdict?  Hmm…not quite the iPhone-killer yet.  In fact, I mostly do not like it.

The Phone

  • The phone itself is thicker and heavier than I expected.
  • The swivel-flip keyboard doesn’t look and feel sturdy enough.  All of us who played with the phone felt paranoid that one-half of it would go flying off if we’re not very, very careful with flipping, hehe.
  • The touch screen is not as sensitive as the one on the iPhone.  There were occasions when I had to slide or tap my fingers several times to get the screen to move.

The Interface

  • The orientation doesn’t turn to landscape when the phone is tilted sideways!  You have to flip out the keyboard even if you’re not actually going to use it.  Huh?!
  • There are no next-page indicators in the Home screen, unlike those discreet little dots at the bottom of the screen in the iPhone.  So, it’s up to the user to discover that there IS a next page.
  • Typing a new URL in the browser’s address bar is a pain!  Step 1: Flip out keyboard.  Step 2:  Press ‘Menu’.  Step 3:  Tap ‘Go to URL’ button on the touch screen  Step 4:  Type URL  Step 5:  Press ‘Enter’.  5 steps!  Why, oh why, can’t we just tap the address bar?
  • There’s no virtual keyboard

However, here are a couple of things I like:

  • Texting is easier with the keyboard.  Hehe, somehow I still can’t get used to iPhone-style texting.
  • Design-wise, I like the UI.

We haven’t downloaded any apps yet, and I haven’t tried all the other functions.  I mostly just explored the interface.  In spite of my gripes above, I think the phone and operating system have great potential and will be better after couple of versions/updates.

The next mobile gadget we’re most likely to get is Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.  I can’t wait to explore that one!