Review

Round Robin: TiPb vs Android G1 Final Review

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! More below!]

Google's Android is the future of smartphones. At least, it's one of the possible futures. Alongside the iPhone, it's the OS I'm most intrigued by, and that the two companies have chosen such different strategies in tackling the future only makes it ever so much more exciting.

The iPhone is an ordered, iconic device made entirely by Apple, with all the integration and fit and finish -- and frustratingly capricious omissions -- that only a single guiding mind can achieve. Android, by contrast, is chaotic and communal, designed by Google to free developers and fit a multitude of tastes and form-factors -- with all the possible confusion and derivation open source has to offer.

Which one is "better" is a ridiculously impossible question to answer -- each platform has its strengths and weaknesses and each user their own unique needs and preferences. Frankly, we're fortunate to live in a time where there are so many truly awesome devices from which to choose. (Even a few years ago -- and yes, I'll say it, pre-iPhone shockwave -- things were far, far more bleak.)

For my part, all I can really do is tell you how I use a smartphone, and how well the Android G1 fits that usage bill.

I really need to point out, up front, that the G1 is a beta device. There, I said it. Unlike Windows Mobile or Blackberry OS, which have been on the market for years and years, and the iPhone OS which is already on 2.x, Android has just hit the market with all the promise and problems that inevitably go with that. The Android device I experienced this week will absolutely and without question be blown away by whatever Android device(s) hit the market next year. So, it's not a fair comparison for Android from the get go, and I beg everyone to remember that when I lay... er... get into it below the fold.

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Round Robin: TiPb vs. Android G1! Comment here for your chance to win an iPhone 3G!

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! More below!]

Okay, fair enough, I'm having a little fun up there, but with the Smartphone Empire Experts Round Robin officially under way and my iPhone frozen in carbonite for the next month, the G1 could be my only hope!

I'm still trying to figure out if this is the 'droid I've been looking for, however. Do I understand the awesome power of the open-platform of the Google? Or is it more concept now than device, twisted and confusing?

Check out the video, then head on over to Android Central to help me out. Every day you post, you get entered to WIN one of FIVE smartphone prize packs! And you can enter each site's contest, so don't forget to help turn Casey back to the iPhone side as well!

May the forums be with you!

Prize details after the jump...

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Review: Marware Sport Grip for iPhone 3G

 

The iPhone 3G has plenty of case options that range from hard polycarbonate cases to soft rubber options, from colorful designs to more understated lines. The Marware Sport Grip for iPhone 3G ($19.95) is a soft rubber case that incorporates subtle design and offers superb protection. How does it perform?

Read on for the rest of the review!

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Review: Griffin Wave for iPhone 3G

The Griffin Wave for iPhone 3G uses a unique wave lock design to create a snug fit for the iPhone and offer solid protection. The hard plastic case was unique among competitor’s offerings because instead of choosing a slide mechanism to connect the case together, it uses a front piece and a back piece to hold the iPhone. Does the Griffin Wave succeed as a case? We think so. Read on to see why.

Read on for the rest of the review!

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App Review: Goodrec for iPhone

Goodrec, from the company by the same name, is now available in the iTunes App Store for the absurdly low price of FREE and is also accessible online at their web site, www.goodrec.com

Although there are numerous apps that take advantage of the location-based feature the iPhone offers in order to serve up local eats, treats and other items, Goodrec is worth a hard look and download.

Even though it's free, does Goodrec deliver the goods? Is it worth taking up some space on your iPhone, or is it something you'll use a couple times and then banish to the electronic void of deleted apps? Read on for my take on Goodrec!

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Review: Incipio dermaSHOT Silicone Case for iPhone 3G

Everybody has his or her own definition for the perfect iPhone 3G Case. Some may want a hard plastic case, others prefer rubbery silicone cases but most prefer a case that is non intrusive and more importantly, offers protection while adding minimal bulk. The Incipio dermaSHOT Silicone Case for iPhone 3G ($14.95) is a rubber silicone case that tries to offer a layer of protection without adding much thickness. How does it perform?

Read on for the rest of the review!

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Review: BlueAnt Z9i Bluetooth Headset

Is there a difference between a high-end Bluetooth Headset compared to a normal one? With so many hands-free driving laws being passed these days, the question is obviously on many consumer’s minds. The BlueAnt Z9i ($74.95) is one of those high-end headsets that manages to combine a small and sleek form factor and with a powerful piece of technology, Digital Signal Processor (DSP). On paper, it is everything you want in a Bluetooth headset. How does it test? Does it accomplish everything it sets out to do?

Read on for the rest of the review!

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Review: Spore Origins for iPhone

(Not one, but two premiere game reviews on TiPb today. If you haven't already checked out the review of The Force Unleashed for the iPhone, go get your Star Wars on)

Given all the hype these past couple of weeks -- heck, these past couple of years -- you probably don't need much introduction to Spore, so we'll keep it quick. Spore is a game about evolution that works via a little intelligent design: you start out as a helpless, single-cell organism and work your way up the food chain. On the console and PC versions of the game, this eventually leads you to intergalactic conquest.

In Spore Origins for the iPhone ($9.99 at iTunes), that process is scaled back quite a bit. Over the course of 30 levels you stay pretty much at the single-cell level, adding various eyeballs, feelers, spikes, and the like as you tilt your way through the primordial sea, gobbling up smaller creatures and avoiding the larger ones.

We at TiPb have been waiting for Spore ever since it was announced. Heck, we were hoping it would come to the iPhone well before that. Does it live up to our expectations? Read on...

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Review: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for iPhone

(Not one, but two premiere game reviews on TiPb today. If you haven’t already checked out the review of Spore for the iPhone, go get your evolution on!)

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Mobile) for the iPhone by THQ Wireless is available for $9.99 via the iTunes App Store. Alongside Spore, it's one of the highest profile games released so far for the "funnest iPod (and iPhone) ever".

Now, Star Wars was the first movie I remember seeing in the theater (which, yes, makes me old and tells you something about how big a deal actually going to a movie theater was in the days before PPV, torrentz, and home cinema!) I had a lot of the toys. I played a lot of the video games, from the early Nintendo fare that drove the sound track so far into overuse I still cringe when I hear Jawa, to the truly epic Battlefront II on the original Xbox. I even have had the prequels Jedi-mind-tricked out of my consciousness ("not the Star Wars you were looking for...")

So yes, Star Wars is in my DNA every bit as much as Apple. Put them together and -- even absent Megan Fox -- and The Force Unleashed pretty much had me at announce. But would it hold me? Does THQ deliver Empire-class sizzle, or Phantom-style fizzle?

Check out the review, after the break!

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Review: OtterBox Defender Series for iPhone

Many iPhone cases on the market offer fairly simple protection that serve more for an iPhone owner's peace of mind than offering extreme protection. The OtterBox Defender Series for iPhone ($49.95), however, is one of the few cases that carefully map and design their product to ensure superb protection.

How does the Otterbox perform? Is it as secure and successful as the case suggests? Or is it just another case in the iPhone pipeline? Could it all be just a gimmick?

Read on for the rest of the review!

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