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Review: HTC G1

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Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  


The G1 is an capable messaging device, but it's not as good as I was expecting or hoping it to be. Gmail is a very powerful email program, and I thought that would be well reflected by the G1's capabilities. Turns out I was wrong.

The basic email inbox is eerily similar to the iPhone's. You do, however, have the option of "starring" an email without reading it, which is a nice bonus. Tapping an email quickly opens it, pressing and holding it opens up an options menu. In this menu, you can choose to open it, archive it, mark it unread, add a star, delete it or set labels.

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Opening emails lets you see the full header and everyone the message is addressed to, the message itself, followed by some action items at the very bottom of the email. I have to say, this bugs me. If you are looking at a long email, you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of it to take any sort of action. I wish the action item buttons were duplicated at the top of the email window so you could do things quicker without having to scroll down through the entire email first. Opening one email also allows you to see and open any of the other emails that make up that conversations, just as in the Google Web-mail client. That's something I definitely wish the iPhone email client allowed you to do.

In order to reply to emails, you have to open it and turn the phone sideways to access the full QWERTY keyboard.

Of course, you can set up multiple email accounts, including those from Yahoo and other service providers. You can set up how often email syncs, but I found the G1 to be amazingly fast with GMail. Emails showed up on the G1 at exactly the same time as the appeared in my inbox online.

As for SMS and MMS, the G1 gets the job done. The messaging application is where you'll see threaded SMS conversations, which is simply the best way to interact with SMS. (Really, it should be a requirement for all phones.) The composition screen for SMS or MMS is the same. For an MMS, you simply choose to add an attachment to it, which can be a picture or sound clip. You always have to rotate the phone sideways and use the keyboard to type messages.

The G1 also has AIM, GChat, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo IM pre-loaded to satiate your instant message cravings.

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