back to article Googlephone unworthy of Satan tag

If this is The Satan Phone, then Beelzebub has lost his mojo. For more than a year, the world has breathlessly anticipated Google's foray into mobile handsets, and today, the waiting ended with the arrival of a phone that tops the rest of the market only in its ability to promote applications from Google. Google says it …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The <insert (non) religious affiliation here> Phone

    We're not being very diverse you know, sticking to Christian characters for our phone metaphors.

    Maybe the new Google Phone could be described as the Mohammed Phone since Islam came a while after Christianity but still made an impact.

    Maybe it could be the Abraham Phone because it's going to have lots of different models, more in number than the stars in the sky! Or the Joseph Phone if it comes in many colours.

    Given the right ringtones and wallpaper, it could become the Krishna Phone, it is Open after all and will accept developers from all persuations.

    And finally, not wanting to leave out my faithless cousins, it could be the Dawkins Phone (not that I'd equate him with a part of broken glasses, but we must be fair to all), here to spread reason, logic and cold hard facts (he must be such a romantic). However, there is the option that you could give it more heritage and call it the Darwin Phone to shoe the evolution of the mobile, of course the problem there is that it's getting dangerously close to the iPhone's OS.

    Paris, because if you decide it 's the Paris Phone, it'll do whatever you want, wherever you want, no matter how dirty - before telling Google.

  2. Shonko Kid
    Jobs Horns


    A new phone to the market that doesn't make the iPhone look like an antiquated polished turd! Pure win from Mountain View!

    Help me out here El Reg, why would I want one exactly? I mean, I know the rumours said the first gPhone was going to be a turkey, but this is a real clucker!

    Any news on the contract free price yet? surely once it hits the EU this will have to be an option.

  3. Simon Painter

    So there is no support for anything useful...

    So there is no support for anything useful at the moment and a small dedicated bunch of unpaid developers are expected to fill in the gaps and create stuff to make this OS able to take on the big boys. I suppose it's understandable that people are not optimistic about this, they weren't with Linux either.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    The sad thing is...

    Iphone haters will rush out in their thousands to buy this, just so they can say they have resisted the Apple "corporate machine".

    Then happily let google slowly take over their lives.

  5. Patrick O'Reilly
    Paris Hilton

    Conspicuous Through it's absense.

    I notice how you haven't included a picture of the phone itself because it's too ugly!

    Paris: Because she knows all about ugly.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I was hoping it would be cool enough to be my new phone because I really, really don't want to end up getting an iPhone. And yes, I do have a reason for hating the iPhone; Every single person I've met in the last year who I'd class as a t*at, has an iPhone.

    Before everyone starts getting pissy, I did choose my words very carefully. Let me clarify:

    Not all iPhone owners are t*ats, but all t*ats are iPhone owners

    and I don't want to be reminded of t*ats every time I look at my phone.

    Unless my background is a pic of Paris of course.

  7. Andraž Levstik


    Massive FAIL from google I guess... Maybe they'll learn that this isn't just branding and all but that you actually need to provide functional devices. Something that Nokia seems to have learned and then forgotten. Maybe they'll relearn it with the new symbian... One can hope

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    I'll develop for it!

    There's no way my app would get passed the censors at apple, so it's off to googleland I go. If anyone is in need of an app that promises free smut, but actually just silently calls premium rate numbers all day while you're not using the phone, you'll see it on the google app market soon!

  9. Aaron Holesgrove
    Thumb Up


    Has a bit more of a ring to it...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't it a tad unfair to rag on Google for HTC's crappy industrial design?

    Although it doesn't bode well that they couldn't get anyone who understands how important it is on board in time to launch Android into the wild. I'm sure those guys down the road who make the whole widget themselves are thoroughly amused.

  11. Vincent

    It looks REALLY ugly.

    I'm not exactly an expert on phones, but methinks you could probably get a better looking phone that does more for a similar price - excluding the iPhone. Without shoving Googles software down your throats.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Good, but 2 years?

    The idea/principle of an "open" phone is excellent. This is V0.1 not V1.0 - there will be lots of flaws.

    Just look at the BBC video of a few minutes showing use of the device

    If it were not for the 2 year lock-in contract I'd consider one as a toy. The iPhone touch screen interface is better (have they patented, successfully, multi-touch ?). I'd hope the open nature of the phone means there will be many more non-restricted apps on this device.

    The bar-code scanner application looks interesting, perhaps someone will build a "shopping cart" application to allow you to scan goods before putting them into you shopping trolley so you know how much you are spending... or to scan them prior to putting them into the bin so you know what to buy when going shopping (or, better still, upload onto and purchase easily). My K800i has a better camera, I'm not sure why this sort of app hasn't been developed before, perhaps it's easier on Andriod?

  13. Francis Fish

    Disappointing - very disappointing

    I want what the iPhone has without the lock in, with openness and flexibility. They give me a bad clone with the same dozy lock in but chain me to a different carrier.

    There must be something out there that isn't a crackberry and is open and easy to get decent software for?

