Can the T-Mobile G2 compete?

picture of the upcoming T-Mobile G2
picture of the upcoming T-Mobile G2

The T-Mobile G2 is undoubtedly one of the best upcoming Android smartphones for the nation’s fourth largest mobile carrier. The G2 is a solid upgrade to its predecessor, the G1, offering a snappier processor, larger screen, seemingly better keyboard, upgraded camera, and more. But can the T-Mobile G2 compete with the likes of the HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, or Samsung Epic 4G?

Besides some nice looking hardware, does the G2 bring anything new to the table that customers will actually notice? Sure, the device will sport the Qualcomm Scorpion CPU, which should be up to par with Samsung’s Hummingbird processor, but other than some T-Mobile customizations, there’s nothing we haven’t seen before with this device.

And, while clock speed isn’t everything for the CPU, (as we’ve seen the Samsung Moment and its 800Mhz CPU being outperformed by the more efficient architecture of the original Droid’s 600MHz CPU) the 800MHz speed of the Scorpion processor may not be enough for those who will just look at the number and assume it will be slower than other 1GHz processors (1000MHz) out there. Again, clock speed is not the end all, be all for overall system performance and speed.

The MSM7x30 processor in the T-Mobile G2 can operate from 800Mhz to 1GHz, so at least the hackers who root the device will be able to overclock it to reach GHz speeds. Because of this, I’m personally not worrying about the CPU speed of the G2. Still, potential customers may feel a bit spoiled with the handful of 1GHz Snapdragon phones out there.

What does the G2 bring to the table that would make one “ooh and aww”? The G2 lacks some of the fancy hardware that we’ve seen on the EVO 4G, Epic 4G, or iPhone 4. That said, some of those features aren’t necessarily suited for everyday use, although the option to video chat/watch videos on a TV via HDMI-out/watch a video with a kickstand is always nice to have. I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about a front-facing camera, but would I like the option to use one? Of course. Would I connect my phone to my TV with the HDMI port every single day? No way, but if such a port was available on the G2, it would be a very welcomed addition.

So what does the T-Mobile G2 bring to the table that competitors don’t have? Well, there’s HSPA+, T-Mobile’s upgraded 3G, which can reach “4G speeds”, and the G2’s use of a stock Android UI. T-Mobile is making the G2 the first HSPA+ device, which is a smart move for the carrier’s short-term strategy. The G2 will also be pretty much the only stock Android handset you can find on the market. With Nexus One supplies drying up seemingly everywhere and the original Motorola Droid not expected to get the Android Gingerbread update, if you want a stock Android smartphone, you’re pretty much out of luck.

While geeks, like myself, will prefer the stock Android experience, it’s possible that many potential users might not like the rather dry look of stock Android. Having used HTC’s Sense UI on almost every Android phone I’ve owned, I’m done with custom skins and now prefer the vanilla Android experience. Stock Android isn’t something you’d technically call a “feature” on a device, but it will make those who are upgrading from their G1 feel more at home with a familiar UI.

Keep in mind, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ data network is going to be awesome for the coming months, but will be overshadowed by upcoming technologies from AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network may be faster that Sprint’s 4G services for now, but they will soon be outpaced by LTE networks, once they are fully deployed and optimized to offer ever faster data speeds. Sprint uses WiMAX for their “4G”, and that will allow them to upgrade to LTE using the existing infrastructure they currently use. T-Mobile, can’t say the same. These are all factors to consider when buying a G2.

So, the T-Mobile G2 may be a hit for the carrier, but at the end of the day it’s just another Android phone. It’ll be my next Android phone, without a doubt, but it’s nonetheless just one more Android to add to the stack. If the official specifications end up sporting features that are not yet confirmed, (HDMI, front-facing camera) then I may have to make a revision to this article.

So what do you think? Can the T-Mobile G2 compete with the likes of the Android elite? Is it possibly worth switching carriers for? Hit us up in the comments!

  • kilari

    there really isn’t that great of draw for me towards the G2, my brain is drawn to the AMOLED screen on the Vibrant, or I really want an HD7 if the dual core 1.5ghz, 4.5″ 1280×800 screen is true. Cus I’ve been considering buying a used Vibrant, or I’m just going to hold off and see what WinPhone7 has in store, but I haven’t given any thought to the G2 or the Mytouch HD. I guess there is one other possibility, if Tmo got a webOS 2.0 device I’d scoop that up.

