YouTube clips took quite a while to load via 3G, and quality wasn't the greatest. Though images and audio were synchronised, it was blurry -- but then again we were watching low-res versions since we were on T-Mobile's network instead of on Wi-Fi.
The 3.2-megapixel camera beats the iPhone's 2-megapixel camera, but you can't record video. Worse, there are no camera settings, such as white balance, effects and shooting modes. And taking pictures was a challenge. You have to have a steady hand to get a clear shot, as the slightest movement will result in a blurry image. We took about ten or 12 pictures before we could get a satisfactory shot, and by the end, we were frustrated. Picture quality was mediocre -- objects on the outside had sharp definition but they got soft in the middle. The images also had a yellowish hue.
Call quality was good and we enjoyed good sound with minimal background noise, though audio was blown out when we set volume to the highest level. Unfortunately, the speakerphone wasn't as pristine. On our end, the voices sounded tinny and garbled at times; meanwhile, our callers said that we sounded far away.
We were impressed by the snappy responsiveness during our testing period, and were happy not to experience any system freezes or crashes. The T-Mobile G1 has a rated talk time of 5 hours and up to 5 days of standby time. On an average day of using the phone, Web, GPS and multimedia applications, we noticed that the battery life dropped anywhere from 40 to 50 per cent.
Despite our complaints, we did come away impressed with the Google Android operating system. There's huge potential for the G1 (and any Android devices that follow) to become powerful minicomputers as developers create more applications for the open platform.
But still, the G1 doesn't quite offer the mass appeal and ease of use as the iPhone, so it won't be a good fit for someone making the jump from a regular mobile to their first smart phone. Power business users also might want to hold off until more corporate support and productivity applications are added. We'd say the T-Mobile G1 is best-suited for early adopters and gadget hounds who love tinkering around and modding their devices.
Edited by Kent German
Additional editing by Marian Smith