Zooming in or out of webpages is more laborious than on the iPhone, because Android’s browser opts for dedicated zoom in/zoom out keys. However, these two magnifying glass icons kept disappearing, meaning we often clicked on embedded webpage links when we just wanted the zoom icons to reappear.
But, the alternative option of sweeping a magnifying glass rectangle over the page with your fingertip is a useful tool.
Android also has an iPhone App Store-esque shop called Android Market that lets developers upload their own applications for use on the Google platform. We peeked inside several categories, which include Games and Lifestyle, and found that most were already bursting with potential downloads.
Up to 7.2Mb/s HSDPA 3G
Be warned though, the applications aren’t free and prices are set by individual developers. Payment’s made by credit card, in a very similar fashion to iTunes’ payment process.
Navigating your way through the various applications and icons is easy, as you can either pinpoint which one you want with your finger or slide a cursor over your choice with the G1’s Blackberry-esque tracker ball.
If photography’s more your thing, then you’ll be disappointed by the G1. It sports a 3.2-megapixel snapper, but the camera’s not capable of zooming in or capturing video.
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.