T-Mobile G1 Android Smartphone - G for Geek?

It may be just me, but the launch by T-Mobile of the G1, the first consumer Android handset, was surprisingly downbeat.

Perhaps this was down to the number of blog posts who predicted the form factor, look and abilities of this launch device. Spoilt the surprise birthday I guess. Or could it be that this, like the Apple iPhone, is still very much work in progress, and may have been launched purely to be seen to have met an internal deadline.

Well hardware spec wise there is little to shout about, being similar in many ways to the latest HTC devices, especially the Touch Pro and Xperia X1. The software spec is another matter.

The touch UI seems on the surface to be more flexible than Apple’s, yet deficient in all the hardware drivers that many professionals, and music lovers, want.

Bluetooth profiles -only headset, no A2DP, no Bluetooth Keyboard support, no sync support. Push corporate email – someone else can develop that. Document editor, seems you can only read. Synchronise with your desktop – what’s that? This is obviously a very rushed product.

Sure, great play was made of Android’s disputed openness, third party developers and an application eco system. Yet despite of all the apps that could have presented, there was only a how green is your life, and something else less memorable.

Then when the founders of Google mentioned how one of them wrote an app to measure the time between throwing and catching their handset, it all seems to come together. This is a handset for programmers and techies, not for real people whose lives involve doing fun stuff like eating, raising kids, and generally enjoying themselves.

There are of course some cool ideas, especially access to Google’s street view. Also it is at least multi tasking (one over Apple there!).

For the rest of us, it’s just another SIM locked, expensive gadget that will work fantastically well if your into Google applications, email and search, but not at all well if you actually just want a work a day handset that doesn’t need a degree in tinkering.

Thanks, but I’ll stick with the iPhone.

Tinker away after the 22nd of October state side ($179 + $25/$35 per month), UK in November and the rest of Europe in 2009.