  • Mike

    As a G1 user from the start, I have waited and waited for the real g2. They called the touch the g2, then the 3g slide now this phone. The truth of the matter is the Samsung Epic should be the g2 and we all know it. How is removing a row off the qwerty key board a improvement. The new G2 is a 4/5 qwerty key board. The g1 had a full keyboard and the g2 has a 4/5 qwerty. Do not let any one tell you different. All the lack of features you mentioned, the cities not having Hspa. T mobile took for granite all the customers who made android a hit and Basically gave them a DUTCH OVEN in return. Will be calling sprint. Let us not forget Google has said Gingerbread will not update to a Phone with less than 1 Ghz. Thanks T mobile. It was fun.

    • Aaron

      Umm…that was a rumor and Google has flattened that rumor directly via Twitter. The G2 will be a great phone, it will be an awesome phone for those coming from the myTouch 3g’s and G1’s of the world. And with ROM’s like Cyanogenmod, and pershoot’s knack for for overclocking, this phone will be just fine. Don’t forget that the cpu/gpu are integrated and it runs on a 45nm fabrication, making it supremely overclockable. How many other good phones with keyboards are there now? Not many. Oh and good luck with RFS over there in the Samsung world. 😉

      • DeweyM

        Aron – please explain what RMS will bring? Thank you

  • SurgioArmani

    Don’t get me wrong, the preliminary talks of the G2 have been a little underwhelming. T-Mo has given us nothing official yet so I’m really hoping they have a big surprise for us. For the record, though, it was not Google that said there was a 1ghz minimum processor speed for Gingerbread. They have actually denied that 1ghz is required emphatically

  • JC

    I like that T-Mobile is continuing the G Series with the new G2. I have been a G1 user from the start. I really like the G1. It does everything I can think of, but it is slow. I like the physical keyboard. Hopefully, the G2 will have the equivalent memory of the Vibrant with equally expandability. The real detail that I am waiting on is how much memory will the G2 have. Granted the G1 was the 1st Android on the market with 74MB of free memory and that was great in the beginning, but now it’s laughable. The G2 needs to have at least 8GB of memory for me to give it serious thought, because right now the Samsung Vibrant is trying to lure me away from the G Series. The processor speed isn’t that big a deal. The big deal for me is what everyone isn’t talking about is how much memory does it have and how much can it be expanded to vis microSD card?

    • Blake

      If a device has Froyo on board, it doesn’t really matter the amount of internal memory, as you can install applications onto the SD card now. Internal memory is a nice thing to have, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not as important it used to be.

  • Angel

    See I have The same problem. I really Want the G2 to wow me. I don’t want switch carriers, but I don’t want a striped down Epic 4g with the vibrant. I really hope Tmo surprises us all of us. Front facing cam, flash, hdmi, and to really shine upgradable to Gingerbread andwhatever the next update is. I’m not lettin my friend who has no tech knowledge beat me with her Epic 4g. I need new hotness.

    Me I got my thoroughbred G1 running 2.1 now.

    • DeweyM

      Other than a 1-year deviation to iPhone and a couple of HTC products, I have been at AT&T / Blackberry user for a couple of years and TMO before that. After evaluating BB6 / Torch, it is clear the latest offering from RIM is not quite the rim-job I am use to. I went with Sprint and Epic. To begin with, Sprint as a company is inept in comparison to AT&T whose customer service is excellent. Sprint sent my first bill with a due date in 3 weeks however one (1) week into service shut me off because I exceed my credit limit. Yeah, the one they gave me when I bought the phone. A series of folly with a cadre D-minus baton-passing, desk jockeys almost just made things worse which has made me look elsewhere while I am in my first 30 days. My sister is an Agent for Sprint so I got the Epic for free. She sells to education and does all support herself as she loses to many clients when she sends them to Sprint. Today, all of my email accounts vanished and when I called in to Sprint to see if it was a know issue, they insisted I call in from another phone before supporting me. I know they all do this however Sprint was very adamant before supporting. While I was seething as I have low tolerance for this stuff, I found that TMo HSPA+ was up in running in the SF area which is where I am. Sprint is still 3G here and their initial 4G/WIFI offering looks to be lack-luster rumored to be rolled-out before end of year. Performance tests at phonedog for Sprint 4G vs HSPA+ in the Philadelphia market show HSPA+ blows away Sprint 4G – and noticeably in packet latency. HSPA+ network was <100m and Sprint 4g/WIFI that was <250 ms- this will play a critical role in running real-time apps (VoIP, SIP, etc) and <100ms is the target. As far as the Epic is concerned, it is a nice phone however the battery is only good for a 1/2 day with Average Power Use with conscious power management. I will reserve judgment for Froyo support which is due out first week in October. Epic screen is gorgeous but have other have reported, the Samsung hardware is not as solid as HTC.

