After 2 weeks of endless frustration, I finally returned my G1 today to the T-Mobile store in Rosedale. Several tech review blogs, T-Mobile's G1 forums and even the Android community are all reporting various problems with over half of the G1s out there, and mine was definitely one of the bad ones.
Starting with the most common problem: POP3 and IMAP email relay. As in, it doesn't work. I stopped getting my business emails over a week ago and, while doing a soft reset by pulling and replacing the battery would fix the problem for a few hours, I still wasn't able to manage my email accounts from my phone. Not receiving work emails on my mobile presents a huge problem for me, as I'm sure it would for most people.
Randomly, the sound and/or vibrate on my alarm wouldn't work. No major disasters occurred, since I don't start my workday too terribly early, but for someone else that could mean a job reprimand or a missed flight.
This is more of a gripe, but the G1's camera wasn't impressive. There's a fairly long delay (maybe 4 seconds, which is kind of a long time when you want to snap something quick) and the picture quality wasn't anything to write home about.
My Gmail didn't work on the G1, which I found just perplexing. I had a pretty much constant connection error message for the last 6 days. The help forums I read and the tech rep I spoke to offered a couple of suggestions--again with the quick fix battery reset--but nothing remedied the problem.
The browser stopped working a few days ago, and I would just get another form of connection error message there. The application I downloaded that required daily information retrieval from the internet also stopped working and, again, gave me another type of connection error message.
The last two problems were most likely related to the fact that the 3G network just plain isn't there. I could pick it up sporadically but, more often than not, there was just no signal to be had anywhere in Minneapolis. This is the number one problem I've heard in talking to my friends who have also bought the G1; where's this 3G everyone keeps talking about? Again, kind of pointless to have a phone with so much capability, yet can't deliver on what it promises to do.
I understand that when a piece of technology is mass-produced, there are going to be some bad bananas in the bunch. But each of the 4 people I know who have this phone are having one or all of the above issues with it. I'm just lucky mine started acting up within the first 2 weeks and I was still able to return it. My friends were not so fortunate.
Fully functional, the G1 would be a cool-ass phone. I'm bummed out that I can't use it and pretty disappointed that it was released with so many widespread problems. When the next generation comes out, I'll definitely consider trying the technology again, but for now, it's back to my beloved BlackBerry. I picked out a red Curve today and, though the EDGE network seems a bit slower than the 3G when it was working, at least I have an immediate and reliable line to my email accounts. Also, the camera and video camera take damn good pictures.