Hands On with the G1

I spent some time with the G1 over the weekend and am still a bit underwhelmed. Overall the OS seems very polished compared and compared to my experimental install on the Nokia N810 it’s night and day. Still my view is that Android is far more designed for the power user rather than the mainstream mobile consumer. The user experience will definitely take some getting used to and finding the right way to navigate through screens is something you have to learn rather than simply intuit. T-Mobile has only added myFavs to the OS leaving it to appear otherwise native which is definitely refreshing

The hardware is quite nice. I found the G1 much smaller than I expected actually from the initial photos. It was very comfortable in-hand and the keyboard did not seem too hard to get used to using. I spent less than 15 minutes with the device so this is really a very casual perspective. The screen was very bright and in general the system looks beautiful. There’s a slickness that’s hard to get a feel for without some hands on experience. The manner in which the screen slides out is very slick as well. The arm inside articulates around so the screen pseudo-rotates rather than simply sliding up. When it’s open there’s a very nice click as it settles into position.

I’ve heard one rather interesting detail as well which is that TMO will only have a small window of exclusivity with Android which is pretty disappointing considering how long they waited on 3G. My money’s definitely on other carrier or open Android devices over the G1. I’d expect to see quite a few new Android mobile devices around CES and in market around the same time if not right after.

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