Does it stay or does it go?

October 29, 2008
The T-Mobile G1 phone

Source: flickr

Last week, my phone broke.

It was tragic, but overdue. I purchased it for $20 from Target about three years ago. I have a tendency to drop things (understatement of the year) so it was covered in nicks, the case was cracked and the “9” button worked 20% of the time.

Oddly, this malfunction happened on the launch of the fabled G1 phone. So I hightailed it over to the local T-Mobile store to see the holy phone — and then buy yet another $20 phone.

Having read the mixed online reviews, I had fairly low expectations for the G1. I played around with the zoom function, used the browser, tried a few apps and made a call to check the phone clarity. Eh, it was fine.

But somehow, 20 minutes later, I was on the way home with my very own G1. I’m not sure how it happened. One minute, I was ambivalent and the next minute, I was downloading the shopper function to compare prices.

So here I am: owner of a G1 phone with essentially a two-week trial period. At the end of the two weeks, I keep it or I pay the $10 restocking fee and downgrade to my quasi-disposable phone.

Which begs the question: Does it stay or does it go?

Pros:

  • The applications currently are free
    • One of the apps, “CompareEverywhere,” allows you to compare other stores’ prices. I love comparison shopping. I’m totally the girl at Target right now, walking up and down the aisles scanning every product. Guess I shouldn’t have worn my red shirt and khaki pants today…
    • Another app is a translator featuring most common languages
    • Google maps and Gmail work wonderfully
  • The music/audio quality is better than I thought it would be (and I like the imeem and YouTube app).
  • The 3G network is pretty impressive in the Twin Cities area (however, the sales rep mentioned that this network doesn’t extend to all major metro areas)
  • While the GPS isn’t perfect (it’s typically within three blocks), I like that I can find where I’m physically at with a quick map check

Cons:

  • It’s not sexy. There is no flash or panache with this phone. it’s a bit awkward at first glance.
  • It’s heavy. It’s not a lightweight phone that slips easily in the pocket (several people noted that I should count this as a “pro” as it’s less likely to break – thanks for the vote of confidence).
  • There’s no multi-touch and the zoom buttons are a bit slow
  • You can’t push Exchange Server (corporate) email directly through the phone (but I’m guessing a software upgrade or app will take care of that in the near future)
  • You have to use the provided earpiece, it doesn’t connect to a typical headset OR to my Honda Fit’s hookup.
  • It’s a beast for the battery. Yesterday, I drained it by 7 p.m.

So let’s vote: