Walt Mossberg has tested Google’s GPhone and concludes that Apple needs to watch its back. Meanwhile, Research in Motion who?
I have been testing the G1 extensively, in multiple cities and in multiple scenarios. In general, I like it and consider it a worthy competitor to the iPhone… But the two devices have different strengths and weaknesses, and are likely to attract different types of users.
If you’ve been lusting after the iPhone’s functionality, but didn’t like its virtual keyboard or its user interface or its U.S. carrier, AT&T, the G1 may be just the ticket for you. But it does have some significant downsides.
Mossberg’s GPhone positives:
- Keyboard. Keys too flat and weird bulge in body, but at least there’s a keyboard.
- Removable battery.
- Expandable memory.
- Cheaper. Phone $179 vs. Apple $199, Data plan $25 vs $30.
- Equally slick software.
- Better “desktop.”
- Higher-res camera.
- Much easier to make telephone calls. Imagine that.
- Key features that Apple bizarrely still omits: cut-and-paste, MMS,
- Ability to legally unlock and go to another carrier (with fat fee)
- Longer-lasting battery. A whole day. Imagine that.
- Slightly longer talk time. (5 hours, 19 minutes more)
- Wicked cool compass that orients you on map.
Mossberg’s G1 downsides:
- Chunky brick. 20% heavier, 30% thicker.
- Puny memory. 1 gig, one eighth of iPhone.
- Only 128 mg memory for third-party apps.
- Too much lock-in with Google services (contacts, calendar)
- No Microsoft Exchange support
- Can’t sync with PC or Mac
- Overall, interface inferior (no two-finger zoom magic)
- No onscreen keyboard, so have to use bulky external keyboard.
- Weak music player, no video player
- T-Mobile network coverage sucks.
See Also: G1 Phone Nice But Hardly Disruptive