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Second Android-Based Phone Announced

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-call-me dept.

Cellphones 204

Rob Lazzurs writes "The second 'Google phone' has been announced. While this does from the first look seem like a nice device, I know I would miss the keyboard. However, I would expect given the issues with the first device, the question on most G1 users lips will be 'Is the battery life any better?'" Update: 02/17 14:06 GMT by T : Reader Andrew Lim adds a link to CNet UK's hands-on pictures of HTC Magic including pictures of it next to a G1. Also on the upcoming cell phone front, reader Jack Spine writes "Dell is to launch a smartphone, according to AT&T chief Ralph de la Vega. Speaking at a Mobile World Congress panel discussion with Steve Ballmer, de la Vega said 'Dell announced they're entering the smartphone market,' — a bit of a slip, because Dell hasn't, yet." Update: 02/17 16:07 GMT by T : Now, according to Engadget, de la Vega says he was misquoted.

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204 comments

lack of keyboard (5, Insightful)

crimperman (225941) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885727)

Yeah that's a problem. I liked the G! in principle but every time I picked one i felt like it was going to break in minds. This one will by nature feel more solide (less moving parts) but lack of keyboard is a bit of an issue for me.

Not sure about the proprietary headphone jack either

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885901)

Can't you connect a bluetooth keyboard to an Android device?

HCIHID driver (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886669)

In theory, the linux kernel and assorted bluez tools have the necessary drivers and tools to use HCI-HID devices.

In practice, I don't know if this is enabled in Android as sold on official operator-branded locked phones or if you'll be restricted only to hacker-friendly unlocked like those branded by Google (.. which by the way are subsidized by the operator of your choice in Switzerland. Yay!) or the Koolu (a brand which sells FIC FreeRunners with Android installed instead of OpenMoko).

Re:lack of keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26885913)

but every time I picked one i felt like it was going to break in minds

Uri Geller? Is that you?

(the keyboard is a real advantage of the g1. Whatever my next android phone is, it'll have one too)

Re:lack of keyboard (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886011)

I never got this Cellphone Keyboard obsession thing. Even ones with real keyboards they are just good for typing short messages, really small buttons makes it hard to type. At least with the touch screen the keys are actually a bit bigger as you can switch keyboards for what you are typing. But for the most part the type of stuff you need on a smart phone is Point and Click. When you are texting you only write short bursts. The need of a real keyboard isn't that big of a deal, much like people who complained when we went from the Dial phone to the Touch pad. The Dial Phones had great feed back, the feeling of the resistance of the dial, the arch motion your finger was made to do. The feeling it touching the stopper. The sound of it winding up and winding back with the gentile clicks of it puling the number over the line. But still TouchTone Phones took over as they were more efficient, and allowed for future upgrades, in the short term the people switching from Dial to Touchtone were less efficient as they had to hunt down numbers in a different pattern. But in time it picked up. I think the same thing will happen with touch screens. The feeling of pressing the key for a response will not be a major concern in the future.

Re:lack of keyboard (4, Insightful)

limaxray (1292094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886193)

You must not have had to deal with both types of phones for an extended period of time - I said the same thing you did until I got a phone with a real keyboard, and now I will never go back. The novelty of a touch keyboard wears off very quickly when you have to do real work sending emails, managing servers, etc. It's just really nice not to have to actually look at the keyboard.

Re:lack of keyboard (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886567)

It's just really nice not to have to actually look at the keyboard.

I actually stopped looking at my iPhone keyboard while "typing" on it. I look at the output of my typing, of course, as I do while touch typing on a computer.

Which phone has a real keyboard that doesn't suck?

I wouldn't want to do any real work without my Model M keyboard :)

Re:lack of keyboard (2, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886253)

Even ones with real keyboards they are just good for typing short messages, really small buttons makes it hard to type. At least with the touch screen the keys are actually a bit bigger as you can switch keyboards for what you are typing.

