Print 59 comment(s) - last by LatinMessiah.. on Oct 3 at 8:21 PM

T-Mobile makes waves with its new G1

It's been nearly a year since Google first officially announced its plans to develop an operating system for mobile phones and today we see the launch of the first phone using Android. The T-Mobile G1 was launched today at a press event in New York City.

Starting with the hardware, the phone itself measures 4.60" x 2.16" x 0.62" and weighs in at 5.6 ounces. The device features a 3.17" touchscreen with a 480x320 resolution. The G1 supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA and of course GPS, Bluetooth, and WiFi.

For those that aren't quite sold on the Apple iPhone's touchscreen-based "soft" keyboard, the T-Mobile G1 features a qwerty keyboard which is revealed by turning the device on its side and sliding the keyboard upward. Other niceties include a built-in 3.1MP camera and a microSD slot (a 1GB microSD comes pre-installed).

The T-Mobile G1 will be available at launch in black, brown, and white.

Microsoft has already announced that it is developing an applications store similar in concept to Apple's iTunes App Store called "Skymarket". Google will launch what it calls Android Market. Given that the T-Mobile G1 uses a Google-based operating system, Google Maps (complete with Street View and Traffic View) and YouTube applications are pre-installed on the device. Google’s newly launched Chrome web browser will also make an appearance on the G1 in the form of “Chrome Lite”.

Another direct shot is taken at Apple in the form of a dedicated Amazon MP3 Music Store application designed for Android. Customers will have access to over six million DRM free songs starting at just $0.89 each. Customers will be able to download the songs directly to the G1, but a WiFi connection is required for over the air downloads.

"Amazon wants to make it easy for customers to discover, buy, and play their music wherever they happen to be--whether sitting at their computer or on the go," said Bill Carr, Vice President for Digital Music and Video. "We look forward to the release of the T-Mobile G1, which will put Amazon MP3's vast selection of low-priced DRM-free music at the fingertips of even more customers in more places."

The T-Mobile G1 will be available October 22 for $179 with a two-year contract. Data plans will start at $25 for unlimited data and limited messaging; while unlimited data and messaging will set you back $35.

According to BusinessWeek, T-Mobile is expected to sell 200,000 to 400,000 of the phones before the end of 2008. Analysts for iSuppli expect that figure to grow to as many as 9 million units globally for all of 2009.

You can catch Walt Mossberg's first impressions of the device here.

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Nice phone
By FITCamaro on 9/23/2008 11:17:34 AM , Rating: 3
Too bad its on TMobile.

Hopefully some Android powered phones will be on Verizon in the next 6-12 months.

RE: Nice phone
By Souka on 9/23/2008 11:25:45 AM , Rating: 1
So it's "EDGE" network right?

RE: Nice phone
By noxipoo on 9/23/2008 11:27:07 AM , Rating: 1
think so, don't think T-mobile launched their 3G service yet.

RE: Nice phone
By Brazos on 9/23/2008 11:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
I just ck'd the T-Mobile coverage map and they seperate the 3G coverage from the Edge network. Looks like all of the Houston metro area is 3G. Very nice.

RE: Nice phone
By ebakke on 9/23/2008 12:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
27 (I think) major metro areas will have launched by Oct 9. Many already have.

RE: Nice phone
By ebakke on 9/23/2008 12:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Nice phone
By DM0407 on 9/23/2008 3:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
Tmobile said my area was covered and I never got service. Use the "coverage map" with a grain of salt.

RE: Nice phone
By ebakke on 9/23/2008 5:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
3G service, or EDGE service?

RE: Nice phone
By amanojaku on 9/23/2008 7:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
The 3G network is HSDPA/UTMS; EDGE/GSM is 2G.
What cities are available with 3G service?
Metropolitan areas with T-Mobile’s 3G coverage:

Birmingham - Coming Soon
Denver - Coming Soon
Detroit - Coming Soon
Kansas City - Coming Soon
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Memphis - Coming Soon
New York
Philadelphia Phoenix
Sacramento - Coming Soon
San Diego
San Francisco
Tampa - Coming Soon

RE: Nice phone
By lightfoot on 9/23/2008 11:53:21 AM , Rating: 1
I'll take Google/TMobile over Apple/AT&T any day.

