As a management consultant who travels almost weekly, I was eagerly looking forward to having mobile email and internet and urged by my wife to get this phone when it came out. However, after nearly two years with this phone, I can't wait for my contract to be up. As an early adopter of the T-mobile G1, I have definitely felt all the downsides of a first generation product.
- Physical keyboard is handy for texting and surfing the web.
- GPS and turn-by-turn navigation is free and helpful.
- Phone has good integration with Google email, calendar and other apps.
- Everything (startup time, apps, navigation, camera) on this phone is extremely sloooooow.
- Software is buggy and phone shuts down unexpectedly at times.
- Battery life is abysmal, the worst on any phone ever. You will need to charge several times per day, particularly if you use Bluetooth or surf the web.
- Syncing of music and other files is primitive compared to iphone/ipod and itunes.
- Lack of standard headphone jack is really annoying when traveling (and you want to listen to music and charge the phone at the same time).
I have a long-time friend who I met recently after many months and lo and behold he had only recently gotten his first smart phone, also a T-mobile G1, and it had even worse problems than mine. After asking him what he was thinking (he definitely should have asked me for my opinion!), I told him to make sure the software was at least up-to-date and that I wished him luck. My friend has a pretty laid-back lifestyle so he likes to crack jokes about the phone matching his pace. He is also more likely to see the phone's flaws as endearing "idiosyncrasies".
I still have a few months left on my contract but given how slow and buggy this phone is, I took out the SIM card and put it in one of the T-mobile "to-go" phones from Walmart. I am paying an extra $25 per month for the G1 service, but anything at this point is better than using this phone.
Recommendation: Don't Buy! Get a smartphone that works or a regular phone and 3G ipad (for mobile email and internet).