I'm with you on that. I'm not convinced by the iPhone for my needs (making calls, SMSs and occasional browsing/email) since if I want to spend much time browsing or typing, I'll use my laptop or desktop machine. The new Android device looks like it might fit my usage a bit better.

My reaction to the first Android phone was that it is so bulky, I would never want it in my pocket.

Incidentally, if I have not misunderstood the pics in TFA, I think it might be a better idea to make the device a non-reflective black colour. The iPhone is just too damn shiny, which highlights the slightest amount of wear and tear, and a silver finish isn't much better. I currently use a Motorola Razr2 V9 which is also excessively shiny on the front, but has a matt finish on the back. For all its slimness, this device has the advantage of being built incredibly strongly, and I suspect it will probably outlast all my friends' iPhones...

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888129)

My reaction to the first Android phone was that it is so bulky

I never understand these statements. I added armor to my phone which considerably bulks it up in addition to protecting it. The bulked up size actually fits my hand. On the other hand, hehe, my G1 fits my wife's hands just about right. And with the added armour, its equally comfortable for her.

Unless you're a teenage girl or have really effeminate, child-like hands, the iPhone and really, the only slightly larger G1, is too small in its native form. I can't tell you how many times I've almost dropped my G1 because it is too small. With the armour added, its just about the right size. Unless you have child sized hands, or are packing it to sneak it into prison, I simply don't understand these comments about smart phone size.

Re:lack of keyboard (3, Insightful)

raitchison (734047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886423)

For people with big hands a touch screen keyboard (at least Apple's implementation of it) is pretty much unusable. Even if you are very accurate with your key presses you fingers will frequently hit another key. When I've used an iPhone I had to resort to typing with my pinky which is pretty awkward.

A well designed physical keyboard (IMO the G1 has one) even if the keys are smaller you can still put the pressure on the key you want to press and it and only it will be pressed. Other physical keyboards, such as those on the Pantech Duo they keys are too flat and they aren't any better than a virtual keyboard.

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886761)

The iPhone will auto-correct for fat fingering, but it takes a while to get used to it (i.e., to stop the reflex delete action). You only actually need to type in the close vicinity of the correct key, and this is not difficult unless you lost your hands in an industrial accident and now have to type with the stub of your arm.

Other solutions involve plastic surgery to create pointier nubs on your thumbs.

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887911)

I never got this Cellphone Keyboard obsession thing. Even ones with real keyboards they are just good for typing short messages, really small buttons makes it hard to type.

I assume you've never actually used one. That "really hard to [type]", keyboard is far more efficient, faster to use, and less error prone than the on-screen variants. And as a bonus, you're not surrendering huge chunks of screen real-estate to support a clunky, non-tactile, error-prone, slow keyboard.

Any smart phone which does not have a real keyboard is deficient IMO. Again, IMO, this is a classic trade off between utilitarian function and stylish fashion. The iPhone is an 8-inch stiletto. The G1 is a running shoe. For some, it's all about function. For others its all about style. To each his own.

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888781)

So glad I am not the only one. I had a Samsung i760 that became problematic for different reasons, but the main reason I ended up returning it for a replacement was because the touch screen went off axis and could not be recalibrated. Without the use of the on screen keyboard, I was forced to use the slide out keyboard and strange as it might sound to some, it cut done my productivity by 70-75%.

Give me a good on screen keyboard and a thinner phone, thanks. BTW - Vito Zoom Board makes the on-screen keyboard infinitely easier to use; I highly recommend looking into it.

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886255)

I didn't think I'd ever like a touchscreen keyboard until my wife got me a Blackberry Storm. It still sucks compared to an IBM keyboard(what doesn't) and I can't type on it without looking at it, but the physical switch screen beats any other phone-sized device I've used. I probably can't type as fast as someone who has been using a regular blackberry for awhile or has a Psion-style fold open keyboard, but after a month I'm typing fast enough for anything I'd do on a phone.

Well. Except for when I screwed up when calculating the mass a hogshead of plutonium would move in an earlier thread, but that's really the screen size, not the keyboard.

