TMobile G1 Google Android Phone Review

It’s been a little over a month since I got my G1 phone from T-Mobile. So far, I’m really enjoying it. My old phone was a Blackberry Pearl, which was a great phone, but this G1 lets me do so much more. Even though T-Mobile doesn’t have the 3G network here in Utah yet, most web pages load pretty quickly, and if I’m somewhere I can get on a wifi network, it’s super quick.

What I like:

Multiple ways to navigate. You’ve got the touch screen, roller ball, full qwerty keyboard and the four buttons below the screen. I like to have options, and this phone has multiple options for moving around and getting to what I need.

Easy set up and syncronization with my stuff. Since I was already using Google apps for email, calendar, and contacts, it was as easy as entering my username and password to get everything up and running. I wish everything in life were this easy. For anyone using Outlook for email and contacts, you might have a few more hoops to jump through to get it to sync up.

Cool apps. Every time I check the Android app market, there are more apps in there. One of my favorites is ShopSavvy – this one lets you scan the barcode for any product and it will search for it and find the closest stores that sell it (based on your GPS location), along with prices and phone numbers. It also searches and compares prices from online stores selling the same product. another very cool app is Shazam, which will listen to any music and tell you the name of the artist and song. It also provides a link to buy the song from Amazon MP3 and a link to the band’s MySpace page if they have one. The strangest app I installed is one called Krystle II. It turns your whole screen into a picture of fur, and then it purrs and vibrates when you pet it. My kids love it. I think it’s stupid, but people I show it to get a kick out of it, so I haven’t uninstalled it yet.

Micro SD Card for more storage. The phone came with a 1GB micro-SD card, and can easily be upgraded for one with more storage capacity. As far as I can tell, however, there’s not currently any way to store apps on the SD card, just images, music, video, etc.

What I don’t like:

Battery life is pretty weak. It won’t last a full day if it’s fully charged in the morning. I guess it’s because there is a lot of stuff going on all the time, plus with the big display, it wears down the battery life pretty quick. I’m near a computer and/or electrical outlet most of the day anyway, so it’s not a huge deal to plug in when needed. Plus, I bought a recharger that works in the car, so I should be able to power up almost anywhere.

No flash player. I don’t need flash for most of the sites I care about using on my phone, but it would be nice to have when I need it. Plus, my kids are pretty bummed that webkinz doesn’t work on my phone.

Touchscreen Dialer. It takes some getting used to coming from my blackberry pearl. After a month, I’m still getting used to the touchscreen, and I find myself sliding out the keyboard to surf the web or send a text message more often than I call, anyway.

Overall, I’m very happy with the G1. It fits nicely into my lifestyle and lets me get what I need online wherever I may find myself. As long as the battery holds up, I’ve got the tools to get some work done on the go.

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  1. says

    Battery life has actually improved somewhat with the update. Also, on a recommendation from a Googler I met at Pubcon (Melanie?), I let the battery fully discharge before fully recharging (twice) and that seems to have helped, too. I also downloaded a power management app that is supposed to help with that issue, but I haven’t taken the time to configure it yet.

  2. Dantley says

    Great review Dave. Has your battery life improved with the RC30 update? Mine has significantly with it. A big thing people dont like is the fact that you cant store apps on the SD Card, and the internal memory is low in comparison… overall, an excellent phone!

  3. Miguel says

    Great Review, I just got my G1 a couple of days ago. How do you upgrade the phone? RC30? What is that? Also, I noticed that I couldn’t find a way to create a group in the contact list so when I sent a text message I don’t have to insert contact by contact in the same message.

  4. Greg M. says

    Hi, first i would like to say great review. Anyways, I’ve wanted this phone for a while and I’ve been looking at alot of reviews and about 70%-75% of people really seem to enjoy this phone. I just need to know, well let me put it this way, im a person who wants to be able to do alot of thins using just a mobile device, and i like the idea of an open source platform, and i like finding new intresting things to do alot. I need to know if by this u think the phone would be right for me. Because i do hear alot of problems with battery life and i heard from 1 person that when the phone vibrates theres are rattling. so please get back to me on this, im really exited about getting this phone!

  5. Dantley says

    @Greg You can definitely multi task with the G1. I wrote a post about it on my other blog: “4 Reasons Why I Love the T-Mobile G1”
    …which sums up to: 1. Internet in my Pocket 2. Google software 3. Blogging Anytime, Anywhere 4. Extreme Multi-Tasking

    (btw, I run a couple websites from the G1)

    Every device has its quirk, and the G1 has them. It’s up to you as a consumer to evalute if the device is for you. I would suggest… well recommend buying it, test drive it, if you dont like it… you’ve got 14 days to return it :-)

  6. Greg M. says

    thank you very much, that really helped, but i have one last question i came up with today,well i skateboard alot and my current phone takes video which is good for me so if i do something good on my board i have video of it, but i noticed that the G1 does not support video capture. now my question is: since android is a open source platform, can, or more likely: will a video recorder app come from someone? plz get back to me on this and again, thanks for the great responce :) :)

  7. Dantley says

    True the G1 was NOT shipped out with the ability to capture video. I do believe it’s possible for an app to be created that allows that. I believe this because the iPhone didn’t and doesn’t come with video capture, but some developers were able to create an app to make it do so. Lastly, in mid January 2009 is when I hear developers can charge for Android apps, and I believe somebody already created it and waiting until the magic date to get paid for it. (But that’s just my opinion and is unconfirmed)

  8. Greg M. says

    Thanks for replying so fast, uve been really helpful! Now i know im getting this phone, and that is great knews that there will be a video recorder. Well thanks again and ill post a comment here within the next few days when i get my G1. And really, thank you so much you were such a great help.

  9. Adrianna says

    Heyy most peoples batterys are mostly likely too die quick because most people as soon as they get the phone they don’t charge it they turn it on. So that’s on reason why. And also leaving your phone on the charger for like 6 extra hours after its charged is why. Umm but besides that I still cannot find my video camera! And I was pretty siked untill I found out that it didn’t have a video camera! But I guess I’m okay with it now. I was really looking forward too have the video camera! But if yous guys know anyhting about it can you please send me an email? [email protected] thanks I really appreciate it!!!

  10. Dantley says

    @adrianna You’re in luck… Video Recording is coming sometime in January in an over the air auto update, among other features.

    Ability to Save pics and attachements from text messages
    “Find” feature on webpages
    Updated web bowser
    Stereo Bluetooth Support
    Onscreen Typing
    Plus alot more…

  11. Joe says

    Ok its January…Where the hell is this auto update? This phone is starting to get old. If i have to pay for a video recorder app then I will just pay the cancellation fee instead. Why can the T mobile reps lie and then nothing happens? They even lied about the ability to block unavailable calls.

  12. kenny says

    Well its march now. Still no video recorder. I heard that google was working on one. There was no date on its release. So I’m still waitting. There is an app on the market now but has bugs. Should be ready with the update in 1 or 2 days.

  13. BAig says

    Someone tell me how can i play video songs in my G1 and how can i install application in my g1 because whenever i copy the songs or application from my computer to my g1, they do not show me when i search in my phone memory. Kindly solve my problem.

    Thanks a Lot…!

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