    What is it?

    Tell me!!

  14. Mark Berry

    Is this a rant or a report?

    While I have long thought the big G is getting rather large, and as shown by the early Chrome EULA, getting the usual big business mentality, I don't see how this kind of rabid rant is on a news site.

    I guess its now becoming fashionable to rip into Google the same way it used to be cool to fawn all over them (as most seem to continue to do so).

    I'm guessing that most people who get a little android in their pocket will not give a damn if it has exchange support or not, and there will no doubt be at least one enterprising dev who can make the little toy sync with gmail along with a desktop component to complete the circle. Which does away with the need for a usb cable. And although I sync my Nokia via bluetooth, so no cables for me either, I'd like to be able to sync it remotely while I'm travelling, so even if some little scroat in the foreign fields of wherever nicks my precious phone and laptop, I'll still have access without worries to my contacts and email via a web browser.

    So, less bashing without reason please, or I'll sic a penguin on you.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    google assimilation of the unwary

    Remember that Dr Who episode where the Cybermen came, the google phone is the first prototype of that.

    You 'will' be assimilated...

  16. paul

    googlenet ++

    as a jesus phone owner (without iTunes) - If true, I must commend google for not needing a desktop app like iTunes to sync mail,contact,calenders etc etc.

    Lack of headphone jack is the main reason I would not buy it.

    Im sure in revision 4-5 things will be much better. Its google, surely it must still be in beta.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Monty Python's Life of Brian

    If the iPhone is the JesusPhone, isn't this more the BrianPhone? People just so *want* it to be the one for them and it just turns out to be not as special as they'd hoped?

  18. NHS IT guy
    Dead Vulture


    Now, before I start this comment I'd like to say up front that I am an iPhone user, but I'm not a blinkered Apple sheep. I know my device's limitations and faults, but I can live with them.

    That said, I was really looking forward to the upcoming offering by Google/HTC. All the viral/leaked device videos looked awesome, the interface looked slick but now having seen it in the light of day I must admit to being horribly disappointed.

    I've owned HTC devices before (namely the Tytn and Tytn-II) and I loved both of them, but they really have dropped the ball here. No video recording (same as iPhone, a pain but something you can live without), no multitouch, and the biggest mistake no headphone jack. I mean, come on! Design FAIL.

    Then there's the software. No desktop sync? Wha? I've been doing that since my Psion 2 - what makes them so special? How do I get music/videos/documents on to it? Rub it up against my CD collection? Forced GMail account - I've already got one admittedly but still. No video playback? I've had that since my Palm-IIIc.

    Maybe we were expecting too much from one of the world's most forward thinking web/software giants, and one of the best mobile device designers? Maybe they just needed to release this turd of a phone to get it out their system?


  19. Anonymous Coward

    Google open source - only just.

    Although Google try and play the open-source game, they definitely gain more than they give back.

    A large amount of their backend systems run on open source, much of their server scripting is done in Python, and now they are claiming the OS phone.

    Their Summer of Code is philanthropic but really only takes a tiny amount of their cash each year.

    Given their dismissal of developers for Android not so long ago, i find it amusing that they now want me (as a developer) to write apps for them. Well maybe since they pushed us all away (as reported by El Reg), some of us turned to other platforms such as the iPhone.

    Really Google is getting too corporate these days.

    Its a rising trend that manufacturers seem to think that they dont have to court developers like consumers, yet expect us to play a part in their business model. Nokia, Iphone, Android ...

  20. Rhodri Marsden


    PRs for T-Mobile sheepishly told me yesterday that the G1 can't cut and paste. If that is indeed true (and I can't imagine why they'd sheepishly admit it if it isn't) it makes non-programmers such as myself shake my head and wonder how difficult it can be to implement such a thing.

  21. chris

    This is google after all...

    I bet it can display ads just fine!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Fail - not their fault but...

    ...actually it is their fault.

    I know they chose this phone to launch their product on, I know they chose this diabolical carrier, I know they chose this much slated contract lock in, I know that they have not offered the flexibility and adapability I was expecting from them.

    Definately a step back on all fronts.

    Now, if they were to have done the following;

    1) Launched Android on the Samsung Omnia (better than iPhone)

    2) Provided Google Desktop sync with Android out of the box

    3) Negotiated with Samsung to allow it to be sold on all carriers at the very least, or even better, with no carrier locked in whatsoever (so I don't need an unlocking code should I want to change sims)

    That would have been innovative and I would have bought into it.

    The only way Larry and Serge will do any of the above is if they are hit in the pocket by their initial mistakes and then make a profit by doing the above.

    I live in hope.

  23. Aron


    The writer takes issue more with HTC's hardware than the Android software itself. Understandably.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @The <insert (non) religious affiliation here> Phone

    I still have a Motorola StarTAC - is that the Zoroastrian Phone ?