While it isn't F/OSS like Android, the dev license is only $20 bucks. So between that and the clickable screen, the Storm has pretty much killed my desire for an Android phone.

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886591)

ditto on the blackberry storm. I'm actually using mine
To type this right now. Its a bit awkward by virtue of being a phone
But I do like the click screen.

Re:lack of keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886691)

It still sucks compared to an IBM keyboard(what doesn't) and I can't type on it without looking at it, but the physical switch screen beats any other phone-sized device I've used.

I too am a fan of the Model M (assume that's what you meant by "IBM keyboard"). I *can* type without looking on my iPhone. It takes some practice, but now I just look at the output of my typing like I do touch-typing on a computer.

Personally I found the Storm's push-to-click screen to be more of hindrance. I'm slower on it because pushing the screen down takes a large amount of time compared to the quick tap that the iPhone keys take. But then I only tried it briefly, maybe with time I would've liked it.

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887951)

I thought the click screen was stupid when I saw it, but while it might be slower than a regular touchscreen, it solves the one thing I hate about them: no key travel.

While other touch phones do allow you to select without activating by activating on finger up or on double tap, I also like that I can't "accidently" click something.

Oh, and being able to cut& paste, as well as select multiple messages by using two fingers(technically it can do multi-touch, just not any of the gestures Apple patented).

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886827)

The mandatory blackberry data plan that most carriers require has pretty much killed my desire for a Blackberry. My G1 unlimited data plan is $25 a month. I got it after switching from Verizon, who wanted me to pay like $50 a month on top of voice for the blackberry plan. I know this is not a big deal for someone using one that a company is paying for, but IMO the G1 is a better consumer smart phone, whereas the blackberry is a great corporate smart phone (especially since it's pretty much the best thing under the sun for exchange in a smart phone).

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887775)

Ouch, you're getting screwed, or I have a very different plan. Did you accidently get the corporate plan, or the tethering plan? My data plan, through Verizon, is only $30.

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

bigdadro (452037) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888653)

I hope T-mobile launches a few more Android based phones and becomes the defacto Android vendor. I've had services with all carriers and so far they have been my favorite. They are cheap, don't lock the phones down as much as Verizon or AT&T and the coverage is decent.

I switched from a Blackberry w/Data Plan on Verizon to a G1 on T-mobile and my phone bill was literally cut in half.

Re:lack of keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886299)

Ok, I saw the video and it shows a keyboard (at around 1:05).

Re:lack of keyboard (4, Informative)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886755)

What the fuck are you talking about? The G1 is the most solid smart phone I've ever had. Dropped this son of a bitch from 5 feet (obviously not on purpose) onto a sidewalk, and it handled it like a champ. Also, the most solid slider I've seen. I also don't get the whole battery complaint. If you leave the GPS and WiFi on, yeah it's going to be a battery hog. But I keep both off unless I need them and I get about 2-3 days of average use (internet and phone) before I have to charge it otherwise. And the fact that it charges through USB just makes it easy for me to charge it when I'm at work (family owned place that doesn't care what I hook up to the computer, lucky me).

If you want to legitimately complain about something about the G1, it's the horrible camera on the phone. The resolution is reasonable for a phone, but the performance on the camera (panning, zooming, focusing, etc) is the worst I've ever seen. Good thing I didn't buy it for the camera.

Re:lack of keyboard (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888909)

I just switched to G1 from iPhone about a week ago, and I had very same problem with it before, in fact discussed here on slashdot with other users why I don't like G1 -- It appeared to be very fragile :) well I was wrong. I am quite like G1 now, and believe it or not qwerty has grown on me. However if a super thin android phone comes out, I'll be all over it. G2 is still not that good looking.

Of course Dell is going to launch a smartphone (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26885733)

Michael Dell is so jealous of Apple that he tries to copy them every chance he gets. Unfortunately for him, he's stuck with Microsoft and Windows.

