T-Mobile G1 hands-on review – Life with the Android OS

T-Mobile G1 with full QWERTY keyboard

T-Mobile G1 with full QWERTY keyboard

The T-Mobile G1 is made by HTC. We’ve been closely following HTC’s rise to fame as the premier Windows Mobile smartphone manufacturer on the planet. HTC makes some seriously high-quality hardware that never fails to impress us – with solid build quality and a penchant for the high-tech, HTC devices deliver on sensory and practical aspects. As such, we expected the HTC-made T-Mobile G1 to be a robust handset packed with the latest mobile technology.

Did the T-Mobile G1 live up to the high standards that we’ve set for HTC smartphones?

Keep reading to find out.

T-Mobile G1

By T-Mobile ($179.99)

Overall – 4/5 stars


  • 3.2-inch touchscreen @ 320 x 480 (HVGA) resolution
  • Qualcomm MSM7210A running @ 528 MHz
  • 256MB ROM / 192MB RAM
  • Quad-band (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Dual-band (1700/2100Mhz) UMTS/HSDPA (3G)
    • Full HSPA support – 7.2Mbps HSDPA (downstream) and 2Mbps HSUPA (upstream)
  • 3-megapixel camera with photo-sharing (geo-tagging) capabilities
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
  • myFaves-enabled
  • Voice recognition, voice dialing and speakerphone
  • Hinged touch screen that slides open to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard


  • 3G data connection for high-speed wireless data service
  • Push Gmail with automatic Google Calendar and Google Contacts synchronization
  • Speedy user interface with little lag and seamless application switching
  • Capacitance-based glass touchscreen (like the iPhone 3G, but without multi-touch capability)
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • Large 3.2-inch display @ 320×480 resolution
  • Convenient trackball
  • Full-HTML web browser
  • Google Maps with Street View and Compass Mode
  • WiFi
  • GPS


  • Lack of on-screen virtual keyboard
  • Slightly loud “slide-kick”
  • Battery life
  • Weak keyboard backlight
  • Less than stellar indoor 3G reception


The T-Mobile G1 represents the first in what will likely be a long line of full-featured smartphones powered by Google’s Linux-based Android OS. As such, the T-Mobile G1 makes a big splash in an already-crowded pool of smartphone competitors. With its laundry list of features that include a GPS receiver, a WiFi radio, 3G data connection, 3.2 megapixel camera, and capacitance-based 3.2-inch touchscreen, the T-Mobile G1 is a powerhouse of a smartphone.

But, as the first-ever Android handset, the T-Mobile G1 does have a couple niggling downsides.

Keep reading for our in-depth review of the T-Mobile G1 and the Android OS experience. (Jump after the gallery)

  • Jessica

    HELP!!! I was all set to buy the G1 and then found out that it only has that unique mini-USB port. I can’t find anyone who is making an adapter. I want to plug my own headphones and speakers (for my desk at work) into the G1. What to do??

  • Will Park

    The G1 comes with an extUSB-to-headphone adapter in the box. You can just keep the adapter in your pocket and when you need to use your headphones or speakers, you can just plug the adapter into the extUSB port and then plug the speakers/headphones into the adapter’s 3.5mm headphone jack.

  • al ryles

    I have a I-phone with a t-mobile acct to it Y should I switch over 2 G-1?


    All I know is that my G1 ROCKS !!!!!!! I also own an iPhone 3g which I also loved, but I am overly enthusiastic about the open source of Android. The video of the Adobe Flash Player 10 running on Android also makes me even more glad I purchased the G1, Flash is ready for the iPhone if Apple would just open up a little. Right now the iPhone is the best, but the G1 has the potential (which will be fulfilled) to blow the iPhone out of the water. So just give the G1 time, at least as much time as the iphone has had to get everything together and you will see. It is a great time in the cellphone world…..

  • Sandie

    I am not sure if it is me or the phone, but I really am not impressed with this phone at all. I am so bummed! I have a few more days for the buyers remorse and it will most likely be going back. The battery life, or should I say lack there of is a disgrace. What good is having all these cool features if the phone is constantly in need of a charge? I get to work at 8 and at 11 the battery is yellow, that is ridiculous! If I am doing something wrong or if someone has the phone and actually loves it I would LOVE to hear about it.

    Sorry to be a hater, I am just really disappointed in this product.

    If you have suggestions or things that may make my life with this phone better please email me at: irishlassie9372@gmail.com


  • james brown

    me and my girl have the same phone, i hear there is a feature where i can know her phones location, how do i get my G1 to locate her g1?

  • Mark

    Sounds like a good start but, for the time being, I will stick with my Blackberry, with its lousy browser, easy push email and good battery life.

    Glass screen: as a former Palm user, I caution everybody – DON'T DROP IT!

  • dlo

    Ok so what's the deal here ? I'm stuck on stupid when it comes to my g1. I'm good with p.cs I'm greatttt with any side kick an any cell phone but I guess that's the problem this is nt just any cell phone I guess . My problem is everything. It sucks as a cell phone but that's ok for 10 bucks ill cary my sk id as my phone an use this as my lil pocket p.c an text phone . But my problem is how do u download adobe? How do I work touch screen ? It worked for few days I messed with it an I don't know if u can turn that offn on an I shut off on mistake ? But I can't find manual an I've gone in setting an find no option for it ?? Or did I break it? Hellllllllp . Oh an. I agree battery life of g1 does suck but ok I'm stuck w it so atleast want to. Make it work ? … please help thanks. A j xo

  • rasheeda

    I am starting not to like the phone I do not know how to enable my javascript or it will not let me down load a flashplayer. It keep saying my phone is not supporting this download but this phone is suppsoe to be able to do every thing that is b.s


    how do I sync my g1 with microsoft outlook on my desktop

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