Sunday, November 16, 2008

I May Give the T-Mobile G1 a Try

My quest to find a replacement for my T-Mobile Dash has taken an unexpected turn; I have decided that the T-Mobile G1 may be the one I choose. I was previously looking at Blackberry models with preference over the Windows Mobile devices. After looking at the G1 in person and playing with it a little, I was not impressed. The design is just, bleh. It just doesn't scream "sexy"; it's more like it cries out "prototype". HTC put a lot more style in my Dash than in the G1. Despite that, let me tell you why the G1 made a comeback and will be my next handset.

There is nothing wrong with the Blackberry. All the models are awesome. Everybody who has used one swears on their reliability and sheer awesomeness. Many of my friends who use mobile social media apps have found them for their Blackberry phone. Obviously, the push email and document viewing capability are great for business use. On top of that, some of the Blackberry models can use WiFi connections for phone service, thereby saving my mobile minutes. The Blackberry cameras also have more than the meager 1.2 megapixel cameras on the Windows Mobile phones. Blackberry had everything going for it until it came down to 3G.

In our market, 3G is still not available; but, it will be here next Spring. I do not want to have to upgrade my phone for another 2 years if possible. Therefore, 3G, though not yet available, is an important feature for a handset to have. None of the Blackberry models have it. So, I had to start over from scratch. Of the devices that are 3G capable, most of them are simple handsets, not smartphone types. Only the G1 and the new Samsung Behold interested me. After playing with both, I didn't find either particularly captivating. The touch-screen thing is cool; but I want my phone to do something besides being cool.

I walked out of the store disappointed. Still, I decided to do some research on the G1, which should be more extensible, being made on an open platform. I figure some apps should be available in time. What has really sold me on the G1 are the 3G connection, the camera, and the GPS. When the 3G kicks in down here, I'll enjoy the speed, no doubt. What sold me on the camera is that it has auto-focus. That is an awesome feature. It will allow me to use Qipit. It will also improve my experience with Evernote, which can read text in a picture when clear. I recently purchased a GPS for work and have loved the ability to get around without getting lost. Having GPS on my phone can only increase the fun. Some of the apps that use the GPS and camera actually helped a little.

When it comes to software, cloud computing will probably make up for any lack of business apps. The web browser lets you access full web pages. The integration with Google services can also help mitigate some of the lack of business focus. I think the G1 does support push email. This will be handy.

In the end, it's coming down to hardware features that are steering me towards the G1. It's shocking that I'm coming back to a device that I had discounted. Still, I'm not going to buy one right away. My current phone still works and does a decent job. So, I'll hang in there a while longer before upgrading. Maybe another cool phone will come out; maybe not. The G1 will be in my sights when I do make the decision to upgrade.
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