"Cumbersome as replacement for phone, but more useful"3.0 starson by vabiro
Pros: Great screen, removable/expandable SD, integrated 3G/WiFi/BT, Portable HotSpot, More flexible development options so more interesting applications and real multitasking.
Cons: Unable to root the OS using existing tools, and as a result it is difficult to work around rough edges. I am confident that as install base increases this may change. One thing that will not though is the poor location of the pwr button.
Summary: If you're looking for a direct replacement for a phone this is not the tool. It is significantly more flexible than any of the iOS platforms, and the result is that there is a strong hacking/developer community.
One thing that has driven me to distraction is the inability to easily access the power button. This may sound trivial, but when trying to use this as a phone in the car it is infruiating.
For example, the process to make a call is this:
- locate device
- locate the correct corner. They all look the same when the screen is blank and you are in a car at night
- hit the power button
- VERY QUICKLY - because it blanks out - find the spot on the screen that you need to sweep your finger across to turn it on. This can only be don on one 2cm diameter spot
- if you do manage to get the correct spot, pray you are on the correct screen, because if you're not, then you have to navigate using the unlit buttons on the side (Remember you're trying to drive). Understand it isn't that these buttons aren't backlit, it is that they don't seem to turn on when needed!
- Find the telephone icon and press it
- hope that you default to the dial pad or favourites if your destination call is a favourite. If you are in any other screen you are going to have to navigate to the correct screen.
You haven't dialled your number yet, but you have probably realised that there is no flat surfaces in the interior of your car and that this can't be done with one hand, unless you're also an NBA player.
This is not a phone. It may think it is, but it is not.
If you're using it for just about anything else however, it is BRILLIANT! Literally and figuratively.
The screen is large enough at 7" as well as being nice and bright. Replace your GPS unit with this and you will not regret it. The combination of Google's Navigation Beta and the 3G connection gives great navigation and real-time traffic information. You can overlay street view, satellite, or layers from your Google account maps. That is very cool for the map geeks.
Some of these problems may be opportunities for Viewsonic and Google to enhance their product through updates, but you can't update the size and location of that power button.