However mixing and matching the hardware with the service that you want would be ideal - but alas it's not the way things work in the good ole US of A in the wireless industry.

RE: Nice phone
By Dean364 on 9/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Nice phone
By Denigrate on 9/23/2008 4:07:04 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, because form is always better than function.

RE: Nice phone
By amanojaku on 9/23/08, Rating: 0
RE: Nice phone
By daniyarm on 9/23/2008 8:27:29 PM , Rating: 4
And if you want NSA to read every single SMS and email that you send and listen to every single phone call go ahead and sign up with AT&T.

RE: Nice phone
By LatinMessiah on 9/23/2008 2:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I have way more confidence in Google than in Apple, which is why I never got the iPhone.

RE: Nice phone
By robinthakur on 9/24/2008 8:46:59 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed that the way the business works in the US is a little weird to a european. Personally, I think the phone is ugly and not a great first stab at design, and the interface looked a little unresponsive from videos I've seen. I'll probably give them a while to refine it before dipping my toes in the water. Probably after my iPhone 3G conks out (which I am happy with currently) and assuming its better than rubbish old Windows mobile, how bad can it be?? The only bad thing is that I can't use iTunes with it so none of my music, and that will probably decide what I do more than anything. Also I've had bad expereinces with HTC and their questionable build quality in the past to know that specs alone do not tell the whole story.

RE: Nice phone
By Shadowself on 9/23/2008 12:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
Supposedly shipping on 22 October.

At that time T-Mobile will have 16 markets covered with their G-3 service, 22 markets by mid November and at least 25 markets by Christmas.

RE: Nice phone
By silversound on 9/23/2008 3:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
I dont think it will be on verizon because verizon does not support sim card. Most of the carriers in the world uses sim card, so i think they will google will try to fit majority of the people.
T-mobile is nice & cheap, hope they improve their singal more. Google phones' apps look nice, but too bad the phone just too ugly. iphone still rulz!

RE: Nice phone
By Rodney McNaggerton on 9/23/2008 8:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
Why so they can under power the hardware?

Not on sale yet?
By noxipoo on 9/23/2008 11:23:12 AM , Rating: 2
don't see it on their site, I was curious why unlimited text messaging would cost $10 more when they give you unlimited data already.

RE: Not on sale yet?
By DASQ on 9/23/2008 11:32:22 AM , Rating: 2
Erm... because opening the browser shortcut is just so much harder??

RE: Not on sale yet?
By lightfoot on 9/23/2008 12:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T charges $30 for unlimited data on the iPhone. I'm not sure if it includes unlimited texting or not. If you have to add texting - AT&T charges an extra $20 for unlimited texting.

TMobile allows you to spend less for unlimited data and the option of adding Texting seperately - at a more reasonable price than AT&T.

TMobile appears to have the edge on AT&T from a price point.

RE: Not on sale yet?
By carbon3c on 9/23/2008 12:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
Text plans are separate. For unlimited data and unlimited text, you would pay $30 + $20. No discounts for both.

RE: Not on sale yet?
By lightfoot on 9/23/2008 1:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
So that puts AT&T at $30 vs. TMobile's $25 for unlimited data for a savings of $120 over the life of a 2 year contract.

With unlimited texting it is $50 vs. $35 for a savings of $15 per month or $360 over the life of the contract.

It seems to me that TMobile is significantly undercutting AT&T's iPhone prices. This is assuming of course that the functionality is comparable.

Not to mention that the up front cost is also $20 below the base iPhone.

I won't (yet) call this an iPhone killer, but it is definitely priced to compete.

RE: Not on sale yet?
By Chaser on 9/23/2008 4:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
T Mobile has always undercut AT&T's service. But you get what you pay for. In cities T Mobile's coverage is what you would expect. But it's in rural areas between cities -and I'm not talking California- it doesn't even come close to AT&T. T Mobile has very limited coverage on the 800Mhz band as many of their phones don't support it. 800Mhz is more common in rural areas in the East as that band has greater range and can penetrate buildings better than the 1600MHz frequency.

RE: Not on sale yet?
By Chaser on 9/23/2008 4:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
My apologies. Its 850Mhz and 1900Mhz respectively.