At least HP are pushing forward, their custom Linux Distro really seems to ooze with style, unlike regular distros which seems bent on either copying the way Windows looks or being stuck in overdone visual crap land.

Re:Of course Dell is going to launch a smartphone (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886291)

Michael Dell is so jealous of Apple that he tries to copy them every chance he gets. Unfortunately for him, he's stuck with Microsoft and Windows.

You do know that Michael Dell uses Ubuntu on three of his five personal computers, no? I don't know what he does with them, though.

Re:Of course Dell is going to launch a smartphone (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886367)

I think the poster meant "he's stuck selling computers with Microsoft Windows".

Re:Of course Dell is going to launch a smartphone (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886917)

Last I checked, Dell sells plenty of systems with Linux as well. So no, he's not stuck selling computers with Microsoft Windows.

Re:Of course Dell is going to launch a smartphone (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887545)

Microsoft is finally losing its grip on computer companies. Finally.

How many does that make? (3, Funny)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885787)

Isn't this something like the third "second Android phone" announced so far?

Re:How many does that make? (4, Funny)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885903)

Isn't this something like the third "second Android phone" announced so far?

Well, you know, they are all still in Beta.

Re:How many does that make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887149)

Well, you know, they are all still in Beta.

As one who has had this phone since it's US release...I will verify that it is still definitely in beta...I "traded up" my blackberry pearl for the full keyboard and open source of the G1...however the random reboots and need to be constantly charging have definitely soured my original optimism towards Android.

Re:How many does that make? (3, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886675)

The 'second' was actually cancelled, and is back on the drawing board.

I know, because I had preordered it. Due to exchange rates, I'm down $10 because of it.

I ended up with a G1 instead. I'm quite happy with it.

Samsung and several others have also announced their intention to create such a phone, and approximate dates of release, but have not showcased the phones.

Until it's on general release I'm not interested. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26885821)

I've selected the best supplier for my usage and I'll be damned if I'm going to change.

Why not develop android for current gen phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26885829)

Wouldn't it be nice to release your Windows Mobile phone into the wild and forego the slow, limited and bloated user "experience"?
One wonders why Google only supports new hardware and not older hardware (eg. the millions of us who are forced to use Windows Mobile)...
 

Re:Why not develop android for current gen phones? (1)

Kentaree (1078787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885883)

(eg. the millions of us who are forced to use Windows Mobile)...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody is being forced to do anything. I use a Windows Mobile based phone out of choice. I'd gladly switch to an Android phone, but I understand nobody is going to make any money out of releasing an OS for a 5 year old phone, so I'll gladly buy a new one.

Re:Why not develop android for current gen phones? (4, Funny)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886007)

Under Slashdot grammatical convention it is acceptable to use the word 'forced' to describe a person's employer assigning them a telephone they don't like.

Also, just to expand, if the digital version of a pop culture movie is released on iTunes exclusively, the convention allows a person to claim he is being 'forced' to use iTunes.

Re:Why not develop android for current gen phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886151)

www.htc.com
2 brand spanking new phones. Wouldn't it be nice to have Android available for those 2?
Or any other phone for that matter that is not near 5 years old. eg. Diamond (the first version), or perhaps the Athena, or Kaiser or any HP or ASUS device or .. ad naseum.

Lots of PR and marketing... one phone looking like dog available in limited areas doesn't make for a competitor.
I am near saying "bullet, meet foot".

Sounds like Apple (2, Funny)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885835)

FTA: "We are paying particular attention to style and design; I'm practically obsessed with it," said Patrick Chomet, global director of terminals for Vodafone Group.

Channeling Steve Jobs?

Also: "If the device hits an anticipated price point of between 99 and 199 euros, Ms Milenesi said it would be pitched at the broader phone market. "With that range of prices, it's not aimed at the same audience as, say, the iPhone, it's looking more at a broader appeal for people."

Hmm, how much cheaper than the iPhone is that really? Will people want to save a few euros and miss out on all the cool Apple vibe that iPhone owners magically acquire?

