28 December 2008

Two Thumbs Up Unless You Lied To The Mafia and They Cut One Off

I have a few requests I need to get out of the way.

First, I want to thank those who heard my plea about a friend who needed a place to stay down in So. California. Things will work out. Moral of the story: Nobody owes you a living but when somebody promises it to you and instead doesn't come through and even more so, you discover they do drugs and hope you will join them? You should bash them on the head with a shovel and run for the hills. Or go on Jerry Springer.

If that makes no sense, then consider yourself blessed. I'm so glad we had this talk.

Second, someone asked me if I'd review the new G1 phone. The incomparable author, actor, and comedian, Mr. Stephen Fry did an amazing review here on his website. Mr Fry is on twitter which led me to his review. He compared the G1 to the other big phones on the market (BB Storm, BB Bold). He did an excellent job. I may not do as well.

I stink at reviews and all the technobabble out there therefore, I'll give you my review of the G1 Google Android Phone in layman's terms.

Are you ready? Gird your loins...

The G1 is an open source phone.

G1 is the model.

The phone hardware itself was made by HTC which I've heard make very good phones. As long as I don't get an ear tumor or die from lead cell phone poisoning, I'm happy.

Google is the branding.

T-Mobile is the phone company you need to sign up for to get one of these babies, at least for now.


Android is the open source software. What is open source? Wikipedia states:

"Open source is an approach to design, development, and distribution offering practical accessibility to a product's source (goods and knowledge)."

Basically, if you are a developer you can make applications for the phone and you won't get sued. It also means that many other cell phone providers will most likely be coming out with their version in the Android phone.

Maybe there is more to it than that but I'm speaking layman's terms here and I'm about to blow a gray-matter rod if I go into more detail.

I ordered the brown color because I am sure when Mr Coffee decides to get one, he will want the black. Now they offer this in white. I would have given my right arm for one in red, but they didn't offer one.

The brown is a muddy-brown, flat color that looks cool. This is what counts. The phone is a little longer than an iPhone, but not as wide. I never liked the delicate feel of the iPhone...but I've never liked iPhones anyway. The G1 has a good solid feel and weight in my hand.

When you activate your phone, since the G1 is still exclusively T-Mobile, T-Mobile requires linking to your google accounts (gmail). I changed out my sim card from my RAZR and with a quick call they switched it all over for me right there on the phone.

If you don't have a gmail address, welcome to email heaven because gmail rocks. Once you sign up or use your existing gmail account, it will download your contacts with a simple sync.

You're good to go.

You can get other mail with mail apps. Gmail is fairly easy. Needs a bulk delete function but I digress. The calendar does not work with google's calendar or outlook yet, but it has the alarms and schedules in the calendar, etc..etc.. the usual. I use my calendar a lot.

Contacts also have a place for addresses so you can easily use the touch screen to look up an address, email, phone or send txt message. I love the integration between apps, maps, and contacts. Google Maps is amazing, seeing pictures of a street view right on your phone.

If that makes no sense, go to google maps and look up street view and satellite view. I like looking down on the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. I'm a map geek like that.

The caller's gmail address can be added to your phone contacts. You can also select a ring tone or picture for your contact. The gmail photo your contact has chosen will automatically display. I think photo id for incoming calls is a universal cell feature for most phones nowadays. The phone has a screen lock and a drag and drop 'desktop' for apps you love.

The screen's orientation adjusts depending on whether or not the key board is popped out/extended. It has a full QWERTY keyboard which is lovely for texting and emailing.

Translation: Regular keyboard but very tiny. Heh, good luck if you have really fat fingers.

I've found the backlit keys a little hard to read sometimes. I do like that it also has a tiny roller ball that clicks for navigating and works along with the touch screen. I have a plastic film over the top of the screen to protect it and the touch screen still responds well. It also allows cut/paste.

I need a fancy schmancy cover for the whole phone.

The G1 phone has a 3.2 megapixel camera. I would like it more if it was able to zoom or had a flash but it takes good pictures. The phone gives the option of viewing or sending the photos via text or gmail. The phone is not video capable although you can watch videos on the youtube app without issue.

