Richard Warmsley, Head of Internet and Entertainment at T-Mobile UK, told Register Hardware that the G1 was designed primarily to appeal to anyone that either surfs on the move or who’s a social networking addict.
The phone's rear shows the severity of the screen’s sliding motion
As such, the phone’s been given a physical Qwerty keypad. Although it may look just like the keypad on Motorola’s Sidekick handset range, the G1’s manufacturer – HTC – has given the phone’s keypad a unique twist, by making the screen slide across and over the keypad.
This feature’s hardly ground breaking, but it’s a new take on existing boring designs where the keypad simply pulls out from beneath the screen.
Once you discovered the keypad, you’re ready to make use of the G1’s 7.2Mb/s HSDPA 3G capability and surf the web through Android’s dedicated browser. Although we thought Google had simply slipped Chrome into the platform, Warmsley assured us that the G1’s browser isn’t Chrome – it just looks like it!
Haptic feedback on-screen and a Qwerty keyboard
The browser lets you open multiple pages in a thumbnail fashion, rather than tabbed browsing. This means you can have around six pages open within one window at any given time, a display style that takes a little getting used to.
Most of your list seem to be either criticisms of the providers plans, or the lack of features that plenty of other smartphones don't have either.
I agree with everyones criticisms of the visual aspect of this phone, but then I thought the whole point of Android was that it was supposed to be a platform not a single phone model (so the cheapness of the build is surely on the shoulders of HTC rather than Google). But lets face it, why would HTC invest big bucks on the design of a phone for a new unproven platform... they are testing the waters to judge the reaction to the Android UI before they make any serious investment. Apple on the other hand controls both the hardware and software for the iPhone, and as such they needed to pay as much attention to the physical appeal not just the UI.
So while I won't be rushing to buy this particularly ugly phone, I will be reserving my judgment on Android until I've had a chance to play with it. I'm also hoping that as someone suggested, Android gets ported to some of the other HTC devices (I'd love to try it out on my current HTC WM6 phone).
As for Google, I'm no fanboi... I've started using Scroogle and while I do use Google Docs for some things, I'd never use it for anything personal or sensitive.
I don't suppose there's any chance that one day in the future I might be able to buy the phone of my choice and install the OS of my choice on it, like I can with a PC (excluding Apple OS's, of course, but then I always do).
So what's it's USP?
I thought this was to be the FOSS alternative to the closed source approach of Apple and Microsoft? yet it's on contract, will be locked down and there's lots of commercial applications.
It just looks to me like a Google clone of Windows Mobile with some iPhone features on typically badly designed ugly hardware.
Trackballs? why not force users to plugin a mouse and be done with it. A properly designed mobile interface does not need trackballs and millions of buttons. A keyboard is justified if the device comes with mobile office software.