Saturday, October 30, 2010
G2 impressions One month later...
I purchase a T Mobile G2 on launch day (28 Sep 10) unsubsidized for $499 + tax. This is my 4th unsubsidized phone purchased in the last year (BlackBerry 9700, Nokia N900, Nexus One, G2) and I have to say that this is the best phone I have owned so far. I replaced a Nexus One with this G2 and I have to say that I never looked back, with the exception of wifi tethering. Both phones are HTC made Android phones but I was getting tired of the Nexus One after owning it since about February. This is the downfall of Android phones and really the only problem with owning one. Phone envy will surely hit you within 3-6 months of owning any Android phone. Once you buy the latest and greatest Android phone, you have the best phone on the market.......for about three months. After about three months, you can bet the bank on the fact that a newer, better Android phone will be on the market. I will briefly go over my impressions of the G2 after one month of ownership.
The build of the phone is typical HTC greatness. I did have problems with the first G2 I bought since Z-hinge or Scissor hinge was a little too loose for my liking but most users wouldn’t even notice. The only times the hinge problem is noticeable is when the phone is held open while upside down and it causes the phone to snap shut or while holding the phone closed while upside down and the top part sort of swings freely. It’s barely noticeable and doesn’t matter in 98% of what you want to do with the phone. The only other problem I have found with the hardware of the phone is the volume buttons are a bit long. This will cause you to change the volume while pulling the phone from a holster or simply picking it up. Its not a big deal because you will hear the volume being changed and more than likely realize that you have your thumb on the volume rocker. I’ve read some reviews that don’t like the placement of the USB port but it doesn’t bother me at all. Its placed on the left side of the phone (which is the bottom when in landscape qwerty position) and while plugged in, the USB cable will point straight down. I don’t see it as a problem but some (Android Central) has. People have also complained about the 800mhz processor but I can guarantee that it is faster than the 1ghz processor in the Nexus One. The main reason I was tired of my Nexus One is the fact that it started to slow down and have a lot of forced close errors. This may be due to the amount of apps I had on the phone and its 512mb internal memory but it started to become a big problem the last few months I owned it. The G2 has 2gb of internal memory and adding apps has not been a problem at all. The G2 does everything the Nexus One did but it does it a little faster and better even with the “slower” processor. The keyboard is just as great as everyone mentioned it is. Once you get used to the phone, you will be knocking out two and three paragraph emails with no problems. The only problem is that the hardware keyboard doesn’t provide the word prediction that the software one does. I hope you can spell correctly.
The G2 comes with Android 2.2 and its about the most vanilla version of Android that you can find on the market with the exception of wifi tethering. I’ve come to love wifi tethering on the Nexus One and I do wish the G2 had it out of the box. Since the G2 is a store sold device, extra things like wifi tethering shouldn’t be expected anyway. I know the Nexus One had it but it was sold straight from Google. Since the G2 is a T Mobile sold phone, everyone should have expected wifi tethering being stripped out even if it is a key app in Android 2.2. It has already been announced that wifi tethering will be available on the G2 along with wifi calling. T Mobile will charge $14.99 for tethering which is reasonable when compared to the other three carriers that charge $30 for tethering. Everything else about vanilla Android is in the G2 right out of the box. There is the Swype keyboard which I don’t use often unless I am using it one handed while driving (I know, not safe).
I absolutely love this phone. Someone asked me the other day, what my next phone will be. I honestly can’t answer that question. I don’t have a plan for a new phone right now which is kind of weird for me. Usually I know what my next phone is while purchasing a new phone. There aren’t any great Android phones on the near term horizon and I don’t see myself switching to a Windows Phone 7 (WP7) phone anytime soon. The bland “tiles” as they are called for WP7 seem very plain to me and pale in comparison to the widgets you see on any Android phone. I would pick the G2 as the best phone currently on the market by a long shot even if Phonedog thinks the Epic 4G is better. I don’t get the “4G” speeds that T Mobile claims where I live but I do get consistent 3,000kbs+ speeds in Tucson which would be great if I lived there. The G2 will handle every need of the average consumer and handle 90% of the needs of the uber tech geeks which is the category that I fall into.
If I had to pick a phone on T Mobile’s network today, it would be the G2 hands down. That may change when the HD7 comes out in the next week or so.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I hope to pick up the T-Mobile G2 sometime this week. It's basically the same as my Nexus One but with a slide out qwerty keyboard. I have been rocking my Nexus One solo now for almost 2 months I am pretty fast at typing on a touchscreen only. I want to see what it would be like to go back to a full keyboard that isn't a BlackBerry. Blackberry's are still the best qwerty phones in my opinion, they just don't make any fun phones.
The Playbook looks promising and could be RIM's way back into consumer's hearts if they get it out fast enough (early 2011 is what has been mentioned) and make it cheap enough to compete with the iPad. If RIM takes until June/July 2011 to get the Playbook out and it costs $800, they might as well scrap it right now. By Spring 2011, the new iPad will be out with two cameras and probably lighter or smaller, or both. Those are really the only complaints about the iPad. Its took heavy and Apple screw consumers out of a camera just so people have a reason to buy the iPad 2.
But enough of that. The G2 should be a fun toy and it should be really fast anytime I go to Tucson or Phoenix. I have 3G here where I live but the fastest I've ever gotten was 800kbits down. That's faster than edge but still very slow by most phone standards. With HSPA+ the G2 should be able to pull 7.2mbs down theoretically which is about as fast as I can normally pull over my cable modem at peak times.
I would blog more but there is nothing fun going on in the tech world right now. BlackBerry is sucking, Apple new has been quiet since antennagate even though they stopped the free giveaway for the bumpers. Now you can't go into the store and just ask for a case. You have to install the app on your iPhone and request on through customer service. Android phones are still killing it in the market stealing market share from everyone. They actually leap frogged Windows Mobile to be the 4th largest mobile OS in the world (Symbian, BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Win Mo). Windows Phone 7 (WP7) looks promising but it will be interesting to see how they can make anything Windows relevant in the mobile market again. We'll have to see how that goes. They could be great phones but with such a bad name, it will might take some time for people to realize. Think Hyundai and Kia making great cars now but no one realized until the American car market crashed. Once people started looking for other choices they drove a Kia Forte, Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Genesis and thought, "Holy shit, this is a Kia (Hyundai)?" I figure the same will happen for WP7. No one will want one, then once they are tired of Apple's walled Garden, carrier restrictions to Android, or they wake up from 2007 and realize that Blackberry's are behind the times, they will try a WP7 phone and might actually like it.
I know its a long post but I just caught you up on everything in the last 60 days in the mobile world. Basically nothing exciting happened except the Galaxy Tab (carrier subsidized and expensive as hell unlocked and unsubsidized) and the Playbook (will be too late to the market to be relevant no matter how good it is). Apple refreshed their iPods and almost all changes were expected. The touch got two cameras both of which are less quality than the iPhone. The shuffle got its buttons from 2008 back (much needed change)and the Nano now looks like a shuffle with a touch screen and 40% of the functionality it had before. No camera, no video just a little iOS looking screen that can be a watch. Probably a good gym iPod but noting more.
Be easy people (for those who do read my nonsense, all 4 of you) and I'll drop some more news after fall CTIA.