RE: Not on sale yet?
By carbon3c on 9/24/2008 10:29:29 AM , Rating: 2
The numbers I gave were for a single person on a "family plan". I found out that the data plan is cheaper if you have an "individual plan". What a scam! Why should I pay more if only one person (on a family plan) gets to use the data plan?

By RedAlice on 9/23/2008 1:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
The T-Mobile G1 will be available October 22 for $179 with a two-year contract. Data plans will start at $25 for unlimited data and limited messaging; while unlimited data and messaging will set you back $35.

Unless you're already a T-Mobile customer in which case they already have your contract and your money and it'll cost you $299 (plus an additional 2 year contract, PLUS the data package) to get the G1. Thanks T-Mobile, all about getting new customers and never about satisfying the ones you got. Thanks....thanks a lot.
Looks like I'll be sticking it out with my Blackberry :(

RE: *Sure*
By lightfoot on 9/23/2008 1:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
How do you figure?

If $299 is the full price of the phone, and you're compairing it to the $179 for the subsidized phone, it is no different than any other phone on the market. You must currently be locked into a previous contract in which you should expect a prorated early termination penalty (same story for any other carrier.)

Personally I'm one year into a two year contract with TMobile, and $120 doesn't sound like an unreasonable premium to ditch my existing contract a year early.

RE: *Sure*
By RedAlice on 9/23/2008 3:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
I thought by upgrading your current handset you were putting an extension on the contract. Not entering a new contract. If you are one year into a 2 year contract and you sign another 2 year contract you have three years left of your contract with T-Mobile?

RE: *Sure*
By diablofish on 9/23/2008 2:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
As a current T-Mobile customer (and have been since 2000), that's untrue in my experience. Every time I've called they've been willing to work something out when I'm under contract - as long as my contract isn't brand new. While I won't be calling immediately to try to bargain since they are betting on the devices popularity driving sales, I'm sure in a couple months when I call looking to upgrade my handset they'll be willing once again to work something out.

And if they aren't, I'll just tell them I'm switching. And then they'll call me and beg me not to. This game gets played every couple of years when I look to upgrade my handset - and they generally treat me well.

RE: *Sure*
By LatinMessiah on 9/23/2008 2:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the same boat as DiabloFish here. I've been long time T-Mobile customer and the customer service has always been excellent. Hopefully the success of this new phone doesn't get to their head and turn into a-holes.

RE: *Sure*
By Mojo the Monkey on 9/23/2008 3:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
I just tried calling them and met with huge disappointment. My 2 year contract runs out mid December. I am not eligible to upgrade to this phone without the additional fee until October 19 (2 months early, not too bad), but they told me that if I pre-order now, they will not be able to give me the discount.... EVEN THOUGH I WOULDNT GET IT UNTIL OCT 22 (plus a few days for shipping, i suppose).

I even asked if speaking to a manager either now or after Oct 19 (but still before the phone shipped and I would have presumably benefited from the new phone) could help in working something out. Nope. I dont see why they couldnt backdate my discount. So... I have to wait to pre-order 3 days before and likely wait on the back order. *sigh*

Also, with regard to the above posts about pricing, you do save a bundle in comparison to AT&T. I have many-a-time compared my T-mobile rates (data, unlimited text, 5-fav plan, 2 lines) to the AT&T rates (comparable usage rates) because I secretly desired an iPhone. When I started seeing a $1600+ difference over the life of the 2 year contract (for 2 lines, 1 plan), the iPhone became much less appealing. No wonder they cut the iPhone price... crafty devils.

I think a lot of T-mobile customers are in the same boat as I am: wanting something a little more fun than a blackberry or WinMo device, but suffering through it all because the rates and plans just make a lot of sense after some work with the calculator.

RE: *Sure*
By kampret on 9/23/2008 6:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure I understand what you mean...

Since I'm already a T-Mobile customer for a couple of years (no more contracts), do I still get tied for 2 yrs if I get the phone? And where did you get the $299 price tag?

By PCXLFan on 9/23/2008 12:18:04 PM , Rating: 2
Just out of curiousity what are the specs on this baby? Is it more powerful and does it have more than the 128mb ram on the iphone?

