It seems an eternity ago when T-Mobile launched the first Google phone. Now, the company has released the successor to the G1, appropriately named the G2 with Google -- and there is a world of difference between the first and second generation devices.
Perhaps the biggest difference is speed. T-Mobile claims the G2 offers downloads at 4G speeds. But analysts are skeptical about that claim because T-Mobile still uses 3G technology. The G2 is equipped with a Snapdragon MSM7230 mobile processor. The processor combines Qualcomm's HSPA+ capabilities and second generation applications processor. The Snapdragon offers an 800 MHz CPU, making it among the fastest smartphones on the market, and a pre-installed 8GB microSD memory card with support for up to 32 GB. But analysts still aren't convinced that the G3 offers 4G download speeds.
T-Mobile was not immediately available for comment.
"T-Mobile is trying to compete with Verizon and AT&T and Verizon is ahead of AT&T with 4G," said Michael Disabato, managing vice president of Network and Telecom at Gartner. "T-Mobile is always two to five years behind the technology that every other carrier has. They are not downloading at 4G speeds because they are not on 4G. It's that simple."
Touting -- and Toting -- Android
Although the speed is debatable, what is undisputed is the G2's status as the first smartphone specifically designed for T-Mobile's new HSPA+ network. An HTC-manufactured device, T-Mobile is billing the G2 as a "powerful smartphone" with a 3.7-inch screen and a hinge design that opens to offer a full QWERTY keyboard. T-Mobile is making the phone available exclusively to its customers later this month.
Built on Android 2.2, the G2 offers seven customizable home screen panels, including a dedicated panel with one-click access to Google applications such as Android Market, which offers more than 80,000 applications. The G2 is also integrated with Google Voice. The G2 is the first smartphone to offer Google Voice, which transcribes voicemails to text right on their phone and also online.
"One of the advantages of an open platform is the opportunity for developers to create rich mobile experiences and seamlessly get those experiences into the hands of consumers," said Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering, Google. "From new services, such as Voice Actions, to mobile applications, developer-led Android innovation is flourishing."
Standard Operating Procedures
The G2 also comes equipped with Voice Actions from Google, Google Goggles. Voice Actions lets users control thee device with their voice for calling contacts and businesses, sending messages, Web browsing, and listening to music. Of course, Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps with Places and Navigation, YouTube, Google Talk and other Google services are bundled on the phone.
No Android phone would be complete without a HD video camera. The phone can automatically upload video to Photobucket. There's also a 5 megapixel camera on the device, support for Microsoft Exchange e-mail contacts and calendar, social networking, instant messaging, and a music player. Analysts aren't proclaiming an iPhone killer, but T-Mobile customers may upgrade to the second generation "Google phone."