Sunday, February 13, 2011

Smartphonegeddon, Day 2

The T-Mobile G2 stayed a scant 24 hours at Casa Beebe before the wife boxed it up and took it back to the T-Mobile store from which it came. We payed a $10 restocking fee to exchange it for a white MyTouch 4G (mine is the red/maroon version).

We took it back because the 2G was so bad for my wife. I'll list a few of the issue she discovered using the phone.

  1. My wife has arthritis, especially in her hands. She and I originally decided she would get better use out of the G2's keyboard because she's become something of a texting fiend, a skill she honed on her prior phone, the LG dLite. Unfortunately, it turned out that the keys were too stiff for her to use for long periods; it actually hurt her hands. It seemed silly to use the G2's screen keyboard; after all, she bought the G2 for its supposedly superior mechanical keyboard.
  2. We could not get the G2 to recognize and use our home WiFi router. We've got a Cisco/Linksys E3000. Every other device in this house (her Macbook, one daughter's Samsung running Windows 7, the second daughter's MacBook Pro, my Dell, my iPod Touch 2G, my brand new MyTouch 4g, my old-and-busted Wii with a positively ancient Linksys WUSB11 USB adapter, an LG BD570 Blu-ray player... you get the picture) finds and uses the router with no problems. Not so the G2. To add insult to injury, the G2 found and used two open hotspots near our home (a Firehouse Subs and the local Barnes and Noble) just like my G4.
  3. According to Engadget, the version of Android on the G2 (version 2.2, "Froyo") is "Android the way Google intended it". This is apparently a Good Thing. My wife and I beg to differ. Compared to the version of Android delivered on the G4, the G2 Android version seems sparse and limited, especially when comparing the same applications. After receiving her G4, it only took several hours of use before my wife pronounced the G4 as "wonderful" and a considerably better experience than the G2.
  4. That mechanical keyboard again... It wouldn't stay open. It was a bit stiff to open and had a tendency to flop close too easily. After a time, it too tended to be a frustrating experience.
Overall, our user experience with the G2 was much inferior to the MyTouch G4, which is all the more remarkable considering that (a) both were manufactured by HTC and (b) both come stock with essentially the same base version of Android (2.2 for the G2, 2.2.1 for the G4). I'm sure that these handsets came from different teams within HTC. Don't people communicate with one another at HTC? Isn't there someone on staff who's responsible for maintaining a consistent user experience across the handsets?
    One last observation. We were told that all sales were final. We understood that. However, we were also told by the salesman who sold us everything on Friday that if we had a problem with the handset to make sure we came in and took care of it on Saturday. That led us to believe we could exchange the handsets if they turned out to have any issues, especially with regards to my wife. It was a rather open statement to make at the time. When we went in to day to exchange the G2 for the G4, we faced some resistance at the T-Mobile store to get my wife the right smartphone for her. We weren't asking for a complete refund, but the right phone. I consider the $10 stocking fee to be something of a slap in the face, considering all that we got on Friday. Whatever... All is right, and my wife is extremely happy with the G4.

    1 comment:

    1. I'm something of a smartphone enthusiast and I have to disagree with you about the interface.

      Technically both phones are running the Android version 2.2 froyo. The difference is that the G2 is using stock froyo, while HTC put their own Espresso Sense UI on top of the stock 2.2 interface. I have used Android since the version that came out on the G1, and I can tell you it has come ages from that point. I have actually begun to prefer stock to customized.

      I guess in the end it comes down to personal preference. I often find using custom OEM interfaces to be cumbersome and bloated. As you will be using the phone for the next 2 years though, I agree that you need something that works for you.

      Myself, I would much prefer the aesthetics and system of the G2 to the MyTouch 4g, but to each their own. I also understand how the lack of working wifi would be an absolute deal breaker, as would uncomfortable use of the device.

      I enjoy your blog. Keep it up.

      ReplyDelete

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