At launch, the HTC Dream G1 – AKA "The Google Phone" – was the hottest gadget since the iPhone. With dual input methods; a 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen, qwerty keyboard (plus a trackball) the phone becomes very easy to use no matter what method you prefer. On the other hand, trying to please everyone isn’t always the right approach.
The HTC G1 lacks the sharp edges of other handsets, and sits nicely in your hand. The touch screen is the same type as the iPhone, one that reacts to your fingers (no stylus needed). Android in the G1 is easy on the user, with three start-up screens that you can easily scroll between and add shortcuts to apps you use often. At the bottom of the screen sits a small tab that can be pulled back to show all of the menus.
The Google Phone moniker is of course not lifted from thin air – the first thing the phone ask for is access to your Google Account, then it integrates seamlessly with Gmail, Google Calendar, your Google Contacts and Google Maps.
One of the few compulsory features in this highly customizable phone is the upper status line that alerts you of anything new. It can also be pulled down to display even more information. This gives you a good overview of what’s happening with your phone.
The biggest overall advantages with Android is that it is really fast, can be tailored to your liking, and that it is extremely logical and simple. It’s hard to find any major drawbacks at all with Android, it seems competent and will only continue to grow.
G1 Hardware and Features
The HTC G1 is a highly competent 3G handset with a lot of features like Bluetooth 2.0, touch screen, qwerty keyboard and more, but it could have been better in some areas. A regular 3.5-millimeter headphone jack would have been is not present, for example, and the 3.2-megapixel camera is similar to the one in the Iphone, i.e. not so good. The biggest drawback, however, is the battery life – the G1 is fun to play around with, but with Wi-Fi turned on and playing some games or music it dies fairly quickly.
On the positive side, the keyboard is great, and the built-in tiny trackball is often put to good use. In some circumstances it’s much easier to use the trackball instead of the touch screen. The touch screen is perhaps not the best screen in direct sunlight but it reacts precisely and is a lot better than some older variants.