Last Friday, I bought a Google phone (G1). I was able to renew my two year contract. Also, I had a $120 credit. Both helped to make the phone fall within my price range. The monthly plan will be about $25 more than what I normally pay, which includes unlimited internet access. If I cut a few impulse buys here and there, it won't affect my budget too much.

People have asked how it compares to the iPhone, and that's a difficult question to answer. I've had a chance to play with both.

From what I've observed, it's easier to pick up a G1 and know what to do. With the iPhone, you need to get a feel for how the touch screen works, how to type, move around, etc. With the G1, I like the QWERTY keyboard. Although, I prefer the iPhone having no movable parts. Stuff that slides and flips worries me; it only increases the possibility of damage. The touch screen on the G1 makes the roller ball unnecessary. If I wanted a Blackberry, I'd get a Blackberry. The battery life is crap for both phones. At least with the G1, the battery is replaceable. You can add memory to the G1, which I will need to do eventually.

The G1 requires Wifi access to download Amazon mp3's, which is a pain. (The Amazon mp3 site? Not bad at all.) Those Tmobile/AT&T hotspots are not nearly as hassle free as they should be. Fortunately, I have Wifi at home. I opted for the G1, in part, because I already have an iPod. I don't need another. I'd give the advantage to the iPhone for screen size and mp3 player, but I can live with that.

The G1 fits in your pocket easier than the iPhone, and feels better in your hand. This stuff matters.

Obviously, my gmail addiction is satisfied on the G1. The G1 Android operating system is open source, which allows for developers to create more programs for the phone. In this area, though, iPhone and G1 seem equal. Both have nifty applications.

The latest iPhone may still be superior, but the G1 isn't very far behind -- and for what I need, it's the best phone for me. How's that for diplomatic?