June 19th, 2009

eyes black and white

Why I Returned my G1

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The G1 has alluring hardware specifications and does everything you could expect a small computing device to do. Alas, it doesn't do any of it well. It is not by any means a decent Internet access device, a decent digital assistant, or even a decent MP3 player. What is worse, it is a computer on which you are not the one in control. It may be an excellent phone, but only because by the telecom industry has set very bleak standards indeed for what a phone may be expected to do. Moreover, if you use any of its advanced functionalities, then the battery situation is even worse on the G1 than on my old dying phone. All in all, it is a luxury I'd rather not afford.

I'm now the happy owner of the cheapest phone (marginally free) with the cheapest plan ($30 a month). This brings me 95% of the satisfaction of the G1 with none of the extreme frustration, for less than half the price and half the weight.

I am looking forward to a future of telephony over decentralized WiFi networks where government-backed telecom companies can no more force consumers into buying outrageously priced plans that can only be used with inferior locked down devices.