Drawbacks of the T-Mobile G2

I believe in getting my money’s worth. That’s why after owning a Blackberry Curve for three plus years, the v/? key no longer worked, the trackball was unreliable and calls were being dropped constantly.
Still, I was a happy Blackberry user and despite the touchscreen smartphone explosion, I knew I needed a phone that supported a writer’s lifestyle first and foremost. The power of Google’s Android phone’s were seductive but anyone with an iPhone can tell you, those touchscreens are a pain to type anything more than a quick email with. A keyboard was a necessity. That’s why when I got wind of T-Mobile’s G2 releasing, I was all over it. Shortly after purchasing the Android OS phone back in December (an early Xmas gift), I touted it as a great smartphone for writers.

Two months later, I stand behind that statement. Writers need a device that helps them access vast amounts of information so they can get inspired and immediately churn out prose. With 4G speeds, a world of Android Market apps and a slide out keyboard, the G2 delivers that and more. However, it remains a Near Device, and has a few nagging drawbacks that should really be non-issues at this point.

Battery Life

When it come’s to touchscreen smartphones, forget what you hear about power management-that screen is killing your battery from the moment you unplug it from the charger. Each time you check, the time, facebook or email it acts like a battery vampire. The T-Mobile G2 is no different. Which means if you’re hoping to play Angry Birds, listen to music and browse the web, you’d better have a charger handy because the G2 likely won’t make it far past lunch.

Copy and Paste

These functions are the powerhouse of digital editing. A smartphone that doesn’t have copy and paste functions is like an apartment without electrical outlets. The G2 does have copy and paste functionality but it isn’t universal across applications, particularly with Gmail and Email on the phone. Seeing as how the G2 is a google phone, no support for C P; in Gmail just seems unacceptable. It’s also the reason I still don’t have a signature for emails sent from my handset. I’ve typed that info at the bottom of my email once. Why must I do it again and again?

WIFI Connectivity

WIFI is another battery vampire so the G2 has a factory set function that turns off your WIFI connection when the phone is idle. Pretty useful. Except when you’re ready to start surfing the net again, the G2 does not reengage your WIFI settings. You’re back on whatever cell tower signal you’re in reach of. The problem is well documented and lamented by many Android users in fact. From all of my tests, there is no fidelity as to when the connection will drop. It drops in idle mode whether content is downloading or not. Other times it stays connected for no clear reason at all. Most times though, you need to manually turn of WIFI and turn it back on to reconnect. It’s a serious bug in functionality that’s in desperate need of a firmware upgrade.

Google Brower Tabs

The G2’s native browser allows simultaneous pages similar to the tab function on a desktop. However, once you get going, following ideas across web pages, you’ll find that you quickly reach the browser limit of 10 pages. I’m not sure there should ever be a open window limit but if there is, 10 seems to be on the low side for a phone with over 1 GB of local space plus whatever you’ve got going on the microSD card.

All in all, the T-mobile G2 is an amazing device, far superior to what I was used to with the Curve 8320. Though the inane drawbacks like those listed here make me wonder if HTC/Google care much about what they are putting out on the market. And why do we as consumers allow folks like Steve Jobs to tell us we’re holding the phone wrong?