For the first time in my history of buying cell phones I decided not to pay the early adopter tax and just waited until the phone I wanted, the G2, became free with a contract extension. That happened this month, and I’ve had the phone in my hand since Monday. I’m definitely glad I waited, though, because if I’d paid $150+ for it I’d be quite disappointed.
Firstly, the notification light is hidden behind the touch button at the bottom center of the phone; the only indication you have a message is a barely-visible faint white glow that slowly pulses on and off. There is a multicolor LED up near the top of the phone, but as far as I can tell it only indicates when it’s charging. Supposedly this problem will be fixed with the 2.3 Gingerbread update, but I’m shocked.
Second, the accelerometer is touchy and likes to rotate the phone into horizontal orientation if I hold it at any angle that’s not perpendicular to the ground. Or, the homescreen will be in one orientation but applications I launch will be in rotated orientation. This is frustrating for obvious reasons.
Third, even though the G2 runs pretty much a stock Android build, Google has decided to include many applications I am not interested in having – and you can’t remove them. Finance and PhotoBucket both run as services on my phone, both auto-respawn when killed by a task manager, and both cannot be removed.
Finally, though, the most frustrating thing: the audio quality. Call quality is great, but listening to music is painful. My G1 had higher quality audio, I’m pretty sure. Pandora sounds tinny and distant even with high-quality streaming enabled (Pandora One) and full bars of HSPA+; it sounded much better on my G1 and sounds great on my stereo at home so I am inclined to believe the issue is with the phone itself. I have a nice pair of Sony noise-canceling headphones, but can’t tell the difference between them and the bundled mini-earbuds that came with the phone. That’s a problem.
I do like that the phone is very fast, has a lot of storage space and a standard headphone connector. I do like that I can give it up to a 32GB microSDXC card and load it up with media for when I ride the bus. I rather like the Swype input panel, in fact I use it more than the hard keyboard at this point, and the hard keyboard was a major selling point for me. But, based on these shortcomings I’ve outlined here, I can’t really recommend it to anyone else. I’ll probably keep it for a year, and go back to paying the early adopter tax on the next generation of phones when they come out.