So, I had the chance to play with the new “Google Phone” today. I have to say that I like it. I found no differences in functionality between it and an iphone. The one thing that I could not get to work in under 10 minutes of playing was to get my A2DP headset to play music. It did however, work fine for making and taking phone calls.
The phone feels very solid, unlike the iphone which feels very cheap to me. I think if I dropped this phone, it would be fine, but who knows — maybe it just feels that way. The keyboard is extremely nice. It is tactile and responsive. You can see from the video below that I do not have little fingers. So you can imagine the touch screen keyboard on the iphone becomes the bain of my existance when I am forced to type on it. The touchscreen on the phone is quite nice. It is also responsive and fast. I had no complaints there. The inclusion of the track-ball-mouse is something I really liked as well. I really do not like touch screens for a number of reasons — I cant see what I am clicking on half the time when its small. The mouse is more accurate.
The music player that is built in is functional and works well. It shows album art and has basic playback functionality we expect on a portable music player. The phone supports miniSD cards. I think a 1 gig card was included with this phone, but i may be wrong there. Regardless, the infinite expandability is very nice. miniSD is cheap too. The GPS feature seems to work great (at least in New York City). It provided me nice directions based on my location for free. This is a biggy. I installed a weather app which worked well and some simple games. All worked well also.
Other than the above, I found the marketplace to be a bit barren, but I suppose that is to be expected on day one of a new product. There were some nice apps, including the stated weather apps, some multimedia players and games. I like the ability to have background apps running and copy/paste is a nice option too. In general, the operating system feels solid. For a launch product, I must say – I am impressed. If this is what a “beta” is like, I am very anxious to see what is in-store for the future. I will likely get one of these when they become available on AT&T as I do not feel like switching providers at this point.