G1 Google Android - After a week of playing with Google and the new HTC Android phone, I can say with a big commitment to the platform. See the unboxing photos here and watch it.
Let's break this down into two main parts and focus it - hardware and operating system.
Construction and Hardware Design. Off the Bat, the G1 phone is hideous - time. We see a lot of phone from HTC but HTC Dream is a really odd one. I think this model was conceptualized way back in 2003. And despite the plastic body, it still feels heavy and bigger hands.
The number of people asked me why the phone is angled at the bottom end. I realized that the partial release was made to provide a better grip when handled and positioned horizontally to take pictures.
The well spaced qwerty keyboard benefited from the extensive body of G1. Since the keypad is hidden from the slider, the individual keys are buried in the pad did not get much feedback when typing them. The keyboard is also heavily oriented to the left of your right thumb has a hard time to reach the middle keys.
Before the panel, there are 5 buttons and a trackball that serves as the primary navigation and shortcuts for using the phone. The trackball in the middle they are very easy to use especially when running through long lists such as your contacts or Playlist and crawling through the items and links when browsing. It also serves as an Ok button.
At first glance, the lever supporting the slider as it is made of plastic and can be a problem when it breaks off. However, the spring mechanism is constructed of metal so that it can last prolonged use. The phone makes some squeaking noise when applied to pressure or when flipped - sounds like walking inside a bamboo floor.
The UI and Operating System. This is the first time I used a new OS on a mobile phone. We have been pretty familiar with the Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, Palm OS and iPhone OS. Google Android platform for a better performing first generation OS. It's quick, and it agrees very well integrates with Google Apps.
The basic interface works like a desktop with icons scattered around the 3 panes. It is like an extended desktop you can flip across (like the iPhone but limited to 3). There is also a sidebar that extends around the screen that contains shortcuts to a group function or an installed application. What is really nice alerts are not intrusive - with a little one-liner ticker slides on top of the screen to indicate SMS and other notices (including a buzzing sound and shake).
The Apple iPhone OS works shamelessly with the iPhone because platform was simple for them. Similarly, Android is also simple to G1 and so, you will get an optimized UI and performance. The menu is intuitive and responds very well. There are some minor quirks here and there but overall, the OS performs the above shape.
Imagine having this platform to your favorite phone? The T-Mobile G1 is only a test model. Then we see more and more models out Android on it, they are becoming clear to us that the platform is actually a solid opponent against the iPhone OS.