T-Mobile G1 First Impression

g1.jpgI went to my local T-Mobile store to check out the G1 over the weekend. The G1 is a nice device with what appears to be great software, but overall I wasn’t that impressed from my 5 minutes with it. Here’s why:

– The G1 is chunky. It’s fairly thick, and it’s a bit bulky as well. Compared to my Nokia E71 or the iPhone my wife is eyeing, it looked and felt like a whale. The hinge mechanism that flips the screen up to expose the keyboard also looked slightly janky to me, raising some doubts about the G1’s durability and build quality.

– It wasn’t as fast at loading web pages as I expected. Whether that’s because of a slow 3G network or a slow browser, I’m not sure.

– The Android UI looks pretty nifty, but I think that many of its features will be lost in complexity on many users. In addition, I found the presence of both a trackball and a touchscreen a bit odd. You can get a very basic idea of the interface from WDSGlobal’s demo. The UI wasn’t particularly intuitive to me, and I think most users will face a pretty steep learning curve with it (as they do with most new platforms).

– One thing I thought was really cool was an app called Locale, which was one of the top 10 apps in the Android Developer Challenge. It’s a GPS app that allows you to create situations and conditions on your device that change its behavior. For instance, you can create an “At Work” situation, which based on your location, will silence your device automatically (or shut off Wi-Fi or forward calls) when you’re at work. Nifty stuff — and the sort of thing that should come standard on GPS devices IMO.

Like I said, these impressions were based on 5 minutes with the G1, and I’m looking to get a hold of one for a longer period of time to play with it some more. If you’ve got a G1, or have spent some time with one, chime in with your thoughts in the comments, as I’m really curious to see what other users think of the device and the software. And if you’re looking for an in-depth review, check out Phone Scoop’s lengthy review.

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