[geeks] Looking for a Mobile Phone

Michael Parson mparson at bl.org
Wed Aug 19 14:36:08 CDT 2009

On Aug 19, 2009, at 12:44 AM, Dan Duncan wrote:

> On Sat, Aug 15, 2009 at 8:15 PM, Jonathan Patschke  
> <jp at celestrion.net>wrote:
>> So, what phones are decent these days?  Where by "decent", I mean, in
>> decreasing order of importance:
>>   * Excellent audio quality.  It -is- an audio device, after all.
>>   * Some (even if text-only) web access so that I can read things  
>> while
>>     waiting about in places where a laptop would be rude.
>>   * Can be tethered.
>>   * A developer program that lets me build software and toss it on  
>> the
>>     phone without having to beg too hard.
>>   * GSM, and preferably sufficiently unencumbered that I only need to
>>     pop in a different SIM card when I'm outside the US.
>>   * Reasonable battery life.
> I've been blissfully happy with my Tmobile G1 (Google Android) phone.
> I'm finally going to break down and root it because I want to tether  
> via
> wifi/bluetooth.
> It's not hard:
> http://androidandme.com/2009/08/news/how-to-root-a-t-mobile-g1-and-mytouch-3g-android-phone/

I rooted mine right after 1.5 came out.  I was hoping for them to  
offer tethering as a real option, but they didn't.  I don't use it  
often, but when I need it, it's nice for it to be there.

Here's the one I use (not sure if it's in the market or not):


The other bit I like having root for is the ability to run apps from  
the SD card.  The default amount of space they give you is sadly  

> The battery life isn't great if you fiddle with it a lot, but the  
> keyboard
> is usable and it has a GREAT ssh client. (connectbot)
> It automatically syncs with gmail, google calendar, and google  
> contacts.

And only syncs with gmail, google calendar, and google contacts.... I  
had to jump through a few hoops to get my Mac stuff to sync to google,  
so I could then sync to my phone.  But once that part was done, it all  
works well enough.

> I find the audio quality to be excellent and it supports bluetooth  
> 2.0 now
> (which I haven't tested since I only have a bluetooth 1 headset)
> Web access is excellent.
> Can be tethered if hacked. (about to test)
> Developer program is great.  SDK is free.  Apps are easy to  
> install.  There
> is an app called "Market" which is about like the App store on the  
> iphone
> which is a nice interface for getting apps (free or paid) but you  
> can also
> just install apps from web pages or the microSD card.
> GSM/Edge/3G.  Can be unlocked.
> Battery life ain't great.  Higher capacity batteries are available.   
> Charges
> from a USB port, wall, or car.

Yup, which has lead me to have a charger handy at my desk at work  
(bought a cradle), in the car, in the living room next to the couch,  
on the night stand next to my bed, etc, etc.

I also found out, on a recent trip, that if you have the screen set to  
never time out and screen brightness set to full, with the GPS on  
while using the Google Map app, the car-charger doesn't supply enough  
juice to keep it going...  4 hours down the road, the batter was  
running out, even though it had been plugged in the entire time.

Michael Parson
mparson at bl.org

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