Thursday, November 06, 2008

I like my Gphone

I've seen a rfew reviews of the iPhone that basically acknowledge its coolness as a platform and a data window, but question its value as a phone. Many people come down on both sides of the fence, but the reviews I've seen generally fuss about dropped calls and the like, saying it's a great device, but an okay phone.

The Google phone (AKA HTC Dream, AKA the Android OS, AKA the Open Handset Alliance) is pretty nifty and generally succeeds as a phone.

Let me talk about the Dialer/contacts list app. It has four tabs at the top: Dialer, Call Log, Contacts, and Favorites. The actual phone dialer itself is straightforward: you press the button, you get the number Like virtually every cell phone, it's not a live dial pad in the sense that you can edit your number before you call in case you fat-finger it.

Call Log has all outgoing/incoming/missed together together, with handy icons in white and blue/green/red to catch the eye. If you're worried about not being able to ferret out your missed called amidst a sea of completed calls, worry not- missed calls are shunted to a "notification" section, so I an easily quickly check all new missed calls since the last time I checked.

Contacts sync with Gmail contacts pretty easily. I've had a few snags where I need to force a sync from my phone or touch a contact in Gmail so it would know to sync, but generally it's pretty good. I also had a huge kerfluffle when I accidentally imported hundreds of useless old contacts into Gmail, so be careful if you go that route. I'm also not happy with iSync's unwillingness to sync to Google unless I bought an iPhone.. but there are ways around everything.

The Favorites tab is particularly well-implemented. Star any contact, and it shows up in Favorites as well as in Gmail as "Starred in Android." It also is pretty smart about keeping frequently-contacted numbers automatically as part of favorites. I'll see how things change in the coming weeks as my dialing habits change.

Nutshell? I got a smart phone.

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