Re:Sounds like Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886749)

FTA: "We are paying particular attention to style and design; I'm practically obsessed with it," said Patrick Chomet, global director of terminals for Vodafone Group.

Channeling Steve Jobs?

Also: "If the device hits an anticipated price point of between 99 and 199 euros, Ms Milenesi said it would be pitched at the broader phone market. "With that range of prices, it's not aimed at the same audience as, say, the iPhone, it's looking more at a broader appeal for people."

Hmm, how much cheaper than the iPhone is that really? Will people want to save a few euros and miss out on all the cool Apple vibe that iPhone owners magically acquire?

That cool Apple vibe of smugness and pretentiousness?

Waiting for offline navigation software (3, Interesting)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885845)

I'm still using my 4 year old Windows Mobile phone because nobody has yet released offline GPS software. Seriously, most new smartphones have built-in GPS, and nobody thinks about that? Google Maps is not an option because 3G is not available everywhere, and even where it is, it costs way too much. (No, flatrates don't count either, because I wouldn't need one otherwise.)

Same goes for the iPhone. Apple has its market locked up, but Google doesn't - so why are there no decent options?

Re:Waiting for offline navigation software (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886191)

Google intends, and I agree with them, for wireless data access to be much cheaper, much faster, and much more readily available in the next 2-3 years.

Having offline maps is a huge storage consumer. Storage takes space, it takes up energy, and it requires updating. If everyone had to have 4GB of maps stored offline, times tens of millions of customers -- it's a great waste of space.

Google believe in client-server interfaces, as I do, because that IS the future. All we need is for data to get cheaper and more readily available. I travel internationally, constantly, and have 3G access practically everywhere. The BIGGEST problem for Google today is NOT bandwidth but battery. This is the Next Big Thing that Apple, Google, Dell, Sony, and practically every other mobile device manufacturer is chasing: huge battery life increases. Whoever gets there first will destroy the rest. One Ring to Rule Them All.

Sidenote/Off-topic
In the States, I pay about $120 a month for decent 3G access through my Cradlepoint using 2 3G cards for access from 2 providers (yes, I need backup access). In Europe, plusgsm works fine. In Asia, there are a variety of throw-away SIM cards available with decent enough data access in the major cities. So for $250 a month, I am covered internationally and don't need to carry around all the data that I can access quite simply online. I love my G1, and I can't wait for a better, larger-screened model (hint: Apple Newton-like).

For those who think that $250/month for 3G-ish access is ridiculous, consider this: I try to be available for work 12 hours per day, which is 3600 hours per year. I'm paying about 83 cents an hour to be available online. Toss that tiny number against what I charge per hour, and you can see it is a wise investment.

Re:Waiting for offline navigation software (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886301)

Still seems a lot, but I guess you've got roaming charges built in to that.

I get 3GB of 3G data a month for £7
But then I don't use it abroad.

Re:Waiting for offline navigation software (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886531)

I don't think the 2-3 year range is enough for availability. Yes, 3G works in most cities here, but what good is a navigation system that stops working once you get lost in the middle of nowhere?

Also, while $250 per month might be acceptable for you, it's not something the average consumer is willing to pay. Yet, GPS is most usefule in areas where you don't know your way around, i.e. abroad. If I only use it once or twice per year, I wouldn't even pay $25 per month for international roaming (and we're nowhere near that ATM). For the record, my current plan is €6 per month, which includes 25MB of data (and with GPRS only, I don't even use all of that).

Re:Waiting for offline navigation software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887679)

Haven't you ever heard of Nokia?

Nokia S60 phones have wide range of GPS software that work offline. Nokia itself has Nokia MAPS application ( http://europe.nokia.com/maps ) that works both online and offline. If you are offline it uses preloaded maps from phones memory or from memory card. You can load these maps in your PC and then put them on the phone.

Other good software working in S60 is Wayfinder ( http://www.wayfinder.com/ ). Just go on to Google to find much more software for the S60.

