The T-Mobile G1 is my favorite phone I have purchased, but it is also a gimped device. I tried to defend my beloved Google phone, but after using the newer HTC Magic (aka myTouch 3G), it became apparent that the G1 has several major design flaws. The underpowered battery and small internal storage space have been addressed by HTC in newer devices, but where does that leave the million customers who already own a G1.
I know I’m not the first to complain, but the G1 has problems that will never go away. The weak battery performance has improved with software updates, but there is only so far they can push it. By comparison, my HTC Magic last nearly twice as long with all the features turned on including GPS and 3G. The internal storage is another major area of concern. Many users have already experienced low space warnings after installing about 40-50 apps. We also reported this week that the G1 might not support future upgrades to the Android operating system because of its design limitations.
It looks like the answer to many G1 owners who complain is “Go upgrade”.
T-Mobile is currently promoting a pre-order for their second Android phone, the myTouch 3G. The phone is advertised for $199, but this is only for existing customers who have not upgraded their phone in the last 23 months. This would mean that all current G1 owners are not eligible for this special price. Instead, the early supporters are forced to pay $459 if they want to upgrade.
While the myTouch 3G is an improved device over the G1, it is hard to justify spending nearly $500 for an upgraded battery and more memory. In order to qualify for a discount, many T-Mobile customers will have to wait till 2011 or 23 months after their original purpose.
I understand how mobile contracts work and other carriers have similar rules. If G1 owners don’t qualify for an upgrade, they should at the very least be offered a special trade-in program. T-Mobile customers were the first in the world with Android phones and played an important role in the development of the operating system. We were essentially the beta testers of Android 1.0, but we knew our support would help shape the new leader in smartphones.
T-Mobile, we thank you for your support of the Android platform, but please provide a way for G1 owners to upgrade.