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T-Mobile announces G1 "GPhone"

T-Mobile announces G1 "GPhone"

T-Mobile has just pulled the covers off the G1, the world's first mobile device powered by Google's Android operating system.

T-Mobile has just pulled the covers off the G1, the world's first mobile device powered by Google's Android operating system.

The device, which is manufactured by HTC, combines full touch screen functionality and a QWERTY keyboard with a mobile Internet experience that includes Google Maps Street View, Gmail, Calendar, YouTube, Google Talk and others. It measures 116 x 54 x 16mm and weighs about 160 grams.

The G1 also uses a WebKit browser, which was referred to as 'Chrome Lite' during the press conference. The functionality of the browser will be fairly similar to the iPhone browser – it renders web pages as it would on a PC, but you're able to zoom in on parts of web pages that you want to read.

However, unlike the iPhone, the G1's web search functionality is exposed with just a single touch.

From the demos we've seen, the device's interface looks pretty slick and some of the features look potentially interesting. For example, access to Amazon's MP3 store will be available on the device, where there are over six million DRM-free tracks to purchase and download with a single click. The store will require a WiFi connection in order to download tracks—just like the iPhone—but unlike the iPhone, you're able to browse the store anywhere with network coverage.

However, arguably the biggest feature though is the device's open sourceness – users will be able to tinker with and develop software for the G1 and other Android-based devices and share them on the Android Market. The G1 is also the first phone to include access to the Android Market which Sergey Brin, one of Google's founders, referred to as the "App Store" during his brief talk at the press conference. Oops.

Other noteworthy features include a 3.2in screen with a 480 x 320 HVGA resolution, which matches the iPhone's screen, and the device also includes a 3.1MP camera that includes photo sharing capabilities. However, there's no flash and no video recording capabilities, along with a complete lack of cut and paste functionality - at least it's not just the iPhone that lacks this feature. There's also no Microsoft Exchange support, but there is Push Email support for Gmail - some have suggested that Exchange support may follow later down the line though.

I guess the good thing is that Android's open sourceness will enable the community to 'fix' any problems with the device. Take note, Apple.

T-Mobile says the device will be available in limited quantities both at retail and online in the US from 22nd October for $179 with one of two, two-year voice and data plans (believed to be priced at $25 and $35). The mobile phone operator also added that it'll be coming to the UK in early November and then across Europe in the first quarter of 2009. Confirmed countries in Europe include Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Holland. No pricing information was given for the device outside of the US.

What do you think to the device? Let us know in the forums.

18 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 23rd September 2008, 17:52 Quote
I wonder how much the opensourceness of the OS sheds off the price of the aperatus. Well at least its easy to tinker with. Thanks to that, a whole load of functionality will be brought to the devices easily.
DarkLord7854 23rd September 2008, 19:12 Quote
Looks like crap honestly, and the UI (and browser) is clunky and slow from the videos I've seen. :(
Cthippo 23rd September 2008, 20:01 Quote
Looks interesting, I may need to look at one of these, but on the other hand I REALLY want to get off T-Mobile
johnmustrule 23rd September 2008, 20:49 Quote
Anyone know if there's another multi-touch phone available? As far as I'm concerened that's the best selling point for the iphone, that and sheer sexyness ;)
yodasarmpit 23rd September 2008, 21:18 Quote
I'm waiting on the release of the Glofiish DX900 dual sim Win Mobile 6 PDA phone.
Since being issued with a company mobile I've been looking for a good quality dual sim phone, so far that's the only one that's caught my interest.

I must admit I do like the look of the Google Phone.
steveo_mcg 23rd September 2008, 21:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
Looks interesting, I may need to look at one of these, but on the other hand I REALLY want to get off T-Mobile

Ditto, I don't know how bad they are in your neck of the woods but they're terrible here
DaveVader 23rd September 2008, 23:43 Quote
Only 24 letters left to add on to the beginning of -phone, manufacturers might have to start coming up with original names soon!
wuyanxu 24th September 2008, 00:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveVader
Only 24 letters left to add on to the beginning of -phone, manufacturers might have to start coming up with original names soon!
and stop using i FFS! iphone, ipod, iplayer, itune, and and many other in Appstore.

the OS needs more polish, from what i've read, Copy+Paste is wonderful, the pull-down status bar is a great idea. other than that, Apple iPhone still has a better overall OS.
Stelph 24th September 2008, 00:51 Quote
The clever people over at XDA-Developers haveworked out ho to get a build of Android onto a HTC Vogue (the Touch 3G) so I think the signs are good that you should be able to get Android on any Windows Mobile Phone.

Check it out here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=2084090&posted=1#post2084090
StephenK 24th September 2008, 01:07 Quote
Quote:
at least it's not just the iPhone that lacks this feature
... thats an interesting way of putting it :)

Looks like a nice device though.
The opensourceness should allow it to evolve and improve much faster than the iphone. Gonna be keeping an eye on this :)
docodine 24th September 2008, 02:27 Quote
It's pretty ugly, in my opinion.

Price is right, though. I hope that it will be completely open for customization, not just apps and such.
Goty 24th September 2008, 05:26 Quote
The phone looks cheap and uncomfortable to me.
hawky84 24th September 2008, 10:09 Quote
will it be on t-mobile in the UK or available on more operators over here?
13en 24th September 2008, 11:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawky84
will it be on t-mobile in the UK or available on more operators over here?

This article from the BBC says just T-mobile. And £40 a month... although that's with the phone free, there's no mention of if it's available on cheaper contracts.

The bottom section for the buttons makes it look a little strange, probably because the buttons are so small and there's a lot of empty space. Personally, i think they should have put bigger buttons in. I like the slide-out keyboard though - great for those of us who use full words and sentences in our texts!
speedfreek 24th September 2008, 15:34 Quote
By the time I get sick of my new phone this should be mature enough that I can get it on whatever phone I want. I certainly don't want to go to T mobile.
Garside 24th September 2008, 18:27 Quote
Quite simply it's not as cool as the iPhone. It's an imitaror, not an innovator. It doesn't look as good and won't get the excitement or mainstream attention of the Apple equivalent.
pendragon 24th September 2008, 19:15 Quote
looks good to me! Maybe by the time I need a new phone I'll pick up one of them
D4RK_4NG3L 3rd October 2008, 14:11 Quote
"along with a complete lack of cut and paste functionality -" From your article is completely incorrect it has full cut copy and paste available a couple different ways through shortcuts and menus. If you don't believe me just download the manual. :) Along with a good complete manual they included some humor many of us technophiles appreciate. Have a great day...

http://www.engadget.com/photos/t-mobile-g1s-getting-started-manual/1057799/

link to download manual
http://support.t-mobile.com/knowbase/root/public/tm30235.pdf
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