The first mobile phone with Google's Android OS has finally launched and the T-Mobile G1 seems to have caused quite a stir, but we're not sure it got the reception that Google and T-Mobile hoped for, as there seems to be a lot more negative news about it than positive news.
So let's try to sum things up: first of all, the device itself is disappointing, as it lacks several features that people expected to see, such as AD2P Bluetooth support, a standardized headphone jack (it's using an HTC extUSB connector) and multi-touch display. Other letdowns include the camera which might be a 3.1Megapixel unit, but as it lacks auto focus and flash, it's almost as sad as the 2Megapixel camera on the iPhone, but the fact that it currently can't record video is a major bummer.
The G1 supports 7.2Mbit HSDPA, 2Mbit HSUPA, WiFi and it does, of course, have a built-in GPS and even an accelerometer, although there's little software support for the latter at the moment. In other words, it's a half-way house, and although this is hopefully just the first of a slew of devices, we would've hoped for something of a more "finished" product before the launch.
On the software side, things like the lack of a desktop sync application ares going to be a major downside for some users, along with the fact that you can only use one Google account per device seems outright stupid. The supplied media player only supports WMV video, unless you're streaming video from YouTube, that is.
Then there's the super tight Google integration, as the G1 doesn't offer Exchange support, which means that not a single corporate user would touch it. It makes you wonder who Google and T-Mobile are targeting with the G1, as it's not exactly the best looking Smartphone out there, either, although we wouldn't go as far as calling it ugly; but considering that it only retails for US$20 (€14/£11) less than the 8GB iPhone, we can't really see it hitting a home run with the consumer crowd, either.
Overall, it seems like Google put too much confidence in the developer community and no matter how considerate this is of Google in its attempt to create an open platform, we have a feeling that future devices will be needing a lot more substance before Android will become a real contender to the iPhone or even Windows Mobile and any of the other more established mobile phone platforms.