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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default G1 Post-Facto - Battery (lack of) Life.

EDIT - I was breaking the rules! I'll make a big long post and hope I'm in guidelines. These are from a blog, so I apologize if the context is a bit off. Anyway, enjoy.

[Crossposted from HERE.]

It’s been two full days since I adopted Andrea the Android (that’s right) and things have been truly wonderful in our enchanting, though complicated, relationship thus far. If you’ll listen, I’d like to tell you about them. If I made a seven page post, no one would read it. So I’m going to go ahead and break them down into multi-post chunks. Let’s begin, shall we?

First off, the battery life is garbage. Let’s just go ahead and get that out of the way. All the tweets, reviews, and blog posts you’re reading about it are completely true. Day one, I had e-mail active sync and 3g enabled all day. After a solid 3 hours of high use (as to be expected), I was looking at 20% and a “plug me in!” warning. In it’s defense, I really didn’t give the phone a moment to gasp for air, as I was too busy frantically scanning every barcode in my house and testing Shazam’s accuracy with 80s hair metal. After reading some guides and other user’s experiences, I began the tweaking to increase my battery life tenfold.
  • Decrease brightness to about 10%. The screen still looks gorgeous, even outside.
  • Change backlighting to 30 seconds. Not sure how big of a factor this one was, but I’m sure it helped.
  • Turn syncing off on all options. I don’t use these features exclusively anyway.
  • Enable 2G networks only. I get perfect 3G signal from my apartment and work building, but this is by and large the lead culprit in the molestation of the battery.
With 14 hours of medium/moderate use, I had 48% battery left on the grid at 10:00pm. This is an astonishing change from the day prior and from what most users are reporting. It is worth noting, however, that I did calibrate the battery the night before. I used the phone until it died and refused to boot up and gave it a 9 hour charge. It’s hard to say how much good it did in conjunction with my previous tweaks, but something must have gone right.

Now, just sitting in my pocket on standby, the phone uses about 1-2% an hour as opposed to around 5-8%. As noted earlier, enabling 3G causes the phone to bounce between that and EDGE while in standby, which is certainly the leading factor in battery drain.

I’m quite a happy camper now, as my G1 is still at 95% as we speak after two and a half hours of constant text messaging my girlfriend about why Godzilla shoots lasers rather than fire. Stay tuned for further updates throughout the day. Next, let’s go ahead and tackle the rest of the hardware.

How’s your battery holding up? What tweaks have you done to increase your battery life?

-Trevor Smith.

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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good reviews. If you want, you can use spoiler bbcodes to hide them individually. Would be a perfect use! [ Hide ] a review here [ /hide ] minus the spaces. Try it out!
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Old October 26th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default G1 Post-Facto - Hardware, au'pair

[Crossposted from HERE]

The design of the HTC G1 has been quite a controversy for the past couple of months. We saw spy shots, speculation, and plenty of iPhone comparisons. They made some bold choices with the hardware, like using a capacitive touch screen and a nonstandard headphone jack which have thrown many early adopters off the bandwagon. It features a slide out QWERTY keyboard and a trackball, unlike the ďwe-hate-buttonsĒ iPhone. Are they in the same league? Is the G1 a terrible first platform for Android to make its mothership? Absolutely not.

The first point of notice on the G1 for first time onlookers is the angled chin piece. Sporting five buttons and a trackball, it sticks out just a tad below the touchscreen. Some users are reporting that it gets in the way when typing on the keyboard, but Iíve found it to be a positive element rather than a negative one. It serves as a gripping point for your hand while your thumbs do all the work from the bottom. If itís in the way, youíre probably holding it in the most uncomfortable way possible.

Speaking of the keyboard, talk about a learning curve. The buttons are almost flush with the panel they sit on and offer little to no feedback when pressed. Theyíre quite small and completely covered by your thumb when typing something up. Itís a bit of a strange setup, but works surprisingly well with a few hours of practice. The backlighting looks gorgeous on the black model. Say goodbye to the clickity-clacking of your blackberry, because these keys are as silent as they come. Again, a positive or negative if youíre looking for feedback from the buttons. Continue reading after the break.

