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.
it's not the sleekest phone I've ever seen, and design is a factor in purchase too.
that said, the photos in this first look were mostly unfocussed and taken in very poor light that made the white facade look dim, and the keypad shot is so heavily shadowed I thought the back was transparent (between the keys) until I checked other photos.
I suspect this product may suffer from Applism.
5 years ago I thought my trusty iRiver was great - it did lots more than an iPod, and was cheaper too. But it lacked the swanky interface or simplicity of design, and look what happened. iRiver were pushing ahead in what the technology could do and keeping prices fair, but apple will still succeed by pushing out stylish, simpler models as most people are not technical, and want simplicity and style over functionality - and evidently will pay more for less too. Now iRiver, for all their advances, are the ones pushing to get that sleek apple-style ease of use into their product range, while apple control the market.
google as the late-comer to the party have made a good first attempt, but it hasn't got enough to be anything other than a techy small-percent share yet
The Satan Phone?
If this is the Satan phone, then Satan's running around Hell carrying an HTC Touch Pro and screaming: "What the fuck are you up to? *This* is where it's at!" at His minions right now.
The only thing that looks like it's been dreamed up in Hell as a Machiavellian plot to Own The World here is the lock in Network contract and Apple did that one first.
Satan is dead. Long live the new Satan.