The apps I've used regularly are GPS, maps, notepad, imeem, making my own ringtones, mp3 player, Shazaam, and Compare Everywhere.

Since I regularly beat people with my Bible I thought it best to have a translation on my phone that could work in a pinch. I'm even more thankful my phone is durable to administer said beating when I didn't have the good Book on my person..say when I'm clubbing, hiring a hooker, or at the track betting on a horse.

As for other valuable applications, there are new ones coming out daily. There is always an app for that. I'm still finding out new things the phone can do. Lots of applications to be had. I recently downloaded notepad right on my phone.

Downside:
There is only one small usb-ish outlet for headphones, charger, computer/file transfer, etc. etc... I have yet to buy a bluetooth, but it is bluetooth capable. I can charge the phone completely in one hour and if I don't use the internet or chat a lot, I can have it on standby for several days. It is also Wi-Fi capable, along with the 3g network. This means nothing to me because I'm the equivalent of a Short Bus Student when it comes to all that jargon. I just know that Wi-Fi drains the mother out of my battery, so I usually keep it off. I also keep the auto-sync feature off for gmail, contacts, etc... I hate remembering to charge my battery.

I do love my phone and I'm pretty easy going about things, however....

1) The volume toggle is on the side and I end up bumping it all the time. I get called and I then I can't hear it. The phone doesn't give a "ring w/vibrate" option or even ring settings, just the toggle. Perhaps an app is being made even as we speak. *I've been told there are many apps that take care of ring setting options.

2) My GPS shows that I live on the freeway and yes, I understand this is not a phone issue but a cell provider issue. The GPS will indicate properly once I start driving. No one will visit me on the freeway.

3) It's a single core processor, so no using maps or reading email while talking on the phone. They'll make a more powerful one, I'm sure but for now, I love my phone.



~Bee's got review skilz, yo.
 Listening to: Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations

12 comments:

Ian said...

HA! I'm FIRST! Put that in yer pipes and smoke it, yo!

Janie said...

Sounds like a pretty cool phone, YO!

And I'm second. Maybe.

Aphrodite said...

Fancy. I'm embarrassingly far behind. Still haven't programmed my RAZR.

Utah Savage said...

And I have a land line.

... Paige said...

Well that was nice, but what does it mean? And just what is this text-ting you mentioned?

Any who glad you enjoyed your Christmas crafting with the kids, next time maybe you should let them eat the glue first. And try coloring, I heard that was really simple and fun.

Happy New Year

Foo said...

While you're about the business of definitions, here's one for you:

Irony - the condition of working for a software company that despises Microsoft and yet prohibits its developers from utilizing open source libraries or tools because it's legal department mis-interprets the Gnu Public License to mean any products developed using said tools would be required to be given away for free.

Bee Repartee said...

Foo,
touché, touché....

paige,
even if you don't have an internet ready phone, you can send a txt to google and google will reply with an answer. It's free! More here.

utah savage,
it IS a win/curse kind of thing, this cell phone.

aphrodite,
If it wasn't for my old RAZR taking a dive, I wouldn't have upgraded, but this thing does everything, so it seems.

janie,
still getting used to it.

ian,
yeah, yeah, rah rah. :) PS. Thx for all your help earlier.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh I want one. My phone is so last week. In fact it's kind of last year. It doesn't even have a camera. Great review Bee. I would have to get a black one too as I might mistake the brown one for chocolate and eat it and that would probably be bad.

The Rev. said...

Bee's got all sorts of skillz, yo-
;)

Rebecca said...

I am not even worthy to comment. All I have is a Go Phone.

James, now, he has an Iphone. I hate that thing because he's always playing with it. It is cool, though.

The only reason he has it is because it's a work phone.

Clare said...

Wow it sounds like a fantastic phone. I don't know if it's available over here yet but my phone is crap and I hate it.
Anyway I hope all is well with you and you have a great New Year.

Jaina said...

That sounds like a pretty cool phone. I'm still on a Razor, but it works for me. I only use it for calls and texting.

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