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G1 on cover of Consumer Reports
Our favorite smartphone is featured in CR's January 2009 report on "Cell phones and services." The G1 along with the iPhone 3G are recommended as "Best choices for multimedia use." CR tested 22 smartphones (a few are what we might call feature phones). The high scorer is the Samsung Blackjack II (69) with the G1 and iPhone in the middle of the pack (61) with very good scores on everything except listening voice quality.
As is usually the case with CR, one can take issue with their priorities and test methods. I will just note that they primarily looked at voice quality, ease of use, talk time and PDA features. The G1 was knocked for some things that should be coming soon such as Exchange support, document editing and video capture.
A few excerpts:
The new G1 smart phone from T-Mobile, the so-called Google phone, has landed with a splash. If you're choosing a cell phone, we're recommending it, along with Apple's iPhone 3G, as our best choices in smart phones built more for play than work. Both phones have a 3-inch-plus touch screen that allows you to easily use such multimedia functions as the Web browser and music and video players.
A high-scoring phone loaded with intriguing features and capabilities, though not for corporate users.
...large 3.2-inch touch screen and trackball, with a spacious slide-out keyboard, and a fine MP3 player. It has intuitive navigation and easy access to all its main functions, and is among the top for HTML Web browsing via Wi-Fi. It offers direct downloads from its online sources, Android Market and Amazon MP3, for music, applications, services, and games. Google's Android open source operating system is supposed to make it easier to create new applications. The G1 also has an on-screen status bar that alerts you and takes you to new messages, upcoming appointments, and other items that need your attention. Very good e-mail readability and attachment capabilities. Mac compatible. Very good voice quality when talking. Adequate 6 hours of talk time. A good mixture of controls and features for making and taking calls. Good display and keypad readability under most lighting conditions. Can be used internationally.
Can't create and edit documents. Lacks corporate e-mail support--a rarity among smart phones. ...lacks automatic rerouting, audible turn-by-turn directions, and other advanced capabilities, limiting its usefulness while driving. Fair voice quality when listening. Doesn't include PIM software for your computer. Lacks single-key, last-number redial, standard headset connector and adapter, and hard copy of users manual. Auto answer doesn't work with headset. Camera lacks a flash, and doesn't record video. Doesn't have preset text messages. Can't create custom preset text messages. Ringer is not easy to mute.