Monday, March 09, 2009

A big walk around Singapore and a G1

weather.jpgTook the opportunity of a Saturday off to take a big walk around Singapore. In the end I walked for about four and a half hours.

Oh, looks like it's going to be a bit hotter on Sunday, better dress for that!

Starting where I stayed near the Tanjong Pagar MRT station, along South Bridge road, left at Cross street, along Havelock, over the river on Kim Seng Road, right up to famous Orchard Road in the North.

Walked the length of Orchard Road turning right at Rochor Canal Road to arrive at my destination, the shopping centre of technology Sim Ling Square.

I got to Sim Ling at 9:45 and it was mostly shut. There was a street market near by so I hung out there until things opened up. Most of the shops didn't open until about 11am.

Picked up a little box that plays video, such as DivX encodings into your TV. It has a USB host connector and an SD card reader. It does a pretty good job but I feel it is under powered and perhaps skips every other frame but it will do the trick.

Back down to Victoria Street, South Bridge Road and home. Maybe just a lazy 10Km walk but it passed easily with all the entertainment of looking around a strange, for me, city.

shooting.jpgSingapore certainly is tidy and organised. The toll card system is impressively widespread. Like many asian cities with English signs, there's a war on the plural. You see "beware of pedestrian" as just one example.

Later we visited Lucky Plaza where TMobile G1 Android phones are on display and sell for SG$800 (7% of which is refundable GST at the airport).

If I hadn't used an iPhone, this phone would have been a revelation but up against a very polished competitor it's clear that there is still some work to do.

Screen and touch screen is very nice and responsive. We all struggled to guess where certain settings might be in the menus. The little keyboard is handy but I'm not sure that the extra depth of the device makes it worth it. It's narrower and thicker than an iPhone and doesn't sit in the pocket as well.


When the screen is swivel/slid up to expose the keyboard it won't lie flat on a surface while you type so I guess you are meant to hold it in one hand and peck with a finger.

I have a couple of Google accounts, I set up for one and then wanted to change but couldn't see how. In the end I did a factory reset.

Google's phone platform is a welcome addition to the marker, HTC makes some fine hardware under a couple of brands but the iPhone is still the benchmark in my book. Funny how the absence of multitouch, scroll physics and an accelerometer make quite a difference.

Update: it looks like it has an accelerometer but just doesn't use it for obvious things like screen rotation.

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