T-Mobile G1: The first Android phone

The T-Mobile G1, built by HTC, was the first Android phone. It's slow by modern Android phone standards. In 2008, when it arrived, the Android Market was almost devoid of applications, but now it's improved. So far at least, the G1 isn't available to ordinary folks with the latest version 2.1 of Google's Android operating system.

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Google Ion home screen

The Google Ion offers this home screen and two others for housing frequently used applications. I find three screens too confining, but newer phones offer more: five for the Nexus One and seven for the HTC Desire and Incredible with the Sense UI.

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Google Ion Phone

The Google Ion, a developer phone, is my mainstay right now. But it's not great: I have to reboot it every few days, and it takes so long to restart that this splash screen now has negative connotations in my mind.

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HTC Desire

The HTC Desire comes with real hardware buttons on the bottom, a welcome option. Given that it has a touch screen, the " fingermouse " below isn't as useful as it is on phones such as most BlackBerry models, and I actually prefer a trackball for positioning a cursor within a block of text.

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HTC Sense UI keyboard

I like how a long-press can get to various numbers and symbols in the keyboard with HTC's Sense UI, but I don't like how the overcrowded bottom row makes very important buttons hard to hit.

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HTC Desire with Sense UI

The Sense UI of newer HTC Android phones has a nice miniature-screen view to let you flip through different screens. Since you can put miniature applications widgets on each screen, this feature functions like lightweight multitasking.

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Google's Nexus One

The Nexus One features a plain-vanilla Android interface that I preferred overall over HTC's Sense UI, but I had some troubles with the multitouch part of the Google phone.

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Android gallery app

The Android gallery app on the Nexus One is a nice interface for photo and video and offers a wealth of sharing options for getting your content onto the Web.

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Nexus One camera performance

The Nexus One camera, equipped with an LED flash, is better than the Google Ion camera, but don't expect too much of it. It's best to avoid zooming into photos for a 100 percent view.

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Android watching

If my experience is anything to judge by, you'll see more Android phone cameras peering at you in the future.

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