Monday, June 01, 2009


i finally did it, took the plunge and invested in a g1 (a pair of them, actually).

a couple of months ago, i kinda decided it was time to upgrade us to some smart phones. the most obvious choice was, of course, the iphone. in fact, i was pretty much sold on it from all the hype. like many, the 2 year contract was scaring me away. we have stuck with cincinnati bell for our wireless for like 8 years, ironically because they don't have contracts. also, i learned that a new, better iphone was slated to be released just a few months a way. so, we waited.

while we where waiting, i checked out some other phones. i almost went with the nokia 5800 "exclusively" at cincinnati bell. this was attractive because there was no contract. in the end, i thought better of it because a) cincinnati bell was going to charge me more for it because i wasn't a new customer (whatever logic that is) and b) i have slowly gotten more disgusted with cincinnati bell over the past few years (even more so in the past few months) that i thought it might feel therapeutic to give them my walking papers. that's a topic for another post.

on another random iphone googleing, i came across a phone that seemed to be the first to give the iphone a run for its money. there are/where many touch screen smart phones that have come and gone, but none seem to be a match for the iphone until the G1: a touch screen smart phone powered by google. i was intrigued.

articles like this one really made the case for the g1. and, some of the drawbacks are no longer an issue, like the limit of 8gigs of storage: i just added a 16gig to mine for a cool $40. and the price: down from $180 i got mine for $140 and waived activation through this discount. amazon has it for under $100 (but then you have to pay an activation fee of $35).

the hardware keyboard and trackball more then make up for the lack of multitouch for me, but then i found a way to 'unlock' multitouch in the g1 making it a non issue. turns out, the g1 does have the capability but it is deactivated by the official firmware due to the lame apple patent. it took a little digging, but i was able to turn it back on (but just for the web browser, for now).

monthly, t-mobile is a little cheaper, but not much. however, that same discount up there gets you 10% off the monthly fees as well (that site doesn't have a discount for att). one big plus for att, at least in this area, t-mobile's 3g network ain't here yet. their standard edge seems to work ok, and wifi is always nice.

all of this was neat, but i kinda put the whole thing on the back burner as matt didn't seem to thrilled about the idea at all a month ago, so i let it go. then like last week, all the sudden, he starts talking about wanting a g1. i guess i bugged him enough about it back then that the seeds started sprouting in his head.

looking back it was kind of a whrilwind since he mentioned it on tuesday of this past week; wendesday we went to the t-mobile store to check it out, then ending up ordering 2 of them online that night; and they arrived at my door friday afternoon. to be fair, we checked out the iphone once more that same day, but side-by-side, playing with both there was no contest. the g1 is just amazing.

i was sold on the totally awesome streetview compass mode. when you use the built-in google maps app and switch to street view and turn on compass mode, you can just move the phone around you and it moves the street view like you are standing there on the road looking around. it's no holodeck, but still pretty darn cool.

to sweeten the deal, all my google info still lives with google. so my email and contacts is fully accessible to me on the g1, but if i loose my phone or something it is still online.

the last bit i will mention is apps. there are tons of apps, and quite many are free. the ones that aren't are usually under $1 or maybe $5. so far i haven't purchased any and am keeping very busy with the free ones. i have spent hours a day finding more cool stuff to add to my phone, like twidriod, meebo, a wifi scanner, android arcade, caller id look up (automatically flags telemarketers) to name a few.

i was afraid i might run into some buyer's remorse (that is what the trial period is for), but after these first 3 days i don't see that happening. i am not going to say the g1 is better then the iphone for two reasons: the main reason is i never owned an iphone and i don't think anyone can make a claim like that for either phone with out owning both for some time, and the other reason is phones are very subjective. whatever i value in a phone might not be what you value. for me, g1 seems to be a better fit over the iphone. check it out, you might find it to be a better match for you as well :)