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)

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