At just about 158 grams, itís not the lightest phone in the world. The back of the phone is slightly rubberized, so the weight of the phone feels like more of a stability increase than a brick-like flaw. Itís fits in your hand perfectly and doesnít slide around as you might imagine from a phone with so much plastic. The sliding mechanism feels solid and can be popped open briskly, or slowly pushed into place. When closed, it stays put and doesnít flop around when shifted.

The camera is one of the biggest points of misery on the HTC G1. It doesnít offer a flash, and photos need to be in near perfect lighting to turn out decent.

Hereís a snapshot of directly below my apartment from the balcony. Itís a bright day outside and Iím aiming at the ground from three floors up.





Not bad, right? This is my office using nothing but the ambient light from the window.





As you can see, itís definitely not as sharp as youíd think. You can focus by holding down the button halfway prior to taking the picture, but unfortunately, it doesnít help much.

Aside from that, the G1 is a beautiful phone as long as youíre looking at it in person. Itís one of the most unphotogenic pieces of hardware Iíve ever come across and hardly looks any better in a hands-on video. The matte finish on the phone never looks right in pictures, but looks polished and classy in your hand. The minimalist concept comes over nicely with such a beautiful screen. Colors are bright, blacks are dark, and the backlighting is all business, baby.

I love the design of the G1 and couldnít be happier from an owners standpoint. As a reviewer, itís hard not to get frustrated with the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack, but we can see where HTC is coming from.

Overall, itís a fantastic piece of hardware that we look forward to working with.

Next, weíll tackle the most important piece of the whole sha-bang. Googleís Android platform.

What do you think of the HTC G1ís design? Love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments. We pay cash-money for each one.


-Trevor Smith.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default G1 Post-Facto - Is This the (An)Droid I Was Looking For?

[Crossposted from HERE]

Google Android. What a step in the right direction. An inconsistent user interface, slow-loading applications, and a thirst for battery power. Android is touted as a ground breaking mobile OS thatís going to change the game. Again. The open sourcey goodness is attracting developers by the flock to create some of the most useful, and novel, applications weíve ever seen. Overall, the platform is absolutely astonishing. Letís make like Vanilla Ice and break it down, shall we?


Right out of the gate, I just want to say that the interface isnít that bad. Itís inconsistent, sure, but thatís really the beauty of it. Before we branch off into the dissection of the animal, I just want to stress how much of a stepping stone this operating system is. The interface being less than stellar somewhat conveys the emotion that youíre on a living, breathing project rather than a completely polished phone manufactured by a corporate giant. This is something for the people. One mans complaint is another mans opportunity to plug the hole. Every time I find something to bitch about, I canít help but think ďHey! Someone could do something really cool with this!Ē And thatís what the user interface really comes down to in my eyes. Itís an empty canvas. Continue reading after the break.

Out of the box, youíre actually more limited than you might think. You canít save photos from an SMS, set a song you bought as a ringtone, or have separate volumes for alerts vs. ringtones. One of the things that really made Android shine on day one was a little app called Rings Extended. This bypasses first party options and allows you to send any music file as an alert or ringtone. I was frustrated that I couldnít set the song I bought on Amazon as a ringtone (Rick Astley, for those wondering) so I took a little trip to the app store. Rings Extended allowed me to do exactly what I wanted. Quite a plus!


The browser was described as choppy by many early review sites, but I would disagree entirely. The only time itís choppy is when the page is still loading. Unlike the iPhone, you can scroll through the page while it loads. You can have multiple windows, bookmarks, the works. Pretty standard, really, but we canít help but pray that Fennec is ported by some divine miracle.

