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Second Android-Based Phone Announced 204

Posted by timothy
from the just-call-me dept.
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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Second Android-Based Phone Announced

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  • lack of keyboard (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crimperman (225941) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:03AM (#26885727) Homepage

    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

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:26AM (#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.

  • by JonnyDomestik (1190331) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:28AM (#26886029)
    Yes. I believe you are.
  • by limaxray (1292094) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:40AM (#26886193) Homepage
    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.
  • by rob1980 (941751) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:41AM (#26886197)
    Nope. But you're probably one of the few remaining people who haven't updated their definition of "phone" yet. ;)
  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:45AM (#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...
  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:53AM (#26886371) Homepage
    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.
  • by Animaether (411575) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:57AM (#26886407) Journal

    ...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.)

  • by raitchison (734047) <robert@aitchison.org> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:58AM (#26886423) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Nerdposeur (910128) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @11:34AM (#26886997) Journal

    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.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @11:52AM (#26887365) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by rtilghman (736281) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @12:03PM (#26887597)

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

    -rt

  • by DrVomact (726065) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:21PM (#26891427) Journal

    I'd actually love to have an Android phone (the one with the keyboard), but I'm not willing to pay the extra $35/month T Mobile wants to charge for internet access (plus the regular rate for phone calls, of course). So it doesn't really matter how many great Android phones come out—the whole point of Android is constantly available internet connectivity, so there's no point in my buying one if I'm not willing to cough up that extra money.

    Maybe this is a fair charge, maybe not, but I guess I have no urgent need to be connected to the internet 24/7 (I have computers at work and at home that I can use for that, after all), and my techno-lust is not sufficient to make me pay the extra fee.

    Maybe the fees will come down once there are unlocked Androids for sale, and every cellular service supports them. Then maybe I'll take a second look.

  • by initialE (758110) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @08:28PM (#26896297)

    Then get a treo, they're still on sale. Or a HP hw6915. Or a berry. All good stuff, all still there. Windows Mobile developers even know now to program for square screens as well as rectangular ones.

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