RE: Specs?
By mellomonk on 9/23/2008 3:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
G1 has a microSD slot with a 1GB card installed. iPhone has two models 8GB and 16GB with no expansion slot. Within a few months the iPhone is going to 16GB and 32GB at the same price point. Out of the box the G1 lacks, but microSD cards are pretty cheap nowadays.

G1 is a nice phone though on the thick and thugly side. Good start for the Android devices. It will be interesting to see how much app support they ultimately get. But at this point it sure isn't the iPhone killer some had hoped for.

RE: Specs?
By Mojo the Monkey on 9/23/2008 3:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
I like that it has expanable memory, but I wonder if there is going to be a performance lag due to access times. From what I understood, the iPhone memory was like an SSD drive, whereas microSD (at least in my experience) has even slower transfer speeds than old SD cards.

RE: Specs?
By PCXLFan on 9/23/2008 11:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
All that data is in the article itself. I was asking about the ram, not the nonvolatile storage space. ;)

I'm asking about things like what is the processor, what is its clock speed. The real nitty gritty technical details of the phone. Not what you copy paste from the article above.

RE: Specs?
By Mojo the Monkey on 9/24/2008 12:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
dual core 586mhz, i believe

By gdw on 9/23/2008 11:33:41 AM , Rating: 2
UMTS means it can support 3G; T-Mobile just installed a 3G tower 4 blocks from my house... They know they need 3G to be a contender in this market.

RE: 3G
By ipat2007 on 9/23/2008 11:55:31 AM , Rating: 3
Check this out for more details .
T-Mobile G1 (Android) Out!! (with Android market Details)

Google Android (HTC Dream) vs Apple iPhone 3G -A Comparision

RE: 3G
By LatinMessiah on 9/23/2008 2:50:50 PM , Rating: 2
"Camera: 3.15 MP, 2048x1536 pixels". iPhone only has 2 MP.

a completed product?
By kinnoch on 9/23/2008 12:20:45 PM , Rating: 5
So will this be "Google Android beta" or did google decide to treat a released product as a released product this time? :)

RE: a completed product?
By LatinMessiah on 10/3/2008 8:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
A little from column A...a little from column B.

Does it have a replacable battery?
By Chudilo on 9/23/2008 2:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
the very fist question I got is:
Does it have a replaceable battery?
What's up with no headphone jack?
Something to add to the next version?
I'll wait for it.

By LatinMessiah on 9/23/2008 2:30:06 PM , Rating: 2
1. Yes. "T-Mobile is claiming similar talk time to that of the iPhone, but, unlike Apple’s product, the G1 has a removable battery."
2. "Also, you cannot use standard stereo headphones with the G1. You need special ones, or an adapter."
3. No.

Source: Just read the last link in this article.

By robinthakur on 9/24/2008 8:50:59 AM , Rating: 2
HTC has a bizarre policy of not giving you a headphones jack but expecting you to use a mini-usb socket or adaptor instead. That's madness in my opinion, they must lose so many sales because of it.

"Too bad its on TMobile."
By DatabaseMX on 9/23/2008 2:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
DITTO ! What WERE they thinking! Why not Verizon?

Also, did I read somewhere that there is going to be advertising on the phone? Or is that just on the browser part?


RE: "Too bad its on TMobile."
By mellomonk on 9/23/2008 3:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
Three letters that the 90% of the rest of the world know, GSM .

At this point there is not supposed to be in 'special' advertising. Though your regular Google adds in web pages might become 'location aware' since the phone always knows where you are at. That is advertiser nirvana.

By Sunrise089 on 9/23/2008 10:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
I more or less take it as a given that no other phone will have the polished interface and intuitive feel of the iPhone. Therefore other phones can only really try and sell themselves on features and price. Since the iPhone is also pretty affordable and now has GPS, the big feature is the QUERTY keyboard for those folks who can't do without it. So in the non-iPhone world of QUERTY phones it's important to pass a first-glance aesthetics test with a straight face. This n-Gage lookalike quite obviously cannot pass.

RE: Fail
By robinthakur on 9/24/2008 9:01:44 AM , Rating: 2
There's something about the G1 that just looks a bit prototyp-y and unpolished, like in the picture of the black model the slide doesn't quite look level, and this is the experience I've had of HTC phones in general. They tend to throw everything but the kitchen sink onto their phones but omit spending on a decent design or the common sense approach of putting a headphone jack in. Hopefully the usability of the phone is better than their tragic windows mobile efforts in the past. This phone looks really complicated and bulky to most people who are not that technical, and I can't see it alone gaining massive market in this form. It is an interesting platform though so hopefully somebody will bring something out to really give Apple's design team a run for their money.