The Market is quite run of the mill, to be honest with you. You have the option to choose to browse applications, games, or things youíve already downloaded. Once you select an application, you can read other userís reviews and a brief explanation of what youíre downloading. If youíve made it this far, you know that itís the apps that are going to push this platform where it needs to go. Thereís quite a few handy apps out already, but not enough (as expected) to compete with the iPhone just yet.




Really, there isnít much else to talk about aside from how firm we believe in the project. This is a platform for the geeks, not the common man. If youíre Joe the Plumber (irresistible), a soccer mom, or John McCain, thereís no reason for you to have the slightest interest in this phone. People that can appreciate the guts of it all are the ones who are going to push this past the iPhone. Weíre on the brink of a mobile OS war as average Joe developers are brought into the limelight. At this point, thereís no point in developing for a close minded platform when Android is right around the corner with open arms and a warm smile.

We like to think that Google is fully committed to this project, ultimately, making it impossible to fail. If the community doesnít adopt it, Google will gladly step in. The investment of their Android Developer Challenge shows their pledge to pushing Android until the end. Theyíre putting the power in the hands of the people, for now. Weíll see how the whole thing plays out, but weíre excited to be a part of it. Hats off, Open Handset Alliance.

Overall, Android is off to a great start. We have no qualms about its current state and canít wait until the community turns it into something even more spectacular.


-Trevor Smith
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Old October 26th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If youíre Joe the Plumber (irresistible), a soccer mom, or John McCain, thereís no reason for you to have the slightest interest in this phone.

Huh? I thought that libs needed everything preloaded, with no bugs or errors included. Everything under tight control under a higher authority, including the battery. Having to be dependent on others to create apps for them and then pay for it from the ITunes god.

The Android is a right wingers phone. A person full of creativity and the belief that today's effort will be worth the wait down the long road. Ask me how I know this.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gewgluvr View Post
If youíre Joe the Plumber (irresistible), a soccer mom, or John McCain, thereís no reason for you to have the slightest interest in this phone.

Huh? I thought that libs needed everything preloaded, with no bugs or errors included. Everything under tight control under a higher authority, including the battery. Having to be dependent on others to create apps for them and then pay for it from the ITunes god.

The Android is a right wingers phone. A person full of creativity and the belief that today's effort will be worth the wait down the long road. Ask me how I know this.
Hi gewgluvr,

My point was that the customization is (or will be) so high and in-depth that the technology would be wasted for an average Joe. Your run-of-the-mill phone shopper has much better alternatives than a smart phone with an open operating system.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gewgluvr View Post
If youíre Joe the Plumber (irresistible), a soccer mom, or John McCain, thereís no reason for you to have the slightest interest in this phone.

Huh? I thought that libs needed everything preloaded, with no bugs or errors included. Everything under tight control under a higher authority, including the battery. Having to be dependent on others to create apps for them and then pay for it from the ITunes god.

The Android is a right wingers phone. A person full of creativity and the belief that today's effort will be worth the wait down the long road. Ask me how I know this.
I think you've got it backwards.

Republicans are conservatives, the party of keeping things the way they are. Tradition, Tradition, Tradition.

Democrats are liberals, the party of change. Progress, Progress, Progress.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 01:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkzanyj View Post
I think you've got it backwards.

Republicans are conservatives, the party of keeping things the way they are. Tradition, Tradition, Tradition.

Democrats are liberals, the party of change. Progress, Progress, Progress.
Democrats are liberals, the party of fairness. Control, Control, Control.

Quoting gewgluvr who was right on - Huh? I thought that libs needed everything preloaded, with no bugs or errors included. Everything under tight control under a higher authority, including the battery. Having to be dependent on others to create apps for them and then pay for it from the ITunes god.

The Android is a right wingers phone. A person full of creativity and the belief that today's effort will be worth the wait down the long road.

Alright I'm not trying to start a flame, just goofing around.
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Last edited by Dan Ro; October 31st, 2008 at 03:52 PM. Reason: added more
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