"It's been a little more than a year since Google Android was announced and rumors of a little device called the HTC Dream started to leak onto the Web.
We think it's fair to say that the Dream stirred up as much anticipation and hype as the Apple iPhone, not only because it would be the first smartphone to run Google's mobile platform but also because of the potential to overtake Apple's darling.
(Hey, like it or not, the iPhone set a new bar for handset design and convergence, and serves as a sort of benchmark for touch-screen smartphones these days.)
On September 23, the world was officially introduced to the HTC Dream, now known as the T-Mobile G1, and the initial reaction ranged from "That's it?" to "I have to have it!"
Unfortunately, we fell more into the "That's it?" camp. The G1 definitely offers some functionality the original iPhone and the current iPhone 3G do not, including copy-and-paste capabilities, multimedia messaging, a better camera, and Google Street View.
However, there are some serious design flaws and at this time, the G1 does not support stereo Bluetooth, Microsoft Exchange, or video recording. While these features may (and probably will be) added in the future, we feel like HTC, Google, and T-Mobile had the opportunity to really come out swinging and raise the bar, but didn't take full advantage of the opportunity.
Despite these complaints, we did come away impressed with the Google Android operating system. There's huge potential for the G1 (and any Android devices after it) to become powerful minicomputers as developers create more applications for the open platform. Right now, there are only about 35 apps in the store, so we feel the G1 is a bit limited.
The T-Mobile G1 is manufactured by HTC and has a similar look and feel to the company's other Pocket PC smartphones, such as the T-Mobile Wing and the Sprint Mogul. Measuring 4.6 inches tall by 2.1 inches wide by 0.6 inch deep and weighing 5.6 ounces, the G1 is definitely not the sleekest device, and we certainly wouldn't call it sexy.
Instead, the words "interesting" and "weird" come to mind. This is mostly because the bottom section of the phone juts out at a slight angle. We asked HTC about this design decision but have yet to hear from them as of press time. Presumably, it's to get the phone's speaker closer to your mouth, which isn't a bad thing but consequently, it affects the ergonomics of the keyboard, which we'll touch on later. In a battle of pure looks, the iPhone would win hands down." (Continued via CNN.com, Bonnie Cha and Nicole Lee) [Ergonomics Resources]