Whilst there's a tendency for people to attack Apple vociferously on here for pretty much everything they do, I do often think that its a case of saying that the grass is always greener on the other side. Since 2.1 firmware, I'm extremely happy with my iPhone in all respects from voice calls to data to the rest which it now does without impediment. The touch interface is the best i've used, and I've used a few.

A Dog By Any Other Name Is Still A Dog
By Silver Bullet on 9/24/2008 10:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
T mobile is a dog. Google has tied its horse to the wrong cart.

By SnakeBlitzken on 9/24/2008 11:55:41 AM , Rating: 2
Amen. the coverage area and service will make or break it. The coverage sucks in most of Missouri so I'll never be using it.

Phone + Google
By austinag on 9/23/2008 1:14:50 PM , Rating: 2
I don't like "android" should have been named Phoogle.

I like T-mobile....
By nanogeektech on 9/23/2008 2:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
My buddy has an iPhone...and he has issues receiving and placing calls...

I had Sprint before t-mobile...and so far t-mobile is pretty good..I will be upgrading

One Ugly-Ass phone
By sapiens74 on 9/23/2008 6:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
Guess they don't want women to buy it, or guys who buy it to get laid.....

G1 gets you 1Gb per month
By FS on 9/23/2008 9:08:12 PM , Rating: 2
T-Mobile will be capping the speed to 50kbps(if it wasn't crappy enough to begin with) if you go over 1GB in a month.

By SiliconAddict on 9/23/2008 11:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
The two deal killers are that they don't support tethering to PC's. for the amount I'd be paying per month this feature alone is mandatory. However I have zero doubt that this feature WILL be hacked eventually. the thing has a USB port on it, and Bluetooth. It will happen.
But tethering is pointless with the real deal killer for me. In small print on the agreement it says that if you exceed 1GB in data transfers per billing cycle they will throttle you down to 50kb/s which is around old school modem speed. with the new data centric features on the G1 such as Google Maps with streetview, Amazon's MP3 single click downloads, PIM syncing, photos, true web browsing, and frankly things that will be dreamed up by developers 1GB really isn't a lot. Yes on traditional smart phones with clipped web browsing it would be very difficult to hit 1GB. But on the iPhone and now the G1? really not that hard anymore.

Now yes. I realize that the reality is that T Mobile JUST rolled out G3 in the US. This may very well be the core reason for the cap. They are scared, and rightly so, that the popularity of the G1 will being their network to its knees. Something that, might I add, did happen on ATT's network even after they beefed it up prior to the iPhone's launch. However if this IS the case. T Mobile should be candied and simply state in the fine print this is a temporary condition and tweaks to the rate will change in the future.
As it stands everyone on on T Mobile's fansites are making a BIG ass assumption that T Mobile will tweak this down the road. I don't sign up for a 2 year plan based around assumptions thank you very much.

The hardware isn't perfect. I can accept that. Some of the things that aren't perfect can be fixed via software updates, and the rest? Meh *shrugs* No its the policy that has just exed T Mobile off my list as a possible carrier.

new world of design...
By psypher on 9/24/2008 10:44:41 AM , Rating: 2
Let me preface this by saying in general, I am extremely anti Apple. You will never see me shelling out that much cash for an underpowered machine with limited software options...

That being said, in the new world that Steve Jobs has brought upon us, design is in fact king. It doesn't matter if this thing has all the greatest features in the world. It is ugly. Pretty = sales. How else can you explain the iPhone 3G sales in the face of all the launch problems? Somebody else mentioned that women will not buy this and i agree... this will tank in that demographic. It isn't going to fare well with non geeky guys as well. Without strong sales, google won't put a lot of cash behind this to flush it out.

The saving grace is that this is an OS, not a phone that is exciting. it's a shame though that the first android phone to come out is this ugly hunk of sh*t for t-mobile... if a bunch of phones come out ignoring the design aspect, Android is sunk, but thankfully it will only take 1 phone to make it a stellar product.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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