  • G1Usa

    Froyo offers moving apps to sd BUT data is not stored on the sd so internal storage is still used for each app.
    For the G2 to compete it will have to have the features the N1 offers or what the vibrant offers. The camera is really what sets the vibrant apart. Both offer HD I believe.

    • DeweyM

      I am on 2.1 (eclair ?) and I can install apps on the 16GB Micro-SD that came with my Epic. Does anyone know if Froyo allows me to uninstall app as 2.1 does not as far as I can tells? Anyone want Sprint Football or NASCAR crap apps? I will study all the ramifications before rooting my phone however so far, I kinda like the the Samsung wrapper. It allows access point support which is no part of 2.1.

  • JL

    For me, it competes nicely. It’s the only Android phone on the market that offers a vanilla install of 2.2. I don’t want any of the Sense UI, TouchWiz, Motoblur crapware.

  • Brandon

    To be honest i love my G1 till death do us apart, with the CM 6.0.0 build its like a brand new phone. It has Froyo 2.2 so memory isn’t a issuse so I will just continue waitin til T-Mobile decide to release a top of the line phone before I just take the plunge. The specs are great its just the phones always look cheap to me so i mite wait til Mytouch HD…who knows?

    • Travis

      Brandon, could you tell me a little about how you upgraded your G1?
      If the G2 doesn’t live up to my expectations, I, like you, might just wait a bit longer for the next Android.

  • FingersCrossed4TheG2

    PHYSICAL KEYBOARD! The only thing that is keeping me away from any other phone. We’ve done all of our research. The closest thing competitive outside of TMO is Sprint’s EPIC 4G. But strictly TMO users and future users, this will be the fastest (internet-wise) and possibly one of the fastest (hardware wise) phones to hit the market (for now). I own a HD2, 3 weeks old, which now it will be sold tomorrow to a person from craigslist. I came from a BB Bold, and miss the loving touch of a physical keyboard. Then got to experience N1’s flashed Android on the HD2 and now I’m hooked. Both experiences combined will be the G2 for me! HD3? pretty sweet with winmo7’s new UI, no official specs, those dual core cpu and tech drooling rumors are fake. It’s confirmed. No android? No thanks. Project emerald? Which is known as MyTouch HD today? Yea no physical keyboard, but it is something I will still look into. Anyways, this opinion is for those who are like me, not particularly a fanboy or who just hates winmo (which is really not that bad, nice with sense, BUT!), for those who will want a physical keyboard and android from TMO, the G2 is it. Nothing has really announced/rumored anything similar or better than the G2 right now (with a keyboard included). I looked at every tech source on the internet, NOTHING compares. The G2 has found its owner. It will be mine this month.

  • George

    It’s a good-lookin’ phone to me. Vanilla Android 2.2 and a physical keyboard are enough to sell it for me . . . had I not just bought a Droid 2 three weeks ago!

  • mbaDad

    Plain ole ugly stock Vanilla Android. That is the killer feature for me! I may actually buy one.

  • Cwpanthro

    Can you hook your computer up the internet using this phone? that is the only thing holding me back. I was going to get an HD7 but there is just to much of a downfall just not sure i am a Tmobile customer and just want the best phone i can get. I know it depends on what i am going to use it for but… My phone is currently an HTC HD2 that i have had for about 6 months and time for an upgrade plus i spider webbed the screen so cant view much anymore anyway any help would be greatly appreciated thanks in advance

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