The Android G1
It is very impressive. One of the limits to my present phone is that it does not have 3G and connects to the web rather slowly over EDGE. The T-mobile sales clerk told me that, for some unknown reason, 3G was not working in the store, so I could only use the EDGE connection of the G1. But using EDGE, it was strikingly faster than my current phone on EDGE. I don't know if that reflects the phone or the network. That's important, because although the G1 has 3G, no network has much 3G coverage outside of major metropolitan areas.
The keyboard is small but quite usable for thumb typing. The screen is a little smaller than an iPhone screen, bigger than most others, very sharp and usable. The software felt very smooth and the UI quite nice.
In part, I may be being impressed by the difference between a current high end cell phone and my several year old one. For instance, the G1 has GPS, providing a standard map version, a satellite photo version, a version showing where there are traffic problems, and a streetview version which is fun, although I'm not sure how useful--all of which I gather that other high end phones have too. But overall, the G1 was the first phone I have seen that felt much better than what I have--unlike the Nokia E90, which is more or less the successor to mine and, on net, worse.
Two of the things I use my present machine for are reading books and going over my manuscripts noting things I want to fix. Android currently does not have a word processor, which is a possible problem. One solution, so long as I have an internet connection from the phone, is to put my manuscripts on Google docs and edit them there--but that doesn't help much if I'm in an airplane over the Atlantic, as I will be in a few days. A second solution, for reading but not, I think, editing, is to save books in HTML and then use the browser on the G1 to read them.
Another thing I occasionally use my present machine for is to connect my Macbook to the internet by bluetoothing it to my phone, which is connected via EDGE, set up the Macbook as a WiFi modem and so provide my kids in the backseat of the minivan as we drive across the country each summer with a rolling hotspot--although a very slow one. The G1 itself has WiFi, so in principle I could cut out the middleman--link the G1 to the internet via EDGE or 3G, turn it into a WiFi modem, and connect the family notebooks through that while travelling. Unfortunately the software to do that, although I gather it exists for some other phone operating systems, doesn't appear to exist yet for Android.
I expect both of these problems to be temporary. Android is open source, both the word processor and the tethering software are things lots of other people want, so they should soon appear.
The remaining issue is actually getting myself a G1. That will require me to show up by 8:30 Wednesday morning, when they start handing them out, at a local T-mobile store, switch from AT&T to T-Mobile, and get all three of the family cell phones set up for the new network.
Which would be easier if I weren't planning to get on an airplane Wednesday afternoon and fly to London via Paris. But I think I'll try to do it anyway. Just the thought of wandering around London with a map of the city in my pocket that magically shows me where I am and tells me how to get to where I want to go ... .