The G1 is an interesting device from smartphone maker HTC. Here are five things about it that are really cool.
1. Capacitive touch screen: The G1 has a capacitive touch screen just as the iPhone does. This means it is very responsive when you touch it. It also has haptic feedback, to let you know you've performed certain actions.
2. Easy-to-Use Interface: The user interface was intuitive at first blush, and didn't leave you wondering, "Why did they do that?" The layout was easy to understand, and simply made sense.
3. Great Google (NSDQ: GOOG) services integration: Seriously, it couldn't be any more tightly knit together. Gmail, Google Map with Street View, Google Search, YouTube, and others are built into the UI and work great.
4. Having a keyboard: I like my iPhone, but typing on it can be a serious pain. The G1 has a real, physical keyboard for typing out e-mails, instant messages, and test messages.
5. Upgradability: The Android UI is open source, and can be upgraded and added to over time. Google, T-Mobile, and HTC pretty much promised as much.
Stay tuned for five things not to like about the G1.
Android and the HTC G1 aren't perfect. In fact, there are some glaring flaws. Here are five of them.
1. The hardware. Sorry, HTC, but the G1 feels cheap. I understand that what we saw today were preproduction units, but the phones felt thrown together. The plastics weren't high quality and the trackball didn't work all the time.
2. The camera. The G1 may have a 3-megapixel camera with autofocus, but it doesn't have a flash, nor a vanity mirror. It also is a bit slow, and the images I took with it were not of the highest caliber.
3. The keyboard. QWERTY keyboards on smartphones are a funny thing. Some are great, and some stink. The G1's keyboard falls in the middle. The buttons are small, flat, and don't have a lot of travel and feedback to let you know that you've pressed them. The keyboard will take some getting used to for most people.
4. No headphone jack. This is something HTC needs to deal with on more phones than just the G1. The G1 does not have a 2.5-mm or 3.5-mm headset jack. That means you have to use a USB adapter if you want listen to music. I have to ask, why bother including a media player at all if you're going to make it a hassle to use headphones. What's worse, the G1 doesn't support stereo Bluetooth (yet), so the adapter is your only choice. Get with the program, HTC, and figure out how to put 3.5-mm headset jacks onto your devices.
5. No PC syncing. I get it. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) believes in the cloud, and nowhere is that more evident than with the G1. There is no desktop syncing client available for the G1. That means if you want to sync your contacts, calendars, etc., you have to do it all through the Internet. While this functionality is a large part of the G1's premise, there are those who are going to want to have more control and sync directly from their computer.