Damn... I read somewhere that the G1 had a glass screen, though here it's mentioned as being plastic...? Is that certain?If it is plastic -- will it be as responsive with a screen protector?
Hands-on with the T-Mobile G1 Android smartphone
We still have a month to wait before the T-Mobile G1 Android-based smartphone is available in the UK, but we had the opportunity for some hands-on time earlier today at the mobile operator’s Winter Showcase event.
We sat down with T-Mobile’s Head of Internet and Entertainment, Richard Warmsley, who gave us a demo of the G1’s key features – watch the video, see a photo gallery and read our first impressions of the smartphone.
Available in both black and white, the G1 is much more compact and a lot more pocketable than we first imagined after seeing the official photos a couple of weeks ago. It feels solid and well-made, though the all-plastic case feels – unsurprisingly – plasticky, and not quite in the same league as the iPhone or BlackBerry Bold.
Rather than slide up on mere runners, like on the HTC TyTN II and Touch Pro (HTC is the manufacturer of the G1), the G1’s screen is mounted on a pivot that causes it to sweep outwards in a small arc with the push of a finger. This is certainly a nifty design touch, but it looks and feels like an unnecessary gimmick, and more than a little reminiscent of the screen mechanism on the Sidekick (which is surely no coincidence given that Android was developed by Andy Rubin, who also created the Sidekick…).
Although it’s touch-sensitive, the G1’s screen has none of the ‘give’ found on Windows Mobile smartphones
and while the surface is plastic rather than glass, which is hardly surprising given that it's glass, rather than plastic (as confirmed by HTC). It uses a capacitative touch-sensor too, so you need to prod it with a fingertip rather than a stylus, and it actually feels pretty close to the iPhone’s Multi-Touch panel. Better still, the Android interface is extremely responsive (even when multi-tasking) and dragging a web page around with a fingertip feels much the same as with Safari on the iPhone.
We didn’t delve into the user interface too deeply, but the overall impression is that Android is far closer to the slick and intuitive iPhone interface than the inconsistent mess of Windows Mobile. And that’s a good thing, obviously.
While T-Mobile is pushing it as big feature (and a key differentiator from the iPhone), the G1’s Qwerty keyboard isn’t so hot. The keys are large and well-spaced, but they’re too flat and just don’t feel distinct enough under the finger. This is no doubt something that users will adapt to, but it’s odd that HTC didn’t use something far more tactile – it has excellent keyboards on some of its other smartphones, after all.
We were more than a little sceptical of the T-Mobile G1 and the Android OS, even after seeing the demo videos at the official launch, but we’re much more impressed now that we’ve actually used a handset. It’s far too early to say whether the G1 will be a roaring success, but what we’ve seen so far is much more encouraging than anything Microsoft has done with Windows Mobile, at least in terms of the user experience.
The jury is still out on whether Android and the G1 will eat into the market share of the iPhone, but we suspect that if nothing else, hackers and other hardware enthusiasts will be much more interested in the open source Android than Apple’s tightly controlled operating system. Consumers might be harder to convince, not least because Google and T-Mobile simply don’t have the brand-name clout of Apple, and there’s no other online music store that’s as compelling as the iTunes Music Store. And that silly miniUSB headphone socket won’t help, either…
Still, it’s early days for Android and much can change between now and the T-Mobile G1’s on-sale date. We’ll obviously post a full review once T-Mobile gets a handset to us, but in the meantime, we’re rather impressed by the G1 – and Google’s Android.
© Dennis Publishing
Sorry mates, your wrong its a glass screen, or else it would be metioned in the videos on youtube and on phonedog.comMate, its an awesome phone get a stylus ( not included) and screen protevtor ur on ur way to fun
It doesn't work with a stylus mate -- it's got the same type screen as a iPhone (capacitive, but not multi-touch).I've read that iPhone screen responsiveness is diminshed with a screen protector. If the screen was glass, I wouldn't bother... but if it's plastic... :(
I've just been reading up on this, and, by definition capacitive screens are made of glass, and cannot be made from plastic.I'm beginning to wonder about the credibility of this website. First, mis-information is posted about the G1 not supporting hosted Google Apps, and now this -- stating the screen is made of plastic when it is in fact made of glass.
Editor - Julian Prokaza
HTC has confirmed that the G1 has a glass capacitative touch-screen. I'll blame my poor finger-sense on the strong Mojito that was thrust into my hand just before the demo...
I have ordered mt G1 online alredy and it only gave me the option's of BLACK OR BROWN. I recently discoverd the there is a WHITE G1 aswell. and wondering when is that one going to come out? I have called my customer service, to ask about the white G1. I was RUDELY answered NO!! There is no white G1 coming out. So now i want to know IS it or NOT. I've been seeing alot of white G1's on the internet. Also at T-MOBILE web site's in other cities. I also called on of my T-MOBILE store's here in Mcallen TX, and they said the same thing there is no white G1 coming out and not that we know about! I asked if it did end up coming out few days after oct.22 if i was able to exchange it for the white G1 and there answer was as long if it before the 14 day return policy. i don't think it's fare that there advertising the WHITE G1 and not even be ofering it for purches. if someone can HELP me out with this it would be awsome.. because T-MOBILE is so far not helping me and that's because they work for the company. and if you can please E-MAIL me back with a response
They had problems with the finish chipping on the white ones, they'll be available once that's fixed. Like other HTC devices, even more colors will be released down the road.
TiMobile may not offer the White version now, but Google syas their releasing the phone in 3 colors.http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/27796