HTC T-Mobile G1 vs Motorola CLIQ

I owned a G1 for just over a year and it was lost or stolen.  Having used Android for so long, I couldn’t live without it for 7 months until I was eligible for an upgrade.  I stopped by the T-Mobile store to get a replacement G1, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the CLIQ was the same price.  I knew it was faster and had a headphone jack (yes!), so I picked it up.

It always takes time to get used to a new phone, but even after a month of use, I wasn’t blown away by the CLIQ.

  • The basics, things that you can read in the phone specs
    • The G1 has a larger screen.  It’s not a big difference on paper, but is quite noticeable in use.
    • The CLIQ has a headphone jack, meaning you can listen to music with standard earbuds or headphones or plug it in to your car’s stereo and charge it at the same time without having to buy and tote around a custom dongle.
  • Speed – CLIQ
    • Although they have the same processor, the CLIQ wins here pretty handily.  Even after all of the updates between Android 1.0 and 1.6, the G1 was always sluggish.  Some applications slowed it down so much that it became unusable and had to be rebooted.
  • Battery – CLIQ
    • The G1 had to be recharged at least once a day.  During a day of heavy use, it needed more than one charge.  The CLIQ won’t go for days on a charge like some non-smart phones, but it easily outlasts the G1.
  • Keyboard – G1
    • People may complain about the G1’s rotate-out-slider feature, but it allows the G1 a gigantic, easy-to-use keyboard by phone standards.  Traditional sliders, like the CLIQ’s, can only go so far up before they become wobbly and prone to breaking.  The G1’s screen is completely separate from the main body except for the connection at the bottom (or right), allowing it to slide much farther up.  The G1’s keys are also better designed.  They’re just as responsive as the CLIQ’s, but without the annoying, well, clicks made by the … CLIQ.
  • D-pad / Trackball – G1
    • The CLIQ’s directional pad works just as well as the G1’s trackball.  Each design has it’s benefits.  The trackball lets you zoom through text or selections, but it’s difficult to press without accidentally rotating it at the same time.  I’ll never figure out why the CLIQ’s designers decided to hide the d-pad under the screen, though.  It’s really a pain to have to slide the keyboard out and rotate the screen just to get access to it.  One major score for the G1.
  • UI – G1
    • Phone manufacturers can never leave an operating system alone.  Imagine if Windows were customized so that it worked completely differently on a Sony than on an HP. Luckily, Motorola didn’t go as far as others (like Samsung).  Still, the stock Android OS looks much better than Motorola’s.
  • OS – G1
    • Here, too, Motorola’s decision to customize Android is a problem.  HTC can update Android on the G1 by adding device-specific code.  For a CLIQ update, Motorola has to merge the entire Android codebase with their own fork.  This means CLIQ updates lag behind other devices.  The G1 has had Android 1.6 for a while.  The CLIQ is still on 1.5 and won’t be updated until Motorola releases 2.1 for it.  Maybe.
  • Touchability – G1
    • Many users (including me) have had problems with the CLIQ’s capacitive touch screen.  Sometimes it works flawlessly and sometimes it doesn’t.  It’s especially annoying when playing games.
  • Exterior appearance – CLIQ
    • The CLIQ’s bold lines and attractive coloring outshine the boring G1.  I highly recommend the titanium white version.
  • Sturdiness – CLIQ
    • With a more solid construction and a responsive slider mechanism, the CLIQ feels much better in the hand.
Posted in Android by Connor Garvey at December 22nd, 2009.
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9 Responses to “HTC T-Mobile G1 vs Motorola CLIQ”

  1. Shane says:

    Hey Stephanie and Bridget I am in the same boat the G1 was acting way too funny and when I called it in they said that I could get the CLIQ or the Nuron…and I choose the CLIQ…and I hope the CLIQ is as the G1 or else I am going to be surely dissapointed…but thanks to the author for giving me the breakdown…I hope its not as bad as you made it seem.


  2. Bridget says:

    same as me, I have had my G1 for almost a yr. having problems with it call tech. they are sending me out the cliq I am kind of scared that it wont add up to my G1.

  3. stephanie says:

    Yes I have had my g1 for a little over a year now and I love it to death, tho its not without its problems. I called tmobil and they are sending me out a cliq because the g1 is outdated I was pretty upset because I love this phone so much but well see when it gets here

  4. Matt says:

    I have had the g1 for 2 years now and am getting the Cliq. I have used it in store and is much faster and no lag using many apps. The screen seemed so much cleaner, responsive and colorful. The headphone jack is a major plus. I think I am gonna be very very happy.

  5. Gus says:

    I own a G1 and the way HTC has made this made this phone is incredible it came out as the Iphone killer, and i believe it would have been if the working memory in the phone was bigger… its true, saddly dat it slows down. becomes stuck and hard to re boot. but if u are willing to root the G1 wich i have, it brings the phone new life and puts it upder with the mytouch and the nexus one, maybe not as stylish or colorfull, understand this was the first realse of the new age of androids, and to tell u the truth HTC made a bold move going against the Iphone.

    how far has it come from its android 1.0 to now the 1.6 and with the right root 2.1?
    developers outder are still spending their time in keeping this phone up to date. idk if the cliq will become as popular amongst the android community but where im from the G1 is the way to go.

  6. willP says:

    @brandon Haha jacka$$ its a reasonable comparison for ×exactly* why he’s comparing it: all those poor f’s locked into 2yr contracts. Very old and very crappy eh? Hmm let’s see, it might be pushing 18 months now.. but that’s not stopping me from surfing the web and finding this article and typing this response with fantastic ease, all on my G1. In fact I would choose no other smartphone to do exactly this if I had the option. Blackberry? Iphone? Pssshhh please. And the fact this guy thinks the cliq is faster intrigues me, because I find it more than adequate for a fairly diverse task list. Finally HTC makes the friggin g1 for those few who are apparently unaware.. now let me get back to rocking pandora while playing sudoku while intermittently texting, chatting, surfing the web, and responding to emails.

    To the author, thanks for the comparison.. I’m currently torn between the backflip and just keeping the g1.. the backflip lures me with its headphone jack and speaker, but the g1 has a keyboard so good I can type with 85% precision without looking and without exhuberant amounts of practice.

    About the speed… don’t they both have the same qualcomm 528mhz chip?

    • MrSqueezles says:

      TBH, I don’t know what kind of chip the CLIQ has … LMGTFM … it sure looks like it’s the same.

      At one point, my G1 was too slow to use. Opening an application would literally take a minute. I had to hard reset it, restoring it to factory state. Even after the reset, it was sluggish. For whatever reason, on the CLIQ, I could do things like install an application in the background and check the weather at the same time, something that was nearly impossible on the G1.

      If you’re looking, though, I recommend the Nexus One. I have one and it’s amazing. I thought I’d miss the keyboard, but I got over it pretty quickly because of the small size and amazing speed.

  7. Brandon says:

    Nothing should be compared to the G1. Its very old, and very crappy.

    The HTC phones and verizon branded ones are quality

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