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The Google G1: On Par With the iPhone?

VC Fred Wilson says the G1 is on par with the iPhone, but I have to wonder about the details of what he said based on 2 of his comments:

–  Keyboard – I love the sidekick style keyboard. I used a sidekick for almost a year and it’s a fantastic user experience. The keys are not as tactile as a blackberry and I think the blackberry keyboard is better, but the G1 keyboard is just fine. If you can’t use an iPhone (like me) because of the touch keyboard, this will work fine for you.

–  The Browser – Way better than the Blackberry but not anyway near the iPhone’s browser. I kept trying the pinch gesture in the browser. They need that bigtime.

Can a phone be on par with the iPhone if it’s browser is “not any near” the iPhone’s browser?

Can you ever really like or even do justice to the iPhone if you can’t use it’s keyboard?

It’s really hard for me to reconcile a mobile OS being “as good as” the iPhone if the browser isn’t there.  It looks to me like the Treo crowd (and Fred is one) are largely email nuts, while the iPhone crowd are browser/web nuts.  I used a Treo for years before my iPhone, and am heavily into email, but I wouldn’t trade the web browsing on the iPhone for better email under any circumstances, so I just can’t view these two phones as being “on par.”

Email on the iPhone, BTW, is great for monitoring, but the keyboard does slow you down if you have to send much out.

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