Re:Waiting for offline navigation software (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887817)

Garmin-Asus demonstrated both the nuvifone G60 and nuvifone M20 at MWC. Perhaps you'd be interested in these.

Re:Waiting for offline navigation software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887865)

I think you should look into the Garmin XT products [garmin.com] . All you need is a WinMo smartphone with GPS and a microSD card slot.

Need a keyboard? (4, Interesting)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885891)

Am I the last person on Earth to use a phone as - I don't know - a god damn phone?

Re:Need a keyboard? (4, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886197)

Nope. But you're probably one of the few remaining people who haven't updated their definition of "phone" yet. ;)

Re:Need a keyboard? (2, Informative)

FrozenFOXX (1048276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886279)

Am I the last person on Earth to use a phone as - I don't know - a god damn phone?

Nope, I use my G1 as a phone quite regularly. However, I see it more as a "communications device," rather than a phone.

I must admit, I've not had any problems with the battery life on the G1, especially after the last update or two (got mine with a rooted phone). Even with regular, fairly heavy (but not overly punishing) use I can go for over 24 hours without a charge which puts it between the iPhone and the BlackBerry Curve.

Re:Need a keyboard? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886369)

No.

Incidentally, I used to use a recording of an old '60s British Post Office phone for my ringtone, but I got so much stick from the kids who had never heard a phone with a real bell, I gave it up...

Re:Need a keyboard? (2, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886371)

I have always been a firm believer in the concept that cell phones are for placing and receiving phone calls. The term is used erroneously in the case of the G1. The G1 is NOT a cell phone. It is an Internet Enabled PDA based on Linux and FOSS software that is also capable of placing and receiving cell calls. It is a COMPUTER. I can write software for it, and even modify the OS itself. To compare a G1 to any cell phone, including the iPhone, is to compare Apples to Androids.

Re:Need a keyboard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887517)

Do Androids dream of organic Apples?

Re:Need a keyboard? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886403)

As I imagine, everyone uses their smart phones as "just a god damn phone," as well as doing plenty else with it.

I really don't understand people and their problems with smartphones -- if you don't like it, don't use it. :\ No one's forcing you to use one.

Basic "smart" features often lacking (4, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886997)

I really don't understand people and their problems with smartphones -- if you don't like it, don't use it. :\ No one's forcing you to use one.

I agree, although it is frustrating when you get a device with tons of functions but terrible reception. Great reception is a fundamental phone feature.

I also think there are things that "smart phones" could do to be smarter AS phones. For instance:

  • Have a "knock first" mode: callers hear "I'm busy or asleep - press one to ring me anyway if it's an emergency, otherwise leave a message."
  • Have built-in, onscreen, location-aware, always-cached phone book search. If there's anything a phone needs internet for, that's first.
  • Automatically sync your contacts to your computer via Wi-Fi when you walk in range of your home network.

SOME phones have SOME of these features, but stuff like this should be basic to any phone that's supposed to be "smart." Let it be a great phone before you make it a camera and a computer and a bagel slicer.

Re:Basic "smart" features often lacking (1, Informative)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887271)

Well, the G1 has two of those three things you want, there. :D

The first one seems to be something that's more of a carrier thing, though.

Re:Basic "smart" features often lacking (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888039)

# Automatically sync your contacts to your computer via Wi-Fi when you walk in range of your home network.

That's exactly what I need, a potential vector for invasion into my phone.

I like my smartish iPhone, but when syncing i'd rather be in bluetooth class II range, or use a usb sync cable.

Re:Basic "smart" features often lacking (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888633)

That's exactly what I need, a potential vector for invasion into my phone.

Why does it have to be a security risk? I'm not talking about syncing executables, just contacts. Let it be a CSV file.

Besides, I said your home network. Don't you secure it?

No, we just got sick and tired... (2, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886407)

...of pointing people to the myriad of mobile phones out there that -are- nothing but a phone because the response, invariably, is:
- but I do still want it to carry WiFi?
- but it doesn't have a color screen?
- can I can't run custom apps on it?
- does it have a bluetooth?
and so forth and so on.

