Sometimes you can get caught up in the moment and, with hype all around you, can pick up the wrong spectacles – rose tinted ones. Through such lenses things look a little different. Alas, that’s exactly what’s happened with the first UK-based Android offspring, T-Mobile’s G1.When we got our first, brief handson with the handset back in September, we were smitten. Giving it 5/6 we thought it would find fans in both consumers and business users alike. We certainly weren’t wrong but we weren’t quite as right as we normally are.A month and a bit later, having lived with the G1 for a bit longer, the cracks in the relationship have started to appear.
Our review handset was black but we found the casing and keypad smelt a bit rubbery. Those with less sensitive – or inquisitive – noses will probably be able to overlook this aspect with ease. Some of the other aesthetics are not so easily overlooked, however. The 3.2in, 320 x 480 screen, for example, while more than ample in size, was very prone to smudge marks making it look less pleasing to the eye and getting in the way of camera and browsing action. One possible reason for its penchant for sticky fingers could be the fact that endless prodding of the screen when it goes into energy-saving screen darkness does nothing. That said, we have to commend the G1 on its highly-responsive touch screen. We liked it a lot.
We also found the handset – which at 158g is fairly hefty - quite weighty in the hand and slightly chunky with its 1.7cm girth, although sometimes you have to sacrifice dinkyness if you want a workhorse device. Using the ‘hard’ navigational keys below the screen proved to be a mixed blessing experience-wise. While the home, menu and back keys made life easier in terms of finding our way around what the phone has to offer, the track ball was irksome and felt a bit like rough – almost sandpaper esque.