    ... 1st monotheistic religion [1st flip phone]

    ... Influenced other religions that came along [lots of phones similar aftewards]

    ... Through lack of diversification (no conversion etc.) likely to die out [Motorola]

  25. JohnP
    Thumb Down

    No Video

    What, No video recording or playback (except YouTube). Does that mean no MMS either? (Same as iPhone)

    Probably because they refuse to pay the royalties required by the Mpeg-LA!

  26. Tim Schomer
    Paris Hilton


    ... This is as billed, the first incarnation of a new concept (well, from Google anyway) - I shan't be buying this model, but I just might get the next generation model (V2.5 or later) and here's the reason why:-

    Over the next year or so there will be a lot of linux/mobile geeks getting hold of these and 'playing' with them. I shouldn't be surprised if the first 3rd party app. doesn't surface on the second day of release - and usable ones within the month.

    By the time we get onto the second or third incarnation of this device there should be literally thousands of available free applications available to download and use at will. I shouldn't be surprised if some of them aren't a whole lot better than the built in ones. The later incarnations should also have the majority of the hardware issues sorted out to make it stable and usable.

    In summary I'd say : If you're a geek and like developing mobile apps for fun then go for it - Please! If not I would have to say Wait! in a years time this will be a Jesus phone beater.

    My only questions are : It states it'll be free on contracts over £40 per month, will there be ANY tariffs BELOW that level? and : How much will it cost SIM free?

    Paris - 'cos no other icon seems to fit.

  27. Jodo Kast

    Seems a perfect label...

    Googlephone: Program it yourself!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Too expensive, missing so much that I take for granted now, cheaply made, contract way too long, very ugly.

    Not a chance in hell of this selling very many

  29. Drak

    Satan phone indeed

    Google is making all the same mistakes as Apple, have they not noticed that everyone wants to hack their iPhones to unlock it? Google is poised to be in a position as a huge content provider for mobile apps, and then take the Apple turn there also, you can only use THEIR version of Java to write apps. But you know who is going to steal the show on this one? Just check this site for the answer on who holds the keys for freedom:

  30. Anonymous Coward

    "Wait! in a years time this will be a Jesus phone beater."

    Very funny!

    Seriously though folks, the one thing that the FOSS-pots have proven beyond all doubt is that they just don't do shiny, consumer-friendly gear. For the large part they don't even try, so it's not an insult or owt, and i'm not saying that Android isn't a useful platform, or a good idea as such... i just don't see the penguin-huggers beating the concerted efforts of Job's design crews.

    I really don't.

    But it was a good joke. So good in fact- Look! I got your coat for you!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Tim Schomer

    In a year's time the Jesus phone will come wet-wired into your frontal lobes and offer site-to-site quantum teleportation and on-demand blowjobs from a holographic projection of Steve Jobs (the Webster Phreaky option will be a downloadable extra).

    Of course, people will still complain about the crappy camera and the fact that you can't plug 32 Mb SD cards into it, but there's no pleasing everybody.

  32. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  33. Doug Lynn

    iPhone unworthy of Jesus tag

    Hi either is the iPhone worthy of Jesus, why don't you grow up and stop being biased in your reporting??? Prepare for a lot of emails!

  34. James Butler
    Thumb Down

    @Mark Berry

    It's a rant. Metz is a Google-hater without enough of a brain to infuse his articles with facts and rational analysis. This "review" is based on hearsay and what he is capable of understanding from what little he has read about HTC's phone that uses Google's Android OS. He hasn't even played with one for himself, and still he believes he is qualified to write an article about how suckie Google is because HTC's phone, he hears, isn't as cool as the iPhone.

    Metz needs to get a life, and those that take his word regarding anything Google need to get lives, too. Spread out, a little, and get some more informed data before jumping on the Metz bandwagon, people. You look ignorant when you parrot him.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @James Butler

    You just need to look at it to say it is not a match to the iPhone. No need to try it. You have to realise that phones, MP3 players and gadgets in general are things first to "wear" and secondly to use, so they must look cool. This phone is everything but cool-looking.

  36. James Butler
    Thumb Down

    @Professor Smith

    ("Professor"? Hopefully not teaching youngsters anything about analysis ...)

    Metz hasn't even SEEN the HTC phone, which, again, is NOT a Google product, but rather an HTC product that runs the Android OS. And, again, the Android OS is far more capable than is being utilized by this initial implementation, so the shortcomings described by Metz all relate to HTCs implementation, and have little bearing on the nature of the Google contribution.

    If you count "looking at 72dpi net pictures" the same as "having physical access", then I guess you're correct, even though both you and Metz completely ignored the El Reg review of the phone, which described it like this: "’s got a nice weight to it, 158g to be exact, which makes the phone feel sturdy in your hands". And <shock>, this was written after actually HOLDing one!

    Professor Smith, Metz truly does hate Google for some reason, and every article he has ever written about them come from that position. He is ignorant in so many ways, it's a shame to see El Reg continuing to give his wholly unqualified rants any exposure. This HTC rant is more of the same, right down to the fact that it was written without any contact with the device he was writing about.

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