If you really, really, really want a mobile phone that is 'just a mobile phone' plus the stuff you do want, just get one that does all that -and more-... and use your willpower to NOT use the parts you don't want to use*

I know, it's hard to resist the shiny once it's in your hands.

(* the only exception being workplaces that outright ban camera phones - luckily for those people, there are also a myriad of devices that do indeed have everything-but-a-camera, some of them even targeted especially at this particular audience.)

Re:Need a keyboard? (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887365)

I'm not sure, but I know people probably old enough to be your parents who know what SMS is for. It's not their fault that you're nailed to your porch, shouting at kids to get off your lawn.

Two simple truths: Voice is not always the most efficient means of communication (especially in, say, a concert) and Only other cranky luddites are impressed by your whining. You can always count on ANY mobile phone story to be full of people crying about how a phone isn't a phone any more. There are plenty of cheap, crappy, featureless phones for you - so get off my lawn, already.

yay moderation trolls are back (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887735)

Guess what? You could perhaps mod the above comment flamebait, although it isn't really; but a troll is when someone expresses an opinion they don't actually hold in order to elicit a desired response. If slashdot's moderation system isn't actually going to be fixed, maybe a "report abuse" button is in order. It would be overused, but so is moderation.

Re:Need a keyboard? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887449)

Am I the last person on Earth to use a phone as - I don't know - a god damn phone?

Do you have a problem with doing more with a device you're already paying a monthly fee for?

Re:Need a keyboard? (2, Informative)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887759)

The are plenty of phones you can buy which don't do anything other than phone and write texts. They often have great battery life and cost as little as $30 unlocked.
I use a Nokia 1110i and it has been all I needed. But I still understand why people might want something more.

What is it with the SVG clocks? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26885939)

Does every dashboard / plasmoid / widget set need to have an SVG clock as it's be all end all feature? From Opera's pansy user-scriptable language, to Plasma (KDE 4), to Windows 7, to that computer named after a fruit all I see is SVG clocks. And you know what I think of when I see a large, round object with two hands across it? Goatse.

Re:What is it with the SVG clocks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886091)

And you know what I think of when I see a large, round object with two hands across it? Goatse.

You might be suffering from PTSD

Re:What is it with the SVG clocks? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886465)

"And you know what I think of when I see a large, round object with two hands across it? Goatse."

To be fair, you should point out that you also think of goatse on a regular basis, for no other reason than good old fashioned perversion. Anybody that thinks that the Analog clock is the be all end all feature of the G1 certainly isn't thinking about actually finding out anything about the G1. For example, many people might think that Google Maps in Street View, with the accelerometer changing your view position as you move is a bit cooler than the clock application. Personally, I like to log into my Linux box from the middle of the woods to check on a build using the connectbot. A lot of people would consider that to be slightly more cool than an Analog clock as well.

Re:What is it with the SVG clocks? (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888065)

Because it's called Scalable Vector Graphics for a reason.

Widgets are popular right now, and having a graphics format that you can generally enlarge as much as you want without loosing much quality tends to help there, especially on large screens...

Bacefook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886013)

Does it come with a glossy Facebook icon on the main screen to make it appeal to the 'cool kids'?

More specs here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886093)

Some more details have emerged... [androidcommunity.com]

The HTC Magic is based on the Qualcomm MSM7201a chipset running at 528MHz. It has quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dualband HSPA/WCDMA (900/2100MHz) for up to 7.2Mbps downlink and 2Mbps uplink speeds, network depending. In addition there's WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and HTC's own ExtUSB port which incorporates both a USB 2.0 connection and an audio jack (with an included adapter to use standard 3.5mm headsets).

Other specs include GPS - which works with Android's Google Maps and Street View - and a compass, plus a trackball with an enter button. All the usual Android apps are onboard, with the Magic having 512MB ROM and 192MB RAM. The smartphone measures 113 x 55 13.65mm and weighs 118.5g.

As for availability, the Vodafone HTC Magic will initially be available in Germany, Spain and the UK, as well as non-exclusively in Italy, and with the SFR network in France. No known pricing as yet, but given the nature of the European cellphone market we won't be surprised to see it free with a new contract.

Even with the new Android touch screen keyboard [android.com] , the lack of physical buttons kinda sucks, IMO. Must make the phone cheaper tho.

multi-touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26886139)

Is it multi-touch? Or has the Evil Apple Overlord stopped that too? Boycott Apple! Buy open source products!

Still no standard 3.5mm headphone jack (2, Informative)

nkohler (18012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886461)

I refuse to carry around a "dongle" to be able to use a good set of IEMs.

Re:Still no standard 3.5mm headphone jack (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887025)

Exactly -- just hook up the dongle to your IEM's, and forget about it. Then, you're not carrying around a dongle with your phone, you're just carrying around your phone and your IEM's (which already have a dongle on them).

You have to carry them around anyway -- an additional 3 inches of dongle shouldn't matter to you, should it?

Re:Still no standard 3.5mm headphone jack (1)

JohnAllison (838880) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887853)

But don't forget the second dongle if you want to charge your phone, and use a wired head set!

This is going to get oh so close to the charging regulation discussion from last night.

Re:Still no standard 3.5mm headphone jack (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888359)

Not familiar with that discussion. :P

My experience with smartphones is that pretty much _all_ of them use a standard mini-type USB connector to recharge -- something I always have plugged into my computer for use with tons of other stuff, anyway.

No headphone jack (1)

Ren.Tamek (898017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886503)

Hidden at the bottom of the article:

The HTC Magic has a proprietary headphone jack, and so will not accept many standard headphones.

No thanks, i'll wait for one with proper connectors.

Re:No headphone jack (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886959)

HTC is the largest manufacture of smartphones, and they use an extended mini-USB B connector for headsets. So this is all not surprising. You will need to wait for an android phone not developed by HTC, or more likely for somebody to finish one of the ongoing unofficial android ports to existing phones.

O/T I know, but damn that picture gallery (1)

donkeyb (965462) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886619)

I can't stand it when a page can't do a simple slide show correctly. Why does a site like cnet.com design a screen gallery so badly that the entire page has to reload to show the next picture?

openmoko (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26886649)

freerunner can also run android, soon you will be able to buy one w/ android preinstalled

http://www.sdgsystems.com/ [sdgsystems.com]

plus, the hardware is completely open

Using Android on other HTC devices? (1)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887121)

It might be a long time before there is a 'real' Google phone on 850MHz, so I wonder what the status is of using Android on other phones? Has Android been ported to some of the other HTC phones? Does it work well, or is it just for hackers?

Ideally I would like something that supported both 850 and 2100MHz for 3G.

Re:Using Android on other HTC devices? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887211)

Android's been ported to quite a bit of other phones, though it is just for hackers now.

*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26887137)

Back to sleep. Wake me up when a company other than HTC (the close-but-no-cigar specialists) makes an Android phone.

Low specs (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887195)

If HTC were to release a version of the Touch Pro2 [htc.com] running android, it would make it all worth while. I might even upgrade from my Trinity.

Proprietary headphone jack, nuff said... (2, Insightful)

rtilghman (736281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26887597)

It's funny how the lack of one of the most basic features can drastically undermine the appeal of a whole device...

-rt

Re:Proprietary headphone jack, nuff said... (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888339)

As a G1 owner, I concur.

It was probably the easiest thing of all to include.

But, HTC has a good market selling headphone adapters.

It was a boneheaded thing to do. Can't compete with the iphone on that front.

Cupcake, will include the bluetooth a2dp profile for stereo headsets like my plantronics 815.

if they ever release it. T-Mobile included.

what i want in a phone (1)

steak (145650) | more than 5 years ago | (#26888581)

something similar to an iphone with a slide out keyboard and the pointer from a blackberry storm.

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